5 December 2022

Invitation to tender: UK eye care workforce supply and demand data modelling project

We are looking to commission a suitable organisation or individual to conduct a sector-wide and UK-wide, multi-professional eye care workforce supply and demand data modelling project.

The College of Optometrists, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth), the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), the British & Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS) and the Federation of (Ophthalmic and Dispensing) Opticians (FODO) - together with 11 other organisations - are collaborating on a sector-wide and UK-wide, multi-professional eye care workforce supply and demand data modelling project. 

We wish to commission, via an open tender process, a suitable organisation or individual to conduct the project.

Background

Due to an ageing population, capacity pressures on hospital eye services (exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic), and a growing risk of avoidable sight loss, new models of eye care are being introduced across the UK. There is an urgent need to understand the current eye care workforce and model future workforce trends, in order to meet patient need, optimise services and improve outcomes. A data-driven, multi-professional approach to understanding eye care workforce supply and demand is needed to inform decision-making and interventions relating to workforce planning, investment, training, and deployment.

Outcomes

We want to know what workforce we need, where, and with what capabilities to ensure adequate eye care provision for service users across the UK, now and in the future. The project outputs are to:

  1. Collate available data and develop a projection of the current primary and secondary eye care workforce in each nation of the UK.
  2. Model expected changes in the eye care workforce over the next 5-10 years.
  3. Develop an updated understanding of patient demand in each UK nation over the next 5-10 years.

Project management

The College of Optometrists is leading this project and will provide the day-to-day management of the contract. The project is being co-funded by The College of Optometrists, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth), the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), the British & Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS) and the Federation of (Ophthalmic and Dispensing) Opticians (FODO).

The College has formed an Advisory Group – consisting of both project funders and other stakeholders in the eye care sector to advise and steer the project:

1.           Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO)

2.           Association of Optometrists (AOP)

3.           British & Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS)

4.           Federation of (Ophthalmic and Dispensing) Opticians (FODO)

5.           General Optical Council (GOC)

6.           Health Education England (HEE)

7.           Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW)

8.           Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI)

9.           Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU)

10.         NHS England

11.         Royal College of Nursing (RCN)

12.         The College of Optometrists

13.         The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth)

14.         Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) 

15.         Scottish Government

16.         Welsh Government

Instructions and next steps

We are now inviting potential applicants to submit a proposal regarding the above project. The project specifications, as outlined in part two of the tender, set out the ideal required parameters of the project. We would welcome proposals (with total costs) of completing all or part of the project. 

Tender document
Download the full tender document, which includes the project background, project specifications and the tender process and timelines.

Deadlines
Submissions should be emailed to policy@college-optometrists.org by 5pm on 13 January 2023.

Questions 
Please send any questions about the project or Invitation To Tender to Neal Suchak, Senior Policy & Public Affairs Officer at neal.suchak@college-optometrists.org

Please note
Any questions received by other Advisory Group members will be re-directed to Neal Suchak. To ensure the tender process is transparent, we will anonymise and share any questions asked, and our responses, on this web page. The Funding Group will make decisions on the awarding of the contract.