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04 November 2022

FODO member update - 4 November

This week:

GOC seeks new Companies Committee members

The GOC is recruiting  three new members to join its Companies Committee which advises and assists the GOC Council on matters regarding GOC business registrants.

FODO's director of regulatory affairs, Alan Tinger, said: "Now is the chance to bring your optical business expertise to bear on professional business regulation in the UK. We hope FODO members nationwide will apply and are happy to support you in any way we can." 

PPV in England - free CPD for dispensing opticians

In England, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) now undertakes post-payment verification (PPV) of GOS claims on behalf of NHS England.

NHSBSA has now opened up free CPD for dispensing opticians on 14 November, 5 December and 13 December following the offer made to  optometrists (FODO News, 2 September 2022). The interactive CPD is categorised under leadership and accountability and explains how early recall codes should be applied to GOS sight tests. Non-dispensing opticians, such as lay staff, are welcome to attend but will not be eligible for CPD points. 

Book a place

LOCSU's Leadership Skills course opens for 2023 applications

The application process for LOCSU's Leadership Skills for Optical Professionals course in 2023 is now open. The course offers 20 postgraduate credits and covers current leadership models and practical skills to equip students for future leadership roles in the sector.

Reminder from HMRC to declare Covid-19 payments on tax returns

Self-employed individuals are reminded that they must report any Covid-19 payments received during the 2021 to 2022 tax year on their Self-Assessment tax return.

Revision to HMRC late payment interest rates

HMRC interest rates for late payments will be revised following the Bank of England interest rate rise to 3%.

Scotland: National Care Service delayed

The Scottish government is pausing various processes in setting up a National Care Service to free up £400m for inflation and NHS pay deals. Read more.

NHS England highlights £7bn shortfall for 2023-24

In a rare public appearance, NHS England CEO Amanda Pritchard has told the King's Fund annual conference that the NHS faces a budget shortfall of £7bn next year, despite making savings.

She warned that: "Budgets will only stretch so far" and explained that discussions with the government about NHS funding are taking place before the 17 November Autumn Statement.  

NHS England and Integrated Care Boards face staffing cuts

At the same King's Fund conference, Amanda Pritchard said integrated care boards (ICBs) would need to "rationalise roles [and] processes" [inherited from CCGs] and use "economies of scale" to cut costs, following NHS England's plans to cut around 6,000 posts.

National Optical Conference 2022 Round Up

LOCSU has published feedback on a very successful NOC 2022

HCPC preceptorship consultation

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is consulting on the principles that underpin successful preceptorship models for healthcare. Other regulators may follow. FODO's sister organisation, the National Community Hearing Association, will be responding to the consultation.

FODO's head of policy and public affairs, Dan Hodgson, said: "It is good to explore these issues and the preceptor model's benefits, and we welcome the HCPC's aims not to increase employer burdens or disrupt existing programmes."  

UK Medical device regulations standstill period extended

The current standstill period for medical device regulation in the UK has been extended for 12 months, leaving current rules in place until July 2024. Manufacturers will now be able to use either the CE mark or the UKCA mark until 30 June 2024. 

Other sector news

England and Wales release 2021 census data

An International Longevity Centre review of the ONS Census 2021 data and interactive map shows that the population of England and Wales is now the oldest it has ever been. In 2021, 18.6% of the population (more than 11 million people) were 65 years or older, versus 16.4% in 2011.

Visual acuity linked to positive mental health

Research by the University of Colorado Retina Research Group links high visual acuity (VA) with positive mental health levels, reports The Optician.

According to the study published by the US National Library of Medicine: "There is a significant association between mental health questionnaire scores and AMD classification, as well as VA in both the better and worse-seeing eyes in patients with AMD."

Glaucoma risk rises in poor sleepers

A large-scale prospective study recently published in the BMJ shows poor sleepers, such as those who snore and have daytime sleepiness or insomnia, are at an increased risk of glaucoma.

The findings underscore the need for sleep intervention for individuals at high risk of glaucoma and potential screening among individuals with chronic sleep problems for glaucoma prevention.

Read the study in full on BMJ Open



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