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BIOS News

This page shows public news of interest to BIOS members AND visitors.
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  • 25 August 2015 12:11 PM | Anonymous

    Children’s Eye Care – Reinforcing National Guidelines for

    Vision Screening in Schools for all 4-5 year olds

    The British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS) supports the evidence-based national screening guidelines aimed at the early detection of vision defects in children, at the appropriate age, through clinical examinations by appropriately trained staff.

    Detection of eye problems in the very young and pre-school child requires expert clinical examination.  If a parent or carer has concern about their child’s vision or visual behaviour it is recommended that they consult their GP or Health Visitor as outlined in the Department of Health 'Healthy Child programme 0 -5 years’.  The GP and Health Visitor provide the link to local care pathways that ensure access to specialist eye care professionals.

    BIOS endorses the UK National Screening Committee (NSC) recommendations, of universal vision screening for all children between the ages of 4-5 years in school by an orthoptic-led service.  The recommendation was made following a review of research evidence and it included the importance of standardised delivery of screening provision. BIOS has developed evidence-based recommendations that support orthoptic-led delivery of the vision screening to provide the standardising approach required by the NSC.

    BIOS is concerned with the situation that has developed regarding the commissioning process for Vision Screening in England. There is a lack of awareness of the NSC guidance on Vision Screening services and a failure to incorporate for the onward care pathway for children who fail the vision screening and the quality assurance needed.

    BIOS is working to ensure that the specification and commissioning of Vision Screening contracts occur in a consistent way that deliver on NSC recommendations. Orthoptists are also working with the Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to achieve this standardisation. BIOS supports increasing parental awareness of the National Guidelines for a vision test in school at age 4 to 5 years and advocates that parents check that this is provided to their child.

    BIOS commends the view of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists that a routine "sight test" is unnecessary in the absence of visual symptoms in children over 5 years of age. Visual problems such as short sightedness can develop in the older child. If a parent becomes concerned about their child’s vision, progress in school, or a child complains of headaches or tired eyes they can arrange to attend a local Optometrist for an eye examination or contact their GP.

    There is no robust research to support any other vision screening in childhood.

     

    ENDS

    For more information or an interview with one of our spokespeople please contact the BIOS office on +44(0)1353 66 55 41 or email bios@orthoptics.org.uk

    Notes to editors:

    The British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS): BIOS is the professional body for Orthoptists in the UK and Ireland. It supports members in continuous professional development and offers advice and guidance on professional conduct and standards, ensuring members working in the NHS and private practice achieve the best possible health outcomes for patients and service users. www.orthoptics.org.uk

    BIOS has developed the following evidence -based guidance documents on Vision Screening:

    • ·         BIOS Guidelines on Vision Screening in Children. British and Irish Orthoptic Society, 2014.

    http://www.orthoptics.org.uk/GP_info

    • ·         BIOS Statement on Orthoptic-led Vision Screening Services, April 2015
    • ·         Guidelines on BIOS Vision Screening Training Programme for Vision Screeners, April 2015
    • ·         BIOS Information for Commissioners of Children’s Vision Screening Services, May 2015
    • ·         BIOS Vision Screening Care Pathway, August 2015
    • ·         BIOS Vision Screening Key Performance Indicators, August 2015

    National Screening Committee: The UK National Screening Committee recommends a systematic population screening programme for vision defects in children aged 4 to 5 by an orthoptic-led service- http://www.screening.nhs.uk/vision-child.

    For more information contact BIOS Vision Screening Special Interest Group Leads:

    Dr Helen Griffiths (h.griffiths@sheffield.ac.uk) 0114 271 3818 or Dr Sarah Shea (Sarah.Shea@wales.nhs.uk) 01248 384023


  • 14 August 2015 6:16 PM | Anonymous

    IOA Conference Rotterdam 27 – 30 June 2016

    Register before March 2016 and benefit from an early registration fee!

    Also, the scientific programme committee cordially invites you to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations. All abstracts should be submitted online no later than the 1st of December 2015. Anyone interested and involved with orthoptics is invited to submit an abstract for this meeting.

    An exciting new feature of the 2016 IOA Education Forum is that abstracts are being accepted on orthoptic education. Authors are invited to submit an abstract about best practice in education and blended learning in particular. The free paper session can be submitted via the website at the on-line abstract submission form.

    More details and registration via this link http://ioacongress2016.org/registration/

     

     

  • 28 July 2015 11:07 AM | Anonymous

    As we mentioned in June PV, it’s only with the help of orthoptists coming forward to assist in the running of the professional body and developing strategies to ensure the future of orthoptics, that we have an organisation called BIOS. It has been going since 1937 and we would like to ensure it keeps going for at least another 80 years.

    But we need people to volunteer; heads, deputies or semi-retired/retired orthoptists – otherwise I cannot guarantee that you will have a BIOS come 2016/17.

    We have Midland Region and Wales Trustees vacancies to fill. From October we also have a Scotland Trustee gap. If we cannot find Trustees, we will have to re-think the best organisational form for BIOS and perhaps lose its charitable status.

    Without the BIOS, the dedicated professional body for orthoptists, and the officers who have worked tirelessly under its umbrella, we would not have:

    • A degree course for orthoptics at three universities
    • A protected title and autonomy to practice
    • Recognition at government and health department level in all the countries we have members

    Please do email me or Anita McCallum bios@orthoptics.org.uk to discuss any of the BIOS Trustee roles, what you can gain by doing them and the commitment needed. We have paired down the time needed to fulfil the roles to a minimum of two meetings per year and the rest by email and one annual event.

    Trustee and Vice Chair roles description.doc

    Rowena McNamara rowena.mcnamara@nhs.net

    Chair, BIOS & BOSTU

  • 21 July 2015 12:42 PM | Anonymous

    Professor Gail (Midgley) Stephenson

    It is with extreme sadness we inform you of the death of our colleague, Professor Gail Stephenson, after the discovery of a brain tumour earlier this year. She passed away on the 19th July.

    Gail was the Head of the Directorate of Orthoptics & Vision Science at the University of Liverpool and, over the years, had taught and inspired the next generation of orthoptists now working mainly in the NHS. She was delighted to have been named a professor in December 2013 by the University, particularly as it further raised the profile of orthoptics on both national and international stages.

    As many of you will know, Gail was an active member of the professional body for Orthoptists, The British & Irish Orthoptic Society, for many years and latterly had been its representative on both the international and European organisations for orthoptics. The latter, OCE, she was President of from April 2013. Protecting the term and the unique profession “orthoptist” was one of her personal causes and the profession owes much to her for her perseverance and tenacity in this respect. This she did in a volunteer capacity and she was elected a Fellow of the British & Irish Orthoptic Society to acknowledge this and other services to the profession.

    Keen to combine her love of football and orthoptic expertise, she assisted her favourite team, Manchester United for many years and acted as an orthoptic adviser and vision scientist to the club during the 1990s. As a mark of respect to Gail, United's first team wore black armbands in a match, a pre-season game, against San Jose Earthquakes in California on 21st July.

    Chair of the British & Irish Orthoptic Society, Rowena McNamara said: "I was lucky enough to have worked with Gail when we were teachers together at the Manchester Eye Hospital. Her enthusiasm and dedication to Orthoptics was memorable and we will all miss her enormously. I will ensure that the BIOS marks her achievements formally but for me personally, she will always be remembered for her joy for her work and for life.”

    Gail was born on the 28th July 1953, had one daughter, Rebecca, who died last November.


    Please find link to the University of Liverpool's obituary for Professor Gail Stephenson.http://news.liv.ac.uk/2015/07/21/obituary-professor-gail-stephenson/

    On the site there is the opportunity to make a personal tribute.

    Colleague at the University, Dr David Newsham, added today: "I have known Gail as my teacher since I began training at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Since then she has become a lifelong mentor, friend and colleague. Her enthusiasm, dedication and passion for orthoptics at Liverpool, nationally and internationally will not be surpassed. She will be terribly missed on a personal level and by the profession."

    Funeral details:
    • Monday 3rd August,10.00am St Marks Church Worsley, M28 2WH
    • 11.40am Agecroft Crematorium, Langley Road, Salford M27 8SS
    • Tea, Coffee and drinks after

    To be confirmed - we are presuming the church service is open to all, but there may be some limits on attendance at the crematorium and refreshment location. No decision or guidance has yet been given on flowers or donations instead of.


  • 05 July 2015 3:19 PM | Anonymous

    BIOS Education/curriculum Project Manager - Funded secondment or project opportunity 0.2 WTE/Band 7/8 (or equivalent)

    • Do you want to lead the piece of work which will define orthoptics for the next 20 years?
    • Have you got the necessary diplomatic skills and zest for collaborative working?

    If so, please find detailed role and person description for this key and urgent role - funded.EDUCATION CURRICULUM ROLE July 2015.doc

    Applications are invited from Band 7/8 or non-NHS equivalent individuals interested in fulfilling this key BIOS project role for 6-9 months. The work can be done flexibly, initially funded for 0.2 WTE for 6 months (or 24 days) and can be extended to 9 months – so the role could be fulfilled in a variety of ways e.g.: 1 day a week for 6 months/2 days a week for 3 months or full-time for 1 month. Funding can be paid directly to an  NHS or HEI employer or directly to an independent.

    This role will review and co-ordinate the re-writing of the orthoptic curricula and core competencies of orthoptists Vs extended roles and Vs specialist roles. This is an essential set of documents to clarify what is expected at undergraduate, preceptorship and post-graduate practise level and will be included and supported as part of BIOS Strategy 2015 - 2020.

    Please apply by 31st July 2015 as per the instructions on the document and email mailto:bios@orthoptics.org.uk

     

  • 24 June 2015 5:49 PM | Anonymous

    Open to Full Members of BIOS - please find details of  these vacancies

    OCE JD.docx

    IOA JD.docx

  • 17 June 2015 9:08 AM | Anonymous

    The BIOS congratulates David Parkins, President of the College of Optometrists, who this week has taken over as Chair of the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC), which BIOS is a member of. We will make sure Orthoptists are in his sights!

    Read full news release below..

    New Chair elected to lead the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC)

    David Parkins, President of the College of Optometrists, has today taken over as Chair of the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC).

    The Clinical Council, which brings together professional and patient organisations from across the sector, is the national clinical voice for eye health in England. Formed in 2013 under the Chairmanship of the Professor Harminder Dua, former President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the Clinical Council has been working in partnership with NHS England to support the development of services to meet local population needs and improve outcomes for patients .

    Following a vote of the membership of Clinical Council, David Parkins was elected as Chair. He said:

    “The Clinical Council is now fully established under the excellent chairmanship of Professor Harminder Dua. I am proud to be taking over from him and chairing a body with such a vast collective expertise of commissioning eye health and sight loss services, including social care and ophthalmic public health.

    “I am looking forward to working with NHS England, other Local Eye Health Network Chairs, CCGs, Health and Wellbeing Boards and  the range of Providers within Eye Health on developing improved co-ordination and integration between services. We do need to start collecting performance data for our pathways using the new Portfolio of Indicators (developed by the VISION 2020 (UK) ophthalmic public health committee) to show we are delivering improved outcomes for our patients.”

  • 05 May 2015 1:33 PM | Anonymous

    http://www.clinmed.rcpjournal.org/content/15/2/173.full.pdf+html

    New guidelines on Graves’ orbitopathy which BIOS' Chair, Rowena McNamara contributed to.

    ABSTRACT - Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) is uncommon, but responsible for considerable morbidity. A coordinated approach between healthcare professionals is required in order to meet the needs of patients. Early diagnosis can be achieved by a simple clinical assessment. Low-cost effective interventions can be initiated by generalists, which may improve outcomes. Moderate-to-severe GO should be referred to specialised centres.

    Recommendations for clinical diagnosis, initial management and referral pathways are highlighted.

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