This page shows public news of interest to BIOS members AND visitors.
  • 09 July 2014 3:48 PM | Anonymous

    The BIOS has been flagging particularly at its Dream Team events that the Better Care Fund - set aside to assist with integration of health and social care in England - means no new money.

    This Health Service Journal article takes the story forward a step demonstrating that “the better care fund is well intentioned but with no new funding, it is papering over the cracks of deteriorating NHS finances and social care budget cuts.”

    Better care fund bailout for acute trusts is agreed

    Better care fund cash will be used to compensate acute hospitals when local integration initiatives fail to reduce emergency admissions, the Department of Health has announced.

    This modification was set out this week by the DH and the Department for Communities and Local Government following a ministerial pledge last month that an element of “risk sharing” would be incorporated into the initiative.

    The plan follows widespread fears from NHS providers that they would be placed at financial risk if the integration project did not lead to lower hospital admissions. NHS England is also said to be worried about ensuring local better care fund plans are financially sound.

    Under the fund, £3.8bn will be placed under the joint governance of clinical commissioning groups and local councils. Of that sum, £1.9bn of it will come from a new topslice of local CCG commissioning

    The new arrangement will ensure £1bn of this remains within the NHS, and will depend upon performance against a planned cut to accident and emergency admissions. In each area a set amount of the fund will be initially held back, based on the value of savings that are planned to be generated through reduced emergency activity.

    Local targets to cut A&E activity will be agreed by councils, CCGs and NHS England area teams.

    The DH has not set a firm national target, but HSJ understands the minimum expectation will be a 3.5 per cent cut in A&E admissions in 2015-16. If achieved, this would equate to savings nationally worth £400m.

    Under this scenario, if plans are successful and savings are achieved through falling A&E activity, the money will be released to be spent on integrated care as they deem appropriate. If A&E activity does not reduce, the money held back will be used to pay for it. The remainder of the £1bn not dependent on A&E activity will also have to be spent within the NHS on non-acute services.

    Older woman and younger woman, nurse, smiling at each other

    The move is intended to help ensure more joined up community health and care services ‘for some of our most vulnerable citizens’

    If every area set a target of 3.5 per cent reduction in A&E, that would leave £600m to be spent within the NHS.

    The changes represent an evolution of the performance-related element of the fund originally set out by ministers, which would have seen some of the funding held back if local areas failed to demonstrate improvement on a range of performance measures. That regime was scrapped last winter when ministers decided it would be “inappropriate” to take money away from areas struggling to make improvements. The new arrangements ensure that there are no financial penalties, but will direct the money to hospitals where necessary.

    Richard Humphries, assistant director for policy at the King’s Fund said: “This announcement is a sign of growing anxieties within government as the NHS heads towards a financial crunch in 2015-16.

    “The better care fund is well intentioned but with no new funding, it is papering over the cracks of deteriorating NHS finances and social care budget cuts.”

    He added that the changes will ease fears among NHS providers, but will add to the strain on councils.

    “Sticking plaster solutions will not deal with the significant challenges facing social care, nor will they address the growing funding pressures facing the NHS.

    Unless significant additional money is found, patients and service-users will bear the cost as services are cut and quality of care deteriorates.”

    The DH has also said today that 80 per cent of better care fund plans were on target to significantly improve local services through integrated care.

    The local better care fund plans are still being assured. However, 14 have been identified as being “fast tracked” for more rapid development, so they can act as examples to everywhere else. These are:

    • Dudley
    • Hammersmith and Fulham
    • Kensington and Chelsea
    • Westminster
    • Greenwich
    • Leeds
    • Liverpool
    • Nottinghamshire
    • Reading
    • Sunderland
    • Rotherham
    • Torbay
    • Warwickshire
    • Wiltshire

    Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Local authorities and the NHS are making excellent progress in developing plans that will give patients better, joined up care and allow hospitals to focus on treating the people who really need to be there. The plans are packed full of ideas and show that strong partnerships are being forged with different teams like never before.

    “Successive governments have talked about bringing the NHS and social care together for decades – this is the first, transformative step to making that a reality.

    “We will continue to nurture and support the development of these plans to deliver our shared ambition so that every part of the country provides better care for patients closer to home.”    

    Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “This marks an important step in ensuring more joined up community health and care services for some of our most vulnerable citizens, and we will now be working closely with our partners in local government and the local NHS and many others to ensure the rigour of the local planning matches the scale of the transformation we all want to see. The NHS will widely welcome this collaborative approach.”

    The Foundation Trust Network welcomed the changes, but chief executive Chris Hopson added: “Significant risk still remains. Local areas are being asked to plan for a 3.5 per cent reduction in emergency admissions in 2015-16  when last winter, the mildest in a century, admissions rose by 4 per cent and trusts are reporting similar, if not greater, increases for the first quarter of 2014-15.

    “We have less than 300 days to put the new patterns of care in place to deliver these reductions. Whilst some plans have been produced in collaboration with providers, many of our members also tell us that they are still not fully involved in this planning process.”

  • 27 June 2014 12:04 PM | Anonymous

    NHS England is pleased to announce the appointment of Suzanne Rastrick as Chief Allied Health Professions Officer.

    Suzanne will take up the pivotal role in September, taking the lead in developing the vital contribution from the 12 allied health professions (AHPs) to further improve the commissioning and services provided by AHPs to achieve better outcomes for patients after illness and injury. 

    She will work alongside colleagues both within and outside of NHS England, as the senior adviser to the Department of Health on AHP matters, as well as representing England’s health professionals on the international stage

    Suzanne qualified as an Occupational Therapist (OT) from Oxford in 1986 and began her career in the acute hospital sector.

    She was one of the first allied health professionals (AHPs) to hold a substantive Director of Nursing post. She has also been Chief Executive of a Primary Care Trust Cluster, and has a Non-Executive portfolio in the commercial and not for profit Housing Sector and sits on a number of national groups.

    Since 2013, she has played a prominent role in clinical commissioning, as Interim Chief Executive of NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group during its shadow form, followed by Director of Quality.

    NHS England’s National Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said: “Suzanne has a proven track record in representing the allied health professions and in commissioning. Her appointment will help to keep AHP expertise at the heart of our services and provide a firm focus on the delivery of patient-centred care.”

  • 14 June 2014 4:23 PM | Anonymous
    Retweeted by Simon Parry (@infobo_com):

    @FollowBIOS Bios is one of the top performers in the trade union website league table, moving up 4 places http://t.co/ElKhJpX7KP 
    Trade Union Website League Table 2014

    We are at number 31 - ahead of UNITY

    Simon Parry writes:

    Source: moz.com and Google, June 2014

    This is the third year that I’ve carried out the analysis and for the first time the top union has changed. UNISON, previously first, has slipped to second place. Unite have now moved to the top. In third position is the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, followed by the British Dietetic Association and the NUJ.

    The biggest riser is Prospect, who has moved up from 19th to 13th. I provided Prospect with advice on search engine optimisation, so I’m pleased to see them moving up. The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists has increased five places to 12th while the NUT and the British and Irish Orthoptic Society both go up 4 places, to 10th and 31st respectively. The FBU also do well, moving up 3 places to 18th.

    Biggest risers

    Union Positions moved up
    Prospect 6
    Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists 5
    NUT, British and Irish Orthoptic Society 4
    FBU 3

  • 25 May 2014 12:18 PM | Anonymous

    National Glaucoma Awareness Week
    9th to 15th June 2014

    Action for Sight: book an eye health check

    This year’s National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2014 is urging people to take Action for Sight, and have regular eye tests, particularly if they are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma. People of African-Caribbean origin are four times more likely to develop the condition, and are more likely for it to appear earlier and for it to be more severe, when compared to people of European origin.

     Early detection and treatment literally saves sight, as over 90% of individuals who are diagnosed early will retain useful sight for life. Despite such promising results, it is estimated that over 50% of cases of glaucoma remain undetected in the UK.

    Awareness and regular eye health checks are critical. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness. There are no early symptoms and it isn’t until the condition is fairly advanced that people recognise that there is something wrong with their vision. Once vision is lost, it cannot be recovered. A simple eye health check can pick up the condition early and treatment, which most commonly includes taking eye drops, means most people will maintain sight for life.

    The IGA will be supporting the Action for Sight campaign through awareness packs which will be distributed via hospitals, opticians, and through our members and volunteers. Advertising at bus shelters in London and promotions with The Voice newspaper and Nigerian Watch newspaper and website will focus on the increased need for the African-Caribbean population to book an eye test. The campaign will also be supported by the launch of new research into general awareness and understanding of glaucoma.

  • 19 May 2014 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    Change is afoot for BIOS as you will see from Parallel Vision (when it is released later this week), this newspost on the BIOS website and other media, and the presentation attached

    Please read, inwardly digest, let us know if you have any questions and complete the attached SurveyMonkey by 12th July. You can ask questions face to face at events being held in May, June and early July or contact BIOS Officers listed in the presentation.


    It's your BIOS and we want to hear your views!

  • 12 May 2014 3:10 PM | Anonymous
    Congratulations to Alison on receiving her Fellowship Award today!

    Picture shows Alison receiving her certificate from Chair Designate, Rowena McNamara (left)
  • 16 April 2014 2:08 PM | Anonymous

    World Orthoptic Day is held every year on the first Monday in June - this year it is on 2nd June. It is a day when orthoptists globally can promote the profession and its work. They can:
    • showcase the significant role the profession makes to eye health
    • raise the profile of the profession
    • use this day to campaign on behalf of the profession and its patients/clients to governments and policy makers

    The day marks the unity and solidarity of the Orthoptic community around the world. It is an opportunity to recognise the work that orthoptists do for their patients and the ophthalmic community. The International Orthoptic Association aims to support member organisations and individual orthoptists in their efforts to promote the profession and to advance their clinical expertise, using World Orthoptic Day as the focus.

    What Materials are Available
    • World Orthoptic Day flyers: to distribute directly
    • A World Orthoptic Day poster: to put up in public places
    • World Orthoptic Day logo: to download and get printed locally on national, state, provincial or clinic posters, t-shirts, stickers, caps, calendars, bookmarks, bags, e-cards or that can be added to social media such as Facebook
    • Stickers: to download and print on standard printer labels

    WOD booklet.docx

    Download the above resources for free at the members section of the IOA website www.internationalorthoptics.org and please let Prof Gail Stephenson mailto:rocket@liv.ac.uk know of your planned activity and send her photos and information from your events.

    Want to write a press release or encourage your hospital's communications or PR department to help? See the press release from Musgrove Park last year  http://www.musgroveparkhospital.nhs.uk/about-your-hospital/news-and-events/latest-news-releases/2013/may/heard-of-orthoptics-well-come-and-find-out-more/

  • 10 April 2014 9:42 AM | Anonymous
    The CPD system is back up: apologies to members for any inconvenience experienced as a result of the outage.
  • 28 March 2014 2:25 PM | Anonymous

    The HCPC is moving forward in their remit to ensure the standards of conduct and performance are fit for purpose. As you may know, the BIOS was involved in the generic standards of competency recently and these have been updated to include the safe use of social media. As a clinician it is an individual's responsibility to know what is covered by the HCPC in terms of performance and ethics of safe care.

    BIOS members - Please read this document as it follows on from the workshops we undertook last year on a safe environment to raise difficult issues as well as what is personally regarded as professional behaviour. 

    Lesley-Anne Baxter, BIOS Chair

    HCPC SCPE presentation - March 2014.pdf

    The HCPC updated advice on SCPE on March 25th during a focus group event - slides as above


  • 25 March 2014 11:54 AM | Anonymous

    As featured in Parallel Vision February and March Editions - the AHP day takes place on 21st May and features our very own Lesley-Anne Baxter and Annette Dillon, BIOS SEN SIG Co-Lead.

    Annette will be talking about the Orthoptist's role in the visual and functional assessment of children with special educational needs in the morning and Lesley-Anne will be talking on Workforce Planning in the afternoon and the challenges that CPD poses.

    Further information on  the day can be found by clicking below:


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