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18 November 2022

FODO member update – 18 November

This week:

FODO update on eye care reforms in Wales

On the 28 September we published our initial response to the Welsh Government plans for transforming primary eye care services. Today we have published an update which shares concerns members in Wales have raised with us and actions we have taken in response. Read the full statement. If you have any further questions or feedback, please do email at [email protected]

Important - NHS mail accounts England

Members with NHS mail accounts are advised to log in regularly to avoid deletion.
NHS England has warned that this is because "accounts that are not proactively used or monitored present a security risk to the NHS mail platform". So, accounts are marked inactive if you do not log in for 30 days. If they remain unused, they are eligible for deletion after another 30 days. This means it is important to avoid 60 days lapsing between logins.
In addition, NHS England has advised people going on long-term leave to have the
Account marked as disabled by the shared mailbox owner as this stops them being deleted for 18 months. When you return it can be re-enabled.
If you have any further questions, please email [email protected]

Royal College pays tribute to Roger Buckley

This week, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists paid tribute to Roger Buckley, a renowned and respected ophthalmologist who advocated for multi-disciplinary working.

Professor David Gartry wrote: "Roger was also one of the first ophthalmologists to encourage optometrists to work in his Moorfields' clinic and this is now, I am very pleased to say, commonplace."

You can also read FODO's tribute to Professor Roger Buckley. 

College of Optometrists diploma ceremony

The College of Optometrists hosted its first in-person diploma ceremony since 2019 this week. At the event, it welcomed 600 newly qualified optometrists to the profession and awarded five new Life Fellowships and three Honorary Fellowships.
Life Fellowships were awarded to Dr Susan Blakeney PhD, the College's former clinical adviser; Raymond Curran FCOptom, Department of Health Northern Ireland; Professor Bruce Evans PhD, FCOptom, Director of Research at the Institute of Optometry; Thomas Malcolm Hedley FCOptom, and Susan Wilford FCOptom. 

Criminal records checks service

FODO is currently finalising a new member benefit which will offer preferential rates when performing criminal record checks. FODO will also be publishing new criminal records check guidance in Q1 2023 to support members. In the meantime if you have any questions please contact [email protected]

Autumn Statement 2022 - key points

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement on 17 November confirmed that UK government spending on debt interest is expected to reach a record £120.4 billion this year and that the economy is in recession. Key points to note for members are:

  • 45p tax threshold reduced from £150,000 to £125,140 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • Other income tax and national insurance thresholds remain at current levels for two years hence, with wages increasing with inflation, 60% of people are likely to pay more tax
  • Dividend allowance reduced from £2,000 to £1,000 from April 2023 and to £500 from April 2024
  • Capital Gains Tax Annual Exempt Amount reduced from £12,300 to £6,000 from April 2023 and to £3,000 from April 2024
  • Patients who depend on means-tested benefits and pensions will see these benefits increase by 10.1% from April 2023. These groups will also receive further help with cost-of-living pressures.

There will also be a package of support to help with business rates over the next five years and further support for smaller businesses. You can look up the future rateable value of your premises using this tool.
The government had already confirmed that the planned increase in Corporation Tax to 25% would go ahead for companies that make more than £250,000 profit. This means 70% of actively trading companies will see no change in the rate of Corporation Tax.
The NHS in England will receive an additional £3.3 billion each year in the run-up to the general election in two years' time. The rest of the UK will receive a similar, proportionate increase in funding for the health service.

Full list of measures announced. 

Royal College voices concerns over NHS England's SSECS

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has voiced concerns about the future of NHS England's Special School Eye Care Service (SSECS) with Jonathan Devereux, NHS England's senior programme lead for optical commissioning and MPs.

The College reports that an NHS England-funded evaluation of SSECS has resulted in a proposal to focus on residential schools, a small subset of all special schools.

Concerns the College raises include potential gaps in ongoing care after March 2023, the risk of being lost between services and delays in accessing care for a highly vulnerable group of children and young people. 

Other sector news

Voting is now open to Royal College of Ophthalmologists members for their next President

NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) is running webinars on using re-test codes for GOS sight tests in England. They include specific clinical examples of how the frequency of sight test recalls should be applied for different types of GOS patients. Attendance provides one interactive CPD point. Webinars will take place on 5 and 13 December. Book a place.

The BCLA has appointed Dr Sònia Travé Huarte, a senior researcher and optometrist, to oversee its Fellowship strategy and encourage more members to come forward and be considered for the title.

discussed sustainability at NOC. 

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