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01 October 2021

FODO member update - 1 October


This week:


World Sight Day - time for change


This year, World Sight Day takes place on 14 October, and the theme is #LoveYourEyes. The theme is defined by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), which leads on World Sight Day campaigns. ECOO has drafted this article to mark the day and support you in raising awareness about eye health.
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) is also preparing for World Sight Day on 14 October. WHO says: "Unoperated cataracts and uncorrected refractive error are the leading causes of vision impairment. Other causes such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, infectious diseases of the eye, and trauma, however, cannot be ignored and need to be addressed."
 
Alan Tinger, FODO Director, said: "We are fortunate to have a world-class primary eye care service in the UK. That is why uncorrected refractive error and unoperated cataracts are not the leading causes of vision impairment here. On World Sight Day, we should celebrate primary eye care in the UK and all the benefits this delivers for patients, the NHS and wider society.
 
"However, there are real challenges on the horizon. Our hospital eye care service cannot meet growing needs. This lack of capacity means people with glaucoma, macular degeneration and other eye conditions are at an increased risk of preventable sight loss. Primary care stands ready to help hospital sector partners. All that is needed is a commitment from the NHS to commission to new pathways of care to meet the needs of our ageing population." 


Covid - College says no change to IPC measures


This week, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reviewed its Infection Prevention Control (IPC) guidance for some healthcare settings. However, the College of Optometrists has confirmed that these changes do not apply to primary eye care settings. The College has asked the UKHSA whether it plans to review IPC guidance for primary care, and we will update members if there are any changes. Read the College statement


Covid vaccination update - Northern Ireland


Colleagues in the hospital eye care service will be able to book their booster vaccination at a Trust vaccination site shortly. Primary eye care teams in Northern Ireland will be able to access the Covid booster jab from their local pharmacy. We will update members once we receive more detail. At this stage, you can read the latest Department of Health letter, which sets out eligibility and the vaccination rollout plan. 


Flu vaccine update - England


NHS England has confirmed additional funding to vaccinate all eligible primary care contractors and their frontline staff, including locums, for this influenza season (1 September 2021 to 31 March 2022).
 
It means that the NHS will fund flu vaccinations for primary eye care teams for the first time. We would ask all FODO practice owner members to read NHS England's letter thoroughly and inform their team members about this news.
 
Members can also contact us if they have any questions by emailing [email protected].


SEE summit - 4 October 2021

ABDO's inaugural SEE Summit on the Environment will take place next week. The online event will happen on 4 October. Learn more and sign up.  


New LOCSU training opportunity


LOCSU has updated its eyecare service training for people with learning disabilities, consisting of six online teaching sessions. In addition, an open access code will provide access to all practice staff with six CPD points available to optometrists and dispensing opticians. Learn more and take part


Other sector news


The Royal College is inviting people to participate in its retinal vein occlusion guideline consultation. Learn more and take part.
 
The General Optical Council (GOC) has joined seven other healthcare regulators to publish an annual report on whistleblowing disclosures. The GOC received nine whistleblowing disclosures in the 12 months between April 2020 and March 2021. Read more.
 
Former Great British Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins urged people to visit their optometrist on the BBC's Morning Live during National Eye Health Week (NEHW), reports the Optician.
 
The Optician also reports how the University of Centre Lancashire (UCLan) has started seeing patients at its purpose-built eye health clinic, which began welcoming its first patients from the local community. Read more.
 
The College of Optometrists has announced a new accreditation of Professional Higher Certificate in Medical Retina. Learn more.
 
Roche says that 90% of sight loss is preventable or treatable, but health systems must "act fast". Roche, the Macular Society, and Fight for Sight want to ensure no one loses their sight unnecessarily and ask you to take The Eyes Have It challenge

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