Details of mandatory training ahead of new Wales optometry contract released

Health Education and Improvement Wales also shared that it is working towards new contracts beginning on 21 October

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Further information on the education and training requirements that Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) will deliver to support new optometry contracts has been shared.

HEIW also confirmed that it is working towards new contracts coming into force on 21 October.

Four presentations have been created in order to assist Wales General Ophthalmic Services (WGOS) contractors navigate the change.

The presentations are mandatory and must be undertaken by all contractors who wish to provide WGOS, as well as “any employee performing WGOS services, and any staff employed or engaged in assisting in performing WGOS services.”

HEIW emphasised that “this is a requirement as stated in the new contract regulations from [the] Welsh Government.”

They advised that each presentation should take no longer than 60 minutes. There will be ten multiple choice questions for each presentation, and contractors must receive at least 60% in each to pass.

All four presentations must be passed ahead of the new contract, and continuing professional development (CPD) certificates will be provided for each. An overall course badge will be provided on completion of all elements.

The first presentation, entitled WGOS, explains how WGOS is structured and how it can be delivered.

The second, entitled Make Every Contact Count, outlines how conversations in optometry practice can be used to support patients in making healthy lifestyle choices.

The third presentation, Infection Prevention Control and Sharps Safety, explains how optometrists can ensure safe care for patients through utilising infection prevention control and safely dealing with sharps in practice.

The first three presentations are worth one CPD point each.

The fourth, Improving Quality Together – Improvement Foundations training, covers how quality improvement can be used to support evidence-based decision making to ensure provision of safe, quality care for patients. It is worth two CPD points.

HEIW is urging practice owners and managers to give their teams plenty of time to complete the required training ahead of contracts beginning in October.

Contractors will need to inform Shared Services that all appropriate staff have completed the modules, they said.

To view the presentations, contractors must sign up to HEIW’s learning website, Y Ty Dysgu.

A pdf guide explaining the sign-up process and a guide on how to use the website are available.

HEIW is also reminding contractors that they must complete Eye Health Education Wales (EHEW) training, alongside the four presentations.

The new contract incorporates elements of the EHEW service and therefore EHEW accreditation will be considered the “baseline,” HEIW said.

Those who have not yet completed EHEW training should contact HEIW as soon as possible.

Those who are low vision accredited are only required to complete the four presentations as detailed above. Any further requirements will be communicated by the Low Vision Service directly, HEIW said.

They added that the fact that the new contract “includes a holistic health element... as well as incorporating quality improvement principles” is one of the reasons all contractors, including those already EHEW or low vision accredited, must complete the new training.

“These presentations are standardised for all NHS contractors and bring optometry up to date with other health care providers such as dentists, GPs and pharmacists who have already done this training,” the communication said. “The quality improvement training and Making Every Contact Count training are standardised for all healthcare providers in Wales.”

HEIW also noted that upcoming NHS webinars will assist in explaining the changes found in the new contract.

Those with questions should contact HEIW via email, including ‘YTD’ in the subject line.

Questions on paperwork should be directed to [email protected].