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New Long Term IT Partner Announced

Opera and Primary Eyecare logos

12 August 2020

Primary Eyecare Services (PES) is pleased to announce the selection of a new long-term IT partner to provide single platform encompassing a range of functionality and capability to meet the needs of PES and its partner LOCs and optical practices now and into the future.

The exclusive long-term agreement between PES and FDS Consultants will enable greater collaboration between primary care optical practices and hospital eye services by integrating access to NHS systems into a single, easy to use platform. Functions and capabilities of the Opera platform from launch will include NHS number look up, access to summary care records, eRS referrals and feedback from hospital eye services, with further functionality to be added in future. Opera also includes routine functionality including claims management and performance management of eye care services.

The Opera platform is the technology enabler for the Covid-19 Urgent Eyecare Service (CUES) which is currently live or under mobilisation in 37 CCG areas. This new announcement sees this relationship being expanded, with FDS being appointed as a long-term PES partner, with a broader remit to incorporate all technology capability into a single platform. Current users of the CUES platform have found it easy to use, and this user experience will continue to develop moving forwards. PES and all its partner organisations will transition to the new platform over the next six months with a transition process that will be fully supported by PES and will include staff training.

Dharmesh Patel, PES CEO said “Opera is a single, easy to use platform covering all providers and episodes of care including records, referrals and collaboration. It enables a revolution in collaboration allowing primary eye care practices to work more closely with hospital eye services – which will ultimately deliver better patient care”

FDS Consultants were selected as long-term IT partner for PES following a robust supplier selection process with programme assurance by Grant Thornton. FDS has experience with optometry referrals, dental referral management (which has a number of similarities to optometry, for example in the storage and retrieval of images) and extended services in dentistry. The successful implementation of Opera to manage CUES demonstrated FDS’ agile ways of working, and FDS also offer an ambitious approach towards future innovation as well as a unique partnership approach with FDS and PES working together on future developments.

“We are absolutely delighted to have been selected as the long-term partner for Primary Eyecare Services” said FDS Director of Operations Anne Lamb. “Our experience in referral management and extended services provision in dentistry is very transferable to the optical sector and we were able to rapidly develop the Opera platform to enable the CUES service. This has provided the foundation for a successful partnership with PES and we look forward to working in partnership with PES to transition the organisation and its partners onto the broader platform, and into the future as we add more functionality and capabilities”

The current IT platform OptoManager, provided by Cegedim Rx, will be phased out as users transition to the FDS Opera platform. Gianpiero Celino from Cegedim Rx said “We have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with PES and are of course disappointed that this will cease. We would like to thank them for the opportunity to participate in what has been a thorough and fair selection process and wish PES and its partner organisations all the best for the future”.

Dharmesh Patel, PES CEO, said “On behalf of PES and all our partner LOCs and optical practices, I would like to thank the team at Cegedim Rx for all their support with OptoManager, a tool which has served the sector well for a decade. I would also like to recognise their highly professional participation in the recent selection process”