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New CET Event Announced

We are delighted to let you know about the next planned virtual CET event. The event will take place on the Zoom platform on Tuesday 7th September 2021 at 7pm. It will be hosted by Locran Butler, Optical Engagement Manager for The Brain Tumour Charity.

You can see more information about the event by clicking here. One CET point is available and is open to Optometrists, Contact Lens Opticians, and Dispensing Opticians. To book your place please email cet@wakefieldoptometry.org.uk . Nearer the time you will then be sent a link to the Zoom presentation.  17th July 2021
 
 
New Community Healthcare Guide
At a recent meeting between Wakefield LOC and local ophthalmology provider Community Health, it was felt that optometry practices would benefit from additional information on the services they provide. As a consequence, Community Health have issued a new comprehensive guide covering the range of eye conditions that they will see and the procedures they can offer. The guide also details the referral pathways available and the local locations they operate from.
Copies of the new guide can be downloaded from the Community Health & Eyecare section of this websites Provider Information section or by clicking here.  23rd April 2021

Local Optometrist awarded MBE in New Year Honours

Ruth with a patient

Local Optometrist Ruth Perrott has been recognised in the 2021 New Year Honours list and has been awarded the MBE. Ruth, who has practices in York and Castleford was named in the Overseas and International List for her services to people living with sight impairment in Africa. Her first seven trips to Africa were with Vision Aid Overseas but decided to continue the spectacles service alone when VAO stopped the direct service clinics and went on to make 16 trips in total to various parts of the continent.

Speaking about the award, Ruth said "It feels an honour and a privilege to have this work recognised. Demand is high and job satisfaction drives me on. Many thousands of people have had their quality of life restored and can continue to work and support a family thanks to their new spectacles". Spectacle recycling continues to this day. With the valuable assistance of Rotary York Ainsty every pair is washed, serviced, focimetered, and labelled and Ruth has been able to support clinics in Kenya, Yemen, Sri Lanka and Fiji Islands where there is sufficient expertise to handle the distribution.


 
Optometry Fees Increased from April 1st
The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that it will increase GOS sight test fees by 1.9% from April 2021. The GOS CET allowances and pre-registration supervision grants will also rise by the same percentage. The fees for GOS sight tests in England were last increased in April 2015 by 1% and since then, optometry have endured five consecutive years with no fee increase, despite costs having continued to rise.

In response, Paul Carroll, OFNC Chair, said: “The 1.9% increase, welcome though it is, does not fully address the erosion of GOS fees by inflation in recent years.” “After 5 years without any increase to reflect the rising costs of care, a 1.9% increase in GOS fees now will understandably disappoint a loyal and hard-working sector, which has gone the extra mile in keeping eye care services running over the past year when hospital care was often just not available. Nevertheless, we take it as a signal that the Government and NHS England have at last understood the value of primary eye care and the need to move towards fairer treatment of GOS contractors in the future.” “We hope this is the first small step on a journey to a properly funded national sight-testing infrastructure to help meet growing eye health need, focus on prevention and deliver more care outside hospital closer to home.”  1st April 2021

 
Optical Bodies Issue COVID Guidance

During this latest phase of COVID restrictions the College of Optometrists and the GOC have advised that Optometrists should continue to open as normal but to follow their Amber guidance. This prioritises emergency, urgent and essential care on a needs and symptoms-led basis. It states that routine appointments should only be provided if capacity permits, and if it is in the patients’ best interests.' The full College document can be read by clicking here. and the GOC document by clicking here.

Amber Phase guidance prioritises emergency/urgent and essential care on a needs- and symptoms-led basis, but still allows for patients to have an eyesight test if, after undertaking phone triage, the optometrist believes it will be beneficial, that is does not put the patient at risk and that they have the capacity to provide it. Optometrists should encourage vulnerable patients to postpone their routine sight tests to after the lockdown if they are asymptomatic.  9th Jan 2021


To work or not to work?
It can happen to any of us. Out of the blue, we feel a bit warmer than usual and you get an annoying little cough that come to think of it has been there a couple of days. You make yourself a curry for dinner and when it just doesn't taste like normal, the penny drops. The need for a COVID test can of course be not because we feel unwell but because a family member or a work colleague has been forced to have a test or has tested positive.
Once the decision has been made to get a test, the questions begin. Do I have to isolate until my test results come back? My colleague has tested positive but I feel fine so can't I just go to work and see if I get symptoms? Making the right decision may have a big impact on your own health and those around you.

Public Health England has lots of useful guidance including two excellent flow charts to help you to do the right thing. So why not download them now and have them to hand just in case you're the one that needs them?

     Symptomatic Return To Work Guide
     Asymptomatic Return To Work Guide