• 18 April 2016 8:53 AM | Anonymous

    NHS England’s Chief Allied Health Professions Officer explains how all 12 AHPs can work together to transform care of the future:  

    "There is a mandate in England, right now, for the Allied Health Professions to co-create a vision of how, with collective action, our nation will be different if all AHPs were used effectively in the health, social and wider care system.

    On 18 April, all AHPs in England will be invited to take part in an online workshop to share views on how they can deliver future care in England – and this is for wherever they practice, not just the NHS. This is not just about the health service. It’s about local authorities, housing, private practices and the voluntary sectors too."

    Read more here and take part in  the on-line workshop today if you can https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/04/suzanne-rastrick-5/

    Register and have your say now and any time over the next two weeks on how AHPs can transform patient care https://ahp.clevertogether.com/en/signUp

  • 17 April 2016 4:45 PM | Anonymous

    Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning Press Release: Demand for hospital eye clinic appointments and community eye services discussed in parliament

    This week, the Secretary of State for Health was asked what steps his Department is taking to address the increased demand for eye clinic appointments and hospital eye services. The question related to recent concerns expressed by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists regarding the escalating pressure on hospital eye services.

    David Parkins, Chair of the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning and immediate past President of the College of Optometrists, has welcomed the question, but is highlighting the need for a step change in commissioning and delivery.

    A strategic approach to delivering more effective primary eye care in the community is overdue in England and the Clinical Council is developing a primary eye care framework, which can manage more patients in primary care settings.

    The new framework, due to be published in June will complement a community ophthalmology framework1 published last yearwhich outlines a multidisciplinary approach for the management of patients with a low risk of progression or deterioration, releasing capacity within the hospital.

    “While there are some good examples of innovative service redesign, they are not considered a priority in some areas or implemented at sufficient scale to have the required impact. Consequently, there is no overall strategic approach as to how to deal with the mounting hospital eye service workload. We would therefore urge all Clinical Commissioning Groups to include eye health services in their forthcoming ’sustainability and transformation plans’. Avoiding unnecessary sight loss has to be at the top of any  priority list if we are going to protect those  patients at greatest risk”.



    1 http://www.college-optometrists.org/en/EyesAndTheNHS/devolved-nations/england/clinical-council-for-eye-health-commissioning/ccehc-reports.cfm


    Notes to editors

    The Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC) coordinates leading organisations from across eye health to offer united, evidence-based clinical advice and guidance to those commissioning and delivering eye health services in England on issues where national leadership is needed.


    Its member organisations are:

    • The Royal College of Ophthalmologists
    • The College of Optometrists
    • Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
    • Association of British Dispensing Opticians
    • British and Irish Orthoptic Society
    • Faculty of Public Health
    • International Glaucoma Association
    • Local Optical Committee Support Unit
    • Macular Society
    • Optical Confederation
    • Royal College of Nursing (Ophthalmic nursing forum)
    • Royal National Institute of Blind People
    • VISION 2020 UK


    The question and answer can be found here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-11/33459/



  • 04 April 2016 2:19 PM | Anonymous

    Everything you always wanted to know about BIOS membership but were afraid to ask?

    Find out the answers to a wide range of topics by accessing the guide BIOS Member User Guide 2016.pdf

    • Introduction to BIOS & Message from Chair
    • Membership categories & claiming tax relief 
    • BIOS campaigning & networking 
    • Your BIOS Profile and Member Services 
    • BIOS insurance cover 
    • BOSTU membership 
    • Continuing professional development 
    • Summary of BIOS benefits & facts 
    • Useful information including AHP Rewards and Who’s who in BIOS?
  • 15 March 2016 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    Exemptions - A positive change to the way that orthoptic patients receive medicines “at the right time, in the right place and with fewer visits”

    Now – professionals, patients, charities and voluntary organisations - have your say on standards for Orthoptists using the HCPC consultation process

    A change in legislation means that Orthoptists (allied health professionals specialising in squints and eye movement disorders) will be able to train to supply and administer a limited list of eye medicines without the need for a doctor’s prescription (known as an exemption). In future, patients will be able to get the medicines they need at the right time and in the right place for maximum benefit. This will be more convenient as it will reduce the number of appointments and the number of healthcare professionals seen to get the medicines they need.

    Patient safety remains of paramount importance.  Not all orthoptists will be eligible to train to use exemptions.  The body that regulates orthoptists, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), has developed new draft standards for the supply and administration of medicines by orthoptists. These standards are available to view and a consultation about them is now running until 3rd May 2016.


    We encourage all interested parties such as health care professionals and their professional bodies, patients, relatives, carers, patient groups and voluntary organisations and charities to respond to the short online survey and let their views be known https://www.research.net/r/standardsorthoptistexemp .

    There are 6 questions to answer:

    Q1.  Do you think the standards are set at the level necessary for safe and effective sale, supply and administration of medicines via exemptions? 

    Q2.  Do you think the standards relating to practice placements (D1-D11)* are appropriate? 

    Q3.  Do you think any additional standards are necessary? 

    Q4.  Do you think there are any standards which should be reworded or removed? 

    Q5.  Do you have any comments about the language used in the standards?

    Q6.  Do you have any other comments on the standards?

     More information

    HCPC consultation Orthoptists and Medicines Exemptions_150316.doc


  • 14 March 2016 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    For Advisers/Commissioners and/or Procurers of Vision Screening Services in England

    Please find latest advice from the British & Irish Orthoptic Society on Children’s Vision Screening Services in the light of commissioning inconsistencies and the withdrawal of some services in England.

    Please distribute to those in your network involved in commissioning, procuring and/or advising on this service for NHS, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Authorities and Councils.

    Vision Screening Statement_Public Health professionals 140316.pdf


    Association of Directors of Public Health

    NHS Clinical Commissioners

    Local Government Association

    Public Health England

    Royal College of Ophthalmologists

    Vision 2020

    NHS England – London, South, Midlands & East and Northern

    Local Eye Health Network – All Chairs


  • 09 March 2016 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations Ross Cahill, orthoptist, AHP lead for macular degeneration, Southampton Eye Unit, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust - you have been shortlisted for an award -
    AHA Rising Star Award Sponsored by Chamberlain Dunn Learning - (Nominated by Elizabeth O’Flynn, deputy head orthoptist) www.AHPandHSawards.co.uk

    We will know on 15th April whether he has won the category - so fingers crossed!
  • 26 February 2016 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    The British & Irish Orthoptic Society is pleased to confirm that NHS England today announced https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/02/medicines-legislation/  that legislation has been laid to allow Orthoptists to supply and administer specific medicines under exemptions within Human Medicines Regulations 2012. 

    Information Release_BIOS Exemptions Success_260216.doc

    The immediate task is to ensure that Orthoptists are aware of the change in the UK law and encourage them to start to plan change to their practise. Other stakeholders like potential course providers, patients and other professions will be contacted over the coming weeks with messages relevant to them. These documents now appear on the BIOS website to mark the start of this process. Exemptions & Consultation

    NHS England said on their newswire that: "Patients under the care of a suitably trained and qualified Dietitian, Orthoptist or Therapeutic Radiographer will shortly be able to access some of their medication without visiting a doctor, thanks to changes in legislation.

    Following an announcement today by George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences, patients will have timely access to the medicines they need and more choice in how they obtain them."

    He went on to say that:  “Expanding prescribing, supply and administration responsibilities to a wider group of healthcare professionals such as Therapeutic Radiographers, Dietitians and Orthoptists is good news for patients who will be able to access high quality services more quickly and conveniently.

    It will also help to drive up efficiency by freeing up doctors’ time to care for patients with more complex health care needs and reduce bureaucracy.”

    Read more here https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/02/medicines-legislation/

    Helen Marriott, AHP Medicines Project Lead at NHS England says in her blog:

    "The announcement by Ministers that the law will change to include the introduction of independent prescribing by therapeutic radiographers, supplementary prescribing by dietitians and the use of exemptions by orthoptists can only be regarded as fantastic news for patients.

    The amount of time spent waiting for medicines, as a part of their treatment from these AHPs, is about to be cut dramatically. This new way of working will bring about timely access to medicines so that patients get maximum benefit with fewer appointments needed with other healthcare professionals."

    Read more here https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/02/helen-marriott/

  • 22 February 2016 5:02 PM | Anonymous

    Orthoptists, Daisy Godts, (Belgium), Chris Timms, (UK), Anna Horwood, (UK ) & Kathryn Rose, (Australia), participating in the 2016 World Ophthalmology Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico


  • 27 January 2016 11:38 AM | Anonymous


    The Standards of Performance and Ethics (SCPE) are the standards set for all the professionals on the HCPC's Register, stating in broad terms the expectations of their behaviour and conduct. And they have been updated!

    They are important because they help make decisions about the character of professionals who apply to the HCPC Register and they are used if someone raises a concern about a registrant’s practice.

    Importantly for service users they outline what the public should expect from their health and care professional.

    The overall expectations remain much the same. However, there is now a dedicated standard about registrants reporting and escalating concerns that they might have about the safety and wellbeing of service users (standard 7). There is also a new standard about registrants being open and honest when things go wrong (standard 8)

    These standards were adopted and published on Tuesday 26 January 2016.

  • 27 January 2016 10:48 AM | Anonymous


    You may be thinking Valentine's week.

    Actually, are you ready for the 8‑14 Feb 2016 because it's the heartunions week of action (of which BOS TU is a supporter).

    It celebrates the great work done by union reps and members in our workplaces and in society. We're proud of our unions and reject the government's attempts to damage them with the trade union bill.

    Read the letter co-signed by BOSTU Chair, Rowena McNamara & Frances O'Grady

    BOSTU letter heart TUC.docx

This page shows public  news of interest to BIOS members and the wider public.

British and Irish Orthoptic Society

0203 853 9797

Salisbury House · Station Road
Cambridge · CB1 2LA
United Kingdom