16 July 2021
FODO member update - 16 July
- UK: Covid-19 update
- GOC update
- Health and Care Bill update
- GOS updates England
- Low vision services in England need to be reviewed
- NHS England (London) optometry adviser vacancy
- Other sector news
- In England, the government will lift Covid-19 restrictions from 19 July. It has also said face coverings will become optional in most settings. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges warns that the pandemic is not over, and NHS England has also advised patients to continue to use face coverings, including in primary eye care settings. FODO, along with optical sector partners, has produced this guidance for all members in England
- Northern Ireland is keeping Covid-19 restrictions under review.
- Scotland will move to level zero of Covid restrictions on 19 July, but mandatory face coverings will remain in place.
- In Wales, the government plans to move to alert level zero from 7 August. However, face coverings will remain a legal requirement.
To support members in managing patient and customer expectations about the use of face coverings, FODO has produced these posters, which are free to use.
At the GOC's latest Council meeting on 14 July, Lisa Gerson (Optometrist Wales) and Frank Munro (Optometrist Scotland) were welcomed as new Council members, replacing Helen Tilley and Scott Mackie. In addition, Glenn Tomison was appointed a senior member of the Council with unanimous support. The Council considered three qualifications for approval: progress against its fitness to practise (FtP) performance projections, Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS) annual report for 2020-21, and the annual monitoring report (AMR) for sector education providers. Read more.
Health and Care Bill update
Following our update on the Health and Care Bill last week, and before the second reading on 12 July, we joined our primary care partners to call on the government to ensure primary care has a voice at all levels of the new NHS system. Read our joint statement.
We continue to monitor and analyse the Bill's passage on members' behalf. At this stage, please note:
- This paper explains the Bill's provisions and includes comments and reactions
- The first sitting of the Public Bill Committee is expected to be on 7 September.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss what this might mean for your practice or career, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].
GOS updates England
PCSE says NHS Digital will decommission the Open Exeter system used for processing old-style paper GOS claims at the end of July 2021. So if you have any old-style forms, you must submit these by Friday 30 July so that the PCSE can pay them.
It also advises that if you require a copy of any statements from Open Exeter, you need to submit the query by Monday 26 July.
Low vision services in England need to be reviewed
The Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC) says people in England experience significant variation in access to low vision services and has called for a review of services. Read more.
NHS England (London) optometry adviser vacancy
NHS England (London) is recruiting an optometrist to join the London optometry adviser team. It is a part-time role (7.5 hours a week). The closing date for the application is 3 August. Learn more and apply.
Other sector news
The College has launched a new accreditation of Professional Certificate in Glaucoma at the University of Hertfordshire.
The GOC has approved changes to patient encounter requirements for qualified DOs and CLOs on the Scheme for Registration.
RNIB has successfully challenged "unfair policies and practices" by the DWP, which saw the department "cold-calling vulnerable and disabled people and trying to persuade them to accept lower benefit claims than they are legally entitled to".
The College, the BDA, BMA, RCN and Royal Pharmaceutical Society have written a letter to the Prime Minister calling for the public to continue wearing masks, social distancing and washing their hands in health and care settings.