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16 September 2022

FODO member update – 16 September

This week:

OFNC - Primary care notification of bank holiday on Monday 19 September

The UK Government has announced that 19 September, the date of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's State Funeral, will be a national bank holiday. This will allow individuals, businesses and other organisations to pay their respects to her Majesty and commemorate her reign as the period of national mourning ends.
As with other UK bank holidays, optical practices are not contractually required to be open to the public.
Contractors in England will have received this advice via an NHS England letter which is a little confusing. For clarity, there is no need for contractors to notify NHS England or their ICB about whether they plan to close or stay open on 19 September. 

Many businesses expected to close on bank holiday

Major retailers, including supermarkets and some optician chains, have announced they will be closed on Monday. Read more on the BBC.
National Eye Health week will formally start on 20 September (rather than 19 September as planned), although there will be some pre-planned coverage in the weekend press. 

FODO closed on 19 September

The FODO office will also be closed on 19 September.
Members who need urgent assistance should email us for information about how to access out-of-hours support in the usual way. 

Optical bodies issue statement on IT connectivity in England

As we announced in last week's newsletter, NHS England wants to trial ERS (as opposed to EeRS) in optical practices in some areas.  In some cases, this has become confused with EeRS rollout, overtight deadlines, referrals being rejected and inappropriate messages about ending paper referrals.
The eye care bodies have issued a statement on IT connectivity in England, clarifying the national position via the sector Information and IT Committee. This is to support contractors being approached either via their LOC or directly about participating in NHS ERS proof of concept pilots or having referrals rejected and paper cut-off deadlines inappropriately imposed. FODO members should let us know if they are approached in this way by emailing [email protected]. Meanwhile, LOCSU is working to support LOCs where these issues are arising. 

NOC debut for first national clinical director for eye care

Louisa Wickham, the first national clinical director for eye care and ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, will make her debut speech to primary eye care at the National Optical Conference (NOC) next month.
Louisa will discuss the changes happening in the optical sector and its challenges. The NOC will be held from 10-12 October at the Queens Hotel in Leeds city centre.
Further details

Other sector news

BIOS is conducting a UK-wide orthoptic workforce survey in October to profile the current workforce and their clinical and non-clinical activity. The data will inform discussions locally, regionally and nationally and provide a benchmark for future forecasts.
Wayne State University in the US shares a study on repurposing drugs to treat resistant bacterial eye infections.
National Eye Institute research reveals important details about choroideremia,
SEE Summit on tackling global warming and thinking green 7pm-8.30pm on 3 October 2022. 



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