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09 September 2022

FODO member update – 9 September

This week:

The sad passing of Her Majesty The Queen

FODO and its members express their profound sense of loss at the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was the UK's longest serving monarch and a long-standing supporter of the rights of people with vision loss. As well as being the patron of the RNIB, the Queen supported finding cures for avoidable blindness throughout the Commonwealth. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this difficult time. 

Covid booster update - England

Following our Covid booster jab update last week, please note the National Booking Service in England is now open to healthcare workers. This means optical teams in England can start to book their vaccination here

Government support with cost-of-living crisis

The Government has confirmed the following support in the light of soaring energy bills:

  • Households: The government will replace the energy price cap with an Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) for two years. It means the typical home will pay no more than £2,500 yearly for the next two years. The support is in addition to other schemes already announced.
  • Businesses: An initial six-month scheme will provide the equivalent of the EPG for non-domestic energy users. After this period, vulnerable industries will have targeted support. The government plans to review those in greatest need in three months.

Members are encouraged to contact us to share information on the impact of inflation on frontline eye care provision across the UK. Email [email protected]

NEHW - 19-25 September

National Eye Health Week (NEHW) is scheduled to take place from 19 to 25 September this year, but the 10 days of national mourning may affect the timing. We will keep members updated.
In the meantime, the College of Optometrists has shared the video below and other resources for people to raise awareness of eye care. If you have plans for NEHW, please email us at [email protected]


England ERS news

Achieving frictionless IT connectivity between eye care providers in primary and secondary care is a long-standing FODO priority. Implementing standard Internet-based electronic referral e-RS (moving on from EeRS) is a vital step forward in that process. 
NHS Digital is beginning to trial this in optical practices in some areas, with NHS England Teams managing the recruitment of practices and working through LOCs.
It is understood that Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Birmingham, Solihull, Leicestershire, Rutland, Derbyshire and London North Central areas are participating in the trials.
FODO members operating as part of larger groups are encouraged to contact their Head Office as soon as possible if contacted locally. It is important that the full range of practices participate to ensure e-RS works as intended, benefiting all patients. 

Irish College of Ophthalmologists - Eye Care in Focus conference 2022

The Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO) will hold its annual conference in Dublin on 4 October. Eye Care in Focus will be a full-day clinical education meeting with dedicated sessions on Perimetry, Retinopathy of Prematurity and Keratoconus. Primary eye care teams, including optometrists and dispensing opticians, are invited to attend the event. Learn more and register

Other sector news

The ophthalmology lead at the Chief Scientist Office for NHS Research Scotland is calling for examples of eye health innovators. Learn more and take part.
ABDO is hosting a webinar on becoming a DO GOC Council member. This follows the GOC calling for dispensing opticians to apply for a new Council post.
The GOC has appointed 11 new members across its Council's Standards, Education, Companies, and Registration Committees. Read more.
The Macular Society's Annual Conference is scheduled to be held online on 10 September.
Denise Voon MCOptom has been appointed as the College's new clinical adviser.
PSA publishes Safer care for all - solutions from professional regulation and beyond. 

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