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Opchat,PHN's Online Optical magazine

Opchat News:

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 today’s news including archived stories.


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Available from GRAFTON OPTICAL: Universal Keratometer Breath Shields

Grafton Universal Breath Shield

Grafton Optical are now able to supply their Universal Keratometer Breath Shield in response to customer demand amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak


Look NIL 05363

LOOK-made in Italia presents the new NIL models by LOOK brand, conceived and produced entirely in its factories in Italy.

NIRVAN JAVAN celebrates its 5th anniversary with their latest London collection made of Japanese premium acetate

Nirvan Sun Model July 2020

With their current LONDON collection – exclusively handcrafted in Japan – the brand NIRVAN JAVAN celebrates its 5th anniversary. Inspired by the collection named after the dynamic metropolis,

#SpraySafe with the New OPTASE® PROTECT Eye Spray: to fight viruses, bacteria and fungi.

Optase bottle

Harnessing the body’s own natural defence to kill 99.9999% of all known germs!!!

How effective is your UV-C cleansing?

Norvill Dosemeter for UV-C

UV-C light is perhaps the most effective in-practice sanitizing method and these new test cards from Norville will reveal just how effective that process is,

LIGHTBIRD launches Light_MIRROR Collection

OLBO Business man from Lightbird

Light_MIRROR is the new collection that combines two unconventional materials. Pure Copper and Brass are joint to Cellulose Acetate to create unique, light and shiny frames, thanks to the innovative gluing system patented by the Belluno brand.

Paskal for engaging the youngest patients


An almost cinema event with Minion specs and Peppa Pig is the way forward for many practices looking to engage youngsters believes IPRO which is promoting its Paskal 3D refraction technology.

Many more exciting products on our new products and services pages

Suppliers guide and optical directory

The Latest News

Brian D Suttie Optician Case Study using Toucan Eco for Covid Cleansing

Cleansing with Toucan Eco at B Suttie Opticians
A fresh perspective: how one optician has introduced a sustainable cleaning system to help combat COVID-19

ABDO's considered views on the GOC ESR Consultation

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) is concerned that proposals in the latest consultation from by the General Optical Council (GOC) as part of its Education Strategic Review (ESR) create a significant risk of inconsistent standards of education and lower standards of education.

The GLBL EYEWEAR Group sign leading specialist eyewear brand ZooBug

Zoobug K18
The GLBL EYEWEAR Group are proud to announce a long-term global licensing agreement with the world leading specialist children’s eyewear brand ZooBug

Successful ABDO Webinars

The ABDO Examinations Department has hosted a successful two day webinar on 29 and 30 July, free of charge to all final year students to help them prepare for summer session practical examinations.

IACLE introduces Online Student Trial Exam to support educators following the COVID-19 pandemic

Craig Woods
The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) has launched an Online Student Trial Exam (STE) to support educators whose students are currently unable to attend their institutions in person or who want to assess students’ knowledge online.


Lookino Video
The published video addresses Digital Visual Stress Disorder among Children and youngsters

New back to school lens promotion from Essilor

Essilor Multi pair
Essilor Ltd has enhanced its “Take Two” multipair promotion for ECPs to offer to families of children heading back to school.

New ECP Sports Day Promotion from Essilor

Essilor Game Board
Essilor Ltd has launched a new sports day board game incentive for ECPs to play and claim rewards this summer.

LV Honours Course updated by ABDO

The Low Vision Honours course at ABDO College has been updated for 2020, with an earlier start date. Optometrists and opticians wanting to develop their expertise in this field are encouraged to apply now.

Roll-out of 2 new rapid coronavirus tests ahead of winter

Both tests will be able to detect COVID-19 and other winter viruses in just 90 minutes

Join Ocuco's next Clinical Lecture on Paediatric Optometry with Tania Constable

Ocuco Paediatric Webinar
Ocuco hosts a Clinical Lecture on Paediatric Optometry presented by Tania Constable, a Paediatric Specialist Optometrist at Temple Street Children's University Hospital, Dublin, on Tuesday 25 August, at 18:00 GMT. Learn more and register here

Whilst NHS England procrastinate on Covid funding for England, LOCSU announces levy resumption today.

LOC levy payments to resume from August 1st.

GOC erases Scarborough based dispensing optician

The General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, has decided to erase a dispensing optician based in Scarborough, from its register.

OFNC July 31 UPDATE: COVID-19 Funding for Optical Practices in England

The OFNC is only too aware of the front-line pressures on the sector and we continue to express this urgency in negotiations with NHS England about COVID-19 funding for optical practices, following the end of the first phase funding on 30 June.

Isolation times just extended and more travel restrictions are imminent

As Government extends isolation times for the infected from 7 to 10 days and a crack down on further travel looks likely, we look at the figures.

Could you and your friends be up for a marathon to help RNIB?

Allan Russell
Ever thought about doing a marathon to raise funds for a charity but been daunted by the distance? Now sight loss charity RNIB is inviting you to double up with a partner or friend and split the distance.

“It was a question of weeks or days, not months”

Hollie-Leigh Creighton
Holly Creighton, an eight-year-old girl from Leigh was unknowingly at risk from a potentially fatal brain tumour, after a trip to her local Specsavers revealed she was suffering from severe raised pressure in the brain.

GOC launches ESR consultation on updated education and training requirements

The General Optical Council (GOC) has today launched its Education Strategic Review (ESR) consultation on proposals to update its requirements for GOC approved qualifications leading to registration as a dispensing optician or an optometrist.

ABDO College has extended the deadline for applications to the Ophthalmic Dispensing and Contact Lens courses.

ABDO College is offering payment plans and advice on self-funding for those who are keen to take the course but don’t have support from an employer. Employers are also able to apply for a payment plan to make cash flow easier.

NHS encourages online registration and advises on change in GOS forms by October 1

The NHS has confirmed that current GOS forms will cease on 30 September 2020, with practices encouraged to submit claims online and those that cannot do so to complete new style paper forms from 1 October, designed to be scanned in on receipt by PCSE. .

‘The community speaks’ - first BCLA podcast goes live

Luke Stevens Burke
The first-ever podcast produced by the BCLA is now live – giving listeners the chance to hear from experts about the impact of COVID-19 on the contact lens profession.

With under 24 hours notice Government excludes the mandatory use of masks in Optical Practices.

Difficult to provide any logical reason for this anomaly but these were the new rules released today.

October SILMO exhibition becomes another fatality in the expo season

The SILMO Executive Board met with its partner COMEXPOSIUM, and took the unfortunate decision to cancel the Silmo 2020 Paris event as it was planned to take place at Paris Nord Villepinte.

New novel features Vision Care for Homeless

Paige Toon
Staring into the eyes of strangers is the leading thread in popular Australian/British author, Paige Toon’s latest book “The Minute I Saw You”.

WALDO announces diversification into further unspecified online eyecare following on from its online CL business.

Following an immensely successful three years since inception, more than £9 million in funds-raised and effective expansion into 27 countries, direct to consumer eye care brand, Waldo is diversifying its offering

News from The General Optical Council

The General Optical Council (GOC) held its second remote Council meeting on Wednesday 15 July which considered a review of the strategic plan, the Education Strategic Review (ESR), temporary changes to optometry education and training requirements, the GOC annual report and the Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS) Annual Report 2019-2020.

OFNC UPDATE: COVID-19 Funding for Optical Practices in England

The OFNC is still working with NHS England on potential further COVID-19 funding for optical practices, following the end of the first phase of funding on 30 June.

New BCLA President set to make a ‘lasting first impression’ with online audience at virtual address

Indie Grewal BCLA
The next President of the BCLA, Indie Grewal, will give his Presidential Address on Thursday, 10 September – with the event to be held ‘virtually’for the first time.

Non-UK optometrists and opticians eligible for Health and Care Visa

This week the Government launched a new Health and Care Visa so that UK health and care services can recruit qualified healthcare professionals from aboard.

CET claims – England, The How and The When.

PCSE has announced that this year the claims window for CET claims will be delayed because of Covid-19. This year, claims will all be managed online, and professionals are advised to:

PSA rejects allegations about GOC

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has considered claims made on about alleged conflicts of interest in the GOC’s governance structure and the suggestion that it was “not fit for purpose”.

In an Annual Report published by LOCSU (2019) it appears that almost 1 Million pounds has been accumulated

In the recently published LOCSU Annual Report 2018-19 highlighting the NOC 2019 conference, it sets out plans for the year ahead.

As Positive Data comes from AstraZeneca, Oxford Coronavirus Vaccine source, UK Governemnet confirms securement of 100 million doses

Reports emerged that positive news will be released soon on AstraZeneca’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine that it is working on with the University of Oxford. 

Novartis to Provide 15 Drugs at Zero-Profit for Treating COVID-19 Symptoms

Novartis has recently announced that 15 generic and over-the-counter medicines from its Sandoz unit will be made available at zero-profit to treat the major symptoms of COVID-19 in low-income and lower-middle-income countries.

GOC erases London based optometrist

The General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, has decided to erase an optometrist based in London, from its register.

ABDO guidance and advice for Student DO's

At this difficult time, when the situation can change rapidly, the team at ABDO College has been planning ahead to ensure that student dispensing opticians can continue to study and get the valuable input they would normally have from tutors on block release, without uncertainty and risk.

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.

02/09/2020 - Heidelberg Engineering - Home Counties
SPECTRALIS Hands-On Operator Course: 10.00 – 16:00 All who use Spectralis; medical photographers, nurses and techs

14/09/2020 - Somerset LOC - South West
Lecture and ACES Peer Review Lecture title - Rust Ring Removal and ACES Protocols ACES Peer Review

15/09/2020 - Heidelberg Engineering - Home Counties
SPECTRALIS Hands-On Operator Course: 10.00 – 16:00 All who use Spectralis; medical photographers, nurses and techs

16/09/2020 - Heidelberg Engineering - Home Counties
Retina Imaging Interpretation Course: 09:30 – 17:00

15/10/2020 - Heidelberg Engineering - Home Counties
SPECTRALIS Hands-On Operator Course: 10.00 – 16:00 All who use Spectralis; medical photographers, nurses and techs

23/10/2020 - Heidelberg Engineering - Home Counties
Non-Invasive Vascular Imaging Course:Course: 10.00 – 17:00 optometrists and doctors. Medical photographers, technicians and ophthalmic nurses

05/11/2020 - Heidelberg Engineering - Home Counties
SPECTRALIS Hands-On Operator Course: 10.00 – 16:00 All who use Spectralis; medical photographers, nurses and techs

03/12/2020 - Heidelberg Engineering - Home Counties
SPECTRALIS Hands-On Operator Course: 10.00 – 16:00 All who use Spectralis; medical photographers, nurses and techs

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


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

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