24 June 2022
FODO member update - 24 June
- Glaucoma Awareness Week
- NHS England - primary care engagement event
- New president and workforce vision
- Strong patient demand for independent sector ophthalmology
- NCS Bill published
- Welsh Government praises mobile cataract surgery
- NHS England publishes speaking up guidance
- No member update 1 July
Glaucoma Awareness Week
Glaucoma Awareness Week starts on Monday and finishes on 3 July. The annual event, coordinated by Glaucoma UK, raises awareness of glaucoma and preventable sight loss. What will you be doing for glaucoma awareness week?
NHS England - primary care engagement event
NHS England is hosting an online engagement event on 30 June at 5pm to understand better what support primary care colleagues need. It will also share information on current health and wellbeing support you can access. Learn more and sign up.
New president and workforce vision
The College of Optometrists has appointed a new president and seven Council members at its AGM.
Professor Leon Davies FCOptom is now the College president. He said: "I am extremely proud to be elected president of the College and honoured to represent the profession at such a crucial time". The president also welcomed the "College's newly published workforce vision".
The workforce vision for the UK calls on policymakers to make full use of optometry, stating that optometrists have a "central role in delivering new models of care to improve patient outcomes".
The workforce vision supports many sector-wide initiatives, including developing electronic referral systems.
Strong patient demand for independent sector ophthalmology
This week the HSJ reported how NHS systems in England are making it harder for patients to choose independent sector providers (ISPs), with a drop in demand in eight of the 10 largest specialities.
However, ophthalmology bucks the trend, with more patients managing to exercise choice and choose an ISP. The HSJ article compared referral to treatment data from 2019 to 2022 and found a 113% increase in ophthalmology activity undertaken by ISPs. The rise means ophthalmology activity now accounts for 25% of NHS activity provided by ISPs.
NCS Bill published
The Scottish Government (SG) has published the National Care Service (NSC) Bill. It hopes establishing a new NSC for Scotland will ensure better outcomes for people accessing care and support and end the 'postcode lottery' of care.
SG originally proposed that NHS primary care and community services would be part of the NCS structure, but this is no longer expected to be the default. However, ministers will be able to transfer these responsibilities later.
FODO Scotland will work with Optometry Scotland to analyse the Bill and keep members up to date with any significant news.
Welsh Government praises mobile cataract surgery
The £1.4m ophthalmic hub featuring two theatres at the University Hospital of Wales has helped increase cataract activity from 138 patients a month to 400 a month on average.
Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said: "Mobile theatres are just one of the ways we can increase capacity in hospitals to ensure people waiting for appointments and treatment are seen as quickly as possible."
We are reviewing this new guidance and will update members in due course. At this time members should continue, as now, to follow the GOC's speaking up guidance.
No update 1 July
There will be no newsletter next week as we are upgrading our customer relationship management (CRM) platform. However, we will send any urgent news.
The following newsletter is on Friday 8 July.