• 04 April 2016 2:19 PM | Anonymous

    Everything you always wanted to know about BIOS membership but were afraid to ask?

    Find out the answers to a wide range of topics by accessing the guide BIOS Member User Guide 2016.pdf

    • Introduction to BIOS & Message from Chair
    • Membership categories & claiming tax relief 
    • BIOS campaigning & networking 
    • Your BIOS Profile and Member Services 
    • BIOS insurance cover 
    • BOSTU membership 
    • Continuing professional development 
    • Summary of BIOS benefits & facts 
    • Useful information including AHP Rewards and Who’s who in BIOS?
  • 15 March 2016 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    Exemptions - A positive change to the way that orthoptic patients receive medicines “at the right time, in the right place and with fewer visits”

    Now – professionals, patients, charities and voluntary organisations - have your say on standards for Orthoptists using the HCPC consultation process

    A change in legislation means that Orthoptists (allied health professionals specialising in squints and eye movement disorders) will be able to train to supply and administer a limited list of eye medicines without the need for a doctor’s prescription (known as an exemption). In future, patients will be able to get the medicines they need at the right time and in the right place for maximum benefit. This will be more convenient as it will reduce the number of appointments and the number of healthcare professionals seen to get the medicines they need.

    Patient safety remains of paramount importance.  Not all orthoptists will be eligible to train to use exemptions.  The body that regulates orthoptists, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), has developed new draft standards for the supply and administration of medicines by orthoptists. These standards are available to view and a consultation about them is now running until 3rd May 2016.


    We encourage all interested parties such as health care professionals and their professional bodies, patients, relatives, carers, patient groups and voluntary organisations and charities to respond to the short online survey and let their views be known https://www.research.net/r/standardsorthoptistexemp .

    There are 6 questions to answer:

    Q1.  Do you think the standards are set at the level necessary for safe and effective sale, supply and administration of medicines via exemptions? 

    Q2.  Do you think the standards relating to practice placements (D1-D11)* are appropriate? 

    Q3.  Do you think any additional standards are necessary? 

    Q4.  Do you think there are any standards which should be reworded or removed? 

    Q5.  Do you have any comments about the language used in the standards?

    Q6.  Do you have any other comments on the standards?

     More information

    HCPC consultation Orthoptists and Medicines Exemptions_150316.doc


  • 14 March 2016 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    For Advisers/Commissioners and/or Procurers of Vision Screening Services in England

    Please find latest advice from the British & Irish Orthoptic Society on Children’s Vision Screening Services in the light of commissioning inconsistencies and the withdrawal of some services in England.

    Please distribute to those in your network involved in commissioning, procuring and/or advising on this service for NHS, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Authorities and Councils.

    Vision Screening Statement_Public Health professionals 140316.pdf


    Association of Directors of Public Health

    NHS Clinical Commissioners

    Local Government Association

    Public Health England

    Royal College of Ophthalmologists

    Vision 2020

    NHS England – London, South, Midlands & East and Northern

    Local Eye Health Network – All Chairs


  • 09 March 2016 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations Ross Cahill, orthoptist, AHP lead for macular degeneration, Southampton Eye Unit, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust - you have been shortlisted for an award -
    AHA Rising Star Award Sponsored by Chamberlain Dunn Learning - (Nominated by Elizabeth O’Flynn, deputy head orthoptist) www.AHPandHSawards.co.uk

    We will know on 15th April whether he has won the category - so fingers crossed!
  • 26 February 2016 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    The British & Irish Orthoptic Society is pleased to confirm that NHS England today announced https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/02/medicines-legislation/  that legislation has been laid to allow Orthoptists to supply and administer specific medicines under exemptions within Human Medicines Regulations 2012. 

    Information Release_BIOS Exemptions Success_260216.doc

    The immediate task is to ensure that Orthoptists are aware of the change in the UK law and encourage them to start to plan change to their practise. Other stakeholders like potential course providers, patients and other professions will be contacted over the coming weeks with messages relevant to them. These documents now appear on the BIOS website to mark the start of this process. Exemptions & Consultation

    NHS England said on their newswire that: "Patients under the care of a suitably trained and qualified Dietitian, Orthoptist or Therapeutic Radiographer will shortly be able to access some of their medication without visiting a doctor, thanks to changes in legislation.

    Following an announcement today by George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences, patients will have timely access to the medicines they need and more choice in how they obtain them."

    He went on to say that:  “Expanding prescribing, supply and administration responsibilities to a wider group of healthcare professionals such as Therapeutic Radiographers, Dietitians and Orthoptists is good news for patients who will be able to access high quality services more quickly and conveniently.

    It will also help to drive up efficiency by freeing up doctors’ time to care for patients with more complex health care needs and reduce bureaucracy.”

    Read more here https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/02/medicines-legislation/

    Helen Marriott, AHP Medicines Project Lead at NHS England says in her blog:

    "The announcement by Ministers that the law will change to include the introduction of independent prescribing by therapeutic radiographers, supplementary prescribing by dietitians and the use of exemptions by orthoptists can only be regarded as fantastic news for patients.

    The amount of time spent waiting for medicines, as a part of their treatment from these AHPs, is about to be cut dramatically. This new way of working will bring about timely access to medicines so that patients get maximum benefit with fewer appointments needed with other healthcare professionals."

    Read more here https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/02/helen-marriott/

  • 22 February 2016 5:02 PM | Anonymous

    Orthoptists, Daisy Godts, (Belgium), Chris Timms, (UK), Anna Horwood, (UK ) & Kathryn Rose, (Australia), participating in the 2016 World Ophthalmology Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico


  • 27 January 2016 11:38 AM | Anonymous


    The Standards of Performance and Ethics (SCPE) are the standards set for all the professionals on the HCPC's Register, stating in broad terms the expectations of their behaviour and conduct. And they have been updated!

    They are important because they help make decisions about the character of professionals who apply to the HCPC Register and they are used if someone raises a concern about a registrant’s practice.

    Importantly for service users they outline what the public should expect from their health and care professional.

    The overall expectations remain much the same. However, there is now a dedicated standard about registrants reporting and escalating concerns that they might have about the safety and wellbeing of service users (standard 7). There is also a new standard about registrants being open and honest when things go wrong (standard 8)

    These standards were adopted and published on Tuesday 26 January 2016.

  • 27 January 2016 10:48 AM | Anonymous


    You may be thinking Valentine's week.

    Actually, are you ready for the 8‑14 Feb 2016 because it's the heartunions week of action (of which BOS TU is a supporter).

    It celebrates the great work done by union reps and members in our workplaces and in society. We're proud of our unions and reject the government's attempts to damage them with the trade union bill.

    Read the letter co-signed by BOSTU Chair, Rowena McNamara & Frances O'Grady

    BOSTU letter heart TUC.docx

  • 25 January 2016 2:03 PM | Anonymous

    BIOS Statement on Free Vision Screening Campaigns/Tools

    Recent public relation activities by corporate stakeholders in children’s eye care have been directed at schools offering free vision testing kits for teachers or other school staff can use. These are some examples which members have noticed:



    The BIOS is not able to endorse these campaigns as there is no evidence to support the approach. The information that teachers and parents receive about children’s eye care should be balanced, presented in a clear and unbiased way, ensure best practice and be scientifically accurate. 

    There is concern in England that a lack of awareness of the National Screening Committee (NSC) guidance on the 4 to 5 year vision screening is leading to a failure in the commissioning process for both the screening and the onward care pathway for children who fail the screening.  The BIOS is working with all stakeholders in children’s eye care to ensure that the specification and commissioning of vision screening contracts occurs in a consistent way that delivers on NSC recommendations.  It is important that the NSC guidelines for universal vision screening of children are not undermined.

    In Scotland Orthoptists have a government mandate to deliver the screening.  In Wales Orthoptists are working with the Welsh Government for Vision Screener-delivered testing and have an agreed all-Wales Vision Screening Care Pathway. In the Republic of Ireland Orthoptists are working with the Health Service Executive to review current provision of screening and the screening care pathway. In Northern Ireland there is regional vision screening in schools with all 4 -5 year olds a having a vision test by nurses trained by Orthoptists.

    We must ensure that the public are not misled, and defend national evidence-based guidelines.  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.

    Suggested local action for Heads/Leads of Orthoptic Service - this is a letter you can send to head teachers in your area to let them know if you already offer free vision screening for 4-5 year olds Free Vision Screening Letter_19 01 16.docx


  • 19 January 2016 1:48 PM | Anonymous

    Part-time Orthoptist Vacancy Dublin, Ireland

    A Part-time Orthoptist is required for a dedicated Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus practice in South Dublin. Applicants should possess a degree in Orthoptics from either Liverpool, Sheffield or Glasgow Caledonian Universities or equivalent.

    Post qualification experience is desirable.

    Expiry date 28th February 2016. Please forward your CV to info@blackrockeyecare.com or telephone 00353-1-2103653

    More information from http://www.blackrockeyecare.com/

    Full time Care & Services Research Officer, MS Society 

    ·         Salary: £27,395 - £31,564 plus excellent benefits

    ·         Closing date: 21 Jan 2016 at 8:00AM

    ·         Published date: 06 Jan 2016

    The MS Society is looking for a Care and Services Research Officer to join the research team and help run our multi-million pound research grants programme, as well as enable us to build their own evidence around the needs of people affected by MS in the UK. There will be an emphasis on generating evidence as you will be part of a team involved in the 2016 My MS My Needs project. This is an exciting opportunity to analyse the results of a major MS Society research project. In addition you will play a key role in implementing the new research strategy, and taking forward the results of the ground breaking James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership.

    They are looking for an enthusiastic individual with a detailed understanding of a range of research methodologies, and a proven ability to apply them in answering complex research questions. You will also have the organisational ability to effectively coordinate the care and services research programme, ensuring that funding decisions are informed by the expert opinions of people affected by MS and relevant scientists and health professionals. Above all you will be committed to using your expertise to help the MS Society build the evidence base around how best to support people affected by MS, and apply that evidence in their work.


This page shows public  news of interest to BIOS members and the wider public.

British and Irish Orthoptic Society

01353 66 55 41

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