This page shows public news of interest to BIOS members AND visitors.
  • 11 December 2014 10:14 AM | Anonymous

    Our website system has this week added site search capability to its features. The search box is located immediately above the main menu to the left of the screen.

    View of search box location

    Just type in the word(s) you want to search for, and hit 'Enter'.

    The system is new, and we do not yet know its limitations (if any). If you have good, bad or unexpected experiences with it, please let us know at bios@orthoptics.org.uk

  • 02 December 2014 9:56 PM | Anonymous

    From the Health Service Journal:

    NHS England has appointed the directors of most of the organisation’s new ‘sub regions’ which are to be created as part of a restructure designed to cut costs by 15 per cent.

    The 12 sub regions will replace the current 24 area teams outside of London when the new structure is introduced in shadow form from 5 January.

    It will reduce the number of very senior managers by up to 25 per cent and see NHS England outside the capital operate more like the London region, with staff working for different areas as required.


    The new sub region which will include Thames Valley and Bath area team is yet to appoint a director

    Directors of commissioning operations have been appointed in nine areas.

    An email to staff sent today said the remaining three posts would be advertised “more widely but still internally within NHS England” next week.

    It said: “These new roles will be key in the single integrated regional tier. Whilst the individuals will have responsibility for their sub regional patch, they will be working flexibly as part of the regional team.”

    The three regions NHS England has failed to appoint in are the sub regions covering the current Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Durham, Darlington and Tees area teams; the Thames Valley and Bath, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire area teams; and the Wessex area team which is to become a sub region.

    Most of the appointees are covering areas that were not previously part of their patch (see below).

    The newly appointed sub regional directors of commissioning operations are:

    • Moira Dumma - Yorkshire and the Humber (former director of Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral area team)
    • Graham Urwin - Lancashire and Greater Manchester (former director of Shropshire and Staffordshire area team)
    • Clare Duggan - Cheshire and Merseyside (former director of Merseyside area team)
    • Wendy Saviour - North Midlands (former director of Birmingham and Black Country area team)
    • David Sharp - Central Midlands (former director Leicestershire and Lincolnshire area team)
    • Andrew Reed - West Midlands (former director of East Anglia area team)
    • Andrew Pike - East (former director of Essex area team)
    • Anthony Farnsworth - South West (former director of Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire area team and acting director of Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly area team)
    • Felicity Cox - South East (formerly director of Wessex area team)
  • 23 November 2014 10:39 AM | Anonymous

    A drug that prevents elderly people losing their sight should be routinely available on the NHS, says the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

    Avastin has been found in clinical trials to be safe and effective for patients with wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a major cause of sight loss in older people.

    The Royal College says switching to the drug could save the NHS £100m.

    Avastin is cheaper than the officially approved treatment, Lucentis.

    Both drugs are made by Roche - but Lucentis is marketed by Novartis in the UK.

    Read more here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30138097

  • 04 November 2014 11:48 AM | Anonymous

    Allied health professionals (AHPs) are a growing part of the NHS workforce, accounting for over £2bn of the salary bill, yet there is remarkably little data on the contribution they make to the quality of patient care, new research published by the Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation reveals today. 

    In a comprehensive new report, published as part of the QualityWatch programme, researchers examine the role of AHPs – practitioners in the public, private and voluntary sector who deliver services including physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and paramedic services. 

    The analysis finds that there has been a significant increase in the numbers of AHPs, with numbers of registered practitioners rising by 53% since 2002, and NHS-based practitioners rising by a third. This meant that by 2013, AHPs made up around 6% of the NHS workforce and accounted for an estimated £2bn of the NHS salary bill. 

    Read the full news release on the QualityWatch website.


  • 04 November 2014 11:44 AM | Anonymous

    The Minister was speaking as he gave the opening address at the Northern Ireland Advancing Healthcare Awards, the first of a two-day event entitled ‘Taking Charge of Change’. The Minister presented awards to the winners of six categories from over one hundred applicants, as well as an overall winner.

    Addressing an audience of senior Health and Social Care (HSC) staff, AHP representatives from across the UK and clinicians from the twelve Allied Health Professional groups at the City Hotel, Londonderry, Minister Wells said: “These awards recognise the importance and diversity of the AHPs. The finalists are excellent examples of the positive impact their practice has in improving outcomes for patients, clients and carers.”

    The Department’s Strategy, ‘Improving Health and Well-being through Positive Partnerships for Allied Health Professions in Northern Ireland’, sets out the following themes, which are reflected in the AHP awards:

    • Promoting person centred practice and care;
    • Enabling delivering safe and effective care;
    • Maximising resources for success;
    • Supporting and developing the workforce.

    The Minister said: “AHPs are committed to providing a high standard of health and social care to the people of Northern Ireland and I am encouraged to see that, through their practices, they are delivering the strategic direction set by my Department.”

    Concluding, Minister Wells said: “There is no doubt that we are experiencing very difficult times within the health service and we all have a responsibility to continue to deliver high standards service within restricted budgets. Person centred care is central to our health service and AHPs have a key role to play at the forefront of the change agenda.”

    See full article http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news-dhssps-241014-allied-health-professionals

  • 24 October 2014 8:23 AM | Anonymous

    Stunning news from the AHP Awards Northern Ireland, Londonderry, last night (23/10/14) as Orthoptists win the award in the Screening category AND Orthoptic assistants also win the award for outstanding achievement by a support worker, the latter from the Western Health and Social Care Trust. 

    More details on the awards and process when we have them

    Congratulations to all!

  • 10 October 2014 12:49 PM | Anonymous

    As you know, some unions are striking on October 13 and some are taking other forms of action short of striking like working contractual hours and taking breaks.

    Some NHS workers will stage a four-hour strike on Monday October 13 - Doctors, nurses and other staff will stage a walkout between 7am and 11am in the first health service strike for 32 years. This is a statement agreed by all the unions on protocol during any action.

    NHS Staff Council Joint Trade Union Protocol on Industrial Action in the NHS



    A number of trade unions with members in the NHS are planning to take industrial action starting in autumn 2014.  The action will include strike action and/or action short of strike action (ASOS).

    The trade unions in the NHS who are not balloting have agreed to encourage their members to support the pay campaign and not to take any action to undermine the lawful industrial action.

    In particular unions not taking part in formal action agree to:

    • ·         Respect the right of other unions to take lawful industrial action and will not criticise or condemn the trade unions involved in industrial action


    • ·         Encourage their members to show support for the industrial action, which could include joining protests outside of their working hours, using social media or local press to express their support etc


    • ·         Give strong advice to their members that they should continue with their normal duties but should not take on any non-contractual additional responsibilities being given to them directly as a result of the industrial action. They should not be expected to be moved from their normal duties or provide cover for staff taking industrial action or  take on overtime or additional shifts to make up for the industrial action of other staff.

    • ·         Encourage their members to donate to hardship funds set up to support members who will lose pay as a result of industrial action. 

    • All the NHS trade unions (including BOS TU) have signed up to this protocol as follows:

    • UNISON             CSP                   BMA

    • RCN                   BDA                   FCS

    • RCM                   SCP                   BOSTU

    • UNITE                BAOT                 MiP 

    • GMB                   POA                  

    • SoR                    HCSA

  • 04 October 2014 2:57 PM | Anonymous


    We are looking for an enthusiatic, experienced Orthoptist to join our small team. This is a temporary position to cover maternity leave from February to October 2015. The post holder will be based at the General Hospital in St Helier. This is a full time post and sessions will include a full range of orthoptics as well as primary and secondary visual screening. You will be expected to travel to various schools across the island and therefore you must have a full and current driving licence and access to a car.

    For further information about the post please contact Sue Neasham, Head Orthoptist on 01534 442559 or email mailto:s.neasham@health.gov.je

  • 01 October 2014 10:20 PM | Anonymous

    23/09/14 - Part of National Eye Care Week involved Camsight running an event for children with visual impairment at the North Cambridge Children's Centre in Cambridge. Ryan van Wijk 3. Picture: Keith Jones in Cambridge Evening News

    Read more at http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Charity-Cam-Sight-urges-people-look-bright-sight/story-23003779-detail/story.html#Ryqbhhmvz7xz0EpG.99

    Did you do anything in your hospital or clinic? Send your pics to me, Anita McCallum, mailto:bios@orthoptics.org.uk or post on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BritishIrishOrthopticSociety

  • 12 September 2014 2:28 PM | Anonymous

    Lesley-Anne Baxter, Outgoing Chair of BIOS & BOSTU speaks to Motion 46 at the TUC Congress, Liverpool this week..... here is the text of her address...

    "President, Congress, Lesley-Anne Baxter, British Orthoptic Society, supporting Motion 46


    We hear, almost daily, that we cannot afford the public services that we have built up over years and held as exemplar services across the world in many cases. We have heard from the mover of this motion of the chaos and confusion they are seeing  as private companies organise services which cannot compare to the gold standard of their service organisation.

    The amendment to this motion asks for evidence to show that private companies can provide better services.

    I work in eye health and the National Screening Committee this year has provided an evidence base to show that an Orthoptic led vision screening service for all children aged 4 to 5 years is essential to promote eye health and pick up eye problems. BUT, the localisation of health in England means that this pot of money is easy pickings and these services are not being commissioned in some areas and being decommissioned in others. This post code lottery of service provision cannot be regarded as the governments goal of innovation and improvement.

    There is good evidence available showing that those children in care, those with learning disabilities, those, in the governments words who are " easy to loose" are much more likely to have undiagnosed eye conditions.

    There is evidence to show that  those living in social deprivation do not access health services as and when they need so screening in schools is essential in all these groups.

    we also know that if eye problems are not picked up by the age of 7, education can be compromised, and we also know that up to 30% of the prison population have uncorrected eye problems. SO it is essential that that those vulnerable children in care,have access to Orthoptic led  vision screening, commissioned locally and paid for by the NHS. The argument against this is that parents will take their child to the local optician on the high street. That is great  but we know that those in care and those with any other disability do not access the health care they deserve and are easy to loose in a system provided by a plurality of providers.

     This government has a Call to Action for Eye Health out for consultation at this time and already submitted is that there is no evidence to show that private companies can provide services cheaper than already commissioned NHS taser vices

    We support this motion to ensure children's services are provided by those who can  provide evidence, audit, governance and accountability that we in the public sector already adhere to."

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