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15 September 2023

FODO member update - 15 September


This week:

Scottish Government shows strong support for primary eye care

As reported on Tuesday, the Scottish Government has shown its ongoing commitment to protect, promote and advance GOS by increasing fees by 6%.

With primary eye care providers seeing cost increases due to stubbornly high inflation, this latest increase will help the sector meet eye health needs sustainably.
FODO Scotland chair Kathryn Trimmer welcomed the news: "The Scottish Government has once again demonstrated its commitment to ensuring primary eye care in Scotland remains world-beating. What made this possible is all the work that primary eye care does daily and Optometry Scotland's and our sector partners' relentless focus on collaboration and doing what is right for patients. This work is at the heart of our sector's success in Scotland."

Welsh Government responds to consultation

The Welsh Government (WG) has published a brief response to its consultation on proposed reforms to primary eye care.
The consultation showed widespread and robust support for new WGOS and providing more care closer to home to reduce the risk of avoidable sight loss due to delays in accessing hospital care. Therefore, WG intends to proceed with these aspects of the reforms, which the sector will welcome.
In response to concerns the sector raised, WG has confirmed it will review domiciliary visiting fees by making changes to the payment for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and subsequent visits. It will review the details around proposals requiring practices to refer to a nearby practice. It will also introduce a new supplementary fee when dispensing to children with a prescription between 4-6D sphere to 'enable non stock solutions for an improved cosmetic appearance'. Exact details about fees and other points are to be confirmed.
WG's summary does not cover all points raised in the consultation. For example, it only shares selected extracts from sector responses which shared concerns about proposals to cut patient benefits.

Read WG's high-level response

PCSE IT Upgrade - 29 and 30 September

We remind members in England that PCSE plans to upgrade its IT systems overnight on 29 September. The upgrade applies to PCSE internal systems only. PCSE hopes to complete the work by 6.30am on 30 September. It will then need to complete its internal user acceptance testing which should take about four hours. Please look out for an email from PCSE which will include full details, including what to do it you face issues. 

National Eye Health Week

National Eye Health Week will occur from 18-24 September this year. The themes include NHS eye health and wellbeing, Myopia and Me, Digital Eye Care, Eye on Mental Health, Live well, see well, a photographic competition launch and smoking and sight loss.

Other sector news

Moorfields and UCL researchers continue to promote and support AI developments in eye care, including an AI model to improve research into sight loss. Read more.
Optometry Scotland has shared details on the latest published GOS statistics.
Ophthalmic workload statistics - Statistics as at year ending 31 March 2023 and Ophthalmic workload statistics - Publications - Public Health Scotland.

NHS Wales has published the WGOS #4 newsletter, which reiterates previously circulated communications on training and other items.


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