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02 September 2022

FODO member update – 2 September

This week:

Covid updates

Covid booster jab - update on rollout
As we reported on 19 August, frontline healthcare workers throughout the UK will be offered the Covid booster vaccine this autumn. This includes all front-line staff working in primary eye care settings.
Here is an update on the rollout:

  • England. The booster rollout starts the week beginning 5 September when the highest risk groups, such as people who are housebound, will be prioritised. The National Booking Service will open and take bookings from 12 September onwards for people aged 75 and over (Source NHS England). At this stage we expect frontline healthcare workers to be called after this initial cohort, but at this stage please wait for further updates from the NHS
  • Northern Ireland. The booster rollout will start here on 19 September using GPs, pharmacists and Trusts. Pharmacies will be able to offer frontline optical teams the jab once the rollout begins. (Source: HSCB
  • Scotland. The booster rollout will start in early September, with healthcare workers expected to be prioritised early on. Exact details are pending (Source: Scottish Government).
  • Wales. The vaccination programme kicks off this week, starting with the highest risk groups. Details about when healthcare workers can have a booster jab are to be confirmed (Source: Welsh Government)

Covid alert level reduced to 2

Based on UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advice, the UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England National Medical Director have recommended that the Covid alert level moves from level 3 to level 2. This follows pausing Covid-19 testing during periods of low prevalence in England. 

FODO encourages dispensing opticians to apply for GOC role

The General Optical Council (GOC) has opened recruitment for one registrant member and one lay member of the Council. The registrant member must be a dispensing optician and the lay member must have expertise in audit, risk and finance

The GOC is especially encouraging applications from Northern Ireland to maintain fair representation from the devolved nations on its Council.

Learn more and apply before the 2 October deadline.
FODO members interested in applying can contact us in confidence for more information at [email protected]

ECOO appeals for students to join visitor panels

Undergraduate optometry students are invited to become members of the European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) HEI accreditation visitor panels.

Further details can be found here. The application deadline is 30 September. For any questions and to submit the application, contact: [email protected]

NHS in England offers free CPD

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) now undertakes Post Payment Verification (PPV) of GOS claims on behalf of NHS England.

To help contractors and performers with compliance, NHSBSA is offering free GOC- approved refresher interactive CPD throughout September and October. This will cover minor inaccuracies in the latest version of Making Accurate Claims in England, applying the correct recall code under various sight tests scenarios and what is required in patient records to justify early recall claims.
Although the CPD presentation is open to all, the CPD point is only available for optometrists. Learn more and book a place

Other sector news

Vogue editor says eyesight loss is 'my biggest fear'
The Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue has said that losing his eyesight is his biggest fear.

Edward Enninful, who has had poor vision for most of his life, has had four operations in recent years for problems including a detached retina. This required him to spend weeks at a time looking at the floor, with his head down. Read his interview.

First US patient receives autologous stem cell therapy to treat dry AMD
A surgical team at the National Institutes of Health has successfully implanted a patch of tissue made from a patient's own cells with the goal of treating advanced 'dry' age-related macular degeneration (AMD), also known as geographic atrophy. Dry AMD is a leading cause of vision loss among older Americans and currently has no treatment.
The patient received the therapy as part of a clinical trial that is the first in the United States to use replacement tissues from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Find out more here.
Moorfields welcomes Secretary of State for Health
Stephen Barclay, Secretary of State for Health, visited Moorfields Eye Hospital on 25 August to announce new funding for the expansion of surgical hubs. He was welcomed by Sheila Adam, Director of Nursing and allied health professionals, and Jonathan Wilson, Chief Financial Officer.
The hospital already hosts two of the first 91 hubs nationwide, at St Ann's and City Road, and the Minister's announcement of 50 more includes an additional Moorfields hub. Read more about the visit here.
New speakers announced for the NOC
Two more speakers have been announced for the National Optical Conference (NOC) being held 10-12 October in Leeds.
They are Professor Anton Emmanuel, who is head of NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES), and Programme Director Catherine Thompson from the NHS West Yorkshire ICB (Integrated Care Board). More details here.
Find out more about the conference and booking details.
FODO encourages as many FODO members, who serve on LOCs, as possible to attend this first face-to-face NOC for three years. The FODO chair and executive team will also be taking part and available to meet with members.

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