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27 May 2022

FODO member update - 27 May

This week:

Animation explains new NHS structures in England

The King's Fund has created an animation explaining how the health and care system will change in England following the Health and Care Act 2022. It explains Primary Care Networks (PCNs), neighbourhoods, places, and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs). Watch the animation here

Primary eye care welcomes Fuller Stocktake report

In a joint statement, the national optical representative bodies welcomed the Fuller Stocktake report on integrating primary care in England.

In Next steps for integrating primary care: Fuller Stocktake report, the NHS highlights the crucial roles that primary care has played at the heart of communities for generations. It also acknowledges optical practices as among the most recognisable pillars of primary care in every neighbourhood in the country.
The report celebrates the "entrepreneurial and innovative spirit" that primary care has always shown. However, it raises concerns about primary care capacity as GPs struggle to meet growing needs despite their best efforts.

It makes clear recommendations for change, including more coordinated and holistic care at a local level, so that people get the support they need to stay well for longer. It also strongly encourages new ICSs to use primary care to improve prevention.

Dan Hodgson, FODO Head of Policy and Public Affairs said: "We fully support ICS leadership in recognising the value of primary eye care in all health systems, and the fact that the national contractual arrangements provide the essential foundation for expanding wider primary care-based eye health services closer to home at both neighbourhood and system level. We also agree that the challenge now is to build and nurture local relationships to enable all primary care professionals to work together to provide integrated care. We will be supporting our members and wider primary eye care to do just that in the years ahead."

If you want to know more about what is changing in the NHS in England or to get more involved in healthcare policy and commissioning, email the policy team at [email protected]

College of Optometrists publishes statement on joint guidance

On 13 May, we updated members that the Royal College of Ophthalmologists had published its joint GLUAC-STRAT-FAST guidance.

This week, the College of Optometrists published its statement on the joint guidance. It says it "highlights the need for glaucoma care pathways to fully recognise and utilise local optometrists' competencies and specifies which qualifications are required for autonomously managing patients in different risk categories". 

New treatment for wet-AMD and DMO

This week, NICE recommended using Faricimab to treat people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or with diabetic macular oedema (DMO).

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: "It's excellent news that Faricimab will be rolled out across England to help thousands of patients suffering from sight loss and visual impairment".

He suggested that leaving the EU had allowed the MHRA to act more swiftly and said this was "a great example of UK patients getting quicker access to ground-breaking treatments and I'm grateful to NICE for playing its part in making this possible".

Read more

Get involved with the GOC and shape the future of practice in the UK

The GOC is looking for 13 new members to join four of its Council committees: Companies, Education, Registration and Standards. 
Committee members will help shape the future of optical regulation. You will be expected to commit two to four days per year.

  • Application deadline: Sunday 19 June (midnight)
  • Interviews will take place w/c 18 July
  • Appointments start from 1 August 2022

Read more and find out how to apply in the GOC candidate pack. If you have any questions, email [email protected] quoting reference GOC01/22. 

We would particularly encourage FODO members to consider applying for the Companies Committee, where up-to-date business input has not always been as strong as it could have been in recent years. 

Ukraine Fundraising on 6 June

For the last 10 weeks, we have all witnessed the unfolding events in Ukraine and the devastation caused to ordinary people's lives. As the world looked forward to some respite from the pandemic, the people of Ukraine have been plunged into their darkest days.

People as well as governments have not stood idly by and have been helping in so many ways, but William Stockdale Chair of Optometry Northern Ireland is asking whether we should do more, collectively, as a profession.

On Thursday 7 April, practitioners in Northern Ireland donated one day's eye examination fees and raised almost £6,000. If this were replicated across the UK, the profession could raise £100,000 to help the people of Ukraine.

It is appreciated that this will not be for everyone and that some practices and practitioners are already doing their own thing. However, if you would like to join a collective effort on behalf of optometry and optics, please visit the onedayfor Ukraine website and get involved. 

LOCSU optical lead vacancy

If you are interested in supporting Local Optical Committees (LOCs) across various projects and activities, including service development, connectivity evolution and engagement with current NHS reforms, why not consider becoming a part-time LOCSU optical lead? Learn more and apply

Opening hours: bank holiday weekend and member updates

The FODO office will be closed on 2 and 3 June for the Bank Holiday. We will reopen at 9am on 6 June. Members can still access out-of-hours support next Thursday and Friday by emailing [email protected].
The next scheduled member update will be on 10 June unless any urgent updates are necessary. 

Other sector news

RCOphth is to use ABDO's National Resource Centre for the UK Refraction Certificate exams from 2023 onwards. Read more.

Join the Retina UK Professionals' Conference on 8 July in Birmingham or online. Learn more.

The BBC reports on smart contact lenses and the future of wearable technology. 

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