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19 November 2021

FODO member update - 19 November

This week:

Apprenticeship update

Thank you to members who provided feedback on our apprenticeship update last week. We plan to write to the Institute early next week setting out concerns about the process to date and will publish our response on our consultation page.
Given the wide range of views on the apprenticeship model, FODO is considering hosting small online workshops so that members can discuss the Institute's proposal. If you would like to meet the FODO policy team to share your views on the apprenticeship model, then please email us at [email protected] 

Covid vaccines for healthcare workers in England

In last week's update we said we would update members on the scope of mandatory vaccinations as soon as possible. The Department of Health and Social Care has now confirmed mandatory vaccines for healthcare workers will only apply to people working for CQC regulated providers in England. This includes hospital optometrists and ophthalmologists.
Although mandatory vaccination requirements will not apply to most primary eye care settings, FODO still encourages members to support all practice teams to take advantage of Covid-19 vaccines.
Encouragement is best achieved by following College of Optometrists' advice, which states: "Vaccine uptake will be maximised where optometrists and practice staff are supported to make their own decisions, having been provided with clear, evidence-based information on the benefit and value of vaccinations without enforcing a mandatory scheme." 

HMRC fraud warning - annual self-assessment

Members who complete a self-assessment should take extra care this year as cases of fraud continue to increase. HMRC will be issuing emails and SMS to self-assessment customers reminding them to be on their guard after nearly 800,000 tax-related scams were reported in the 12 months. If you are in any doubt whether the email, phone call or text is genuine, check the 'HMRC scams' advice on GOV.UK and find out how to report it. 

MHRA recall: IKERVIS and VERKAZIA eye drops

The MHRA has issued a Class 2 medicines recall for specific batches of IKERVIS and VERKAZIA eye drops. The advice is to stop supplying the identified batches immediately, quarantine all remaining stock and return it to your supplier using your supplier's approved process. Read the full notice

Health Secretary hires tsar to tackle NHS backlog

Sir Michael Barber, former head of Tony Blair's PM delivery unit, is reportedly helping Health Secretary Sajid Javid tackle NHS waiting lists in England. Barber will lead a new delivery unit to be run jointly by the NHS and DHSC. Government and NHS officials, as well as private sector figures, are expected to staff the unit. 

New maculopathy training module

WOPEC and LOCSU have launched a new training module, comprising five online lectures intended for optometrists involved in maculopathy referral filtering and monitoring services, as well as Urgent Eye Care services (MECS and CUES). The aim is to build on existing knowledge of maculopathy and improve the efficiency and accuracy of case-finding for AMD (wet active) for both new and review patients. The new module is worth five CET points. Full details

Other sector news

Nominations for the RNIB See Differently Awards 2022 are now open. Completed entries must be submitted by midnight on 17 December 2021. Nominate.
The WCO will be holding an Eyes Around the World event on 20 November. It will live-stream a full day of continuing education across three time zones, presenting a variety of lectures aimed at practising clinicians and optometric educators. Multiple lectures will be COPE and CET authorised. Learn more
Hoya is the new sponsor of the ABDO College and will be providing students with a range of display materials to support their optical education. 

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