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12 November 2021

FODO member update - 12 November


This week:


Apprenticeships' consultation

The Institute for Apprenticeships has issued surveys on apprenticeship documents submitted by trailblazer groups. There is a short deadline of 16 November to respond so we have included links to the documents and surveys below, enabling members to respond directly.

OMP and ophthalmology members might also wish to read and respond to the Doctor's trailblazer group documents:

FODO is also aiming to respond and will share a response with members. If you would like to contribute, please email your feedback to [email protected] as soon as possible.


RCOphth publishes views on NHS cataract surgery and independent providers

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) has defined its position on the independent sector's provision of NHS cataract surgery and training in a new statement. The statement explains the RCOphth's commitment to:

  1. Rapidly increase access to surgical training in the independent sector
  2. Level the playing field for cataract providers to ensure equitable patient access and stability for the whole service
  3. Safeguard patient safety and standards of service delivery.

The RCOphth welcomes views or comments by email to [email protected]


Electronic eye care referral system update

This week, optical bodies issued a joint statement and FAQs on the Electronic eye care referral system (EeRS) and IT connectivity in England. The system will link primary eye care with the hospital ophthalmology and GP systems, allowing unnecessary referrals to hospitals to be avoided and better use to be made of the skills, equipment and facilities in optical practices. Read the full statement


Covid vaccination as a condition of deployment for frontline health and social care workers in England

The DHSC has confirmed that health and social care providers in England will be required to ensure workers are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no later than 1 April 2022.
The DHSC said that the new requirements will apply to health and social care workers who have direct, face-to-face contact with people while providing care - such as doctors and dentists and patient-facing ancillary staff, unless they are medically exempt.
The DHSC is currently saying this will only apply to Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated providers, which would not include most community optical practices. However, NHSE-I is has said it is working with NHS Employers and DHSC to develop detailed implementation guidance and this may change as the guidance is worked up. 
Either way, other Infection Prevention and Control (IPCs) measures as recommended by the College of Optometrist and ABDO will continue to apply.
The College has already expressed its disappointment that DHSC has not taken on board its advice regarding hospital optometrists who are definitely covered by the new requirements.
FODO is working closely with the College and other optical bodies on this and will keep members informed as the situation become clearer. 


Eye care measures for NHS outpatients in Wales

The Welsh Government has issued eye care data for NHS outpatients in September 2021. It shows 126,565 patient pathways were waiting for an outpatient appointment at the end of September, with most of these assigned a target date. All these patients were classified as an R1 risk, which means they are at risk of irreversible harm or significant adverse outcome should their target date be missed. Access the data


Next steps for how primary care networks will work with ICSs in England

NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard has asked Dr Claire Fuller of the Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System (ICS) to set out how systems can accelerate the implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan's primary care, out of hospital care and prevention ambitions and drive more integrated primary, community and social care services at a local level.
The work will examine how primary care is embedded at the heart of ICSs' development before becoming statutory organisations in April 2022. Dr Fuller said: "Our primary care networks are perfectly placed within communities to bring together the right partners to tackle 'wider determinants of health'. She will describe the next steps by March 2022.
FODO monitors NHS reforms in England on your behalf and will keep you up to date with developments. If you want to know more about changes and get involved in our health policy work, please email [email protected]


UK health services pledge to achieve net zero

All four UK health services have committed to net zero carbon emissions.
The Department of Health and Social Care (England) says that globally, health systems account for around 4.6% of total emissions, meaning if they were one country, health systems would be the fifth-largest emitter.
Each of the four nations has already started work on achieving net zero by 2050. They all aim to ensure their health systems are resilient and can withstand environmental shifts.

  • As well as work already under way, the NHS will establish how best to achieve its climate change goals through a formal review of the NHS Constitution for England in 2022. FODO will monitor the review and keep members informed of developments
  • All NHS suppliers must publish a carbon reduction plan
  • A new net zero healthcare building standard will be issued. We will review this and share details with members when we have them.


  • NHS Scotland aims to be a net zero carbon emissions health service by 2040, subject to consultation on its draft NHS Scotland Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy 2022-2026. The consultation is open until 10 February 2022. FODO Scotland will work with colleagues at Optometry Scotland to assess whether a response is necessary. To share your feedback please email [email protected]
  • Reviewing NHS Scotland supply chains and taking action to reduce their negative impacts
  • All NHS Scotland small and medium vehicles to be net zero by 2025.


  • NHS Wales is aiming for net zero by 2030
  • Reducing emissions will be part of all new procurement contracts for major suppliers.

Northern Ireland

  • Northern Ireland plans to develop a sustainable and low carbon health system to help meet emission targets
  • Plans include influencing supply chains to reduce carbon emissions.

If you have any questions, get in touch at [email protected]


Other news

Due to maintenance, PCSE Online will be unavailable on Sunday 14 November ?from 5pm until 11pm.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) Trustee Board wishes to appoint a lay trustee. Those interested can complete an application form to be submitted to [email protected] by midday on Friday 26 November.
An event organised by the Macular Society, Roche, and Fight for Sight on 4 November attracted 52 MPs and Peers who came to learn more about the need to improve eye care services. Westminster Eye Health Day called on Parliament to improve NHS capacity and access to treatment to prevent unnecessary sight loss. Macular Society supporters invited many of those who attended.
In the United States, the FDA has approved VUITYTM (pilocarpine HCL ophthalmic solution) for presbyopia management. Read more

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