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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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Nostalgia from OKO

Clip Solaire for Joan by OKO

Inspiration or nostalgia? With JOAN, the brands aims to find a meeting point between modern technology and the aesthetic heritage of the 30’s.

FYSH The 2019 Sunglass Collection

FYSH 2036
Due to the success last year, the FYSH sunwear 2019 collection has grown to 13 new styles, each available in 2 or 3 colour combinations. 

Blackfin Spring 2019 Preview

Ventura from Blackfin

The Spring 2019 collection displays the total Blackfin aesthetic vision in which the sophisticated mood of the new communications campaign and the new stand for Mido are faithfully reflected in its design.

New Kids on the block from Norville - Mai-Zee

Mai-Zee new model

New to the Mai-Zee collection for 2019 model is MZ068. 

Pince-Nez returns to favour for handy SOS reader

Pince Nez as reader from Dibble

Pince-Nez glasses were developed more than 100 years ago to give wearers a pair of small, portable frames they could easily keep in their front pockets between uses. 

A Little love from OGI

I 9122Vava Eyewear
From MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Four brand new frames from Ogi spark a reimagined vigor in us all with playful natures and stunning colorways

VAVA eyewear, Spring 2019 Preview

Vava Eyewear

For the upcoming Spring 2019 Vava presents new eyewear from the White Label, the more classical line which identifies with simplicity, cleanness and purity.

New QUANTUM 3.0 from Ørgreen Optics


Ørgreen Optics is pleased to announce the launch of its third QUANTUM collection, the innovative range of optical frames that strives to reduce eyewear design to its bare and purified essentials.

Many more exciting new products on our New Products Pages.

Suppliers guide and optical directory

The Latest News

Homeless Charity makes urgent call for volunteers

VCHP Volunteers needed
Volunteer optometrists, dispensing opticians and team leaders are urgently needed by Vision Care for Homeless centres around the country.

Data Security and Protection Toolkit Update, IGT now replaced.

The Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) has replaced the Information Governance Toolkit (IGT) as NHS Digital’s (formerly HSCIC) compliance check for information governance.

Record growth allows expansion at Optinet.

Optinet GrowthMike Fegan PEC svs
Optinet, the IT services division of the National Eyecare Group (NEG), has declared 2018 its most successful year ever with record installations of its flagship Optinet FLEX practice management system (PMS).

GOC suspends Hounslow Dispensing Optician

The General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, has decided to suspend a dispensing optician based in Heston, Hounslow from its register for a period of nine months. 

GOC News from Council 13 February 2019

Comprehensive report from meeting held on Wednesday, Business Standards, Budgets, Education, CET, and more

LOCSU's Primary Eyecare Services has a new Chair.

Mike Fegan PEC svs
Primary Eyecare Services Ltd is one of the companies created by LOCSU into which many of the smaller Primary Eyecare companies have merged.

Nominations open for 2019 BCLA Awards

Laura Reece
Nominations are now open for the 2019 BCLA Awards, with the nation’s leading eye care practitioners vying for some of the profession’s most coveted crowns.

OC updates "Making Accurate Claims in Wales"

The new guidance is based on the most recent regulations on the NHS General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) and optical vouchers and payments in Wales.

AOI highlights deep concerns over eyecare in Ireland

Association of Optometrists (AOI) Chief Executive Sean McCrave said Ireland’s eye-care services need to be reformed to meet ever-growing demand, as the population both increases and ages.

Priority treatment for Welsh Patients at risk of sight loss.

Last week the Welsh Government announced a £3.3m investment which aims to ensure that patients in Wales who are at the greatest risk of going blind receive prioritised treatment. 

GOC Registrar steps down

The General Optical Council (GOC) has announced that its Chief Executive and Registrar, Vicky McDermott, has stood down to spend more time with her family following the birth of her daughter.

FODO announces new Company Structure and first-ever MD

Harjit Sandhu
In response to growing membership across its eye and hearing care businesses FODO has announced a new company structure and the appointment of Harjit Sandhu as its first-ever Managing Director.

Blackfin launches Natural Awareness Campaign

Blackfin Leven
The die is cast, Year Three of Phase Three has been accomplished: the product, the genuine story and a brand image which has reached a stylistic and conceptual maturity in the design of its eyewear, the new exhibition space and the latest 2019 communications campaign.

Belvie appoints ZED-Com for communications

Belvie the French eyewear brand, result of the passion of Optika, a French optician with 7 shops and a 40-year history in eyewear, has appointed Zed_Comm as press office and media relations agency for communications in the trade Europe communication activities and the management of social channels.

Another New Connection for Mainline

Mainline Optical Connections announce their new partnership with MEI, they are now the distributor for the UK and Ireland retail market. The addition of the NoBlock system to the edger has proven ground-breaking, 

Opchat News opens Optrafair Exchange Preview Pages

3DNA at Waterside on preview pages
As we open today our preview pages to showcase exciting stories that will be told at Optrafair Exchange, Waterside Labs become the first to encourage us to attend their stand. 

All your CET needs under one roof!

The entire optical profession will soon unite under one roof at Optrafair Exchange for three days of inspiration and opportunity to source the very latest products across the sector. Browse an exhibition hall filled with some of the leading companies in the industry, some of which have not attended any other UK event. 

Heidelberg Engineering wins “best exhibition stand” at 100% Optical

Heidelberg Engineering had a successful 100% Optical 2019 with the award of “best exhibition stand” in the equipment section.

SPECTRALIS High Magnification Module Receives CE Marking

HE CE marked
Heidelberg Engineering announces the CE marking of the SPECTRALIS® High Magnification Module. With the addition of a highly innovative lens and software upgrade, this new module enables visualization of the ocular fundus at a microscopic level.

Christina Aguilera wears Komono AVA sunglasses

Singer and actress Christina Aguilera wore the Ava sunglass by KOMONO 

Migraine Sufferers praise Vista Mesh Lenses

Vista Mesh Lenses
Extensive neurology investigations, food diaries and elimination diets have not helped the frequency and severity of migraine attacks for Dhanesh Sakaria, who has suffered from the condition for 30 years, since she was just 16. 

Developing a strategic approach to changing the public’s responses to eye health.

ECOO meeting
FODO’s David Hewlett and Ann Blackmore were active participants (and joint organisers) of a strategy workshop in Brussels on 31 January organised by ECOO, the ECV and MedTech Europe. 

Optoversity challenge set to raise funds for homeless vision care


Optoversity is an exciting challenge to test the knowledge and diagnostic skills of the UK’s young optometrists. 


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.

19/02/2019 - Heidelberg OCT Roadshow - West Midlands
Learn how to use OCT parameters to assess a patient’s risk of glaucoma. 3 interactive peer review CET points for both optometrists and dispensing Opticians.

26/02/2019 - Heidelberg OCT Roadshow - South West
Learn how to use OCT parameters to assess a patient’s risk of glaucoma. 3 interactive peer review CET points for both optometrists and dispensing Opticians.

05/03/2019 - Heidelberg OCT Roadshow - North West
Learn how to use OCT parameters to assess a patient’s risk of glaucoma. 3 interactive peer review CET points for both optometrists and dispensing Opticians.

12/03/2019 - Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LOC - South West
LOC Meeting

12/03/2019 - Heidelberg OCT Roadshow - Scotland
Learn how to use OCT parameters to assess a patient’s risk of glaucoma. 3 interactive peer review CET points for both optometrists and dispensing Opticians.

24/04/2019 - Heidelber Operation and Interpretation Course - Home Counties
A comprehensive course covering OCT image acquisition and interpretation. 7 CET points for optometrists and dispensing opticians.

21/05/2019 - Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LOC - South West
Jane Pullum Memorial Lecture Lecture presented by Mr Westlake on the subject of Glaucoma.

11/07/2019 - Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LOC - South West
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LOC - AGM. Peer Discussion Workshop presented by Alcon focusing on DEWSII approach to Dry Eye Diagnosis and Management

23/09/2019 - Heidelber Operation and Interpretation Course - Home Counties
A comprehensive course covering OCT image acquisition and interpretation. 7 CET points for optometrists and dispensing opticians.

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

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