This page shows public news of interest to BIOS members AND visitors.
  • 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."

  • 08 September 2014 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    Supporting your rights - our BOS TU delegate in Liverpool (Lesley-Anne Baxter) taking part in the Sunday evening debates on Employment Rights at TUC Congress.

    She will be there from 7-10 September at BT Convention Centre, Kings Dock, Liverpool representing orthoptists! http://www.tuc.org.uk/events/tuc-congress-2014Photo: BOS TU delegate in Liverpool (Lesley-Anne Baxter) taking part in the Sunday evening debates on Employment Rights at TUC Congress is 7-10 September at BT Convention Centre, Kings Dock, Liverpool http://www.tuc.org.uk/events/tuc-congress-2014

  • 21 August 2014 7:11 AM | Anonymous

    All Together for the NHS - Campaign Day 1st September

    All Together for the NHS is a joint campaign co-ordinated by the TUC (which BOSTU is a member of), bringing together unions from across the health sector.

    Why are we campaigning?  At our meeting last week, unions involved in All Together for NHS agreed to jointly promote a campaign calling for more investment in a quality workforce for the NHS.

    The All Together for the NHS campaign believes that the public deserves a quality NHS with staff that are well motivated and properly rewarded for the vital work they do, with a health service that has enough staff to ensure patients are safe and with a workforce that is properly trained and equipped to deliver quality healthcare in the 21st century.

    The government is seriously under-funding the NHS at a time when demand is rising. Recent figures from the Kings Fund show that spending on the NHS will fall from 8 per cent of GDP in 2009 to 6 per cent by 2020. This is an unprecedented reduction in resources.

    NHS workers are being asked to bear the brunt. Five years of pay restraint has hit our members’ hard, leaving morale at rock bottom. Not only that but we share concerns highlighted by Monitor and NHS Employers that the government’s pay policy is not sustainable at a time when the economy is picking up. Staff will vote with their feet or lose the good will to continue providing the many extra hours of free staff time on which the NHS depends.

    We want ministers to properly fund the NHS to ensure that our health service workforce is rewarded for its dedication, hard work and excellence and that the NHS is able to recruit and train the brightest and best workforce that our patients deserve.

    Monday 1st September – Campaign Day

    As part of the campaign, we are encouraging members to take part in a day of social media and campaign activity on Monday 1st September. The aim of this day is to keep a focus on the issue of funding and pay in the NHS and to highlight our on-going campaign for fair pay for NHS workers.

    Activity on the Day  We are asking members to take photos of themselves and their colleagues, at work, using our ‘NHS workers deserve a pay rise’ prop and then put them up on Twitter on email them directly to us.

    Simply print out the prop, which you can find here: http://www.tuc.org.uk/economic-issues/industrial-issues/public-sector/all-together-nhs/nhs-workers-deserve-pay-rise

    Write a simple message about what fair pay means for you and why you need a pay rise.

    Then take a ‘selfie’ or group photo and post it up on Twitter, with the hashtag #NHSPay

    Alternatively, you can email it directly to  phadley@tuc.org.uk







  • 20 August 2014 8:40 PM | Anonymous

    The BIOS Scientific Conference 2014 is now well underway and taking place 20/21 August at Glasgow Caledonian University.

    See pics of posters exhibition and start of Prof Anita Simmer's address on Amblyopia and Dr Graeme Williams on Ocular Myasthenia.

    Any others to share? How about from Gala Dinner? Or from the walk around Glasgow?

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