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Opchat,PHN's Online Optical magazine

The Optical Sector's Daily News Magazine keeping you up to date with new products, professional matters, industry news and exhibitions and much more whenever and wherever you want to read it for todays news including archived stories.

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OGI Kids Collection Grows

OGI  OK Kids

Ogi Kids, a stylish line of children’s eyewear designed for the trendsetters of tomorrow, adds seven new frames to the collection this summer.

Crizal Sapphire UV offers relief from Invasive Light

pphire UVStepper

Essilor has launched its brand new anti-reflective Crizal Sapphire UV lens as the ultimate choice for pure vision, comfort and aesthetic experience, and have described it as another expression of its mission of improving lives by improving sight.

Nothing could be more "Stepper"


An elegant, attractive, well-fitting solution to the question of how to hold a pair of lenses correctly before the eye, is at the heart of every STEPPER frame.

Another First for Optinet PMS

Optinet becomes first PMS provider able to e-submit all GOS claims to NHS Scotland

Ocuco launches new iPad application for Acuitas and Focus PMS

Ocuco iPad

Ocuco’s new iPad application delivers convenience and flexibility to front of shop staff and supports engagement with patients through the retail element of their practice journey.

La Matta, The new Capsule Collection


An original capsule collection and sophisticated combinations of precious details and exclusive patterns: here are la matta’s new additions for next season

Many more exciting new products on our New Products Pages.

Suppliers guide and optical directory

The Latest News

First of new generation OCT installed in Kingston independent

John Rose

Independent optometrist, John Rose, is the first in the UK to take delivery of the latest Heidelberg Engineering technology the OCT Angiography Module (OCTA), on the fast OCT2 platform.

Optrafair, The Blue Light Debate and the results of your own Big Blue Light Survey:

Blue LightMalawi
Professor John Marshall introduced the debate, to a large audience at the CET Theatre who were keen to know the current thoughts on Blue Light and from an invited a panel of experts, plus the results of your own Opchat Big Blue Debate.

Optrafair 40 years on, we reflect on its successes.

Optrafair Catwalk
Over 7,000 optical professionals attended Optrafair’s spectacular 40th anniversary event this year, held at the NEC in Birmingham from 14th 16th April.

New Standard processes for claiming for 2nd and Non-Tol Vouchers.

A standard process for submitting applications for second pair and non-tolerance vouchers has been launched by NHS England to take effect immediately. As advised by LOCSU.

College provides advice on Hay Fever.

As the UK experienced hot weather, and the Met office predicted pollen count levels would rise (The Pollen Bomb!) , the College of Optometrists issued advice to those who suffer from hay fever, and how they can look after their eyes:

UK Aid to help the World's leading infectious cause of blindness.


International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announces new funding to 10 Commonwealth countries to tackle trachoma.

Bright and Buzzy, that sums up Optrafair, say organisers

FMO 40th Optrafair cake
Optrafair 2018 opened its doors at the NEC in Birmingham at 9 am on Saturday 14 April to a record number of visitors, over 7000. The weather augured well, with a beautiful warm Spring day greeting the thousands of optical professionals who came to see the very latest in optical technology, frames and lenses.

Specsavers Stand supplies CET points galore.

Specsavers delegates at Optrafair
Around two thousand CET points were earned by hundreds of optometrists, contact lens opticians and dispensing opticians from across the sector on the Specsavers stand at Optrafair at the weekend.

"Dream Partnership is the aim to make eyecare better", says Specsavers at Optrafair

Dharka Shah

A ‘dream partnership’ of ophthalmologists and optometrists working together in the community can help resolve the capacity crisis in the NHS and improve eyecare, and at the same time secure the future of the optometry profession.

AOP launches section wide workforce study

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has commissioned a sector-wide survey, designed to gain an understanding of career aspirations of optometrists and the experiences of employers.

New President inaugurated at ABDO.

Alan Marchant at ABDO

Dispensing Optician Clive Marchant was inaugurated as the new ABDO President in a ceremony at the ABDO Optrafair Dinner in Birmingham on the 15th of April.

American Academy 2018 San Antonio Education Program Announced

The American Academy of Optometry is pleased to announce highlights of the education program taking place at Academy 2018 San Antonio, November 7-10, 2018.

ABDO Uncorrected cyl power gives fresh insights for CL Practitioners.

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians revealed results of a new clinical trial at Optrafair in Birmingham on Saturday 14th April.

Dry Eye Cert sign ups gather force

More than 200 eye care practitioners have signed up to work towards a certificate in Dry Eye as part of a new education programme run by the British Contact Lens Association.

BCLA Council Nominations now open.

The British Contact Lens Association is looking for “committed” and “passionate” members to put themselves forward to represent their peers and shape the future of the organisation.

Time to revisit CL Clinical Care?

The ‘conservative’ approach to contact lens aftercare will be challenged at BCLA UK as part of a drive to minimise drop-outs and maximise patient success.

17 Years at Louis Stone, honoured.

Alan Slocombe

Alan Slocombe worked for Louis Stone for over 17 years. He joined Louis Stone in 2001 having previously worked in logistics for Marks and Spencer for over 25 years.

New Safe Framework for Eye Health.

On Tuesday, The Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC), which represents the leading clinical professions and sight loss charity organisations in the eye-care sector, and whose members include the Optical Confederation, launched a new Systems and Assurance Framework for Eye-health (SAFE)1.

GOS Payments- further delays

NHS Digital has experienced technical issues with the Open Exeter IT system this month, which has unfortunately caused a delay in PCSE being able to process some GOS claims this month.

GOC's High Level Strategic Review.

The GOC has recently published some high level findings from its Education Strategic Review concepts and principles consultation.

2018 Edition of Ophthalmic Lenses now published

The 2018 definitive guide to spectacle lenses, coatings and tints available in the UK has been launched at Optrafair. Ophthalmic Lenses Availability collates information from leading lens manufacturers enabling anyone in the optical industry to rapidly locate the most suitable lenses.

WCSM calls for submissions- Ruskell and Master's Medal

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers is now inviting submissions for these two esteemed competitions, which each year attract significant interest from UK research students and departments.

Vision Van on Road Success for VE

VE Van on the road

National optical retailer scoops Best Corporate Social Responsibility campaign at the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards 2018

LOCSU and Newmedica sign agreement

Community ophthalmology provider Newmedica has entered into a framework agreement with the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) which will see patients returning to their optometrist after cataract surgery for post-operative assessment for a set tariff.

More news here and archived news quarter back by quarter or tap on the upper coloured tabs to go to your favourite story topics.Or use the Search box above

Latest Briefings

Our latest business briefings:


We have a series of briefings revised in May 2013 on VAT:

VAT Briefings Introduction


Paying Too Much VAT Out of Net Profits?

Advantages of Stock Modules for VAT

Practice Management Software

A series of briefings revised in May 2013 on the uses of practice management software:

Practice Management Software: Introduction

Practice Management Software: The Basics

Practice Management Software: Advanced Briefing

Practice Management Software: The Paperless Practice

Improving Business Strengths

Go to our Improving Business Strengths Briefing

Keeping Stock Levels to a Minimum

Go to our Keeping Stock Levels to a Minimum Briefing

Contact Lens Report

EUROMCONTACT Contact Lens Report

Report on Drivers' Vision

Report on Drivers' Vision: A report published by The European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO)

The Bribery Act

The Bribery Act: Optical Confederation Guidance


Check out our LOC information and LOCSU secure pages:

LOC Briefing home

LOCSU (LOC Support Unit)

LOCSU Secure Entry Page

A guide to your LOC on the web

Ophthalmology Outpatient Tariffs 2013/14


upcoming events

For further information on any of the events listed below please go to our events page.

10/05/2018 - Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LOC - South West
Jane Pullum Memorial Lecture Lecture: 'Inspiring Futures for People Living with Sight Loss' - iSightCornwall

16/05/2018 - Avon LOC - South West
AGM & Lecture (Lecture details tbc)

23/05/2018 - Somerset LOC - South West
Somerset AGM & Lecture Lecture details tbc

13/06/2018 - Somerset LOC - South West
ACES Peer Review & Lecture Lecture details tbc

26/06/2018 - Somerset LOC - South West
Peer Discussion - 'IG - Understanding How to Implement Data Security & Protection Toolkit Without Fear'

09/07/2018 - Somerset LOC - South West
ACES Accreditation/Skills Workshop update

20/09/2018 - Somerset LOC - South West
ACES Peer Review & Lecture Lecture details tbc

08/11/2018 - Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LOC - South West
Peer Review - Delivered by Essilor

03/09/2107 - ABDO, 199 Gloucester Terrace, London, W2 6LD - South East
Shamir on Lens Design

Optrafair 2018
Mainline OC
Grafton 2018
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