1. Optometrists should become the first port of call for all eye problems and should be able to access NHS data for their patients that may be relevant to eye conditions

    2. The GOS Contract needs to be revised to take account of modern practice and more aligned with the models in Scotland and Wales

    3. Refraction should continue to be regulated under the Opticians Act.

    4. Any ‘whistle blowing’ implemented by the GOC should be through a third party and not the GOC itself. Standards for students should only apply when they are dealing with patients.

    5. The GOC should be challenged to police illegal practices in the supply of optical products in the UK. Adjustable focus eyewear should only be fitted and supplied under the direction of Optometrists or Dispensing Opticians. All professionals should report any instances of illegal activities to the Regulator.

    6. Enhanced pathways should be agreed by all the relevant national bodies, nationally adopted and centrally funded. Optometrists should be empowered to manage simple eye conditions without having to refer patients to secondary care providers.

      • In the meantime, AIO will support LOCs engaging with CCGs to implement the LOCSU strategies.

      • In particular, the Government should fund a National strategy for Optometrists to screen all groups of people who are at risk of glaucoma, and direct referral pathways should be established from Optometrists to Ophthalmologists for patients where the disease has been detected.

      • Also, ocular hypertension and glaucoma in a stable stage should be managed by Optometrists in a primary care situation with a seamless system of referral back when significant changes are found.

    1. The Government should make additional funding available so that Dispensing Opticians receive the same financial support for CET as Optometrists

    2. AIO advocates the introduction of a Doctor of Optometry Degree and use of the term Doctor of Optometry for those holding appropriate higher qualifications. (Further discussions with the academic community are required). In the interim, professionals should continue to use the current terms of Optometrist and Dispensing Optician.

    3. AIO strongly opposes any commercial pressures which compromise the delivery of professional clinical service by its members in the course of their professional work.

    4. Any national contracts concerning vision should be awarded in the best interests of patients and not necessarily to the lowest cost tender.

    5. All AIO members should strive to sign up to Eye Promise