The Association for Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians (AIO) has written an open letter to the GOC to ask why optometrists already qualified to offer enhanced services are required to undertake additional training in order to tender for the provision of enhanced services.

In a letter copied to the College, Locsu and the AOP, the AIO questioned the ‘overriding assumption’ optometrists were not competent to undertake roles for which they have been trained, addressing schemes as glaucoma referral refinement, MECS and cataract referral pathways.

The organisation also questioned if it was appropriate to have a single provider of the prescribed training.

Christian French AIO Chairman said: ‘The AIO Council has discussed this issue on many occasions and is surprised that no-one appears to have challenged the need for Optometrists to have to spend their own time and money to train to offer clinical services which they are already qualified to provide. It is time that this is challenged and AIO has taken responsibility for doing so.’