Optical bodies have found more reason than most to back the government's under-fire Health and Social Care Bill this week.
In a statement to Optician, the College of Optometrists welcomed its emphasis on clinical leadership and stronger focus on public health and measuring outcomes, such as preventable sight loss.
A spokesperson said: 'We are working closely with partners in the sector, GPs and commissioners to make sure eye care remains on the agenda, and we will help prepare new commissioners to engage with optometrists and get the best results for their patients.'
The Association of Optometrists highlighted the Bill's potential to bring uniform GOS contacts. Richard Carswell, acting chief executive of the AOP, said: 'Much of the Health and Social Care Bill is only indirectly relevant to optometry and optics, although we still do not know what the final shape of the legislation will be.
'However, a crucial element is the proposal to transfer GOS contracts from PCTs to the National Commissioning Board. If successful, the transfer could lead to a uniform interpretation of GOS at national level in England, in place of the current patchwork of different interpretations by different PCTs.'
The Optical Confederation has also generally supported the government's proposals, including clinician leadership and consistent GOS approach, together with a reduction in bureaucracy, but added it was 'proceeding with caution'.
A Confederation statement added: 'The challenge with the Health and Social Care Bill itself is that it is overarching legislation leaving much of the detail to be worked out with frighteningly short consultation periods by subordinate bodies such as the NHS Commissioning Board and Monitor.'
The amendments to the bill drew a mixed response from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, while stronger opposition has been found across other health sectors.