30 April 2012 Return to news listings
The first ever online resource to share evidence and information on Ophthalmic Public Health has been unveiled by the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) on behalf of the eye health sector. With the introduction of the new health and wellbeing boards, the Ophthalmic Public Health Network provides information and evidence for anyone who wants to make the case for eye health as part of the local public health planning process. People who will find this site useful include NHS commissioners, health and well being boards, eye health professionals, providers, public health experts and academics.
Bryony Pawinska, Chief Executive of the College of Optometrists, said: “The online network will play a critical part in the sector’s strategy to improve public health. For the first time those providing and commissioning ophthalmic public health will be able to go to a central point to build their knowledge and skills in this important area. We encourage optometrists to get involved by signing up to the network.”
Kathy Evans, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, said: “The Ophthalmic Public Health Network should be a useful resource for clinicians and commissioners trying to find relevant information relating to eye health.”
David Hewlett, Chief Executive of the Federation of the Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians and Vice Chairman of Action for Blind People (part of the RNIB Group), said: “This is a long overdue development for far too long ophthalmic public health experts and people interested in ophthalmic public health have had to work in relative isolation. This should bring everyone together to share experiences and expertise and to build an online community and stronger voice for all those involved in eye health improvement and prevention of sight loss.”
Katrina Venerus, Director of Operations and Commissioning at LOCSU, said: “This is a critical time for getting eye health on the agenda of local health and well being boards and this resource will be invaluable for eye health professionals, academics and commissioners. The site is owned by you – the entire ophthalmic public health community- so needs your contribution whether uploading useful content or taking part in a discussion forum to ensure that the site is a useful tool for all.“
To sign up for the Network:
• Sign up to NHS Networks at www.networks.nhs.uk
• You can then access the Ophthalmic Public Health Network at http://www.networks.nhs.uk/nhs-networks/ophthalmic-public-health-network
The Ophthalmic Public Health Network is being established as part of ‘An Optical Strategy to Improve Ophthalmic Public Health’ (published in October 2011).
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