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20 May 2022

FODO member update - 20 May

This week:

Call to action heard in England

Throughout the passage of the recent Health and Care Act through Parliament, the OFNC, BMA, BDA, PSNC and NCHA worked together to call on the government to ensure that all of primary care could influence the new Integrated Care Boards'(ICBs)through the new statutory Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs).
The government gave reassurances in the House of Lords about primary care's vital role in the new systems. It is therefore expected that wider primary care, including eye care providers, will have an opportunity to work constructively with ICBs through ICPs.

Recently published guidance to commissioners preparing to transition to new ICBs has reiterated this by saying that the nominated primary medical lead should "bring the perspective of general practice and an understanding of wider primary care, including primary care networks (PCNs), and primary dental, community pharmacy and optometry providers".

The national bodies will be working through LOCSU to help LOCs ensure that this influence is genuine and heeded.  

Please see the letter, which primary care has sent to peers who spoke up for primary care in the House of Lords. 

Welsh Government confirms intention to set up NHS Executive for Wales

In a written statement this week Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services, confirmed that the government plans to establish an NHS Executive "to drive improvements in the quality and safety of care across Wales".  
The Minster has said the new Executive's purpose will be to provide "better and more equitable outcomes, access and patient experience, reduced variation and improvements in population health".  

Optometry Scotland appoints new Chair

This week optometrist Julie Mosgrove was appointed Optometry Scotland (OS) Chair at the organisation's AGM. Julie has been vice chair since 2019 and was unanimously voted in as chair.

She takes over from David Quigley who retires as Chair.  Julie is delighted to be stepping up to this role and is very thankful to David for staying on longer than originally planned to lead the organisation through the acute phase of the pandemic.

OS also announced the appointment of a new Director of Operations Elizabeth Docherty. 

Take part in NHS England survey

NHS England has commissioned a survey to assess wellbeing and resilience levels of staff in primary care, including eye care. The survey takes 10 minutes to complete and will close at the end of June. Learn more and take part

Proposals to change law on who can complete DVLA medical questionnaires

The DVLA is proposing a change to the law which would allow GOC registrants to complete DVLA medical questionnaires as part of the medical licensing process.

Currently, the Road Traffic Act 1988 means that only GMC registered medical practitioners can complete DVLA medical questionnaires. However, following a consultation on improving timely access by allowing more registered healthcare professionals to complete these questionnaires, the DVLA found there was strong support to change this with more than 80% of survey respondents strongly agreeing or agreeing with the proposals.

Read more

Government commits to do more to support dementia

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid has committed to do more to support people with dementia and prevent it. FODO and the NCHA support this call to action, as both eye and hearing care can help ensure people have good sensory health, which helps improve quality of life for people with dementia and those that care for them. Unmet sensory needs, such as hearing loss, are also associated with an increased risk of dementia with experts and NICE recommending early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss to reduce this risk.

Get involved - contribute to the future of eye care research

The James Lind Alliance is interested in your views on sight loss and vision research priorities. The current top 10 priorities were set in 2013 but this is your opportunity to participate in a potential refresh. The Eye Research Priority survey is open until 9 August 2022. All eye healthcare professionals and researchers as well as patients, carers and members of the public can participate.  

Other sector news

The College is seeking nominations for Life and Honorary Fellowships. Learn more

Fight for Sight reports on a world-leading resource to predict glaucoma development and improve patient care

The Macular Society reports on new research which could lead to a treatment for both wet and dry AMD.

LEGOLAND Windsor and eSight, in partnership with Royal Society for the Blind Children, have used technology to help children with vision loss enjoy the park's new Magical Forest.  The initial trial included two boys who used a wearable eye device, with the goal of making the part more accessible to more children in the future. Read more
A Paralympic champion is hoping to become the first the first blind woman to cross the English Channel solo. Read more.
BBC report's on a man who's guide dog was refused access to Tesco on several occasions. The BBC also report that Guide Dogs' research show that 75% of assistance dog owners have wrongly experienced refusal to access a premise at some point. Read more
Enter the International Optician of the Year Award. The award's goal is to recognise the importance of the optician in practice and is presented by the International Opticians Association (IOA). Nominations close 31 May. Nominate somebody here.
The HSJ reports on NHS England appointing Chris Hopson as its new chief strategy officer and Amanda Doyle as director of primary and community services.

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