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11 November 2022

FODO member update - 11 November

This week:

MHRA approves Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 booster vaccine

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved an adapted Covid-19 vaccine targeting the original virus and the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants. The regulator approved it as a booster dose in individuals aged 12 years and above.

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Updated Scotland Covid-19 guidance for residential and care homes

Public Health Scotland has published updated Covid-19 information and guidance for social, community and residential care settings (including care homes for older people registered with the Care Inspectorate).

NHS England reminder on antiviral use for at-risk patients

NHS England has reminded NHS leaders about using influenza antiviral drugs for treatment and post-exposure prophylaxis, focusing on care home residents. The advice comes ahead of an expected challenging winter and flu season. It supplements the ongoing activity to vaccinate care home residents and staff against flu and Covid-19.

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Half of eligible recipients in England have Covid top-up

New figures reveal that more than half of the 26 million people eligible for a Covid-19 booster in England have had their top-up dose. The vaccination programme began the autumn booster campaign two months ago. It has already given maximum protection to 13.4 million people.

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College of Optometrists launches winter advice and practice posters

The College has issued advice to help the public protect their vision and eye health this winter when we spend more time indoors.

Download posters for your practice

Winter pressures in England

A new report by Future Health identifies 16 of 42 ICBs where primary and secondary care services are both under particular pressure this winter.

Nuffield Trust responds to winter statistics

The Nuffield Trust's deputy director of research Sarah Scobie has warned of a harsh winter ahead in response to the latest statistics from NHS England. She warned NHS staff to "brace themselves for a very difficult winter ahead". However, she added that "the number of patients waiting for planned care is now firmly past the once unthinkable seven million mark".

HMRC to change profits assessment for specific sole traders and partnerships

How HMRC assesses profits for sole traders and partnerships will change from 6 April 2023 for those with an accounting date between 6 April and 30 March.

Time to Pay helps thousands of taxpayers manage self-assessment bills

Almost 21,600 self-assessment taxpayers have used HMRC's self-serve Time to Pay facility to spread the cost of tax bills into manageable monthly payments.

Other sector news

Welsh hospital eye services waiting times data

The latest data from Wales for September 2022 shows a slight reduction in the number of patients waiting for an outpatient appointment since the previous month. Almost 1,000 more patients received an appointment in September than in August.

Factors associated with eyelid cancers especially smoking

A Philadelphia-based research team has used the American Academy of Ophthalmology IRIS® Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) to analyse the prevalence of eyelid cancers and associated factors.

The study concluded that smoking was associated with several eyelid cancers, an observation not previously recognised. The study said: "This epidemiologic profile of on-eyelid cancers is valuable for identifying patients at higher risk of malignancy."

New resources for young people affected by retinoblastoma

The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) has launched a new online resource for young people who have had retinoblastoma. It includes real-life stories, tutorials, guidance on life events, and some famous faces who have had retinoblastoma. CHECT aims to "raise further awareness of issues relating to living with sight loss and the signs and symptoms of Rb".
BCLA webinar on managing keratoconus

A Menicon-sponsored webinar takes place on 30 November and is open to BCLA members and non-members (CPD points available to BCLA members only).

Register here
Varifocal lens training programme

A week-long programme (afternoons only) of training in varifocal lens prescribing and dispensing starts on 14 November on Essilor's new learning platform, Leonardo. To register, book via the MyEssilorLuxottica homepage or the EssilorPro portal, or email [email protected] with full name, practice name and email address.
New Moorfields eye care centre to go ahead

#The NHS and government have given final approvals to the new Oriel eye care, research and education centre so that construction can start on the old St Pancras Hospital site in London. The Oriel centre is a joint initiative between Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Charity.

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