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  • 14 November 2017 9:08 AM | Anonymous


    Concerns about the Asda Good Living Magazine Advice – October 2017

    The article1 published in the October, Asda Good Living Magazine incorrectly states that ‘Routine eye tests are no longer given in schools’. Instead it recommends free eye tests to children within their stores. This is not in line with the UK National Screening Committee guidance. It is important that children at reception age are screened in line with national guidance and that this is undertaken by a compliant and fully audited service. Whilst parents may wish to consider other sight tests, it is important that the screening of children at age 4 to 5 years in school is not undermined and that the differences in the services being offered are understood by parents.

    National Guidance

    In December 2013 the UK National Screening Committee (NSC) recommended that screening for visual impairment should be offered to all children aged 4 –5 years and this screening service should be organised and led by Orthoptists2. http://www.screening.nhs.uk/vision-child . Orthoptists have specific expertise in the assessment of visual deficits in young children.  

    The national guidelines provide a population based examination of all children ensuring the ‘at risk’ and vulnerable children in the population are reached. This is essential to those who do not seek advice or think they are at risk, and show no signs or symptoms of the condition. The NSC guidance ensures appropriate and efficient use of resources based on research evidence.

    Risks of incorrect information

    Publicity suggesting that school eye testing is no longer being provided may lead to confusion for parents whose children have received screening and those who have not yet been offered it. This may affect the coverage and effectiveness of screening programmes particularly in relation to vulnerable groups. The recent article has been directed at parents to publicise and gain acceptance that every child should have a regular eye examination.  As there is no evidence to support the approach that is being advocated3, the British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS) is not able to endorse this campaign. The information that parents receive about children’s eye care should be balanced, presented in a clear and unbiased way, ensure best practice and be scientifically accurate.  It should also reflect and promote the National Guidance.

    The BIOS has the following concerns regarding the impact on children’s vision if evidence-based whole population screening is undermined:

    ·         Children may not receive vision screening.  

    ·         The risk that visual defects may be missed and / or not treated promptly.

    ·         The potential for the defect to become irreversible. This has serious risks of litigation.

    ·         Population based services are withdrawn

    BIOS support the evidence-based national guidelines aimed at the early detection of vision defects in children at the appropriate age through clinical examinations by appropriately trained staff.  Screening programs are essential to those who do not seek advice or think they are at risk, and show no signs or symptoms of the condition.  The national guidelines provide a population based examination of all children ensuring the ‘at risk’ and vulnerable children in the population are reached and appropriate use of resources.

    BIOS have contacted the editor of the magazine to express concern and to request a retraction of the statement.

    1.       Joyce S. When should my kids have an eye test. Asda Good Living Magazine; October 2017:pp81

    2.  National Screening Committee, 2017 3.  http://www.screening.nhs.uk/vision-child

    3.       Royal College Of Ophthalmologists. Statement on Visual Screening in Children and Young People July  2017  2 . https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/professional-resources/information-from-the-paediatric-sub-committee-for-healthcare-professionals/


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

    Dr Helen Griffiths (h.griffiths@sheffield.ac.uk)

  • 20 February 2017 4:56 PM | Anonymous

    24 Feb 2017 is the day when the average person who does unpaid overtime finishes the unpaid days they do every year, and starts earning for themselves. We think that's a day worth celebrating.


  • 10 February 2017 4:38 PM | Anonymous

    ‘Look out! Bedside vision check for falls prevention’ BIOS contributed to an assessment tool for nurses and carers to use at the bedside to identify eye problems and prevent falls.


  • 10 February 2017 4:35 PM | Anonymous
    BIOS has been working with the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning

    (CCEHC) to highlight to Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STPs) leaders the need to commission eye services at scale.


  • 10 February 2017 4:24 PM | Anonymous

    The Way Forward – a resource for collaborative working to review and redesign eye care services in the UK, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists publishes The Way Forward for the review and redesign of eye care services.


  • 10 February 2017 3:47 PM | Anonymous

    A definition of Advanced Clinical Practice has been agreed by the Health Education Advisory Group (HEEAG)  and is on the HEE website:


  • 10 February 2017 3:43 PM | Anonymous

    New Common Clinical Competency Framework – providing standards for upskilling HCPs in multidisciplinary team working. BIOS has played a significant part in agreeing with eye sector colleagues a framework for extended roles. It will enable orthoptists to gain accredited skills which are transferable between trusts. Thanks go to members of the working groups:  Lorraine North, Helen Davis, Nadia Northway, Lorna McKay, David Newsham, Lesley Anne Baxter and Jane Tapely.


  • 05 January 2017 7:41 PM | Anonymous

    Please read the final practice Guideline and Outline Curriculum Framework.   

    Final ocf for website 27 nov 16 .1.pdf

    Final pg for website 27 nov 16.1.pdf

  • 15 December 2016 7:29 PM | Anonymous

    Welcome to the December issue of the GP Eye Health Network. In this edition we focus on childhood eye conditions.


    You will find:

    a factsheet on childhood eye conditions

    an article on the importance of children’s vision screening

    brief information on the significance of sight loss in children

    information on spotting the signs of Retinoblastoma

    We also show how junior doctors are helping to deliver health and wellbeing projects for people with sight loss in local communities.

    An eye health training day for GPs is being held on Thursday 26 January 2017 at The Mac Birmingham, delivered by clinical specialists. Visit RCGP for more information and bookings.

    Don't forget we have a wide range of events and resources aimed at helping you support patients with sight loss and to promote eye health.

    Finally, if you have found this enews useful, please share it with your colleagues and also let them know they can join the network too.

    Wishing you a very Happy Holiday.

    Helen Lee, Prevention Manager, RNIB

  • 29 September 2016 10:33 AM | Anonymous

    Since their inception in 2013, what are people's experience of Local Eye Health Networks in England?

    Have they been inclusive with their membership? Have certain professions been excluded to the detriment of public health commissioning and eye health pathways?

    And have they been a force for the better - lifting standards of care and commissioning for patients in communities?

    BIOS is conducting a survey with Head Orthoptists during the first week of October to get their views.

    Don't know where your LEHN or who to contact? Here is the list kindly updated regularly by LOCSU to help key_local_contacts_for_lehns_v24,_jul16.pdf

    Examples of good practice LEHNs

    We know that in London the group has a wide membership and a document has produced: Eye Health Network for London: Achieving Better Outcomes. This  report describes a more co-ordinated approach to the commissioning and delivery of eye health and sight loss services. 

    The main recommendations have been produced through the London Network working groups, although along with the Portfolio of Indicators, many will have broader recognition and implications outside of London.


    And Angela Henderson, Chair – North East & Cumbria LEHN posted this blog update on the NHS England site https://www.england.nhs.uk/north/angela-henderson/

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British and Irish Orthoptic Society

0203 853 9797

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Cambridge · CB1 2LA
United Kingdom