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06 June 2022

FODO Ireland member update - 6 June

This week:

COVID-19 PPE update

Our update of 6 January set out interim PPE guidance from the HSE-AMRIC, which required the use of FFP2 masks when providing patient care in clinical areas.

The HSE-AMRIC has now updated its guidance and removed the requirement to use FFP2 masks for all care. In a 2 June update, it now recommends using FFP2 masks when providing care to patients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.

As primary eye care practices do not see suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, using FFP2 masks is no longer a requirement. Instead, people providing patient care should continue to use surgical masks.
FODO Ireland welcomes this updated PPE guidance.

Read the complete HSE-AMRIC guidance

Tribute paid in Dail to community optometrists

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has recognised the contribution primary eye care made during the pandemic by ensuring patients had access to essential and urgent eye care.

He said the profession "played a key role in responding to pandemic health needs". He also said he "values the important role community optometrists play in our Health Service in the delivery of holistic patient care".

Read more at FODO

Minister promises action on eye care for children

Speaking in the Dail, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that HSE will advance the transfer of care for children over eight years to local optometrists this year. He also said that he was "fully committed to the development of community services which can facilitate expanded and more integrated provision of eye care in local communities".

The policy team at FODO Ireland is engaging with the government to ensure all children get the high-quality eye care they need and do not suffer detrimentally on long waiting lists for hospital treatment.

Read more at FODO

Minister addresses European Council of Optometry and Optics

Dan Hodgson, FODO Ireland's new Head of Policy and Public Affairs, represented Ireland at the ECOO Spring meetings this year held in Dublin. The Minister for Health for Ireland, Stephen Donnelly, addressed the gathering.

Mr Donnelly said: "Community optometrists are delivering core eye care services to the eligible population of this country through the state-funded Community Optometry Services Scheme. I believe you have the potential to play an even greater role, and my officials are working with the Health Service Executive with a view to contracting more services from acute and community settings out to community optometrists."

FODO Ireland welcomes the Minister's commitment and will continue to liaise with the HSE to make this a reality.

Watch the full address from the Minister

FODO Ireland in the news

In newspaper and radio interviews, FODO Ireland Chair Gavan Mulligan has explained how community optometry can be better used to benefit patients and the rest of the health service.

In the Irish Examiner, he said: "We need to do more in the community to cut waiting lists [so that ophthalmologists] can concentrate on the more important cases".

Mr Mulligan mentioned a programme in Sligo where community optometry does follow-on care and assessments, "freeing up and taking away two to three visits in a hospital". He talked of how COVID measures helped reduce waiting by allowing optometrists to refer directly to the hospital rather than referring to a GP who then refers on. Both initiatives should become the norm across Ireland.

Listen to Garvan speak
on LMFM's Michael Reade show.


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