Role up, role up

Eye health patient demand requires ‘absolutely every’ optometrist to get involved in enhanced services and the NOC


The new head of the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU), Richard Whittington, hopes to see many brand new faces at next year’s National Optical Conference (NOC).

In a video for OT, Mr Whittington and LOCSU clinical director, Katrina Venerus, explained the benefits of attending the 2016 event (10–11 November, Hilton Birmingham Metropole).

Asked about the idea that extended primary eye care services are a niche service that only require a fraction of practices to sign up, Mr Whittington asserted that he saw a future in commissioned eye care provision for every optometrist.

He emphasised that: "The demand for acute care is so great at the moment, that there is certainly enough demand for all practices to deliver services. For the future of the profession, I think it is really key that everybody becomes involved in this."

"We need to be able to show we have the capacity to be able to deliver these services, which is why it is really important for everybody to engage and get the qualifications," he added.

Mr Whittington highlighted that: "Absolutely everyone needs to get involved. We know that the traditional model of High Street optical care is going to come under pressure, both from automation but also from web-based services."

"We also know the public at the moment don’t necessarily see High Street practices as the first port of call for eye conditions, but that’s where we need to get to," he concluded.