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Influence
Policy and advocacy

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We aim to create the environment and opportunities for our members to flourish and deliver a wider range of services to patients. We respond to public consultations on behalf of members and work directly with governments and policymakers at senior level, so that eye health is taken seriously. We challenge the NHS to commission services to meet eye health needs and work with tax and other experts to ensure that maximum resources flow to the frontline. This page tells you more about our policy and advocacy work.

In this section

Our goal – better eye care for all

Our goal is to work in partnership with our members to achieve better eye care for all by:
  • Ensuring eye care is an integral part of population and public health
  • Protecting patient access to a nationally funded NHS eye examination
  • Preventing sight loss due to delays in care and tackling rationing that's not based on evidence  
  • Breaking down artificial barriers between primary, community and secondary eye care which get in the way of excellent patient care
  • Securing the workforce, infrastructure and funding models necessary to deliver world-class eye care across the UK.

Shaping the future

We work with governments, the NHS, third sector and partners across health and social care for the benefit of members and patients and in the public interest, we do this by:

Horizon scanning

We support our members by horizon scanning and helping shape the future of eye care services in the UK through our expertise in health policy, regulation, economics and advocacy. The scale of our membership and our rational, evidence-based approach to clinical, regulatory and health funding issues makes us one of the most influential sector organisations.  

Supporting effective legislation and regulation

We support regulation that works in the public interest and robustly challenge over-bureaucratisation which adds costs but no benefit for patients.

We do this by initiating, influencing and responding to policy developments and proposed changes in legislation and regulations that affect our members. We also submit evidence on eye care services and eye health to government bodies and parliamentarians.  

Responding to consultations on your behalf 

We analyse and respond to a broad range of consultations on behalf of our members and the wider sector, including health professions regulation, commissioning, health financing, clinical guidelines and business regulation. We do this to protect and advance eye care services for all.

We list live consultations in our members' newsletter, so if you want to take part in any consultation you can by directly emailing our policy leads:  [email protected]

See our responses to consultations and access policy resources

Negotiating

The Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) is the recognised negotiating body for NHS General Ophthalmic Services (GOS). FODO is a member of the OFNC, along with the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), the Association of Optometrists (AOP) and the British Medical Association (BMA). Learn more about the OFNC.

Partnerships

As the association for eye care providers in the UK, we support collaborative working with other organisations for the benefit of our members, patients and in the public interest.  

We were, for example, a key partner in the Foresight Project, which focused on helping the sector better understand where technology, ocular medical developments and demographics are leading, so that the sector can help share and adapt to the challenges and opportunities.

You can find out about our existing partnerships and relationships with other organisations below.

If you share our goals and want to partner with FODO to protect and advance eye care in the UK, in the public interest, then please get in touch at [email protected].

We also work in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders both nationally and internationally in support of the UK eye care sector. 

We are a founding member of the Optical Confederation (OC).

The Optical Confederation brings together the five representative bodies within the optical sector in the UK - the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM), Association of Optometrists (AOP), Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO) and FODO - to speak with a united voice for patients, professionals and the sector.

The Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC) is the national clinical voice for eye health in England. It brings together the leading professional, patient and representative bodies involved in eye health. It provides collective expertise to commissioners, providers, clinicians and policy-makers on the commissioning of eye health services, including social care and ophthalmic public health in England. We share a seat on the Council with Optical Confederation partners.

We were a driving force behind the establishment of the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) and are one of its three members, along with the ABDO and AOP.

LOCSU provides practical support to Local Optical Committees (LOCs) and their Primary Eyecare Companies (PECs) in England, with a focus on local development and implementation of local contracts for extended primary eye care services including the Minor Eye Condition Service (MECS) as standard and ophthalmology service outside hospital.

At a national level the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) - led by the national bodies - is the recognised negotiating body for NHS General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) - see negotiating

Optometry Northern Ireland is the representative and negotiating body for optometrists, dispensing opticians, optical businesses and Regional Optical Committees in Northern Ireland. It presents a united voice to the Northern Ireland Department of Health, Health Service Northern Ireland, politicians, media and others.

Optometry Scotland is a non-profit making organisation established to develop and represent the views of the entire sector of optometrists, dispensing opticians, optical bodies corporate and Area Optical Committees in Scotland to the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Government Health Directorates and other relevant stakeholders.

Optometry Wales is the professional umbrella organisation for the primary care eye health profession in Wales representing all community optometrists, dispensing opticians and community optical practices.

The National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) is a leading membership organisation representing the interests of primary care professionals (including general practitioners, nurses, practice staff, pharmacists, optometrists, opticians and dentists). It is at the centre of shaping the future of healthcare, spreading innovation, influencing policy, supporting and connecting professionals across primary care - enabling them to provide world-class sustainable patient-centred healthcare. The FODO MD and the FODO Director of Leadership are actively involved with the NAPC council.

Primary Care Partners

We also work with other professional associations and representative bodies including: British Contact Lens Association (BCLA), British Dental Association (BDA), British Medical Association (BMA), Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), and hearing (BSHAA and NCHA).

Colleges

We work and engage with colleges on matters of eye health. This includes the College of Optometrists, Royal College of Ophthalmology and the Royal College of GPs (RCGP)

We work with different voluntary sector partners to promote the importance of eye health, the prevention of sight loss and support for those who are visually impaired, including: Eye Care Trust, Fight for Sight, Guide Dogs for the Blind, International Glaucoma Association, Royal National Institute of Blind People, SeeAbility, Vision Aid Overseas and Vision Care for Homeless People.

We work with partners across Europe to understand and influence developments in regulation and health that will impact our members and the wider eye care sector.

Joint Optical Committee on Europe (JOCEU)

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.

European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO)

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 to make sure eye care professionals can meet needs in a safe, effective and sustainable way - 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.

European Coalition for Vision (ECV)

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 FODO. It brings together the professions, industry, charities and academics to deliver better eye health for Europe.

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