All change for LOCSU

As LOCSU’s chairman retires this month, the optical body also confirms the appointment of a clinical director


The Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) has seen a number of changes in recent months, with new appointments in leadership.

Most recently, Zoe Richmond has been confirmed as clinical director for LOCSU.

Richmond, who was previously interim clinical director and has recently also been elected vice-chair of the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning, first joined LOCSU in 2011.

Sharing delight at the appointment, Richmond said she believes this to be a “very exciting time for the sector,” commenting that: “As clinical director I intend to continue championing the role of Local Optical Committees (LOCs) and optometry – optometrists and their whole practice teams – to support transformational change for eye care, for the benefit of patients and population eye health.”

Richmond has been leading a programme of work to continue developing the Clinical Service Pathways Framework, extending the range of eye conditions which can be managed in optometric practice.

“I look forward to working closely with the local eye care leaders,” Richmond continued, “as we navigate another NHS reform, the local representative voice of the LOC has never been so important.”

Outgoing chief executive of LOCSU, Richard Whittington, described Richmond’s “unparalleled experience in service redesign, supporting the development of extended primary eye care services across England.”

Whittington commended the new clinical director for the role she played in launching the COVID-19 Urgent Eye Care Service, and added, “as a member of the NHSE/I National Eye Care Recovery and Transformation programme, Zoe is helping to provide optometry clinical leadership for pathway improvement.”

This month also marks the end of tenure for LOCSU’s current chairman, Mike Fegan.

Appointed in late 2018 for a three-year term, Fegan retires as chairman this month after holding the role through a period that has included the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the move, Fegan said: “It has been a great privilege to chair the board of LOCSU on behalf of LOCs and the optical bodies. Now that pressure from the pandemic is abating, it is appropriate to pass the chairmanship on, and for me to retire.”

Whittington praised Fegan’s “steady guidance and advice” adding that the chairman would be missed by LOCSU.

The process for a new chairman has already commenced.

Lead image: Zoe Richmond, who has been appointed clinical director for LOCSU