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09 July 2021

FODO member update - 9 July

This week


Health and Care Bill - England

In a follow-up to our previous member briefings, the government introduced the Health and Care Bill to Parliament this week as expected

Our initial assessment is that the Bill is as anticipated and in line with previous member updates. We will be analysing the Bill in more detail over the weekend in advance of  the second reading debate on Wednesday 14 July.  Second reading is a broad-brush and non-detailed debate on the principles of the Bill.   Nevertheless we are  working with the wider primary care community to ensure that our collective voice is heard.

We will continue to keep you updated through regular updates on our website and newsletters as the Bill progresses. In the meantime, members can contact our policy team by email with any questions.

Covid-19 update - England

Subject to a final review of data on 12 July, the government has concluded that  Covid-19 related legal restrictions in England will end on Monday 19 July.

As is the case across the UK, members should note that strict adherence to IPC measures will continue in all healthcare settings after 19 July. We are working with optical sector partners and will issue a more detailed update early next week.

Northern Ireland update

Members in Northern Ireland are advised to read the latest optometry bulletin. It includes an update on the financial support scheme, lateral flow tests, the need to maintain robust IPC measures, PPV visits and more. Read the July bulletin

Scotland publishes new PCA

The Scottish government has published a new PCA, reminding all practices and practitioners that they must continue following strict IPC and PPE guidance set out by Health Protection Scotland. The government has also confirmed that primary eye care providers will continue to access NHS-funded PPE until 31 March 2022.

The PCA also explains how locums and sessional paid staff can now apply for the Covid-19 £500 non-consolidated payment.

Members in Scotland are advised to read the PCA in full.

GOC insights survey

The GOC has published the findings from its 2021 registrant survey. 

Most respondents agreed the GOC was building a culture of continuous improvement and world-class regulatory practice. Of the respondents, 48% also said the GOC charged reasonable registration fees, compared to 46% that disagreed. In addition, a quarter of respondents reported the pandemic having a significant impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

The survey received 4,880 responses, and you can see the main outcomes in this infographic.

Optical Benevolent Fund - pass it on

The Optical Benevolent Fund provides financial, health and other support for optometrists when they need it. The charity has asked FODO to remind members about the work it does and to make sure colleagues know about the range of support available. So, please let colleagues know about the fund's work and to get in touch with the fund if they want to talk. 

Prepare for full Customs Control in January 2022

HMRC is encouraging UK businesses to prepare for customs changes introduced over the coming six months. If you import or export goods to the EU, you should receive a letter from HMRC explaining the steps to ensure you can continue trading with the EU. There are also guides on importing goods into the UK, exporting goods from the UK and extra online support on importing and exporting.

Other optical sector news

FODO has responded to the General Optical Council (GOC) CET exceptions policy consultation, raising concerns about certain proposals and how these can be addressed. Members can read FODO's responses to consultations on our website

Read the OSA update on the MDR.

The GOC has appointed Frank Munro as the new Scottish registrant Council member. Read more.

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