Primary Care Clusters:

What is a Primary Care Cluster?

The concept of primary care clusters where primary care services are coordinated on a geographical locality basis in Wales was first introduced in 2010. The policy was developed with the Welsh Government’s Primary & Community Services Strategic Delivery Programme, Setting the Direction where services were co-ordinated on a locality footprint serving populations of 30,000 to 50,000. Primary care clusters (sometimes referred to as NCNs, LCCs and other names across different health boards) bring together the collaborative leads from each contractor profession (Optometry, Pharmacy, GMS and Dentistry) and from other sectors such as Allied Health Professionals and Third Sector operators within a cluster area. The geographical area that a cluster covers is determined by individual local health boards – there are currently 60 Primary Care Clusters in Wales. Clusters are allocated budgets which they can use to improve service provision to local populations through a variety of means. Clusters also have a key role in supporting local health needs assessments, allocating appropriate resources and forecasting the potential future demand on primary care. Primary care clusters are expected to develop three-year plans which in turn will shape and underpin the health board level integrated medium term plans (IMTP).   Further information on Primary Care Clusters is available on the Primary Care One website

Cluster Working in Wales: Handbooks

Additional resources


Optometry Collaborative Lead Role

 The Optometry Collaborative Lead Role was introduced as part of Contract Reform.

The Optometry Collaborative Lead in Wales plays a crucial role in shaping engagement, providing leadership, and representing optometric practices within the primary care cluster. Here are the key responsibilities of this role: 

1.  Promoting Effective Delivery: The lead ensures that optometry services align with the priorities of each primary care cluster. 

2.  Supporting Cluster-Wide Partnerships: They contribute to the development of effective partnerships across the cluster. 

3.  Improving Access and Quality: By signposting optometric contractors to appropriate support mechanisms, they enhance access to and quality of optometry services. 

4.  Effective Communication: The lead establishes effective communication methods with optometrists, dispensing opticians, contact lens opticians, technicians, and other optometry staff within the cluster. 

5.  Professional Leadership: Representing all community optometry within the primary care cluster, they provide professional leadership. 


This position is essential for fostering collaboration and ensuring that optometry services meet national priorities and cluster-specific needs. The Optometry Collaborative Lead’s work contributes to the overall well-being of patients and the effectiveness of optometric practices in Wales

Attendance at Optometry Collaboratives

Under the Terms of service, Schedule 4, part 13 of The National Health Service (Ophthalmic Services) (Wales) Regulations 2023. A contractor must:

  • 1. (a) attend at least four meetings of the relevant optometry collaborative in each financial year, and
  • (b) vote in the election of the optometric lead of the relevant optometry collaborative (and any vote regarding that person’s continued appointment).
  • (2) For the purposes of complying with the requirements in sub-paragraph (1), a contractor may appoint an individual who is an optometrist, an ophthalmic medical practitioner or a dispensing optician to act on the contractor’s behalf.
  • (3) For the purposes of this paragraph—

“optometric lead” (“arweinydd optometreg”) means the person elected by an optometry collaborative to represent it within a primary care cluster;

“optometry collaborative” (“cydweithredfa optometreg”) means a group of contractors providing primary ophthalmic services within the geographic area of the same primary care cluster;

“primary care cluster” (“clwstwr gofal sylfaenol”) means a group of health and social care providers that have agreed to work collaboratively to deliver primary care services across a specified geographical area;

“relevant optometry collaborative” (“cydweithredfa optometreg berthnasol”) means the optometry collaborative in whose area the contractor provides primary ophthalmic services.

Due to the number of optometry practices in some clusters, some optometry collaboratives cover more than one cluster area.

Full details of the Optometry clusters and collaborative leads will be added to the Members area of the website in the near future.


For more information please follow the link – Primary Care Collaborative Optometric Lead


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