Perspectives

AOP by your side

How the AOP is working with members and for members every step of the way

stepping stones
Getty/Baona
“People think their business is the location, the premises or the name, but all of that can change and a business can survive.” So explains optometrist and business owner, Conor Heaney, in one of many thought-provoking comments shared with the OT team in the May edition, and a reflection of the reality we face together.

Over the last six weeks, as the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has changed our lives in the UK, we at the AOP have seen how important membership is to you and what you expect from us as your representative membership body.

Times like these call for action. That’s why we decided to give UK practising members a 20% reduction on membership fees in 2020 to help ease your cash flow – and why we called on others to do the same. That’s why we supported the pause on routine practice, why we worked within the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee to apply pressure on NHS England to offer financial support to practices and explain when they should open and what they should do – and why we continue to stress the need for the provision of personal protective equipment. And that’s why we joined forces with eight other professional associations to write a letter to the Chancellor to raise serious concerns over the Government’s COVID-19 support for workers and in particular the self-employed. We will now also be focusing on members’ needs across the UK as we emerge from the crisis and in the longer term.

When you are uncertain about what each new day will bring, you can find reassurance in the community that stands with you, even in times of isolation

Henrietta Alderman, AOP chief executive

In times like these our clinical, policy and legal teams have focused their efforts on providing rolling updates and FAQ guides in a dedicated coronavirus section on our website, and in answering hundreds of individual queries and concerns. Our webinars – ranging from recent developments to ensure safe practice to mental health support – continue to keep you informed and connected with peers.

When you are uncertain about what each new day will bring, you can find reassurance in the community that stands with you, even in times of isolation. The AOP is working with you and for you every step of the way.