Scottish Eyecare Body Launches Workforce Survey

10/07/2024

Optometry Scotland (OS), the representative body for optical professionals, has launched a
survey into workforce dynamics across the optometry sector in Scotland.


Issued to optometry practices across the country with support from stakeholders, including the Association of British Dispensing Opticians, Association of Optometrists and Federation of (Ophthalmic and Dispensing) Opticians, the survey findings will be used to inform OS on the changing needs of the workforce.


This is a unique opportunity for practices to bring their views to OS for representation at Holyrood level, mainly due to changes coming to the undergraduate optometry degree in Scotland.


Eilidh Thomson, vice-chair of Optometry Scotland, said: “As a membership body, our responsibility is to represent the views of our members.

“This is a crucial piece of research which will allow us to get a real sense of what the workforce needs in the coming years.

“We’d urge every practice to complete the survey to help us build an accurate picture of the community optometry landscape in Scotland.


“We want to be proactive and demonstrate to government officials that we understand our workforce needs to prepare for the future.

“Ultimately, these resources will help us to continue to provide the world-class eye care Scotland is renowned for, at a universal level.”


In September 2023, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Scottish Government, NHS Education for Scotland (NES), Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of the Highlands and Islands on changes to the degree qualification.


While this allows students to undertake a 5-year Master’s course at the outset, which includes an independent prescribing qualification, concerns remain over a fluctuation in supported student numbers.


Optometry Scotland has a proven track record of successfully advocating for optical professions.


Last year, OS secured a 6% increase in General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) fees paid to optometrists in Scotland, following extensive liaison with the Scottish Government.

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