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29 July 2022

FODO member update – 29 July

This week:

Booking opens for NOC 2022 Leeds

Bookings are open for the National Optical Conference (NOC). It will take place in Leeds from 11-12 October. LOC chair Dr Joy Tweed said: "2022 is a particularly important year, with the creation of new statutory local organisations and opportunities for collaboration." Read about the conference and booking details. 

LOCSU launches guide to new NHS structures

NHS reforms and what they mean for LOCs are the subjects of a new video produced by LOCSU. The four-minute video deals with integrated system transformation and transition and is one of several initiatives and events that share ideas and best practices. 


GOC awards full approval for UoH Optometry degree

The GOC has fully approved the University of Huddersfield's (UoH) BSC (Hons) Optometry programme. It follows the programme's quality approval in March, issued before the first student cohort joined. Successful students can progress onto the College's Scheme for Registration. 

Other sector news

NICE seeks diabetic retinopathy guideline committee members
NICE is looking for a paediatric ophthalmologist to join its diabetic retinopathy guideline.
Applicants should have knowledge or experience of diabetic retinopathy. The deadline for applications is 5pm on 16 August. Find out more and apply.
Eye care services for Games athletes
Aston University's school of optometry has loaned ophthalmic equipment and volunteered eye care professionals to three health polyclinics providing emergency eye care to athletes competing at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Athletes can find support with anything from dry eyes to issues with spectacles or contact lenses. Read more.
College presidential elections begin
The call for nominations for the next president of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists opens on 19 August, and all eligible candidates will be notified by email. The president's job description will be available on a dedicated website created by Civica Elections Services (CES), which will also include recordings of new hustings taking place on 7 October.
Notify the College of any changes to your email at [email protected] or update your profile in the members' area.
The closing date for nominations is 30 November, with voting opening on 4 November and closing on 28 November. Full details

Policy updates

Inflation and shop price pressures rise
The Guardian reports that businesses and households are facing a difficult period as fresh food inflation follows increases in fertiliser and animal feed driven by the war in Ukraine and energy and petrol costs rise. Shop prices are now 4.4% compared to July last year, and fresh food inflation is at 8%. If your practice is having to increase prices, please let the health policy team at FODO know, as we will also feed this into our discussions with NHS officials. Email us at [email protected].
NHS Digital releases general practice data
The BMA's response to data issued by NHS Digital on the General Practice workforce up to 30 June 2022 warns that the "constant undermining and devaluing of general practice by government and policymakers" has made the demand and unmanageable workloads worse.
Compared to June 2021, the statistics showed 1.4% more FTE GPs but 1.6% fewer full-time equivalent fully qualified GPs and 0.6% fewer FTE qualified permanent GPs.
NHS Digital also released data on appointments for June 2022, showing that around 26.1 million appointments happened in June, with 44% taking place on the day of booking. GPs carried out 49% of appointments, with nurses taking 20.6%.
View the GP workforce report and the appointments data.
If you are experiencing similar workforce challenges in primary eye care where you are, please let us know by emailing [email protected], as this will help inform our workforce plans.
Fewer dental check-ups in England and Wales
The UK government is scrapping the need for six-monthly appointments in England and Wales to allow more patients to find NHS care. Wales recommends that healthy adults should see their dentist once a year. In England, adults can expect a check-up every two years.
Dentists' representatives described the changes as tinkering. However, Wales's new chief dental officer, Andrew Dickenson, said it would give dentists "more time to provide people with the personal, tailored care they need and free up space to take on new NHS patients".
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