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Standard Clinical Specification Update

3 January 2024

Following the ministerial request to develop a standard clinical specification for Community Minor and Urgent Eye Care back in September, and the announcement at the NOC in November, the development of the clinical specification has progressed well.

The delivery group, led by LOCSU’s clinical director, Zoe Richmond, have worked through feedback received via the recent survey and identified a number of essential service improvements to be implemented. These include:

  • Allow face-to-face appointments without the need for remote consultation but enabling remote consultations when it’s clinically appropriate and convenient for the patient
  • Improve emphasis on care navigation and redirection from other services, where clinically appropriate
  • Broaden the eligibility criteria to allow all minor and urgent eye care to be delivered within a single service
  • Make it an expectation of the service that Optometrists with Independent Prescribing capability have access to FP10s

The sector worked collaboratively and swiftly to develop the following key resources which were sent to NHS England, CCEHC and DHSC on Thursday 21 December, inviting final feedback:

  • Standard Clinical Specification
  • Patient pathway flow diagram
  • Risk Stratification Conditions table

All feedback will be received by Monday 8 January and reviewed by the oversight group the following week, which should allow us to make final amendments and share these key resources to LOCs towards the end of the month.

Alongside NHS England and CCEHC recommendations, we aim to maintain clinical endorsement from the College of Optometrists and Royal College of Ophthalmologists. Discussions are ongoing to understand how and when NHS England will make these resources available to ICB Commissioners, but we understand several ICBs are waiting for the new specification and have requested that it’s made available as soon as possible.

Zoe Richmond, LOCSU Clinical Director, said: “Alongside the clinical specification, further information is required to help inform local commissioning decisions and support service implementation. Over the coming weeks we will be turning our attention to the development of the supporting case, with the aim of providing commissioners and LOCs with the information they require to demonstrate the value of these local services.

“LOCs and their provider companies have already provided useful information and we very much welcome their continued input into developing and maintaining the supporting resources, providing best practice examples and local audits to highlight to ICBs the importance of this vital service.”

We are inviting all LOCs to be advocates of the new standardised clinical specification and are aiming to hold webinars soon to launch the new clinical specification and answer any questions you may have – details of which will be shared as soon as possible.

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