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Opchat Magazine Professional Matters PagesProfessional Matters News, July to September 2017

Optometry/Dispensing

For Ophthalmology Section Page Click Here.


THE AAOF announces Rosenbloom and Hopkins awards.
AAOF announces the 2017 JOHNSON & JOHNSON Vision Residency Awardees
Hutchinson becomes President at Royal Society of Medicine.
The AAO Foundation selects award recipient for 2017.
College of Optometrists launches series of videos to mark National Eye Health Week.
AAOF announces the 2017 student giving matching gift program recipients.
Fifth successful Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize event delivered with highest attendance yet.
IACLE presents Lifetime Achievement Award at 2017 Congress on Contact Lens Education.
Who’s got your back? campaign launches by AOP.
Heidelberg 9th Picture Competition in Vision Research & Ophthalmology ends September 30th.
Deadline approaching for PCSE claims
GOS Scotland guidance on NHS ophthalmic services.
Health Sector SME webinar and workshops on GDPR for healthcare sector.
Statutory Regulators agree on joint statement on "Conflicts of Interest".
GOC suspends Exeter-based optometrist
Latest OSCE results announced by the College of Optometrists.
GOC erases Essex-based optometrist.
Pressure from Vincent Barker’s family now fixed firmly on GOC.
Eye health sector joined up to help patients remain independent.
News from the General Optical Council (July)
GOC seeks new committee members.
AAO Public Health and Environmental Vision Section Announces 2017 Henry B. Peters Award Recipient.
New CET advice for extended primary eye care services published.
American Academy of Optometry Announces 2017 Award Recipients
GOC appoints three new members to committees.

THE AAOF announces Rosenbloom and Hopkins awards.

September 2017

American Academy of Optometry Foundation Announces the 2017 Alfred A. Rosenbloom, Jr., Low Vision Residency Award Recipient

Rachel YoungRachel Young, OD, Low Vision, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Primary Care resident at the VA Long Beach Medical Center was chosen by a committee of members in the Low Vision Section of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) as this year’s recipient for the Alfred A. Rosenbloom, Jr., Low Vision Residency Award.

Alfred A. Rosenbloom, Jr., OD, DOS, FAAO lead a career marked by stellar accomplishments as a teacher, writer, lecturer and administrator and was the recipient of numerous awards. Dr. Rosenbloom was not only one of the first Ezell Fellows but published more than 75 professional journal articles on topics of low vision rehabilitation, optometric gerontology, optometric education and public health, and co-authored three major textbooks including Vision and Aging.

The award is intended to promote the practice and development of the field of low vision by providing incentive and support to sustain talented optometric residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to practice, research, and education. Edward Chu, OD, FAAO, Staff Optometrist, Co-Residency Coordinator at Long Beach VAMC said “Dr. Young often goes above and beyond what is asked of her when working with Low Vision patients to ensure that not only are their visual needs taken care of, but also their emotional needs as well. I often see and hear her spending extra time with patients after their eye exam is over, reassuring, comforting, and laughing with them. She has consistently shown and continues to develop a compassionate and empathetic approach to treating her patients.”

 

Of the nine applicants who applied to the program, Rachel presented an impressive resume of experience in clinical, volunteer service, research, and poster presentation experience. Rachel will receive a $2,000 education award and a $750 travel fellowship to attend the Academy 2017 Chicago annual meeting in October.

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation selects The 2017 Douglas W. Hopkins Primary Care Residency Award Recipient

Ashley Luke

Ashley Rose Luke, OD, BS, primary care/ocular disease resident at the Zuni Comprehensive Community Health Center and graduate of Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University was chosen by a committee of members in the Comprehensive Eye Care Section of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) as this year’s recipient for the Douglas W. Hopkins Primary Care Residency Award.

Douglas W. Hopkins, OD, FAAO, was a leader within the Primary Care Section and the Academy who passed unexpectedly in 2007. In his honor, friends and colleagues established the Douglas W. Hopkins Primary Care Fellowship Fund. With their generosity and that of Doug’s widow, Roberta, the fund quickly became fully endowed and the first award was issued in 2012.

The award is intended to promote the practice and development of Primary Eye Care by providing incentive and support to talented optometric residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to further clinical experience, research, and education. Marisa Kim, OD, Residency Coordinator at Zuni Comprehensive Community Health Center said, “Dr. Luke will have no problem excelling in her future career as she has the critical thinking skills that make her an excellent doctor.”

Of the twelve applicants who applied to the program, Ashley presented an impressive resume of experience in clinical, volunteer service, research, and lecture presentation experience. Ashley will receive a $2,000 education award and a $750 travel fellowship to attend Academy 2017 Chicago annual meeting in October.

AAOF announces the 2017 JOHNSON & JOHNSON Vision Residency Awardees

September 2017

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 Johnson & Johnson Vision Residency Awards.

Terrance N. Ingraham Pediatric Residency Award


Amand Beaudry

 

 

Amanda E. Beaudry, OD, MS
Southern California College of Optometry
at Marshall B. Ketchum University


Kristen KerberKristen L. Kerber, OD, MS New England College of Optometry




George Mertz Contact Lens Residency Award



Jamie Kuzniar

 

 

Jamie Kuzniar, OD
Indiana University

Kelsey Steele

 

 

Kelsey R. Steele, OD, MS
The Ohio State University
College of Optometry




 

Grace Liao

 

 

Grace Liao, OD
Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University Sheldon Wechsler Contact Lens Residency Award







Trevor Fosso

 

 

Trevor J. Fosso, OD
Illinois College of Optometry





Emily Korszen

 

 

Emily M. Korszen, OD
Pacific University College of Optometry







Jessica Jose

 

 

Jessica Jose, OD
Illinois College of Optometry






These residency awards are envisioned to support post-graduate, advanced training in optometric clinical care, education, and research methods specific to the fields of children’s vision and contact lenses.

The 2017 residents, carefully chosen by peer review members from the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Technologies Section and the Binocular Vision and Pediatric Optometry Section, each receives $2,000 toward their graduate education and a $750 travel fellowship to attend Academy 2017 Chicago, October 11-14, 2017.

The AAOF will recognize these exceptional residents at Academy 2017 Chicago during the AAOF Celebration Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM.

 

The AAOF is once again thankful for the professional relationship between the Foundation and Johnson & Johnson Vision. Their exceptional support for this program continues to support the high caliber of optometric resident education.



Hutchinson becomes President at Royal Society of Medicine.

September 2017

Bob HutchinsonAt last week’s GP with Primary Healthcare section AGM, Dr. Susan Horsewood Lee the outgoing President passed over that role to Bob Hutchinson for the following two academic years starting October this year.

Bob Hutchinson, the CEO of PHN Ltd and Editor of Opchat News and the public education site Mylocaloptician became only the second non-medic to be awarded the office in RSM history.

Speaking to an audience at the Annual Dinner he introduced himself and described his career as an optometrist both in community services and in hospital as well as a long career in primary care and optical politics.

This broad experience, he said, had provided him with an insight on the needs of primary care provision especially from an increasing elderly patient base in the UK.

Now more than ever primary care workers from different professional settings must come together, their combined strength being greater than their individual worth.

“In my two years in office I hope to facilitate shared learning with many primary care professionals at the RSM, which is a perfect setting to learn from each other and to network between professions. I will encourage outside bodies in health to make the most of these opportunities and promote the events to their members.” said Hutchinson.

The AAO Foundation selects award recipient for 2017.

September 2017


BERT C. AND LYDIA M. CORWIN CONTACT LENS RESIDENCY AWARD RECIPIENT

Jesus Martinez
Jesus Gabriel Martinez, OD, cornea and contact lens fellow at the University of Houston, was chosen by a committee of members in the Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies Section of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) as this year’s recipient for the Bert C. & Lydia M. Corwin Residency Award.

The award is intended to promote the practice and development of the field of contact lenses by providing incentive and support to talented optometric residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to practice, research, and education.

John D. Goosey, MD, premiere LASIK, cataract, and corneal surgeon, said “Dr. Martinez, is a very bright and enthusiastic doctor whose expertise in scleral contact lenses was responsible for visually rehabilitating many of my corneal transplant and keratoconus patients.”

 

Of the sixteen applicants who applied to the program, Jesus presented an impressive resume of experience in clinical, volunteer service, research, and lecture presentation. Jesus will receive a $2,000 education award and a $750 travel fellowship to attend Academy 2017 Chicago in October.

College of Optometrists launches series of videos to mark National Eye Health Week.

September 2017


Videos explain a range of conditions, symptoms and treatments for common eye conditions

As part of National Eye Health Week (18-24 September), The College of Optometrists has launched a series of educational videos that explain some of the most common eye conditions experienced by patients.

The videos, which are available to watch on the College’s consumer-facing website LookAfterYourEyes and the College’s YouTube page, detail the signs to look out for and treatments for a range of conditions including glaucoma, cataract, amblyopia and dry eye.

Conditions, and their treatments, are very clearly explained by the College’s in-house experts and Clinical Advisers Daniel Hardiman-McCartney and Dr Susan Blakeney.

The videos are available for members to download and use on practice websites and social media feeds here.

Daniel explains; “We’ve launched these videos during National Eye Health Week to help members of the public understand the importance of regular sight tests. So often, I see patients who have ignored symptoms for quite a while; it’s very important that you know what signs or changes in vision to look out for so you know when to make an appointment with your optometrist. Regular eye examinations should form part of everyone’s health routine, after all looking after your eyes is just as important as looking after the rest of your body.”

AAOF announces the 2017 student giving matching gift program recipients.

September 2017

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) announces the recipients of the 2017 Student Giving Matching Gift Program. The program was created in 2014 to increase AAOF student participation, create a climate of giving and involvement in AAO student clubs, encourage AAO membership, and AAOF participation by offering a matching student travel grant program to attend the Academy annual meeting.

The 2017 recipients and the participating institutions are:

Lindsey Colliver Indiana University School of Optometry
Nicole Schmiedt Indiana University School of Optometry
Stephanie Gee Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Maria Nguyen Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Kevin Stieb Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry
Brittany Wolthuizen Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry
Rachel Fenton The Ohio State University College of Optometry
Elizabeth Lemos The Ohio State University College of Optometry
Jessica Arighi Boyd University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry
Conner Robbins University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry
Emma Wilhite Scott University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry
Jinen (Jay) Shah University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry
Nicole Flowers University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry
Jacob Webster University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry
Bryan Kimura Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry
Bashir Tarraf Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry
Christine Weng State University of New York College of Optometry
Nicole Poon State University of New York College of Optometry


The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) is a 501 (c) (3) philanthropic organization which develops and provides financial support for optometric research and education in vision and eye health to improve clinical patient care. The AAOF is also an affiliate of the American Academy of Optometry.

Fifth successful Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize event delivered with highest attendance yet.

September 2017

On Sunday, the College of Optometrists held the fifth, and most successful, Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize conference to date. The conference, held at the Hilton London Wembley, had its highest attendance, attracting over 230 attendees from across the UK.

Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize featured some of the best received lectures, peer discussions and workshops from Optometry Tomorrow 2017, including content from Raj Das-Bhaumik on lid lumps and bumps, and Dr Margaret Woodhouse on binocular vision and children. Delegates also had the opportunity to attend workshops on a variety of topics such as, AMD, OCT interpretation and Volk lens skills, allowing them to earn up to 9 interactive CET points.

Catherine Bithell, Director of Member Services and Communications, said: “We are very proud to see the success of Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize grow year by year. It’s great to see that the delegates are enjoying the event and benefiting from the various lectures, workshops and peer discussions that are held on the day.”

Delegate, Farah Awan MCOptom, attended the conference and said; “Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize is a great day in the optometry calendar. It provides an opportunity to meet with fellow practitioners and the programme has a diverse content appealing to practitioners from all practice backgrounds.”

Optometry Tomorrow 2018, the College’s annual conference, will be held in Birmingham on 18-19 March 2018. The event will welcome the return of Kam Balaggan, following the success of his top-rated lecture during the 2017 conference. Members will receive a 50 per cent discount on tickets up until 31 October 2017. Tickets can be booked on the College website.

IACLE presents Lifetime Achievement Award at 2017 Congress on Contact Lens Education.

September 2017

The International Association of Contact Lens Educators has presented the IACLE Award for Lifetime Achievement in Contact Lens Education to Australian educator and researcher Professor Deborah Sweeney.

IACLE Awards 2017Professor Sweeney received the award at the IACLE Congress on Contact Lens Education held in Hyderabad, India on 9-10 September.

Her contribution to global contact lens education includes serving as IACLE President from 2000-2011, and as its Secretary and Treasurer for 10 years, having first become a member in 1990. She has held executive roles at the Cornea & Contact Lens Research Unit, School of Optometry and Vision Science University of New South Wales, Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Eye Research & Technology and Vision CRC. Her current role is Pro Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation at the University of Western Sydney.

Professor Sweeney received her award from IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo, following a tribute from Professor Desmond Fonn, recipient of the first-ever IACLE Award for Lifetime Achievement in Contact Lens Education, who was among the IACLE Congress speakers.

She acknowledged the contribution of IACLE’s founders to the association, and the long-term support of the contact lens industry that recognised education was ‘a win for the patient, the practitioner and the market’. ‘IACLE is built on the enthusiasm and collaborative spirit of its members,’ she said. ‘It’s been a personal pleasure – as well as a professional one – to be involved. IACLE will continue to make a great mark on contact lens education.’

Dr Naroo commented: ‘Debbie took over from the late Brien Holden, who was IACLE President from 1991-2000. Des Fonn was Vice President for 15 years and served during both former presidencies. It was this remarkable trinity that moulded IACLE to its current form. They created a global organisation that has reached all corners of the world, currently has more than 800 members, and has helped raise the standard of contact lens education and promote the safe use of contact lenses worldwide, in partnership with industry.

‘Debbie was able to take IACLE through some turbulent times. Through her renewed vision IACLE rose into the global model for eye care education. Debbie is a deserved recipient of this award, which is the highest accolade offered by IACLE.’

The IACLE Congress attracted over 100 contact lens educators and industry representatives from more than 20 countries worldwide to Hyderabad for the two-day event at the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI). The theme for the congress was Translating knowledge into increasing contact lens penetration.

Key learnings were that educators needed to ensure their students had good product knowledge and improved fitting, aftercare and communication skills. Proactive recommendation, ‘getting lenses on eyes’ and addressing dropout were all essential if more people were to wear contact lenses and – importantly – keep wearing them, said Dr Naroo.

The congress was facilitated by IACLE thanks to the generous support of industry partners Alcon, CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson Vision. The event was timed to precede the 2nd World Congress of Optometry, also in Hyderabad (11-13 September), where IACLE contributed the contact lens stream.

The 2017 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Award for the Asia-Pacific region, to recognize and reward achievement in contact lens education, was also presented at the IACLE Congress. The recipient was Professor Koon-Ja Lee from Eulji University, Korea. The award was presented by Dr Gary Orsborn, Vice President of Global Professional & Clinical Affairs for CooperVision, sponsor of the Educator Awards.

Pictured above : Professor Deborah Sweeney receives the IACLE Award for Lifetime Achievement in Contact Lens Education from President Dr Shehzad Naroo (right) after a tribute from Professor Desmond Fonn (left)

Who’s got your back? campaign launches by AOP.

September 2017

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) launches Who’s got your back? – a campaign designed to highlight legal issues faced by optical professionals and what support is available.

Last year around one in four members picked up the phone to seek advice from the AOP’s in-house legal and regulatory experts. While many queries would have been dealt with quickly, others that are more complex will take years to resolve.

For the campaign, the AOP has produced new videos – telling the real-life stories of two members who were keen to share their experience to help those who find themselves in a similar situation. Both faced a General Optical Council (GOC) investigation, arriving at a Fitness to Practice hearing for different reasons.

The videos, which feature anonymous interviews, shine a spotlight on the GOC investigation process, how stressful it can be for individuals, and the vital work of the AOP legal team in this area.

Jenny, who had a case brought against her by a former employer, has 25 years’ experience as an optometrist. Jenny explains what it was like to receive the complaint: “You feel embarrassed, ashamed. It’s just horrible. I think if you are somebody who tries to be a good optometrist, to have something like that come through the post is utterly devastating”

Speaking about the support received from the AOP legal team, Jenny said: “Due to the absolute expertise and diligence of my AOP team, it went into submission after the first week and the case got slung out with no case to answer. Ultimately, if it had gone the wrong way, I might not be an optometrist anymore, which would have been catastrophic for me.”

Sam had been qualified as an optometrist for 15 years before a patient made a claim against him: “Receiving the letter from the GOC in the post will go down as the worst day of my life. Realising that you made a mistake is the worst feeling you could ever go through as a professional. I sat there, I cried, I went home and then I rang the AOP.”

Sam added: “It was one of the most humbling experiences being able to read the references that were given by friends, colleagues and patients. The support was amazing. Once it was all done and dusted, the weight lifted off my shoulders almost instantly.”

Louisa Cliff, Marketing Manager at the AOP, explains why this campaign was important: “The stories of members who find themselves at the sharp end of an investigation are devastatingly real, and the knowledge and support our legal team provides is unique and invaluable. With this campaign, we wanted to find a way to tell their stories anonymously, and showcase the vital work of our legal team who become relied-upon and expert confidantes in the lives of these members at very stressful times.”

Heidelberg 9th Picture Competition in Vision Research & Ophthalmology ends September 30th.

August 2017

Heidelberg Picture competition

Send them your best photo to illustrate the fascination of clinical and basic research in ophthalmology and win attractive prizes.

The topic of the competition is "The Best Photo in Vision Research and Ophthalmology".

The photography may therefore illustrate all topics in the field of Ophthalmology & Vision Research. Be creative!

"The Best Photo in Vision Research and Ophthalmology" will receive:

1st Prize: 750,00 Euro
2nd Prize: 500,00 Euro
3rd Prize: 250,00 Euro

Competition Rules
In taking part in the vision-research.eu Picture Competition 2017, you agree to the competiton rules.Please note: Individual participants can send up to a maximum of 3 pictures.Heidelberg Engineering is a high tech medical device company which designs, manufactures, and distributes diagnostic instruments for eye care professionals. The company’s products are used around the world by ophthalmologists and optometrists to scan patients’ eyes for signs of disease and to assist in the management of patients found to have disease. Early recognition of disease helps to delay and prevent the most common causes of blindness.

Full Competition Rules available here

How to send up to 3 images per entrant click here for online form

Deadline approaching for PCSE claims

August 2017

Ophthalmic Contractors and Performers in England have until Friday 8 September 2017 to submit a claim relating to GOS payment or performers list delays in 2016-17, in the processes agreed with NHS England.

LOCSU and the Optical Confederation have today reminded contractors that they can claim for interest on late payments and an administration allowance for each late payment they have experienced from Primary Care Support England (PCSE).

This applies to GOS sight tests and/or voucher claims submitted up to 31 March 2017. NHS England will also consider claims for reimbursement of bank charges and other costs incurred as a result of late payment where evidence can be provided.

A dedicated form has been provided for claims, which should be emailed to pcse.gos-review@nhs.net by Friday 8 September 2017 with “Ophthalmic payment claim – contractor name – contractor code” in the subject header. Guidance on completing the form can be found on the LOCSU website.

Optometrists who have suffered a delay in obtaining an NHS England Performers List number can submit a claim for a goodwill payment from NHS England. Details of the delay, including the date they first submitted their application to the Performers List to PCSE and the date they received their OPL number, should be emailed to pcse.ppinfo@nhs.net by Friday 8 September 2017 with “Ophthalmic NPL claim – optometrist name – OPL number” in the subject header.

Optical sector representative on the PCSE Stakeholder Forum, Dr Peter Hampson, said: “It is important that all contractors and performers are aware of the opportunity for submitting claims relating to GOS payment or performers list delays, as announced in LOCSU Hot Brief 60, and that the deadline is approaching fast.”

“Many contractors in England have faced considerable levels of disruption due to GOS payment issues so we urge GOS contractors to check their payments’ records and complete the Ophthalmic Payment Delay Form by 8 September if they think they may be eligible to make a claim.”

Dr Hampson, speaking on behalf of the Optical Confederation and LOCSU, added: “We are also conscious that a significant number of optometrists have been impacted by delays in the processing of applications to the Ophthalmic Performers List, so we also encourage anyone who feels they have been affected to email their details to the specified address for consideration.”

GOS Scotland guidance on NHS ophthalmic services.

August 2017

Guidance includes:

1. INCREASE TO FEES FOR SUPPLEMENTARY EYE EXAMS

2. OPTICAL VOUCHER VALUES

3. INCREASES TO CONTINUED EDUCATION AND TRAINING ALLOWANCES AND PRE-REGISTRATION SUPERVISOR GRANTS

4. ADVICE TO OPTOMETRISTS IN RESPECT OF COMPLETION OF GOS(S) 1 FORMS

Summary

1. This letter advises NHS Boards and Practitioner Services of an increase to the fees paid for supplementary eye exams to take effect from 1 April 2017.

2. It also advises that there will be no increase to optical voucher values and allowances for repairs and replacements for 2017-18.

3. The letter confirms:

 An increase in the allowance payable to optometrists and ophthalmic medical practitioners (OMPs) for loss of earnings in respect of continued education and training (CET) for 2016;

 An increase in the allowance, due to additional requirements from the General Optical Council, specifically for optometrists who are registered as independent prescribers for loss of earnings in respect of CET training for 2016;

Read the full memoranda here


Health Sector SME webinar and workshops on GDPR for healthcare sector.

August 2017

GDPR takes effect from 25th May 2018.


The ICO’s Assurance team will be hosting a webinar and free workshops for small to medium organisations who look after heath related personal data, eg physiotherapists, chiropodists and opticians. The webinar and workshops will cover the basics of data protection both now and under the GDPR.

Webinar

The one hour webinar, titled ‘Data protection and information security now and in the future – an introduction for small organisations in the healthcare sector’, will take place on 23 August 2017 at 2pm.

Register now to take part.
Register for the webinar

Alternatively, a recording of the webinar will be available to view on their site here on 24 August 2017. 

It is essential to watch the webinar before attending a workshop to make sure they are right for you and you understand the content.

Workshops

When and where
11 October 2017: Congress Centre, 28 Great Russell Street , London

7 November 2017: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Central Square , Birmingham
9 November 2017: Principal Hotel, Oxford Road , Manchester

What will the workshops cover?

Information security – In light of the recent cyber-attacks on the NHS, learn how to get the basics right.

GDPR – a brief introduction – learn how to start preparing for the changes to the legislation.

Records management – Discuss the lifecycle of a record and how to ensure your organisation has the tools to get it right.

Subject access requests – How to avoid complaints and keep your service users happy.

Who should apply?

The workshops are aimed at staff or managers with limited practical experience of data protection. They are aimed at small to medium sized organisations who process personal information relating to the health or medical condition of all service users.* 

How to apply

Register your interest below before 1 September. Each workshop will cover the same information so you only need to register for one. We will confirm by 8 September if we are able to offer you a place.

Register your interest

The ICO anticipate these events will be popular and therefore cannot guarantee a place for all applicants.

Statutory Regulators agree on joint statement on "Conflicts of Interest".

August 2017

New guidance on managing conflicts of interest for NHS bodies took effect on 1 June 2017. Although the guidance does not apply to bodies that work or contract with NHS England (it does not apply to optical practices, for instance), the principles do still apply i.e. the best interests of the patient must always be put first.

The Joint statement from the Chief Executives of statutory regulators of health and care professionals on " Conflicts of Interest"

This joint statement on ‘conflicts of interest’ sets out our expectations of health and care professionals in relation to avoiding, declaring and managing conflicts of interest across all healthcare settings. It is intended to support the standards or code for each profession and any additional guidance they may have. These professional standards, codes and additional guidance should be the over-riding consideration for professionals. We believe that given the increasing move towards multi-disciplinary teams, there is great value in working together for a consistent approach.

We will promote this joint statement to our registrants, students, and to the public, to ensure they all know what we expect. We will support this with case studies to illustrate the principles of the statement, and show how these issues might arise in different settings. We will encourage all registrants to reflect on their own learning and continuing professional development needs regarding conflicts of interest.

Handling conflicts of interest

Conflicts can arise in situations where someone’s judgement may be influenced, or perceived to be influenced, by a personal, financial or other interest.

We expect health and social care professionals1 to:

 Put the interests of people in their care before their own interests, or those of any colleague, business, organisation, close family member or friend.

 Maintain appropriate personal and professional boundaries with the people they provide care to and with others.

 Consider carefully where conflicts of interest may arise – or be perceived to arise – and seek advice if they are unsure how to handle this.

 Be open about any conflict of interest they face, declaring it formally when appropriate and as early as possible, in line with the policies of their employer or the organisation contracting their services.

 Ensure their professional judgement is not compromised by personal, financial or commercial interests, incentives, targets or similar measures.

 Refuse all but the most trivial gifts, favours or hospitality if accepting them could be interpreted as an attempt to gain preferential treatment or would contravene your professional code of practice.

 Where appropriate, ensure that patients have access to visible and easy-to-understand information on any fees and charging policies for which you are responsible.

FODO has indicated that it will review and provide a summary of this statement to its members.

GOC suspends Exeter-based optometrist

August 2017

The General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, has decided to suspend John Margetts, an optometrist based in Exeter, from its register for a period of 12 months.

A GOC Fitness to Practise Committee found his fitness to practise impaired by reason of misconduct, relating to his failure to provide sufficient or correct information about the risks of laser eye surgery. Mr. Margetts was found to have made misleading and dishonest statements about laser eye surgery, including that laser eye surgery is 100 percent safe.

In making the decision, the Committee, chaired by Rachel O’Connell, said:

“The Committee finds that Mr. Margetts’ actions fell seriously below the standards expected of a registrant. He has breached fundamental tenets of the profession including honesty, the need to put patients first and the need to provide them with the means of giving informed consent.

“However the Committee also understands that the allegation concerns one consultation with one patient in the context of a long and exemplary career. Four character witnesses called on Mr. Margetts’ behalf testified that he is fundamentally honest.”

The Committee therefore felt that a significant period of suspension would be proportionate, appropriately marking the seriousness of the misconduct whilst taking into account mitigating factors in the case.

Mr Margetts has until 8 September 2017 to appeal his suspension, during which time he is suspended from the register under an immediate suspension order.

Latest OSCE results announced by the College of Optometrists.

August 2017

The results are in for the College of Optometrists’ latest OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination). 326 candidates sat the OSCE in July – the Scheme for Registration’s final assessment – resulting in a pass rate of 70% per cent. This is in line with previous pass rates for this time of year.

The OSCE consists of 17 five-minute stations, made up of 16 clinical tasks and a rest station. Each station assesses the candidates’ skills, including history taking, communication, data interpretation, clinical examination and practical skills.

During the OSCE, which took place at the Royal College of General Practitioners, candidates may be tested on any of the stage two elements of competence set out by the General Optical Council. This assessment acts as a final check that competence across the framework has been achieved and maintained.

Ariella Carr MCOptom passed the OSCE in July, she said: “"I'm thrilled to have passed the final exam. After all the years of hard work it's great to finally be a qualified Optometrist. I am excited for the road ahead, and to keep learning and developing my skills. I couldn't be happier with my choice of career."

The College’s Head of Assessment, Joseph Oakley, commented: “Congratulations to everyone who has now completed the Scheme for Registration and welcome to the profession! Passing the OSCE is the final hurdle of a challenging, but rewarding, assessment programme which ensures all new entrants have met the high standards required to begin their careers as qualified optometrists. These newly qualified practitioners are entering the profession at an exciting time and will help shape the future of optometry using the skills and knowledge they have developed throughout the Scheme for Registration.”

The College has hosted four OSCEs a year since its inception in July 2010.

The OCSE is the last step in the College’s Scheme for Registration. The Scheme is a structured and supported route that gives trainees the chance to put into practice the skills learnt at university in a safe environment. With the support of a supervisor and the College assessment team, trainees are assessed against the Stage 2 competencies set out by the General Optical Council.
The next OSCE will take place in September 2017.

GOC erases Essex-based optometrist.

August 2017

The General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, has decided to erase Mark Walker, an optometrist based in Colchester, Essex from its register. He will now be unable to practise in the UK.

A GOC Fitness to Practise Committee found his fitness to practise impaired by virtue of misconduct. The Registrant was found to have caused or permitted the alteration of General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) paperwork, knowing that he would receive payment on submission of that paperwork.

The Committee also found that Mr. Walker had failed to provide an adequate standard of care to patients in care homes. They established that the Registrant had performed a sight test on a patient who remained asleep during the whole period of the test, and had therefore failed to obtain consent.

In making the decision, the Committee, chaired by Eileen Carr, said:

“The Registrant’s actions put patients at unwarranted risk of harm and were for financial gain. The Committee was satisfied that the Registrant’s actions amount to a serious departure from the relevant professional standards. He acted dishonestly, over a period of time, putting a group of highly vulnerable patients at risk of harm and abusing their trust.”

The Committee also found that the Registrant had shown a persistent lack of insight into the serious nature and consequences of his actions, and did not engage with the hearing.

Mr Walker has until 3 September 2017 to appeal his erasure, during which time he is suspended from the register under an immediate suspension order.

Pressure from Vincent Barker’s family now fixed firmly on GOC.

August 2017

Honey Rose3 Days after the quashing of manslaughter conviction  of Honey Rose, the 35 year old mother of 3 and at the time an optometrist for Boots Ipswich branch, the family has expressed disappointment and looks for some comfort in a pending GOC ruling.

The conviction was overturned following a large condemnation that apparent failures in medical practice should be overseen by the criminal justice system. The Court of Appeal recognised that a serious breach of duty didn’t constitute gross negligence manslaughter.

The Court of Appeal’s 3 judges presided over by Sir Brian Leveson, allowed her appeal and stated that “'In assessing reasonable foreseeability of serious and obvious risk of death in cases of gross negligence manslaughter, is it appropriate to take into account what a reasonable person in the position of the defendant would have known but for his or her breach of duty?'

He said the court had concluded that 'in assessing reasonable foreseeability of serious and obvious risk of death in cases of gross negligence manslaughter, it is not appropriate to take into account what the defendant would have known but for his or her breach of duty'.

Sir Brian added: 'Were the answer otherwise, this would fundamentally undermine the established legal test of foreseeability in gross negligence manslaughter which requires proof of a 'serious and obvious risk of death' at the time of breach.

'The implications for medical and other professions would be serious because people would be guilty of gross negligence manslaughter by reason of negligent omissions to carry out routine eye, blood and other tests which in fact would have revealed fatal conditions notwithstanding that the circumstances were such that it was not reasonably foreseeable that failure to carry out such tests would carry an obvious and serious risk of death. 

For these reasons, this appeal is allowed and the conviction is quashed.'

Sir Brian continued: “We add that this decision does not, in any sense, condone the negligence that the jury must have found to have been established at a high level in relation to the way that Ms Rose examined Vincent and failed to identify the defect which ultimately led to his death."

'That serious breach of duty is a matter for her regulator; in the context of this case, however, it does not constitute the crime of gross negligence manslaughter.”

So over to the regulator, the GOC to consider the case now that the criminal aspect has been completed. One hopes that for the sake of the parents and for Honey Rose who have all sustained a torrid and difficult time over 5 years that a conclusion will be arrived at sooner than later.

(Original PHN story.)



Eye health sector joined up to help patients remain independent.

August 2017

The Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC), which represents the major clinical professions and charity organisations in the eye-care sector, has launched a new Low vision, habilitation and rehabilitation framework for adults and children. The Framework – mainly aimed at commissioners and providers in health and social care – calls for more joined-up commissioning to ensure better access and consistency of services for users supported by the provision of appropriate equipment and expertise to improve quality of life.

Like the Primary Eye Care Framework, published on 2016, and the Community Ophthalmology Framework, published in 2015, the emphasis is on promoting integration across primary and community care, hospital eye service, education, social care, and charity and voluntary services to deliver better outcomes and eliminate duplication and waste of resources.

Low vision has a significant impact on a person’s independence and quality of life but low vision, habilitation and rehabilitation services for adults and children are not consistently available across England. In some areas, these services do not exist.

This has led to a new cross-sector initiative to ensure quality, reducing service variation, improving equity of access and enhancing outcomes through timely intervention.

Launching the new framework Parul Desai, Chair of the Clinical Council said; “Vision rehabilitation is crucial to ensuring that someone who loses their sight remains as independent as possible. A Department of Health funded research project has identified that good vision rehabilitation avoids significant health and social care costs; the costs avoided are more than three times the cost of delivering the service. Low vision is an essential part of the eye care and sight loss services and should be made available consistently across the country.”

The Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC) coordinates leading organisations from across eye health to offer united, evidence-based clinical advice and guidance to those commissioning and delivering eye health services in England on issues where national leadership is needed.

Its member organisations are:

• The Royal College of Ophthalmologists
• The College of Optometrists
• Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
• Association of British Dispensing Opticians
• British and Irish Orthoptic Society
• Faculty of Public Health
• Optical Confederation (including the Local Optical Committee Support Unit)
• Royal College of General Practitioners
• Royal College of Nursing (Ophthalmic nursing forum)
• Royal National Institute of Blind People
• International Glaucoma Association
• Macular Society
• VISION 2020 UK

News from the General Optical Council (July)

August 2017

Love Your Lenses

Council discussed the impact of the Love Your Lenses campaign regarding safe contact lens use, which launched in March 2017.

It welcomed that there was evidence from social media that contact lens wearers intended to change their behaviour as a result of the knowledge they gained from the campaign and that the campaign reached millions of people.

Council encouraged stakeholders to get involved in promoting the 2018 Love Your Lenses awareness week and ongoing activities throughout the year. It welcomed plans to regularly update the Love Your Lenses website and communicate topical contact lens issues through social media.

The GOC has recently published some top tips for the summer for contact lens wearers which can be found here.

Education Strategic Review

Council agreed the project plan for the Education Strategic Review.
Council Chair, Gareth Hadley, said:

“The focus of the Review is on equipping the registrants of the future for the roles they will be expected to perform and instill in them a desire for professional development throughout their careers. It is also important that we recognise that delivering enhanced primary eye care services to an ageing population requires investment in the education and training of existing optometrists and dispensing opticians.”

Council considered the communications and engagement plan for the Review and agreed that collaboration with stakeholders will be vital to its success.

It also welcomed the fact that the GOC will conduct research to learn lessons from developments in the education of healthcare professionals in both the UK and overseas. Council approved for publication a public statement on the Education Strategic Review.

Council welcomed the formation of an expert advisory group, established to provide specialist input and act as a sounding board as the GOC develops policy proposals. It also welcomed the establishment of the Education Strategic Review Stakeholder Forum that is being formed to consider broad policy questions, provide a channel for stakeholder involvement and to act as a test bed for emerging policy proposals.

Membership of the Forum will be far-reaching and made up of representatives from organisations across the optical and wider healthcare sector, including patient representatives.

Organisations with an interest in the future of the optical professions are encouraged to get involved by contacting Roz Platt on rplatt@optical.org.

Consensual disposal of FTP cases

Council reviewed the draft policy for consensual disposal of fitness to practise (FTP) cases. This policy will help the GOC to carry out its function of investigating and acting on FTP concerns in a way that is proportionate and fair.

Council noted that consensual disposal would be appropriate in a case where the registrant admits the facts of the allegation, the grounds of impairment, that their FTP is currently impaired and the registrant and the Registrar are in agreement about the appropriate level of sanction.

It also noted that the Fitness to Practise Committee would approve all consensual disposal agreements.

A public consultation on the draft consensual disposal policy will take place between August and October 2017 and the outcome will be considered by Council at its November 2017 meeting.
Accreditation of prior learning

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

Council approved a consultation on Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). APL is a process that allows individuals to be recognised for the skills and knowledge they have already acquired, either through formal courses or experiential learning, when joining a GOC-accredited education programme.

Council agreed that it was important to seek the views of external stakeholders before finalising and applying the policy. The GOC will publish the APL policy for consultation in the coming weeks.

Other news

Council noted the Optical Consumer Complaints Service annual report for 2016-17, including a 45 per cent increase in enquiries compared to 2015-16. Despite this increase, 98 per cent of consumer enquiries were concluded and successfully mediated by the OCCS.

It noted the results of the PSA Performance Review 2015/16 where the GOC met 22 of the 24 standards, an increase from 21 the previous year.

GOC seeks new committee members.

August 2017

The General Optical Council (GOC) is looking to appoint a total of six new registrant members to its statutory committees – four representatives from optical businesses to its Companies Committee and one optometrist and one dispensing optician to its Investigation Committee.

GOC Council chair, Gareth Hadley, said: “Committee members play a vital role in helping us to protect and promote the health and safety of the public and patients. It is important we draw upon the considerable expertise our registrants possess so that we understand developments in the sector and make informed decisions.”

The Companies Committee has a statutory responsibility to advise and assist Council on matters relating to business registrants.

The Investigation Committee considers allegations that a registrant may not be fit to practise (where case examiners cannot agree) and referrals from case examiners for an assessment of a registrant’s performance or health. The Investigation Committee makes decisions to refer cases for public hearing, to close cases with no further action (including the issuing of warnings or advice), to direct the GOC Registrar to undertake further investigation or to refer a case for interim order consideration (an interim public protection measure).

The deadline to apply for these vacancies is Monday 18 September.

All roles are on a part-time basis, with a time commitment of approximately three days per annum for the Companies Committee, and approximately five days per annum for the Investigation Committee.

The roles are remunerated at £311 per meeting.

Further information on how to apply can be found here

AAO Public Health and Environmental Vision Section Announces 2017 Henry B. Peters Award Recipient.

July 2017

Melvin D ShippThe Public Health and Environmental Vision (PHEV) Section of the American Academy of Optometry is pleased to announce Melvin D. Shipp, OD, MPH, DrPH, as the 2017 Henry B. Peters Award for Public Health and Environmental Vision.

The award annually recognizes an individual who has made exemplary contributions to public health and/or environmental vision over many years. There have only been three previous award selections, Drs. Alden Norman Haffner, Les Caplan and Kovin Naidoo.

“The PHEV Section is proud and pleased to acknowledge Dr. Shipp’s many significant contributions in so many areas that demonstrate the importance that our Section places on public health activities by optometrists. We are proud to bestow this honor upon him with appreciation of his many accomplishments,” remarked Debbie L. Hettler, OD, MPH, FAAO, PHEV Section Chair.

The Section is proud to include Dr. Shipp in this prestigious group in recognition of his many contributions to both public health and optometry, and especially proud to recognize his Diplomate status in the section since 1990 and his service as chair of the section from 1996-1999.

As a faculty member at the UAB School of Optometry he taught public health to optometry students, was the first UAB Clinic Chief to ban smoking in a campus clinic, and was an integral part of the internationally recognized NEI funded study Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error.


His service to the Federal government on behalf of optometry includes working with the Food and Drug Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Advisory Eye Council of the National Eye Institute (NEI)/National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He was a member of the NEI Planning Committee for the National Eye Health Education Project, an ongoing, nationwide program with the goal of preventing blindness through public and professional education. In 2006, he co-chaired the development of a CDC sponsored vision health initiative, Improving the Nation’s Vision Health: A Coordinated Public Health Approach. He served as the President of the American Public Health (APHA), the leading national public health organization in the United States. Dr. Shipp was the first optometrist to lead the APHA and promoted optometry within that organization and to the public at large.

Dr. Shipp will give a lecture and be honored at the Public Health and Environmental Vision Section Awards Ceremony at 5:00 PM on Thursday, October 12 in Room E264 of Lakeside Center at McCormick Place.

New CET advice for extended primary eye care services published.

July 2017


New continuing education advice for extended primary eye care services has been issued by LOCSU and endorsed by ABDO, AOP, FODO and the College of Optometrists.

The new guidance recommends that following initial accreditation, participating practitioners should obtain three CET points for MECS and one CET point for cataract post-operative review as part of the 36-point total required every three years by the GOC.

Continuing Education for Extended Primary Eye Care Services recommends governance arrangements for service providers, such as Primary Eyecare Companies (PECs), should include sharing data with practitioners to shape learning needs from performance results. PECs are advised to hold an annual meeting of all sub-contractors to update them on service performance and peer review or discussion events so that practitioners can share learning.

The guidance also sets out the learning objectives that CET specifically aimed at extended primary eye care services needs to meet.

Publishing the advice, LOCSU’s Clinical Director, Katrina Venerus: “We are pleased to launch this guidance which will support LOC Companies to demonstrate robust governance as providers of extended primary eye care services and very grateful to colleagues from across the sector for their help in developing it. We hope that it will encourage practitioners involved in extended services to reflect on their case mix and target their continuing education accordingly.”

American Academy of Optometry Announces 2017 Award Recipients

July 2017

Each year the American Academy of Optometry recognizes distinguished individuals who have made countless contributions to advancing the profession of optometry.

“Serving on the Awards Committee may be the most humbling yet exhilarating Academy service I have ever had the privilege to do.

This year’s nominees were wonderful examples of dedication to vision research, vision care, education, and improvement of the visual welfare of all. It was a very difficult task selecting awardees from this list of accomplished people. Every nominee represents the best of what the American Academy of Optometry and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation hope to inspire in all of us. Many thanks to those who submitted nominations, and to those who served on the awards committee.,” remarked Donald O. Mutti, OD, PhD, FAAO, Awards Committee Chair.

The Academy is pleased to announce the 2017 award recipients:


Eli Peli, MSc, OD, FAAO
Charles F. Prentice Medal and Lecture Award

Mitchell Scheiman, OD, PhD, FAAO
Glenn A. Fry Award and Lecture
(American Academy of Optometry Foundation Award)

Ava K. Bittner, OD, PhD, FAAO
Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish Award

Luigi Bilotto, MS, OD, FAAO
AAO-Essilor Award for Outstanding
International Contributions to Optometry

C. Ellis Potter, OD, FAAO
Brien Holden Humanitarian Award

Joseph Fontenot, MD, CLVT
Carel C. Koch Memorial Medal Award

Laura Goldberg, OD, MS
Celia R. Gong
Julius F. Neumueller Award in Optics
(American Academy of Optometry Foundation Award)

Richard Madonna, MA, OD, FAAO
Vincent Ellerbrock Clinician Educator Award

Harue J. Marsden, OD, MS, FAAO
(posthumously)
Eminent Service Award

Bert C. Corwin, OD, FAAO
Avrum Richler, OD, PhD, FAAO
Life Fellow Award

Jeffrey J. Walline, OD, PhD, FAAO, Katie L. Greiner, OD, MS, FAAO, Mary Elizabeth McVey, OD, MS, Lisa A. Jones-Jordan, PhD, FAAO
Garland W. Clay Award

Lorraine Lombardi, PhD
Michael G. Harris Award for Excellence in Optometric Education
(American Academy of Optometry Foundation Award)

Awards of the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies

Suzanne M.J. Fleiszig, OD, PhD, FAAO
Max Schapero Memorial Lecture Award

Lynette Johns, OD, FAAO, FSLS
Founders’ Award

Award winners will be recognized at the Academy 2017 Chicago Awards Ceremony on Friday, October 13, 8:00-10:00 AM, in E351 & E352 of McCormick Place. Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies award recipients will be honored at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, October 11 in Room E351.

Information on the Public Health and Environmental Vision Section Henry B. Peters Award is forthcoming.

The American Academy of Optometry’s annual meeting, Academy 2017 Chicago, will take place October 11-14, 2017, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois

GOC appoints three new members to committees

July 2017

The General Optical Council (GOC) has appointed three new members to its advisory committees. Alicia Thompson and Geraldine McBride have joined the Education Committee and Philip Bird has joined the Registration Committee. The three new members took up their roles on 1 July 2017.

Alicia Thompson began her career in optics 30 years ago as an optical technician. She then went on to become a dispensing optician, registering in 1994 and managing a successful practice. Alicia was a clinic manager at Aston University for over ten years and in 2008 she was appointed to her current role as Director of Professional Exams for the Association of British Dispensing Opticians. She is studying part time at Aston University, researching paediatric facial anthropometry in relation to spectacle frame design.

Geraldine McBride is a dispensing optician with a special interest in low vision. She is also an orthoptist and works as the senior clinician managing clinical services attached to the Ophthalmology department at University Hospital Galway, Ireland. She is actively involved in undergraduate education and research and has been a committee member on both the education and professional development committees of the British and Irish Orthoptic Society.

Philip Bird has worked in optics since 2001, joining Dollond & Aitchison as a trainee optical advisor. He qualified as a dispensing optician in 2007 before moving into practice management and then regional management. Philip is passionate about raising awareness of the value of the optical professions, both to the public and to prospective practitioners. Philip is studying at Aston Business School for an MBA, due to finish in 2018.

The committee members will provide expert advice on key areas of the GOC’s work, ensuring that it accounts for the realities of optical education and training, and a diverse range of optical practice.

 
 
 
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