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08 September 2023

FODO member update - 8 September

This week:

Atlas of variation update September 2023

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities has updated specific indicators in the vision profile in England.

The Atlas of Variation vision profile 'gives local areas comparable indicators of risk factors, healthcare provision and outcomes for vision health to support commissioning and planning and to identify unwarranted geographical variation'.

The latest release highlights new data for outpatients and procedures for eye care, including vision outpatient attendance and intravitreal injection therapy procedures in people aged 60 years and over.  The data shows more than 8.4 million outpatient attendances in England, about 5,422 per 100,000 population, by 2022 - still below the rate pre-Covid.

Flu and Covid autumn vaccine programmes brought forward

FODO and sector partners have issued an update on changes to the autumn vaccine programme in England. Catch up here

England - updates to the GOS contract

NHS England has updated the mandatory and additional General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) model contracts to reflect the fact that ICBs, not NHS England, now hold GOS contracts. It also published the variation notices contractors will be asked to sign to effect the changes in their contracts.
As the notices of variation clarify, an important safeguard for contractors is that 'For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this notice shall affect accrued rights or liabilities up to the date of the variation'. It means, for example, that GOS claims submitted when NHS England held the contracts will still be paid under the new arrangements.  Access the updated documents.
FODO members should note this is all as agreed with NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care before, during and after the passage of the Health and Care Act 2022 establishing ICBs.  
We would remind members of the duty to notify ICBs when directors, etc change (as per Clause 67(5) of both contracts). 

Wales - GOS reforms

The latest WGOS newsletter shares the expected timeline for implementing new WGOS 1 to 5. It also shares more details on upcoming webinars, providing more information on planned reforms. Read more.

HEIW has also communicated on the education and training requirements it will deliver to support the new contract. Initial support short courses include the following:
1. How WGOS is structured and how it can be delivered. Worth 1 CPD point.
2. Make Every Contact Count - using conversations in optometry practice to support patients in healthy lifestyle choices. Worth 1 CPD point.
3. Infection Prevention Control and Sharps Safety?- ensuring safe patient care by using infection prevention control and safely dealing with sharps in practice. Worth 1 CPD point.
4. Improving Quality Together - Improvement Foundations training?- using quality improvement to support evidence-based decision-making to ensure patients receive safe, quality care.?Training provided by Improvement Cymru, worth 2 CPD points.
To access these courses and other support, sign up to Y Ty Dysgu. You can also learn more by reading this user guide and FAQs

Other sector news

The GOC has appointed 10 new members to its Hearings Panel. Read more.
Most FODO members already submit their GOC claims form online. PCSE is running a webinar on moving to online claims on 14 September at 7pm if you do not. Register now for the event.
The Ophthalmologist asks whether genotyping is the answer to improving glaucoma management. Read more

Tech news

Topcon Healthcare has announced the launch of tele-refraction software RDx in EMEA. The company says the new product can allow 'eye care specialists to perform comprehensive refractions from any location and at any time', provided they use compatible Topcon equipment. Read more

Policy news

The IFS has published a paper on the implications of the NHS workforce plan. It puts NHS workforce plans into context. For example, if the plan succeeds, 49% of public sector workers in England would work for the NHS by 2036-37. It is assumed the NHS budget would have to increase by 70% by 2036-37 to fund this growth in workforce. The IFS also points out that to be successful the workforce plan still depends on productivity gains of between 1.5% and 2% per year and that this is very ambitious.
Sir Keir Starmer has continued his reshuffle, confirming the following shadow health team will join shadow health secretary Wes Streeting, who remains in post:

  • Abena Oppong-Asare - Shadow minister for women's health and mental health
  • Andrew Gwynne - Shadow minister for social care
  • Preet Gill - Shadow minister for primary care and public health
  • Karin Smyth - Shadow minister for health - leading on NHS reform
  • Feryal Clark - Shadow minister for health

Responding to a PQ from Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP about the possibility of increasing access to MECS services, parliamentary under-secretary Neil O'Brien said the government is "at the scoping stage of the development of standard service specifications for enhanced services" but had "not yet set out a firm timetable for their completion". 


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