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09 December 2022

FODO member update – 9 December

This week:

Sector responds to concerns about NHS reforms in Wales

Optometry Wales has issued a statement on the Welsh Government's plans to cut the most claimed NHS patient vouchers.
FODO and its members have also raised similar concerns about this regressive policy to cut NHS patient benefits in Wales, as have all other sector bodies, including ABDO and the AOP

Please keep sharing your views on planned reforms in Wales by emailing [email protected]. We share all feedback with colleagues at Optometry Wales regularly.  

Scottish Government to promote NHS eye care and vouchers

Scottish Government research has found that more than half of Scots are unaware they can get a free NHS-funded eye examination at home if they cannot visit their optician unaccompanied because of a physical or mental illness or disability.
The report recommends that the government should do more to promote the benefits of eye care. It said the "Scottish Government should raise awareness of financial support towards the cost of glasses and contact lenses, with clear information available to the public around who is eligible and how to get this support".
Maree Todd, minister for public health, women's health and sport, said the report: "highlights areas for improvement, including the importance of making more people aware that they may be eligible to receive financial help towards the cost of glasses and contact lenses or have an NHS eye examination in the place where they live". 

Scotland launches optometry glaucoma service

The Scottish Government has established a national optometry glaucoma service.  
The roll-out will start in Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire, with the goal of national coverage by 2024/25.
FODO Scotland will update members with more details shortly. At this stage, you can read the full PCA

Workforce data - tender opportunity

FODO and sector partners are helping fund a workforce data modelling project. This is now out to tender. Please share this link with data analysts interested in this work. 

GOC to increase registrant fees by 5.56%

This week, the GOC Council approved increasing registrant fees to £380, a 5.56% increase. The change will apply to 2023/24 renewals. Read more

Ophthalmologist to join government's new 'elective taskforce'

The Department of Health and Social Care has established a new Elective Recovery Taskforce to help the NHS deliver on waiting list targets, bringing together a range of healthcare experts. The HSJ said the taskforce would include ophthalmologist Darshak Shah, managing director at Newmedica. 

GOC CPD portal down

The GOC CPD portal is experiencing technical issues, so registrants cannot update their records. The GOC hopes to resolve this by 13 December. 

Other sector news

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has announced that Professor Ben Burton has been elected as the next president. Professor Bernard Chang will officially hand over the office of president at the AGM during Congress in May 2023. Learn more about Professor Burton.
You can still listen to Louisa Wickham, NHS England clinical director for eye care, speak to BBC Radio Four about her role and eye system challenges. Listen to In Touch.
The College of Optometrists has accredited NHS Education for Scotland Optometry (NES Optometry) to deliver the Professional Certificate in Low Vision.

The GOC Council met this week. As well as agreeing to increase fees, it noted the annual EDI report and thanked Council meeting members Glenn Tomison and Rosie Glazebrook for their contribution to the GOC before their terms end on 31 December.
OSA unites optics at its annual event.
The HSJ reports NHS England 'can only afford' a 3% pay rise for its staff next year. It comes on top of reports that new ICBs in England are already under financial pressure, with the NHS deficit likely to grow. 

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