About Worcestershire LOC


The Worcestershire Local Optical Committee was formed in 1997 after the restructuring resulted in a split of the two counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Worcestershire Local Optical Committee (LOC) is the elected statutory body representing the interests of all the Optometrists working in the county of Worcestershire and providing NHS General Ophthalmic Services (GOS). The LOC provides assistance for these Optometrists on all matters relevant to GOS practice such as NHS Regulations, Contracts, Terms of Service Conditions, and Complaints and the LOC represents them in discussions with the three NHS Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups of South Worcestershire, Redditch and Bromsgrove, and Wyre Forest.

The LOC consists of Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians elected from across the county of Worcestershire. We also co-opt members especially if any of the three areas of the County are not already represented. The committee meets every two months or at shorter intervals if necessary at The St. Andrews House Hotel in Droitwich.

In addition to the NHS Statutory duties and support role, Worcestershire LOC takes an active role promoting the services of Optometrists to the general public and to other professionals. It is a self financing body, paid for by a levy of Optometrists' GOS fees. We are not a trade union but have a statutory role within the NHS. The statutory role of the LOCs has been enshrined by successive acts including the original NHS Act and subsequent legislation.

Committee members



Chairperson

Harpreet Kular


Harpreet is an optometrist and does locum work in the area. She is responsible for communication to members.

Secretary

Stuart Burdett


Stuart is an Optometrist and has recently become Managing Director of The Outside Clinic and has been working for them for 9 years. Until recently, he was on the ROC and was a director of the ROC company but stepped down in January. Until then he had also been an optometric adviser for the NHS for seven years.

Treasurer

Jim Osborne


Jim is an Independent Optometrist who recently sold his Evesham practice. He has been treasurer for 10 years. He is currently assisting in the Glaucoma clinic at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and also provides locum cover to primary care optometry practices. Jim is a registered Independent Prescriber and has a portfolio of a number of post-graduate qualifications. He is a member of the Livery of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.

Vice Chair

Victoria Merrett


Victoria is the Optometrist and owner of Actons Opticians in Worcester city centre and has been for 13 years. She has been Vice chair for one year and is also a member of the Regional Optical Committee (ROC) and Director of ROC area company Arden Herefordshire and Worcestershire Primary Eyecare Ltd

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Amy Clarke


Amy is an Optometrist and primarily based at Hollands Opticians in Malvern. She also does community care in Hospital in Paediatric and Glaucoma clinics and is a registered independent prescriber.

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Jonathon Lee


Graduated from Bradford University in Optometry in 1985. He is now the JVP (Joint Venture Partner) of Specsavers Kidderminster, Stouport on Severn and Droitwich. Jonathon has sat on the LOC for 6 years.

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Matt Burford


Matt is an Optometrist with The Outside Clinic, a domiciliary eyecare company. He has been there for 11 years. He is the CET lead on the committee.

Steve Bainbridge


Steve is an Optometrist from Bainbridge Optometrists in Redditch. He qualified in 2007 and partakes in Diabetic Screening.

Gurdeep Bansal


Gurdeep is a qualified optometrist, graduating in 2006. He is the ophthalmic director at Specsavers Opticans Redditch since December 2015.

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Andrew Griffin


Andy is a qualified dispensing optician, graduating in 2004. He is a director at Pershore Eyecare Centre Ltd. an independant opticians that opened in 2017.

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Introduction to the LOC

The Local Optical Committee (LOC) is the local organisation formed to represent NHS ophthalmic contractors and performers within its area. It is formed of locally elected optometrists and dispensing opticians. We meet every two months at the St Andrews Hotel in Droitwich, on the second Wednesday of the alternate months from January.

The formal recognition by NHS England of LOCs under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, schedule 4, gives particular rights and responsibilities to LOCs. There are also similar local representative committees for doctors (Local Medical Committees), dentists (Local Dental Committees) and pharmacists (Local Pharmaceutical Committees).

The LOC collects a statutory levy from contractors to finance the committee's work, the level of which is agreed at its AGM or by agreement with local contractors.

What are the functions of a LOC?

LOCs have a general function in respect of all aspects of NHS primary care that relate to, or are relevant to, community optical and ophthalmic practitioners.

LOCs act to provide support for performers and contractors in the area on issues involving NHS ophthalmic services. We also are involved in promoting community eye care services to public health organisations and the public.