This page shows public news of interest to BIOS members AND visitors.
  • 13 January 2014 2:33 PM | Anonymous
    You would be forgiven for not having heard of the Better Care Fund and think it has nothing to do with you if you are a hospital-based Orthoptist in England. But you would be wrong!

    In June 2013,  £3.8 billion worth of pooled budgets between health and social care, was announced.This is the biggest ever financial incentive for councils and local NHS organisations to jointly plan and deliver services, so that integrated care becomes the norm by 2018.

    The worry for those working in the secondary care sector is that it will take away funds from already cash-poor hospitals.
    Some already face significant financial challenges and the integration fund will make their situation even tougher. Employer organisations across different regions have made it clear that the fund must not have the unintended consequence of removing acute capacity without reducing demand for hospital beds for good.

    Read more about the Better Care Fund:





    • Are you working collaboratively and redesigning services to meet the needs of users and communities?
    • Are you working across social and health care boundaries?
    • If so, we want to know about it and you may still be eligible for a BIOS Innovation Fund contact me at mailto:bios@orthoptics.org.uk.

  • 02 January 2014 7:41 PM | Anonymous
    Leaders of key NHS organisations have demanded an end to what they describe as relentless criticism of the service which exaggerates the extent of poor care and sees GPs and hospital doctors "unfairly bashed" for problems beyond their control.

    An open letter signed by the leaders of 10 NHS organisations, published in the Guardian, calls for "a more measured view of how the NHS is performing" instead of emphasising past failures. The signatories blame ministers, NHS bosses and the media for creating an atmosphere in which demoralised and frustrated staff feel the service is facing constant attacks that give a distorted picture of its performance.

    "As we move into 2014 can we, as organisations representing the NHS frontline, call for a new page to be turned as we start a new year?" they write.

    The letter comes after 12 months in which the service had to contend with the fallout from a series of care scandals such as those at Mid Staffordshire, Morecambe Bay and Colchester hospitals, and a host of inquiries recommending improvements to care, as well as some intense criticism by Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary.

    Read the full story on the HSJ website
  • 30 December 2013 1:31 PM | Anonymous
    From the Health Service Journal:

    NHS employees working at hospitals run by the operator Circle are to be offered shares in the company for the first time as part of moves to change its governance structure.

    Circle Holdings, the publicly-traded company that owns a majority stake in the hospital operator has announced it is to acquire the rest of the company, currently in the hands of Circle Partnership, on behalf of employees.

    As part of the process, Circle employees and NHS staff are both being offered shares in the company for free, providing they meet certain performance criteria.

    HSJ understands that these criteria, yet to be agreed, will vary by team and will be arranged as part of individual staff members’ appraisals.

    Circle employees have previously had access to shares in the partnership through incentives, however they were not able to sell them.

    A body called the Partnership Benefit Trust will be created once the restructure goes ahead in order to give Circle staff and NHS partners access to tradeable shares in Circle Holdings PLC. Employees who are given shares will not be able to sell them before the end of an 18-month period.

    The proposals will need to be voted on by the members of the Circle Partnership. The acquisition is expected to be complete in the first few months of 2014, according to a source close to the process.

    The company, which provides services in five locations - including the management franchise for Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust in Cambridgeshire, has also announced it intends to raise £25m in order to explore growth opportunities in both public and private health markets.

    Note from BIOS ed - Circle are in the last 5 contractors selected for the bid to run the George Eliot hospital in the West Midlands

  • 09 December 2013 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    The HCPC Council has agreed proposals to increase the registration renewal fee to £80 per year (subject to parliamentary approval).

    The Council also agreed a similar level of increases to other registration fees. The Council’s decision to increase the fees was carefully considered and followed an in-depth analysis of the responses to the fees consultation. Marc Seale, Chief Executive and Registrar commented: “We are very aware of the concerns raised by registrants about these increases and of the economic context in which we operate. For this reason, we have consciously managed our costs as efficiently as we can whilst striving to improve our effectiveness.

     “The fees we charge pay for all our operating costs. However, these fees have not increased since 2009 despite rising costs. We have worked hard to limit the increases as much as possible, but it is crucial that we have sufficient funds to continue to operate efficiently
    and effectively in protecting the public.” Subject to parliamentary approval, the new registration fee structure will come into effect on 1 April 2014. Existing registrants will not pay the revised registration fee until they next renew their registration after that date.

    A full summary of the responses to the consultation is available on the HCPC website at 

    The report contains an analysis of the responses received as well as comments and decisions. The ‘frequently asked questions’ about the revised registration fees have also been updated at  http://www.hcpc-uk.org/registrants/fees/consultation

  • 27 November 2013 10:15 AM | Anonymous

    Following on from the Call for Action meeting featured on the front page of November Parallel Vision - the BIOS is part of the UK Vision Strategy group working directly with GPs to raise the awareness of eye health and improve commissioning or buying of services. A major initiative - launched today - is the GP Eye Health Network.
    As you know if you work in England, GPs are now fundholders for all secondary and most primary care and make decisions about what patients/conditions to refer AND now which services to commission or stop. In Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Wales the situation is different, but GPs are still the main channel for eye health referrals to hospitals.
    Please be aware that this information is going out to GPs today and that, in England, if you are not already in touch with those Clinical Commissioning Groups local to you - you will need to forge links more directly than you ever have done previously.

    This is to raise awareness of the part that orthoptics plays in eye health and sght loss prevention and to ensure that the services you provide continue to be commissioned. 
    Heads GP Eye Health Network Nov13.pdf

    As always we will keep you informed of developments!!!
  • 14 November 2013 1:34 PM | Anonymous

    20/21 August 2014 – CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

    BIOS would like to invite the submission of abstracts for the 2014 Annual Scientific Conference in Glasgow. The Conference aims to facilitate dissemination and discussion of orthoptic case studies, research, audit and innovation. If you would like to submit an abstract, please read through the submission guidelines below.


    Abstract submission categories

    This year we are offering four categories to which you can submit your abstract, to highlight the different ways in which orthoptic practice can be developed and enhanced. See which category your work that you would like to submit falls into:

    Case Study - Your work chronicles a case you have seen that was unusual or required an unconventional management approach.

    Research– Your work has a clear statement of hypothesis or research question, generates new knowledge, or involves comparing or evaluating treatment interventions. Statistical analysis is used to support the findings.

    Audit– Your work evaluates current practice in your department, a service change or compares something to a benchmark or standard. Statistical analysis may be used to support the findings where comparisons are performed, but is not essential.

    Innovation– Your work outlines a new approach to current practice, development of a new service or product, or an extended role not highlighted in BIOS literature or conferences previously.

    Formatting your abstract

    Please use the following format for submitting to the research, audit and innovation categories. Content is suggested in square brackets.

    Title: [Do not use uppercase.]

    Authors:[Please include the full name and Trust/Institution of each author, in order of authorship.]

    Aim/Purpose:[What was the reason for doing the research, conducting the audit, or needing the innovation?]

    Methods:[How did you perform the research or audit, or what was the process involved when developing the innovation?]

    Results:[What new knowledge came from the research, and was it statistically significant? What did you find out from the audit? Did the innovation have the desired impact?]

    Conclusion:[What is the take-home message from this research or audit? Would you recommend that other clinicians adopt your innovation?]

    Please use the following format for submitting to the case study category.Content is suggested in square brackets.

    Title: [Do not use uppercase.]

    Authors:[Please include the full name and Trust/Institution of each author, in order of authorship.]

    Presentation:[How did your case initially present and what was the reason for referral?]

    Investigation:[What tests were performed and their results?]

    Management:[How was the case managed in the short and long-term?]

    Conclusion:[What is the take-home message for clinicians about this case?]

    Your abstract must not exceed 300 words, excluding the title and authors. This includes subject headings e.g. Aim/Purpose.

    Submitting your abstract


    Please email your abstract submission to Marianne.Piano@gcu.ac.uk– you will receive a confirmation email that your abstract has been received.

    Abstract review, scheduling and notifications

    The Scientific Conference Organising Committee will read all abstracts after the closing date and schedule them into short talk (10 minutes) or poster sessions. The reviewing process is strictly confidential and all reviewers have agreed not to discuss the contents of abstracts received with any individual, or copy them for their own use or that of others.

    If you only wish to do a short talk, or only wish to do a poster, please indicate this in your submission as ‘POSTER ONLY’ or ‘SHORT TALK ONLY’. If no indication is given, it will be assumed that you are happy for your abstract to be scheduled as a poster OR short talk. You may be asked to present on either day of the conference. If you are only going to receive funding for one day of attendance, please indicate to us which day you are planning to attend.

    We will notify you by email, using the email address you used to submit the abstract, of the outcome of your abstract submission on 17thMarch 2014. You will be informed of whether your abstract has been accepted or rejected, and if it has been accepted, whether it has been scheduled as a short talk or a poster. Further details e.g. poster formatting, talk slot, etc, will be emailed to you at a later date.

    Please note that we offer free registration for one day at the Conference to anyone with an accepted abstract – you must still pay for the other day and your accommodation costs if you want to come for both days.

    Abstract withdrawal

    If you have submitted an abstract and wish to withdraw your submission for any reason, you can email Marianne.Piano@gcu.ac.uk– there is no penalty for withdrawing an abstract.

  • 13 November 2013 3:00 PM | Anonymous
    Bradford study looks at effect of children's sight problems on reading skills....

    Head orthoptist Alison Bruce will look at the effects of eyesight problems on reading ability

    A Born in Bradford research project is under way to discover the impact of sight problems in young children on their reading ability.

    The £280,000 Department of Health-backed study is funding Bradford Teaching Hospitals’ head orthoptist Alison Bruce along with researchers at the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR) and York University to examine the literacy skills of four and five-year-olds across Bradford.

    Previous studies in Bradford have shown 14 per cent of schoolchildren needed glasses and three to five per cent of them had squints.

    The new research project, which started this month, is now comparing and contrasting children’s eye tests against their literacy levels during their reception year and again when they move up to year one.

    Read the full article in the Bradford Telegraph & Argus


  • 10 October 2013 11:14 AM | Anonymous

    10 October 2013: World Sight Day (WSD) - an international day of awareness about avoidable blindness and its prevention - will mark the launch of a report on Universal Eye Health. Read the full release below and download the report (our own Lesley-Anne Baxter is pictured with the WSD report cover):


    or click on the pdf direct WSD_Report_2013_Eng.pdf

    4 out of 5 visually impaired people are avoidably so. Research shows that every dollar spent on eye health has a two-fold return on investment - in developing countries, home to 90% of all visual impairment, there is a four-fold return. Yet current estimates put the number of people living with significant visual impairment at 285 million, 39 million of whom are blind[i]. IAPB and its members and partners recognise that governments are key to ensuring access to quality eye health services and eliminating avoidable blindness.

    2013 is an important year, as it marks the launch of a new WHO Action Plan on the prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment 2014-19. In keeping with the main thrust of this new Action Plan, the theme for World Sight Day 2013 is: "Universal Eye Health".

    The WSD report sets out what universal eye health should mean in practice, taking into account key components of the Global Action Plan, and gives an overview of the situation of eye health globally and regionally, with examples of countries striving towards universal eye health.

    Discussing the report, Zoe Gray, Advocacy Manager, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and one of authors said, "This World Sight Day report stresses that all people, including the marginalised, should be able to access quality eye health services without suffering financial hardship. It offers decision-makers and policy-makers guidance on means to progress".

    On World Sight Day (10/10/2013) The WSD report on Universal Eye Health will be launched at events in Manila, Philippines; Thimpu, Bhutan; Kigali, Rwanda; Washington DC, USA; Dominican Republic and in scores of national and regional events around the world. In these events, representatives from the relevant ministry of health will be asked to unveil the report and copies will be passed on to other stakeholders.

    "Universal Eye Health embodies many critical aspects of successful eye health uptake. World Sight Day is a powerful platform to showcase best practices and to also support blindness prevention activities globally. We welcome all stakeholders - NGOs, Corporations, hospitals and training institutes - to mark World Sight Day", said Joanna Conlon, IAPB.

    Every year, World Sight Day is celebrated in over 300 events in 60 countries around the world. This year, WSD is marked the world over today, with the global call to action: "Get your eyes tested". Representing over 120 organisations, including every major eye health organisation and global eye health professional associations, IAPB supports World Sight Day activities across the globe by sending promotional material like posters, bookmarks, reports and advocacy material free of cost. This year too, WSD promotional material has been sent to over 500 addresses, including ministries of health, WHO country offices, numerous organisations who work with local communities and NGOs working across geographies to mark World Sight Day. For more information, please visit www.IAPB.org

  • 07 October 2013 8:49 AM | Anonymous

    BOSTU members can see the full version of this in the members section, BOSTU pages.
  • 16 September 2013 1:00 PM | Anonymous

    The fourth National Eye Health Week (NEHW) takes place this week 16 – 22 September 2013. Once again, 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.

    There are a series of resources available for download from the Vision Matters website including for children and this spot the difference leaflet


    Orthoptists - let us know if you are doing anything in your area and send to mailto:bios@orthoptics.org.uk


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