Welcome to the latest edition of PV. I was delighted to be appointed the Public Health lead for BIOS in September 2017. Since, then much of my work has involved raising the profile of Public Health in orthoptics, but equally raising the profile of orthoptics in the Public Health arena. In addition to representing BIOS on the AHP Public health strategy board, I have had the opportunity to raise our profile at the PHE Falls working group and currently on the Vision UK working group for ‘Public Health messaging’. More recently, I had the pleasure to work with other AHPs and PH representatives on producing the Social Prescribing Framework for AHPs which is a great resource to support our patients in their well-being and also the new UK AHP Public health strategic framework which outlines our five main goals for 2019-2024.
My overall aim as Public Health lead for BIOS is to engage all orthoptists in the ‘Prevention and reducing health inequalities’ agenda clearly outlined in the NHS long term plan (LTP). I am currently collaborating with the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC) and the ‘Vision Screening’ CAG to map vision screening provision across England. The aim of this work is to achieve provision of equitable orthoptic led vision screening to give every child a ‘strong start’ in life as outlined in the NHS LTP.
Public health is now everyone’s business and I do appreciate we are stretched in clinics but having a 2-3 minute conversation may make a difference to our patient’s health. I hope you have a copy of the orthoptic public health posters on display in your waiting area to facilitate having healthy conversations with your patients. We would like every orthoptic department to have a public health champion to drive the public health agenda but also to share and shout about our good practice. We have had some great orthoptic case studies published on the RSPH website illustrating great work to reduce health inequalities and social prescribing.
Please visit our page: https://www.orthoptics.org.uk/resources/public-health/ and get involved by becoming a public health champion
Public Health Lead