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OS sponsored award at Scottish Health Awards

The Scottish Health Awards Event team have announced that an Optometry Award, sponsored by Optometry Scotland, has now been added to the categories eligible for a Scottish Health Award.

Nominations are now open, the closing date is 31st August 2017.

The Optometry Award is for an individual Optometrist providing excellent NHS optometry services for people in Scotland. This award aims to recognise the high quality and dedicated eye care that an individual Optometrist has provided.

Visit www.scottishhealthawards.com for more details and to nominate. 

OS Press Release on GOS fee increase

Optometry Scotland are pleased to confirm that we have negotiated an interim fee increase for 2017/18.

The fee paid for Supplementary examinations will increase to £24.50 backdated to 1st April 2017.

In addition the CET allowance for board listed independent prescribing optometrists will rise to £817 compared to £545 for non-prescribers. More detailshave published a Press Release on “General Ophthalmic Services Fee Increase" on 1st June 2017.

Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport said “This investment supports the recommendations of the recent Community Eyecare Review and is a clear demonstration to the optometry profession of the importance we place on their work as key providers of community healthcare - – particularly in helping us to deliver free eye examinations”.

Members of the Optometry Scotland GOS committee have been in discussion with Scottish Government over the last few months and welcome the recognition from SGHD that the Supplementary Examination fee is the highest priority for investment in the year ahead.
In July more substantive talks will begin on the fees and structure of GOS in light of the recommendations from the Community Eyecare Services Review with a target implementation date of April 2018.

Samantha Watson Chair of Optometry Scotland said ‘This interim fee increase is an important signal to the profession of Scottish Government’s commitment to investment in community eye health. Delivering the recommendations of the Community Eyecare Review depends on the support and commitment of community optometrists and dispensing opticians. We look forward to the development of a fee structure that recognises the outstanding contribution community optometrists and dispensing opticians are making to deliver world class eye care for every community in Scotland.’

Following representation by Optometry Scotland we are also pleased to announce that charging for the submission of paper GOS claims has been postponed for the financial year 17/18. OS will maintain its position that the timeframe for transition to electronic submissions remains unrealistic and will continue to press for further enhancements to the web form being made before considering whether future charges should be applied.

OS statement to the profession: PSD to charge for submission of paper GOS claims

Optometry Scotland is dismayed to learn that despite our best efforts and months of negotiations with Practitioner Services Division (PSD), a decision has been made to charge for paper submission of GOS claim forms.

Whilst we accept that both financial and personnel resource has been made available to develop the web form and engage with willing Practice Management System(PMS) Suppliers for quite some time now, we strongly object to the introduction of charges which we feel is premature. Throughout our discussions with PSD we have been very aware that there is a cost to run an electronic system and paper system in parallel. However, we do not believe that the timeframe for cross-over to electronic submission has been realistic and it is clear that the department now faces a situation that it cannot continue to run the service efficiently on its current budget.

In December 2016 Optometry Scotland raised these issues with Shona Robison, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and we will meet with Scottish Government Health Department this coming Friday 31st March.
We are engaging with our lawyers at present around the legalities of a service charge being implemented for a professional fee, and whether or not this in line with the current regulations as they stand.

In the interim we would strongly advise the profession to either explore use of the web form or if they have PMS, to require that their system suppliers work with PSD in order to develop an appropriate and streamlined solution.

Yours sincerely,

Nicola McElvanney
Chair of Optometry Scotland (May 2015 – May 2017)

Pachymeters for Scottish Optometrists

The Scottish Government has announced further investment to primary care which includes Optometry receiving £1.5 million to purchase pachymeters for Optometrists. Further information will be circulated soon on how this will be applied.

The press release can be downloaded here.

OS AGM / Council Meeting 28th May 2015

AN OS AGM/Council meeting will be held on Thursday 28th May 2015 at 11am in the Camanile Hotel, Glasgow, G3 8HL. There will then be lunch at 12pm with the Council meeting starting at 1pm with an expected finish time of 4pm. Please confirm ASAP if you will be attending both meetings.

Any reports should be sent to Debbie McGill in advance of the meeting and no later than Friday 22nd May. If anyone would like time on the agenda under matters arising please also inform me of this by Friday 22nd May also.  

AGM Business

OS can confirm that we are seeking nominations for Chairman and Vice-Chair, 2015 – 2017, in advance of the AGM. 

The reasons for this is that David Bonellie has confirmed that he will not be standing for the Chairman’s position at the AGM due to a change in circumstances within David’s business, he feels he cannot dedicate the time to the position of Chair that it needs.

Nicola McElvanney (current Vice Chair) has confirmed that she is willing to stand for Chair therefore if Nicola is voted in without contest we will have the Vice chair position to fill.

Please send Debbie McGill your nomination and a synopsis of no more than 500 words to support your nomination.  You should also have two members of Council supporting your application. Nominations should be sent to mto Debbie McGill no later than Friday 15th May. 

SIGN Press Release for OS

The Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN) published a Guideline for “Glaucoma referral and safe discharge” on 25th March 2015.

This guideline recommends new criteria for the evaluation, monitoring, referral and discharge of patients with signs of ocular hypertension or glaucoma and the information that all professionals should give to patients. The criteria and protocols have been developed specifically for Scotland.

The press release can be downloaded here.