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05 May 2023

FODO member update – 5 May

This week:

Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary laments lack of primary care investment

Shadow health and social care secretary Wes Streeting has pointed out the stark difference between spending on primary and secondary care in England.
He said the NHS spent more than most other OECD countries on secondary care, but when "you look at primary care, mental health, community services, diagnostics, capital, we're either near the bottom, at the bottom or seriously lagging behind."
The shadow health secretary also endorsed helping patients access the care they need from 'a wider range of healthcare professionals closer to home'.
The Independent also reported on a King's Fund event where Mr Streeting called for early diagnosis and treatment to improve outcomes and add value for the taxpayer, focusing on shifting the focus out of the hospital into the community and improving direct referral from optometrists to ophthalmology.
FODO has made these same points to MPs for some time and will spell out the route map to delivery in our published Principles and Priorities for primary eye care strategy shortly. 

LOCSU refocuses on supporting LOCs

LOCSU has announced a new strategy to place LOCs front and centre of its work programme. The strategy includes the support unit for LOCs committing more time and resources to helping LOCs succeed in expanding enhanced primary ophthalmic services at a local level. Read more

Get involved with your ROC

The Regional Optical Committees (ROC) in Wales have invited Local practices and practitioners to their three AGMs -

  • NWROC by Teams at 19.00 on 17 May
  • SEWROC by Teams at 18.30 on 22 May.
  • SWWROC in person at Trinity, St David's Carmarthen on 4 June as part of an all-day CPD event.

To attend, please contact [email protected]

OFNC: Change of chair and secretary

Following the conclusion of the 2023/24 GOS fee and grants negotiating round and the successful delegation of POS functions from NHS England to ICBs, Paul Carroll (FODO) and Dr Peter Hampson (AOP) have succeeded Gordon Ilett (AOP) and David Hewlett (FODO) as OFNC chair and secretary respectively under established rotation arrangements. The changes started on 1 May. Read more

Ali Rivett new College CEO

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has announced the appointment of Ali Rivett as its new chief executive. He will join the organisation on 5 June.
Kathy Evans, the current CEO, will retire on 24 May, after 26 years' service.
Ali said he was "delighted to be joining the College and thrilled to lead the organisation at such an important time. With a new strategy on the horizon, I look forward to working with everyone to shape how we can best support the specialty in the coming years." 

Cheaper drugs for macular degeneration

The Macular Society reports on the potential benefits of biosimilars becoming available to patients as patents for wet-AMD and diabetic macular oedema treatments expire.
Richard Gale, professor of ophthalmology at the Hull York Medical School, said:
"One of the main benefits of biosimilars is their affordability." With "patents on Lucentis and Eylea" coming to an end, competition could see the emergence of biosimilar drugs in ophthalmology. 

Government launches new service to make importing easier

HMRC has launched a new Advance Valuation Ruling Service to give importers legal certainty that their chosen customs valuation method is correct.
Traders will apply online for an Advanced Valuation Ruling whereby HMRC will confirm that their method used to calculate values is correct. Confirmations will be valid for three years and the trader will use this information to calculate the value of the goods on their import declaration. Learn more

Other news

Policy update

Jeff Smith (MP Lab, Manchester, Withington) has praised the care he received for a detached retina but challenged the government on why 551 patients have lost their sight because of delayed secondary care appointments since 2019.
The secretary of state for health and social care, Steve Barclay said the government had "an elective recovery plan", which boosted capacity by using 'surgical hubs', and was investing in eye treatments by rolling out Getting It Right First Time. 


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