We are proud to represent the interests of FODO members at the European level.
In the European Union, health has always been devolved to the national level, and eye care services are delivered in very different ways in countries across Europe. However there are benefits to businesses and professionals when we have a better understanding of how the profession operates across Europe and how the market is developing for optical practices. We also have a stronger voice on European wide public health campaigns when we work in partnership with our European colleagues – on issues such as vision and driving, and promoting the importance of regular sight tests, by supporting the World Sight Day campaign.
Medicines and medical devices are regulated at the European level. European manufacturers are also important suppliers for UK optical businesses. We have been and will continue to work with European colleagues on issues that are important for our members – such as the classification and supply of fluorescein strips, standards for medical devices and potential new requirements, such as proposals for a Unique Device Identifier (UDI).
It is not yet clear what Brexit will mean for the regulation and supply of medicines and medical devices, but we will continue to work closely with our UK and European colleagues to ensure that patients continue to have access to high quality eye care, spectacles and contact lenses.
Who we work with
In the UK, the optical representative bodies (ABDO, AOP and FODO) come together with the College of Optometrists and the General Optical Council as the Joint Optical Committee on Europe (JOCEU) when we want to have a single voice on European issues.
FODO is an active member of the European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO). ECOO enables professionals across Europe to share clinical knowledge, good business practice and expertise. It lobbies in Europe – for example on the classification of fluorescein strips. We also work closely with the two European bodies representing manufacturers – the European Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (EUROM1) and the European Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (EuromContact) – in particular on regulations relating to spectacles frames and lenses and contact lenses.
FODO is a member of the European Coalition for Vision (ECV), which works to raise the profile of eye health and vision. The ECV is Chaired by David Hewlett, FODO’s Chief Executive. It brings together the professions, industry, charities and academics.