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  • 28 November 2015 10:15 PM | Anonymous

    Claire Saha, BIOS Exemptions Project Lead, reports as follows:

    Following the public consultation on proposals to allow orthoptists to sell, supply and administer medicines under exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, the Commission of Human Medicines has considered the proposal.  The minutes from this meeting were published on 27 November 2015 and are available here - see page 2 onwards CHM Summary Minutes.pdf

    The Commission will submit their recommendations to ministers, which is likely to be considered before the end of the year.  Subject to ministerial approval, changes to legislation will be made in 2016, with courses to train orthoptists to use exemptions available during 2017.

  • 20 November 2015 10:42 PM | Anonymous
    Staff Side PRB evidence 2016-17.docx

    BIOS and BOSTU members contribute to Pay Review Body evidence - read more in the link above

    Results from the 2015 British and Irish Orthoptic Society survey of members:

    ·         75% reported that they did not have enough resources to carry out their job, either in time or equipment or both

    ·         Over 70% said morale in the department was worse than last year, particularly having to deal with continual change and increasing pressure to work harder with fewer resources

    ·         Over 65% work between 5-10 hours overtime per week, with 60% of those stating these hours are not paid

  • 18 November 2015 4:52 PM | Anonymous

    Many thanks to those who spotted the misleading and scare-mongering article from the Daily Mail this week.

    Working with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, we today succeeded in getting the headline: "Girl, 5, to have her eye REMOVED and put back in place by surgeons to fix squint" changed to a less sensational one: "Girl, 5, to have her eye muscles shortened by surgeons to fix her squint."

    We have also asked them to publish this jointly agreed statement:

    Professor Carrie MacEwen, president of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, said, “Surgery to correct squints is extremely common. There are possible complications or risk of infection with every surgery, but squint surgery is a low risk procedure and carried out under general anaesthetic.”

    She told Mailonline, “It involves adjusting the small muscles on the coat of the eye (the sclera) to help change the position of the eyes and straighten them. The eye is never removed from the socket to carry out this procedure.” Professor MacEwen added the surgery is the most common eye operation carried out on children. However, it is less common now as first-line treatments include glasses and eye patches.  www.rcophth.ac.uk

    Anita Mccallum, a spokesperson for the British & Irish Orthoptic Society said, “The health professionals involved in referring, diagnosing, treating and correcting squints are Orthoptists (who will diagnose and manage) and Ophthalmologists who perform the surgery. Optometrists who practise in the community can also diagnose squint and advise on treatment. Often the discovery of the condition starts with a referral from health visitors and GPs who will advise parents on the need to see a specialist.”

    Ms Mccallum added, “If squints are not corrected with surgery they can lead to permanent eye problems such as loss of binocular (two eyed) vision and can hamper social interactions and self-esteem, so it is important that people come forward for prompt attention. Treatment includes glasses for lazy vision (amblyopia) before surgery is performed.” www.orthoptics.org.uk

    Thanks again for everyone's vigilance - together we can change misinformation and misleading messages in the media.

  • 22 October 2015 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    4th of November is Wobbly Wednesday, a day to raise awareness and understanding about Nystagmus. They are using social media to help promote the day and have set up a Thunderclap – this is a way of posting the same message at the same time on Twitter or Facebook around the world.

    Lots of orthoptists have already signed up and if you haven't please do!. on Twitter or Facebook you could ask your trust to get involved. It’s very simple, just sign up online at https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/33037-wobblywednesday

  • 19 October 2015 1:51 PM | Anonymous

    International Orthoptic Congress, Rotterdam 2016

    A reminder that the deadline for submission of abstracts for the 2016 IOC is rapidly approaching and closes on December 1st. Abstracts can be submitted via http://ioacongress2016.org/abstracts

    The UK has a consistently good record of attendance and presentation at the IOC and it is an excellent way to meet orthoptists and hear about orthoptic research from across the globe. The IOC is also an ideal opportunity for new graduates to gain some presentation experience and raise the profile of your department.

    The programme is varied with 12 themed sessions in the areas of Amblyopia, Vision Screening, Binocular Vision, Strabismus, Strabismus Management, Low Vision, Cerebral Vision Impairment, Neuro-ophthalmology, Ocular Surgery, Technology & Eye Disease, Education (Orthoptic, Medical) and Other. In addition there will be special programme features such as the Burian Lecture (Dr Anna Horwood), Education forum and a Leadership forum. Other aspects include round table discussions, posters, three invited symposia and panels/forums centred around the ‘Bridging Worlds’ theme of the Congress.

    On behalf of the IOA, I encourage you to consider submitting a presentation and making the most of a relatively low cost trip to our Dutch neighbours.

    Dr David Newsham

    BIOS UK & Ireland representative on the IOA


  • 01 October 2015 1:30 PM | Anonymous

    BIOS supports Older People's Day http://olderpeoplesday.co.uk/

    Orthoptists support older people - e.g an 84 year old fitted with prisms; "I am so happy I will be able to play golf this afternoon with my friends, you have no idea what a difference it makes, I thought I would never be able to enjoy golf again" …..

    Rowena McNamara, Advanced Orthoptist, Hillingdon Hospital NHS trust.

  • 18 September 2015 3:45 PM | Anonymous

    BIOJ editor role BIOJ Editor Job Description Sep 15.docx

    BIOS Research Director role /resources/Documents/BIOS%20%20Research%20Director_%20JD%20Sept15.doc

    Open to orthoptists who are BIOS members

    Please apply to mailto:bios@orthoptics.org.uk

  • 13 September 2015 7:18 PM | Anonymous

    You may have seen in the news that the TUC Congress starts today! You will certainly see it in prominently in the press from tomorrow until Wednesday.

    Check out the special BOS TU Facebook page which is giving a snapshot of the events, speakers and images for you https://www.facebook.com/BOSTradeUnion

    And write a post if there is anything you want to comment on as we provide you with a flavour of proceedings whilst representing BOS TU and flying the flag for orthoptists.

  • 08 September 2015 11:23 AM | Anonymous

    National Eye Health Week logo, 21 - 27 September 2015, Your Vision Matters

    Eye care charities, organisations and health professionals from across the UK are joining together to promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all. http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/

    What are you doing to mark the week? Let us know mailto:bios@orthoptics.org.uk

  • 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.



    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.


    • ·         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

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British and Irish Orthoptic Society

01353 66 55 41

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