Concerns over COVID-19 support package

AOP joins forces with eight professional associations to call on Government to reassess financial aid

Female optometrist at practice

We’ve joined forces with eight other professional associations*, in a letter to the Chancellor, to raise serious concerns over the Government’s COVID-19 support for businesses, the self-employed, recent graduates and directors of limited companies.   

The letter outlines the difficult issues faced by thousands of individuals and businesses who, through no fault of their own, fall through the cracks in terms of eligibility for aid.  

AOP Chief Executive, Henrietta Alderman, said: “Professional associations across the health care sector are voicing the same concerns – we are fundamentally worried about the wider implications of failing these vital groups in the workforce. We’re urging the Treasury to reconsider the financial support packages now to ensure that those who are unable to work are supported going forward.”    

The letter concludes that the financial burden currently placed on these individuals and businesses could have a devastating impact on the UK’s wider health care sector and patient care.  
The letter has five key asks, to: 

  • Allow the 19/20 tax returns of 2019 graduates to be considered for the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) 
  • Remove the £50,000 profit cap on eligibility for the SEISS 
  • Allow limited company directors to receive a grant of up to £2,500 of their monthly salary to bring them in-line with the employed and self-employed schemes 
  • Release Government constraints to enable health care regulators to provide relief on their fees 
  • Include medical service providers within the Expanded Retail Discount Scheme


* Letter signed by:

  •    British Association of Sports Rehabilitators
  •    British Chiropractic Association
  •    British Dental Association
  •    British Veterinary Association
  •    Physio First
  •    The College of Podiatry
  •    The Society of Sports Therapists
  •    The Institute of Osteopathy