• 16 September 2016 3:49 PM | Anonymous

    The Royal College of Ophthalmologists

    The Royal College of Ophthalmology (RCOphth) strongly recommends orthoptist led UK National Screening programme for children. The BIOS and orthoptists are delighted to have this support!

    The UK National Screening Committee (NSC) has recommended orthoptist led screening for visual impairment in all children aged 4 – 5 years. http://www.screening.nhs.uk/vision-child

    From October 2015, responsibility for the funding of vision screening of 4-5 year olds was passed from NHS CCGs to Local Authorities.  However some Local Authorities fail to commission this vision screening, or are even decommissioning screening, because of budgetary pressures.  This shows lack of awareness of the NSC guidance and results in failure to provide a quality assured care pathway for those children with visual impairment or ocular disease who would have been picked up by the vision screening.

    Read the full statement here https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/2016/09/rcophth-strongly-recommends-orthoptist-led-uk-national-screening-programme-for-children/

  • 07 September 2016 10:12 AM | Anonymous

    BIOS Response to Good Morning Britain (GMB) - Eye Can See Campaign - (Programme aired 6th September 2016)

    We have worked tirelessly with programme makers from GMB in order to promote the profession, eye health care and the evidence-based Vision Screening Guidelines - and provided information, comments and suggestions for content. We even have facilitated filming of vision screening sessions at short notice in schools and the onward referral process. A BIOS representative was planned to be on the programme later this week, but was dropped by the producers.

    As with any mass market TV show which often has to simplify issues - it does not necessarily reflect the time and effort that many (from the professional body and individual orthoptists) have put into giving extensive background information. The "easy" story is the service provided by the high street and encouraging referrals to already stretched services; the more difficult one is that NHS- provided Vision Screening services are patchy, particularly across England because of the change in commissioners.

    We understand that programme makers face a difficult balancing act and are often short of time. However, the BIOS is disappointed that it was unable to put forward a more evidence-based viewpoint to this piece and have particular concerns regarding the quiz on the GMB website – it is likely that every child in Britain would fulfill at least a couple of those criteria and could create unnecessary worry for parents and guardians. 

    The NHS potentially needs now to be braced for a flood of referrals from high-street opticians who feel they are not able to test pre-school children adequately and then refer them to hospital services. This means all eye health care professionals – opticians, optometrists, orthoptists and ophthalmologists – may be affected.

    Vast numbers of additional “free” eye tests and glasses (some of which will be of marginal evidence-based benefit) are not free, they will be paid for by already stretched NHS budgets.

    The stance of the National Screening Committee (1), BIOS (2) and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (3) is very different from GMB and Specsavers’ agenda.

    1. http://legacy.screening.nhs.uk/vision-child

    2. http://www.parallelvisionproblems.org.uk/index.php/vision-screening/

    3. https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/standards-publications-research/commissioning-in-ophthalmology/vision-screening-for-children/

    Orthoptists – if you can collect evidence of increase of paediatric referrals because of the coverage in September – then please do. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/K5HKVCN





  • 04 August 2016 5:43 PM | Anonymous

    The new Curriculum Framework from the British & Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS) is launched this month!

    It updates knowledge and the skills requirements that BIOS considers are essential for entry-level orthoptists, helping also to define the Orthoptic role.

    Curriculum Framework_July 2016.pdf

    Education, training and regulation in Orthoptics is driven by core competencies required by the profession of a new graduate entering the workplace.

    Any undergraduate curriculum also provides a foundation for continuing postgraduate professional development and the areas which may be expanded and developed post-graduation, allowing Orthoptists to take on extended roles within the eye care team.

  • 22 July 2016 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    Congress 2016 TUC Congress 2016 will be at The Brighton Centre during 11-14 September.

    BOSTU would like to hear from TU reps who would like the opportunity to attend with BIOS & BOSTU Adviser, Lesley-Anne Baxter. All expenses will be paid including travel and accommodation.

    Last year Sam Aitkenhead attended and not only won an RMT Grand Draw Eurostar trip for two to Paris/Brussels, she also made a speech to congress for good measure!

    If you want to experience the buzz are interested in trade union and employment relations and would like the opportunity to go - please contact Lesley-Anne Baxter ASAP on mailto:lesleyanne.baxter@orthoptics.org.uk

  • 21 July 2016 10:13 PM | Anonymous


    As a result of consultation which BIOS responded to (on proposed cuts to AHP bursaries) there is some acknowledgement from the Government that orthoptic students need financial support for clinical placements.

    We continue to lobby on all aspects of the Spending Review cuts (from November 2015) which could adversely affect Orthoptic student numbers in the future.

  • 11 July 2016 9:04 PM | Anonymous

    NEWS RELEASE - 7 July 2016

    Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning: Eye health sector intervenes to stop patients losing sight

    Warnings that hospital initiated delays and cancelled follow up appointments are at crisis point, putting patients' sight at risk, have led to a new cross-sector initiative to release pressure off the hospital eye services by treating more people in the community.

    To meet these challenges the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC), which represents the major charity, clinical and provider organisations in the sector, has stepped in to launch a new Primary Eye Care Framework1 for eye health services. The Framework will help commissioners address capacity issues in their area by delivering more support in primary care settings in line with the NHS Five year Forward View.

    The new Framework complements the Community Ophthalmology Framework2, published by the Clinical Council in 2015, and will empower commissioners and providers to release capacity within hospital through a multidisciplinary approach to treat the right patient in the most appropriate service.

    Launching the new framework David Parkins, Chair of the Clinical Council said:  “Patients are now at risk of losing their sight because of delayed appointments and capacity pressures. Radical change is needed and we urge all Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Eye Health Networks to measure their existing services against these frameworks and use them to expand local capacity to meet need as part of their local Sustainability and Transformation Plans.”

    President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Professor Carrie MacEwen, supports the review of services to ease pressure on overstretched hospital eye services and said: “It is critical that the ophthalmic sector develops frameworks that support the growing demands made on the multi-disciplinary workforce. This team provides primary and secondary care for patients and we need to ensure that it is delivered through consistent and recognised training and education standards.  We advocate the right eye care professional, at the right time and in the right setting.”


    1, 2 http://www.college-optometrists.org/en/EyesAndTheNHS/devolved-nations/england/clinical-council-for-eye-health-commissioning/ccehc-framework.cfm


    Notes to editors


    ·         The Royal College of Ophthalmologists

    ·         The College of Optometrists

    ·         Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

    ·         Association of British Dispensing Opticians

    ·         British and Irish Orthoptic Society

    ·         Faculty of Public Health

    ·         International Glaucoma Association

    ·         Macular Society

    ·         Optical Confederation (including Local Optical Committee Support Unit)

    ·         Royal College of Nursing (Ophthalmic nursing forum)

    ·         Royal National Institute of Blind People

    ·         VISION 2020 UK



  • 30 June 2016 2:03 PM | Anonymous



    We will be opening the online workshop for the second time on Monday 4 July to gain wider views on the Allied Health Professions emerging Mandate for Change. The Mandate describes:

    • 4 ways AHPs will impact health & wider care system.
    • 4 areas of commitment to achieve this change.
    • 4 themes which AHPs need to focus on to deliver this.

    We are committed to working in partnership with patients and citizens in communities to make the most of their valuable insights and ideas and are, therefore, particularly keen to hear from service users/patients, carers and the wider public. Their direct experience of services delivered by AHPs means they have unique insight in to what works and this can be used to improve services.  We believe this is an essential part of making health and care services better for everyone.

    We would also like to hear from other organisations and professionals working in health, care and the wider system who work in collaboration with AHPs and their services to offer their view on this emerging mandate. And, for those AHPs who contributed to the first phase of this work, imagine the impact if you asked or enabled just one patient or person in the wider community to share their view and have their voice heard.

    Please log on to the website using the URL https://ahp.clevertogether.com  at any time from 4 to 15 July to view the consensus output from the first part of the AHP consultation and offer your thoughts on whether the mandate, as it is expressed at this stage, makes sense to you.

    For further information please take a look at Suzanne Rastrick’s, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, NHS England, blog here. https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/06/suzanne-rastrick-11/

  • 18 May 2016 8:30 AM | Anonymous

    Orthoptic Day – June 6th 2016

    Mark your calendar for this important date in the orthoptic calendar to promote and celebrate the profession internationally.

    What is World Orthoptic Day? The International Orthoptic Association (IOA) is the global voice of the orthoptic profession which internationally is made up of 15 member national professional organisations and 6 associate member organizations. IOA World Orthoptic Day is the opportunity to heighten the visibility of the orthoptic profession and to promote the activities of orthoptists locally, nationally, and internationally.
    When is it? Annually on the first Monday of each June. The aim is that the IOA World Orthoptic Day will be integrated with other national celebrations and promotions of the mission and goals of orthoptic therapy.

    Promoting and Celebrating World Orthoptic Day - Information and Resources - There are many ways to promote and celebrate World Orthoptic Day. Please do share your stories and pictures of how you celebrated World Orthoptic Day by emailing IOA Public Relations at canada@internationalorthoptics.org and also BIOS at bios@orthoptics.org.uk

    The IOA has provided some resources that you can utilise to help promote the event. These items have been designed exclusively for World Orthoptic Day and they can also be downloaded
    from the IOA website. And most are available here for your convenience:

    WOD booklet.pdf

    WOD stickers 2016.docx

    WOD poster 2016_DV.pdf

    WOD Logo CMYK with date 2016 for print.jpg

    This is the winning photographic entry for the 2016 WOD competition taken by orthoptic student Tiffany Yuen from Buffalo, New York, USA.

  • 19 April 2016 10:09 PM | Anonymous

    BIOS full members are eligible to vote for the BIOS Chair Designate (the person who will replace the current Chair, Rowena McNamara, when she comes to the end of her term of office in 2017). The person shadows the current Chair for a year before taking up the role.

    Candidates are Claire Saha and Veronica Greenwood.

    Their manifestos are here:

    They are featured in April Parallel Vision - the monthly e-magazine for orthoptists.

    Claire Saha has also released a 2-minute video
    YouTube video jl9glzt7uU4

    Veronica Greenwood has released a 2-minute video


    Voting instructions have been sent out w/c 25th April and voting closes 6th May. You have time to study the candidate information, ask questions if you want any clarification via mailto:bios@orthoptics.org.uk and make your choice.

    If you vote multiple times the last vote only counts. If anyone votes 10 times or over - they will be disqualified from the process.

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

British and Irish Orthoptic Society

0203 853 9797

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