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July 11 2012
In a ground-breaking move for the optical sector, LOCSU has held the first-ever cross-sector summit to test out how the GOS contract will be managed from next April.
The event, hosted in Leeds, was the first meeting to bring together senior level figures in the Department of Health with national and local optical leaders to discuss the national framework for the single operating model. The model will govern the way the GOS contract is monitored and the commissioning of primary care services by the NHS from 2013.
Having a national framework would avoid local interpretations, which have, in some areas, caused difficulties for optometrists, dispensing opticians and local commissioners. Reality testing with all stakeholders at once is said to not only aid discussion and comprehension, but also save endless time and effort when time pressures are enormous and finances are in short supply.
LOCSU chairman, Alan Tinger (pictured), heralded the event as an important step forward. “Being asked by the NHS Commissioning Board to test out the national framework for the single operating model is hugely significant,” he said. “The benefits of this model will be felt by every LOC. A national standard for contract monitoring will be appreciated by anyone who has had experience of trying to challenge some of the different local variations of the GOS contract.
“It is a real sign of the progress made by LOCSU and others to ensure that the optical sector is involved in shaping the plans for eye care commissioning before they happen.”