To mark World Orthoptic Day 2020, BIOS have released a video focusing on the advanced and extended roles of orthoptists.

While orthoptists are primarily experts in the diagnosis and management of vision disorders and eye muscle problems, in recent years they have increasingly taken on roles that are advanced or extended beyond their primary roles. This has been vital to support the ever growing ophthalmology service in the NHS, a role that has become particularly vital as these services look to manage the situation around the COVID-19 pandemic.

The video therefore introduces some of the common advanced and extended roles taken on by orthoptists, in the words of successful practitioners. It also discusses the importance of these roles any why orthoptists are ideally placed to take them on.

Ophthalmology is the largest speciality in terms of outpatient attendances. The COVID-19 pandemic has further shown the potential for orthoptists to support these often already stretched services.

Promoting the role of orthoptists in advanced and extended roles has been a focus of BIOS’s work for a while. We contributed to the Ophthalmic Common Clinical Competency Framework (OCCCF), which aims to improve opportunities to recruit more non-medical healthcare professionals to take on expanded roles on Ophthalmology. We have also recently joined with other AHPs to call on the government to further expand prescribing rights, giving orthoptists independent prescribing rights, to maximise the positive impact of our members.

World Orthoptic Day

World Orthoptic Day falls on the first Monday of each June and is a day when orthoptists globally promote their profession and cerebrate the fantastic work they do.

It is organised by the International Orthoptic Association (IOA), made up of 15 member national professional organisations and 6 associate member organisations.

For the past few years, BIOS have released a video highlighting the profession, which have become a focus on the day but have also become valuable resources for promoting the profession ever since.

You can watch the videos from previous years on our YouTube channel here.

If you are interested in finding out more:

  • Find out more about Orthoptists and what they do here.

  • Read about our recent work calling for independent prescribing here.

  • Read BIOS’s position on Advanced and Extended roles here.

  • Find out more about IOA World Orthoptic Day here.

Interested in becoming an orthoptist? Find out how on our careers pages.