29 January 2021
Member update - 29 January
- New Covid-19 guidance from the College of Optometrists
- Access official Covid-19 guidance
- PSA to appeal GOC decision
- Other sector news at a glance
The College of Optometrists has launched new tools and guidance to support effective remote triage during this phase of the pandemic.
This includes new prioritisation guidance, a flow chart and a risk stratification tool. These can be accessed by logging in to the College website. FODO members who are not College members can email [email protected] for copies. FODO is grateful to the College for making these resources available to the wider sector.
The College has also written an open letter to all primary eye care providers in the UK. It reiterates general Covid-19 and IPC guidance and has been sent to all practices, not just those where there may be concerns with compliance.
A growing number of questions across the sector, and especially posted on social media platforms, suggests there is no official Covid-19 guidance from UK health authorities that covers primary eye care. This is not correct.
FODO has provided quick links to all official Covid-19 guidance throughout the pandemic, which can be accessed here.
The latest advice from the NHS/health service is below:
- England. Refer to NHS England’s Covid-19 page for optical settings
- Northern Ireland. Refer to the HSCB letter on 8 January 2021
- Scotland. Read the latest PCAs. NHS Scotland also published this guide to the NHS service in January
- Wales. Read the Chief Optometric Adviser’s October letter. Also access the Optometry Wales Dropbox account which includes the latest official correspondence.
Members are advised to review and comply with all official Covid-19 guidance and share links to official sources with colleagues and staff as appropriate.
It is important for all healthcare organisations and professionals to review official guidance and submit feedback and any concerns either directly or via representative or professional bodies.
The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has filed an appeal against the GOC Fitness to Practise Committee’s decision to suspend Ms Honey Rose for a period of nine months.
The PSA said it was concerned “that the decision was not sufficient to protect the public” and that it had now referred the matter to the High Court. The PSA has asked “members of the press and public to respect the privacy of Ms Rose and the family of Patient A whilst these proceedings are ongoing”.
The GOC has set out its commitment to anti-racism and its ambition of being “a proactive anti-racist organisation”. Read the full statement.
RNIB has sold its London headquarters but will lease it back for two years, giving it time to find a new location. Read more.
The College of Optometrists has launched a campaign to advise people how to protect and care for their vision during winter.
100% Optical has been postponed for a second time, with event organisers confirming that the event is now expected to take place in January 2022.
UCL research shows that air pollution is correlated with an increased risk of AMD. Researchers found people in the most polluted areas were 8% more likely to report having AMD. Learn more.
Fight for Sight researchers plan to develop a new device to detect keratoconus at an earlier stage. Read about the research.
National Eye Institute (NEI) funded research is funding gene therapy strategy for Leber congenital amaurosis. Learn more.
Health and Care Research Wales has awarded a Patient and Public Benefit grant to a project that will explore how best to care for patients with long-term eye care conditions. Read the Optician to learn more.
Learn about the Aravind Eye Care System, which has grown into the largest eye care provider in the world, and about how its model for cataract operations might help tackle sight loss in the developing world.