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Opchat Magazine General NewsGeneral News, April to June 2021

OKIA strengthens its commitment to Sustainability
MITA for World Ocean's Day
Global eye care targets endorsed at World Health Assembly
CQC launches new strategy
Inequalities in disability between richest and poorest in the UK more than tripled in past decades, new report finds
Seeing the "new-normal" through Tinted Spectacles
Responsible recycling of waste by optical and optometric professionals and their patients/customers
"TAKE TWO" Media campaign seto to drive footfall
New report shows potential to improve cataract surgery outcomes through advanced IOL data reporting
"HEALTHTECH HOUR" becomes UK Health Radio's fastest growing show ever
AIO provides guidance to its members in respect of offering ‘paid for’ DVLA Field Tests
Primary Eyecare Services progression by stealth to take over existing extended eyecare agreements comes under question.
WLC UK launches a new eye-catching website
New 'We Offer Testing to our Staff' scheme launched
SHAMIR and ALPINE F1 Team form unique partnership
College of Optometrists releases ‘Forty Years of Research’ Report
"CAN’T SEE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS" College proves the the point.
Join us at SEE,Summit on the Environment.
Covid antiviral taskforce for the Autumn
College Update on Chloramphenicol
HEIW says the "Future approach for optometry services“ paper suggests major change in Wales
@Théa the new 2021 " let's open our eyes" Campaign
Why Blue Light Protection Matters
Entrepreneur Academy launched to support health and social innovators across West Midlands
Ocean blue project & Miami beach clean up join efforts with Mita eyewear, for a more sustainable future
ABDO highlights 2 new sponsors for its 2020 "Careers in Eyecare"
900 Specsavers stores have now installed OCT
Read archived General News from January to March 2021

OKIA strengthens its commitment to Sustainability

June 2021


In celebration of 2021 #WorldOceanDay, OKIA renews its commitment to more sustainable production.

The company’s production line is one of the FIRST EYEWEAR production sites in China to be certified by Global Recycle Standard (GRS) in 2021. GRS is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions.

“We are proud to announce this new achievement which represents a step forward in our sustainable commitment in the eyewear industry” says Jacky Lam, Managing Director of Okia Optical “Since 2019 we first launched our up cycled plastic bottle collection RESHAPE(TM) with our #millionbottleschallenge; in 2021, over THREE MILLION bottles are recycled into eyewear. We continue to prevent millions of bottles from going into the landfill or ocean by giving used water bottles a second life (in fact, a brighter life!)”.

For more information on opportunities to get involved with our vital work, please visit our website here at

MITA for World Ocean's Day

June 2021

Yesterday, June 8th, the World Ocean Day was celebrated. It was established in 1992 during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Gables by MITAThe goal is to raise people's awareness and educate them to be aware of how the oceans are crucial to life in our planet.

The oceans cover more than 70% of the earth's surface, host 80% of the world's biodiversity and produce about 50% of the oxygen present in the atmosphere. They also play a significant role in climate moderation and CO2 absorption.

To celebrate this day, MITA presents the GABLES style; a sunglass of the new release COLLEZIONE 2: featuring a wide and squared front in a deep blue color like the ocean itself and havana temples to remember the rocks and the variety of the seabed.

Helping to clean the oceans of pollution is the challenge that MITA carries out everyday thanks to its collection of glasses made of sustainable materials. All plastic styles - as well as accessories - are produced using plastic bottles: 5 water bottles = 1 frame, 2 water bottles = 1 case and 1 water bottle = 1 cleaning cloth.

MITA EYWEAR is the brand of Vision of Tomorrow (VOT), the consulting and service company in the eyewear industry born from the twenty +years of experience of Nora Cabrera (COO) and Fabio Ferracane (CEO). MITA is the union between MI in Miami, where Vision of Tomorrow is based, and ITA as ltalia.

A name that represents a bridge between the melting pot stylistic culture of the American Magic City and the concepts of Italian craftsmanship and design.

Global eye care targets endorsed at World Health Assembly

June 2021

WHO Global Vision Targets

The 74th World Health Assembly has approved global targets for effective coverage of refractive error and cataract surgery to be achieved by 2030.

The aim is to improve access to refractive correction and cataract surgery for millions of people. Global experts acknowledge that interventions “that address the needs associated with uncorrected refractive error and unoperated cataract are among the most cost-effective and feasible health interventions available.”

Alan Tinger, FODO director, said: “We are fortunate in the UK to have a world-leading primary eye care service, with excellent access to eye care that can manage refractive error and cataracts.

The World Health Assembly again reminds us of the major public and population health benefits of primary eye care and GOS, which effectively corrects refractive error and remains one of the most cost-effective and feasible health interventions available.”

Globally, more than 800 million people have distance impairment (i.e. myopia and hypermetropia) or near vision impairment (i.e. presbyopia) that could be addressed with an appropriate pair of spectacles.

An estimated 100 million people have moderate-to-severe distance vision impairment or blindness that could be corrected through access to cataract surgery.

Read the World Health Assembly outcome

CQC launches new strategy

May 2021

The CQC has launched an ambitious new strategy based on extensive consultation with the public, providers of health and social care services, charities and partner organisations.

CQC’s purpose of ensuring high-quality, safe care won’t change, but how it works to achieve this will. The new strategy is set out under four themes:

• People and communities: regulation that is driven by people’s needs and experiences, focusing on what is important to them as they access, use and move between services.
• Smarter regulation: a more dynamic and flexible approach that provides up-to-date and high-quality information and ratings, easier ways of working with CQC, and a more proportionate regulatory response.
• Safety through learning: an unremitting focus on safety, requiring a culture across health and care that enables people to speak up and in this way share learning and improvement opportunities.
• Accelerating improvement: encouraging health and care services, and local systems, to access support to help improve the quality of care where it’s needed most.
Running through each of these themes are two core ambitions:
• Assessing local systems: giving the public independent assurance about the quality of care in their area
• Tackling inequalities in health and care: pushing for equality of access, experiences and outcomes from services.

Read about the new strategy here

Inequalities in disability between richest and poorest in the UK more than tripled in past decades, new report finds

May 2021

A new report published today by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC), drawing on a research project led by Newcastle University, finds that ill health and disability have been on the rise in recent decades, while the proportion of life spent in good health has declined. The report argues there is need for urgent action to support people to live not just longer, but healthier lives as part of the Government’s plans to build back better from the pandemic.

The report, drawing on research led by Newcastle University and funded by The Dunhill Medical Trust, finds that many measures of life expectancy have improved over the past decades:

• Estimated overall life expectancy at birth has increased for both men and women: from 72.9 years in 1990 to 79.2 years in 2017 for UK men, and from 78.5 years in 1990 to 82.7 years in 2017 for women.
• Both genders have seen increases in total time spent in good health. Between 1990 and 2017, healthy life expectancy at birth grew by 4.4 years for men (to 68.5) and by 2.7 years for women (to 70.0).
• Between 1991 and 2011, men gained 1.7 years of independent life, and women gained 0.2 years.

But while there have been increases in life expectancy and time spent in good health over the past decades, these gains haven’t kept up with those for general life expectancy. In other words, ill health and disability have been increasing while the proportion of life spent in good health and free from disability has been declining.

Moreover, ILC’s report highlights that changes in life expectancy haven’t been equal:

In 2019, the UK Government set a target to deliver five additional years of healthy life for all by 2035, which was confirmed in the Conservative Party manifesto ahead of the 2019 general election and reaffirmed in a speech by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in February 2020.

There was already scepticism that these goals could be achieved ahead of the pandemic and they’re now likely to be re-evaluated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as indicated in the Government’s response to a recent House of Lords committee inquiry into the feasibility of the target.¬¬

To deliver on the UK Government’s manifesto pledge and its renewed focus to “build back better”, ILC argues that urgent action is needed to invest in preventative health interventions, such as vaccinations, screening and early detection of disease, alongside a greater focus on targeting under-served communities most affected by the pandemic.

Dr Brian Beach, Senior Research Fellow at ILC and report author, added:

“Increased longevity is a success story, but the opportunities that stem from this will not be maximised if the extra years are spent in poor health or with increased levels of disability and dependency. Our new report – unfortunately – provides further evidence that the UK’s position in this respect is worsening, with gains in overall years outpacing gains in healthy years.”

“Moreover, the research reinforces the lessons that have been made stark through the course of the pandemic – that socioeconomic inequalities remain prevalent, with the least advantaged members of society suffering from worse outcomes. A key finding here is how the most advantaged have seen improvements while the least advantaged saw little change.”

“As the UK moves into recovery from COVID-19, political pledges to ‘build back better’ will only be fulfilled if policies actively reduce the kinds of inequalities that have grown since the financial crisis over a decade ago.”

Prof Carol Jagger, AXA Professor of Epidemiology of Ageing, Newcastle University, argued:

“Although the widening inequalities we found are concerning, our project also highlighted that some progress has been made over the 20 year period in respect of the disabling consequences of long-term conditions.”

“Though a greater proportion of older people reported the majority of conditions in 2011 compared to 1991, the gains in life expectancy at age 65 for people with long-term conditions were mostly years free of disability. This was also true for older people with multiple long-term conditions.”

“So early diagnosis, as well as effective treatment could help older people with long-term conditions slow down the progression of these conditions and reduce their disabling effect.”

Seeing the "new-normal" through Tinted Spectacles

June 2021

Transistions CampaignStep into spring: Transitions Optical supports the rebound of UK stores during the warmer season with a new strong media plan.

Spring is all around us, and it is time to enjoy light and life at its fullest! In the current scenario it is key to showcase to eye care professionals the benefits of promoting Transitions® lenses. To achieve this purpose, Transitions Optical is excited to announce its strong 2021 media presence starting from May. This campaign is expected to reach over 90 million people, supporting optical staff bringing consumers back in-store after lockdown.

To maximise traffic to stores, Transitions Optical has a multi-channel approach regarding its consumer media presence: a 5-week connected TV campaign - broadcasted on Virgin Media TV, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV, SKY, BT Sport, and STV - will be further amplified by a 4-week digital campaign in June including online videos on YouTube, targeted presence on social media (Facebook and Instagram), and also targeted display adverts, along with paid search ads and additional social media activities throughout the year.

The aim of this consumer campaign is to attract permanent glasses wearers of all ages and reach them on their most used platforms. Consumers with an interest in optics are also targeted to drive traffic into store. Opticians, be ready to welcome existing and new wearers!

Alongside this campaign, Transitions Optical is also targeting eye care professionals with a 4-week burst on social media, especially LinkedIn. Starting in May, the campaign provides them with key benefits, reasons, and tools to recommend Transitions lenses to more of their customers.

Transitions campaign


Highlighting the multifaceted nature of Transitions Lenses, the TV spot showcases the versatility of the lenses for indoors and outdoors use and show that Transitions lenses are for all: different personalities, lifestyles and age groups can benefit from them: teenagers, millennials, baby boomers, sporty, fashion-forward, business-focused… offering individuals visual performance, protection, and style – all in one accessory.

This TV spot emphasises the latest innovation of Transitions® Signature® GEN8™ with its large choice of tints: beyond the iconic colours (brown, grey and graphite green), GEN 8 is also available in 4 trendy Style Colours - amethyst, sapphire, emerald, and amber.

Transitions campaign


Starting in May, some dynamic videos will show the magic of Transitions lenses on the most popular social media platforms!

Transitions campaign

This campaign is a great opportunity for ECPs as it facilitates their recommendation to a wider audience of spectacle wearers. Supporting point-of-sale and digital assets are available to eye care professionals now.

Over the past 15 years, Transitions Optical has continually invested in multimedia to build awareness of its light intelligent lenses and to encourage spectacle wearers to consider their benefits, while asking and enlisting eye care professionals’ feedback. This is how Transitions became the number one spectacle lens consumer brand, in terms of awareness. It is also the number one eye care professional recommended photochromic lens brand globally.

Responsible recycling of waste by optical and optometric professionals and their patients/customers

June 2021

As part of World Environment Day, 5 June 2021, ECOO highlights the role of European opticians and optometrists in supporting and promoting sustainability.

World Environment Day places a special emphasis on creating a good relationship with nature. World Environment Day also launches the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.

Optometrists and opticians are providers of primary eyecare, embedded and engaged with their local communities. The optical/optometrist supply chain is multi-faceted and involves a range of different actors, materials and stages that have an impact on the environment. ECOO recognises that this offers many opportunities to help the planet and foster ecosystem restoration through the way optical/optometric practices manage waste, in particular plastic, and how they guide their customers/patients in their communities.

Some key areas where plastics enter the environment include used contact lenses, plastic bags which frames are delivered in, spectacles cases, dummy lenses, patients’ own outdated spectacle frames and lenses, micro particles of plastic washed out with the water of edging machines, packaging from products and Personal Protective Equipment. In addition, simple things like turning lights off at night and reducing the practice’s carbon footprint are also important ways that opticians and optometrists can help the planet. Cleaning the environment is everyone’s responsibility with opticians and optometrists keen to play their part to restore the ecosystem.

To mark World Environment Day, ECOO announces a new active workstream to provide guidance and foster awareness about sustainability to its members throughout Europe. ECOO will be looking to strengthen alliances with professional bodies, manufacturers, opticians, optometrists and business owners in the sector, joining forces in this important work to protect the environment. As a first step, ECOO is supporting the Euromcontact campaign “Contact Lenses: See Green”.

"TAKE TWO" Media campaign seto to drive footfall

May 2021

Take Two Media campaign from Essilor

A new “drive to store” digital media campaign has been launched by Essilor Ltd to support independent ECPs participating in its Take Two multi-pair lens promotion.

The campaign, which is set to run over a six-week period from the end of May, plans to push half a million consumers to the store locator on, allowing them to book an eye test at their local independent optician.

Advertising messages will be delivered across digital platforms including a “Take Two” display advert on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, alongside a “See More, Do More” video campaign for Varilux lenses.

Tim Precious, managing director at Essilor Ltd said: “Our drive to store campaign is expected to be viewed 55 million times across the digital channels with messaging that will influence and incentivise consumers, encouraging them to think about their eyes, book an optical appointment and take up the multi-pair lens promotion with our Independent business partners.

“We believe this will play a key role in driving footfall into independent opticians this summer and helping to boost business for our Independent business partners.”

Once a consumer clicks on a digital ad they will be directed to their local optician. Users can then use the live calendar to book or request an appointment from an ECP on the store locator.

Point of sale packs are available to maximise the Take Two promotion in practice.

New report shows potential to improve cataract surgery outcomes through advanced IOL data reporting

May 2021

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) recommends eye care centres monitor their own data to identify how their use of Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) affects the rate of a post-operative cataract surgical complication known as Posterior Capsular Opacification (PCO).

New analysis of over 600,000 cataract operations suggests that there is considerable potential to reduce PCO and reduce costs. Clinics could take steps to make better informed decisions on procurement, by improving data collection and moving to utilisation of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) across their whole eye service.

Analysis of the RCOphth National Ophthalmology Database (NOD) Cataract Audit dataset – which includes 601,084 cataract operations performed by 2,566 surgeons in 58 eye care centres – revealed vast variation in observed post-cataract PCO rates between different contributing centres and different IOL materials and designs, such as the higher observed PCO rate in IOLs with a hydrophilic component.

The analysis is published today in a report by RCOphth. The authors are Paul Donachie, John Buchan, and John Sparrow. This work was made possible with funding from Alcon, who are supporting the NOD programme.

PCO is a complication which can occur months or years after cataract surgery. PCO occurs when a cloudy layer of scar tissue forms behind the lens implant; this can cause blurred or hazy vision or glare from lights. PCO is estimated to occur in roughly one in five eyes that have cataract surgery and is usually treated by Yttrium Aluminium Garnet (YAG) laser surgery.

Although there were multiple surgical and ocular factors found to influence the risk of PCO YAG, none of these alone can account for the vast variation in observed PCO rates in the report. However, better monitoring of performance of IOLs to reduce complications could result in fewer clinic visits by patients, freeing up resource in the ophthalmic workforce. Fewer YAG capsulotomy surgeries conducted could reduce the current annual £8 million NHS expenditure1 on these corrective procedures and improve patient outcomes.

John Buchan, NOD Cataract Audit Clinical Lead and consultant ophthalmologist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust explains:

“The extent of variation that we found suggests that there could be substantial benefits to patients and to the NHS from further work to identify the IOL’s or other modifiable risk factors that impact PCO rates in individual centres. Reductions in the incidence of PCO YAG could benefit thousands of patients, by avoiding YAG laser surgery thus reducing hospital visits, improving patient outcomes and liberating NHS resources”.

Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the UK, with around 472,000 carried out in the NHS (England and Wales). It is also cost effective and highly successful in providing patients with improved quality of life.

The report recommends that individual eye care centres should:

Compare PCO rates for different IOL’s utilised within the same centre to identify IOLs (and other modifiable risk factors) which minimise the rates of PCO.
Investigate measures to improve data collection, including moving to utilisation of EMR across their whole eye service including any community-based follow-up.

Recognise the false economy for NHS providers to opt for less expensive IOLs with higher rates of PCO, given the negative effects on patients (who are often elderly) and the average cost to the NHS of the YAG laser capsulotomy needed to correct PCO.

Key findings:

The overall post-operative one-, three-, and five-year PCO rates in patients for whom follow up data was available were 4.0%, 18.0% & 31.2% respectively.

About half of the centres have a single preferred IOL model which they use in >90% of cases.

The strong association of centres with IOL models coupled with the very large variation in PCO rates between centres, introduces a great deal of uncertainty about the source of variation in the observed PCO rates.

Therefore, this analysis of RCOphth NOD cataract audit data cannot definitively state that any individual IOL put the patient at higher risk of developing PCO.

Consequently, the RCOphth NOD cannot advise changes in clinical practice regarding which IOL to use.

Read the RCOphth Feasibility study of Post-cataract Posterior Capsule Opacification Report 2021

"HEALTHTECH HOUR" becomes UK Health Radio's fastest growing show ever

May 2021

HealthTech Hour on UK Health Radio has officially become the stations’ fastest growing show ever, surpassing half a million listeners in less than 6 months and reaching almost 50,000 every show, as the UK embraces the HealthTech boom.

• HealthTech Hour reached over half a million listeners in less than 6 months
• On average the show is tuned into by almost 50,000 every week
• Upcoming guests include Dr Dan Bunstone from Push Doctor, Sam Shah from Numan and Dr Umang Patel from Babylon Health

HealthTech Hour sees Steve Roest, CEO & Founder of PocDoc, speaking to the founders, leaders, clinicians and investors who are driving the HealthTech revolution and are at the forefront of healthcare innovation.

Previous guests include Dr Nick Taylor CEO of Unmind, the global leader in digital mental health services in workplaces, Dr Kate Bunyan Chief Innovation Officer of leading virtual GP provider Dr Care Anywhere, Dr Sarah Jarvis and Kate Newhouse Chief Operating Officer of Kooth, the UK’s leading digital mental health provider.

The show’s success reflects the nation’s growing obsession with health-related news stories over the past 18 months, which has also seen a surge in health degree applications and record investment in HealthTech companies both from private investment and public funding.

As CEO of PocDoc, which is backed by the NHS Digital Accelerator as “HealthTech set to transform the NHS,” Steve is uniquely placed to be able to bring together the founders, leaders, clinicians and investors who are driving the HealthTech revolution on the show.

Steve Roest, HealthTech Hour host said: “We are thrilled that an idea we had a few months ago has now not only become reality but has taken off more than we could ever have believed. The public have a clear interest in health technology and the future of healthcare in this country, we hope to now kick even further on and bring some of the leading figures in health and technology from across the world onto the show and deliver fantastic content and interviews for our listeners.”

HealthTech Hour can be listened to live here , while all previous episodes are also available to listen again.

AIO provides guidance to its members in respect of offering ‘paid for’ DVLA Field Tests

May 2021

The Association for Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians (AIO) has issued guidance to its members in respect of providing DVLA Esterman Field Tests for their patients.

AIO is satisfied from a legal perspective that there is no basis in law for the DVLA to reject a Field Test undertaken by a qualified and registered optometrist, that is paid for by the patient.

In correspondence with the DVLA, AIO has established that full medical evidence has to be supplied to the DVLA and the guidance issued to members today sets out what AIO believes to meet the requirements set out in statute.

Dr Christian French, Chair of AIO commented ‘we have been rather surprised that the DVLA has almost seemed resistant to AIO’s initiative to give patients the option to pay for their own Field Test rather than visit a Specsavers store. Surely this should be every patient’s democratic right, on top of which it is saving taxpayers money.

Rather bizarrely, one point of resistance in correspondence with the DVLA stated ‘We do not routinely accept field tests from customers own optometrists due to the identity check element.’ That there should be an issue over identity in respect of a patient that has been with a practice for years, if not decades is surprising and AIO has asked for clarification on this issue. Logic would suggest that there would be much greater concerns in respect of identity for a patient visiting a Specsavers store for the first time.’

AIO is continuing its challenge with the Ministry for Transport, and through the Competition and Markets Authority in respect of the award of the DVLA contract in November 2019.

Primary Eyecare Services progression by stealth to take over existing extended eyecare agreements comes under question.

May 2021

In an open letter from the Chair of Croydon LOC (published at the end of story) criticism is laid at the door of the Primary Eyecare Services Ltd (PES) for a lack of collaboration over a procurement process that saw the very efficient and local Complete Ophthalmic Services (CIC) Ltd lose its 7-year tenure of the Croydon area contract as a community interest provider which followed the original ccg contract with individual local contractors.

Chris Kerr (Chairman) emphasises the fact that Croydon which has provided its own in-house service recognised as a highly successful operation and praised by Moorfields which it successfully integrated with in 2019 has lost the contract because of the strategic interests of countrywide growth of both Moorfields and the PES.

He also complains of a complete lack of collaboration between PES and Croydon LOC. PES is an associated company with LOCSU Holdings Ltd and shares directors and optical leads within LOCSU.

Although like all LOCs Croydon contributes to LOCSU it has always remained outside of LOCSU’s original PECS in which from its early days Croydon proved that individual LOCs could successfully work with CCGs and Moorfields without a need for a PEC provided by LOCSU.

There are other very successful LOCs who did not take on a LOCSU PEC with a nominated LOCSU member on the board.

PECS which became regionalised and later a national company in the form of Primary Eyecare Services Ltd at the behest of LOCSU have an increasing interest in subsuming other contracts.

Some LOCs have remained with a (primary Eyecare company (PEC) but remained independent of the LOCSU Holdings PES.

Both independent and individual LOC integrated service providers must fear the shadow of a takeover by procurement by PES as it must be conceived as the median plan for LOCSU/PES directors to consolidate and create a national hold on extended eye care services.

There has always been a school of thought that a national plan for community eye services governed by LOCSU does not always reap benefits for all LOCs. For example, it used to be mooted that closer understanding, local knowledge and working closely in sharing data provided better financed benefits to the practices and better focused data for the primary/secondary care professionals to share.

Central agreements, on the other hand, have a risk of lost local negotiations, dumbed down agreement levels and poorly financed agreements purely on averaging down across communities.

The questions that need to be asked is what is better for the public and the other stakeholders in the main the practices that are doing the work that has allowed this service improvement to happen in many but not all areas.

Whilst PES claims that its intention is not to make profits it has said that it intends to retain the profits to enable it to continue to develop its services and presumably enable it to spend further cash on more upcoming procurement processes. That alone will put the successful independent providers under greater strain to try to retain what their LOC members have been happy to support for many years, 11 in the case of Croydon.

We understand that when any surplus monies were made by Croydon’s CIC that its practitioners all shared in benefits such as equipment upgrades and certification. That won’t be the case going forward.

A more sanguine view would be that LOCSU’s PES will assist the weakest of LOCs by funding from those more successful. Perhaps that’s what the majority want but large corporation and business intervention has taken a hard knock in recent years because they lack flexibility and local knowledge.

What is surprising is that this change could not be resisted by Croydon. Maybe with the forthcoming legislation for new ICS in reducing the requirements to the tender processes in healthcare the changes might have saved them. But others should be aware.

Given that Moorfields had been wholly satisfied with the process they took over at Croydon from the CCG one wonders what was the catalyst for prompting change in its service provider provision other than the knowledge that both PES and it (Moorfields) has visions of country wide domination.

The letter from Croydon in Full:

Dear Colleague

Press release

Croydon LOC regrets to announce that its community interest provider company, Complete Ophthalmic Services CIC, is no longer running the Croydon Community Ophthalmology Service.

Despite running a successful service, most recently as an integrated service under Moorfields, a procurement was run in late 2020 and the contract awarded to Primary Eyecare Services (PES), a company whose only member is LOCSU. Chris Kerr, Chair of the LOC commented, “It is extremely disappointing that, having been involved in this Croydon service for over 11 years developing it into what has widely been acknowledged as an exemplar service, a decision has been made in Moorfields’ strategic interests rather than in the interests of all stakeholders in Croydon. Furthermore, I am extremely concerned at the lack of collaboration within the optical sector that has allowed this situation to arise. In the recent NHS White Paper, Government has raised concerns with regard to the competitive tendering process in the NHS. Regrettably, the Croydon Community Ophthalmology Service has become an unwitting casualty of this process”.

Yours sincerely

signed when received
Christopher Kerr

Chairman Croydon LOC


Please refer to our latest story on received complaints on non-payment/delayed from PES to practice contractors. News separately received.


WLC UK launches a new eye-catching website

May 2021

WLC Logo A brand-new trade website has been unveiled by lens manufacturer, WLC UK, for eye care professionals and optical staff to order stock.

The new site has added visual appeal and is more functional to use. A new blog offers insights and tips to help ECPs connect with their patients and acts as an information hub for promotions and product information updates.

Phil Emerton, site manager at WLC UK, explained how the company is committed to supporting its customers with the best service and after months of hard work and planning, is delighted to share the new more user-friendly website.

“Our goal was to enhance the user’s experience and make information about our products and ordering processes more easily accessible, accurate and up-to-date and we are pleased that the new website achieves this,” he said.

“It is now more aesthetically pleasing to the eye and more functional for users who want to order products, check for updates and navigate their way around the site.”

New 'We Offer Testing to our Staff' scheme launched

May 2021

A new sticker scheme will allow businesses to easily show they are testing their staff regularly.

New sticker scheme launched allowing UK businesses to display their offer of free testing for staff alongside materials promoting use of the NHS COVID-19 app to check in customers and visitors

Alongside the vaccine rollout and checking in with the NHS COVID-19 app, regular testing is at the heart of plans to reopen society and the economy, helping to prevent the spread of variants

A new scheme for businesses offering workplace testing for staff through NHS Test and Trace has been launched across the UK. It will show customers, employees and the wider public the businesses that are going the extra mile to keep their staff and the public safe.

In addition to workplace testing, business owners and staff should all follow essential behaviours such as ‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air’ and, where applicable, checking customers and visitors in using the NHS COVID-19 app.

Businesses that offer rapid workplace testing to staff, either through on-site testing or workplace test collection, will be able to download posters and stickers to demonstrate their offer for free, regular testing to their employees keeping people safe.

More than 122,000 businesses have signed up for free workplace testing already, using free government-supplied rapid test kits from NHS Test and Trace. All organisations that registered before 12 April and self-declared their involvement are eligible for the scheme.

Participating firms will be able to access digital assets including stickers and posters from Tuesday 11 May, and can be accessed by participating firms online via the online ordering platform.

SHAMIR and ALPINE F1 Team form unique partnership

May 2021

Shamir sponsor Alpine F1 team Shamir Optical Industry, a world-leading developer and producer of high-performance lenses, and Alpine F1 Team are delighted to announce an innovative new partnership that will see Shamir become Alpine F1 Team’s optical performance partner.

This collaboration, initiated by FUSE France (Sport marketing agency of Omnicom Media group), aims at improving the visual quality and safety of every Race Team member and, ultimately, their collective performance.

The partnership is a natural expression of Shamir and Alpine's shared values of leading technologies, innovation, high performance, fast reaction, precision, safety and great teamwork.

The Shamir-Alpine F1 Team partnership will create the first ever vision performance lab in Formula 1, providing high performance ophthalmic assessment for Alpine F1 Team and Alpine Academy drivers as well as the pit crew, pit wall and personnel at Alpine F1 Team’s bases in Enstone and Viry-Châtillon.

Research and development will be a cooperative endeavor and both Alpine and Shamir engineers will investigate new technologies to improve racing and safety performance, focused on vision, including reduced glare goggles and coloured visors and anti-fog lenses for the pit crew helmets, amongst other innovations.

Alpine F1 Team track team, as well as personnel in its two HQ in Viry-Chatillon, France, and Enstone, UK, will benefit from accurate ophthalmic follow-ups, while being equipped with Shamir's most advanced safety equipment and lenses aimed at improved visual performance.

Shamir back Alpine F! Team

Reflecting its new standing as technical partner, Shamir's logo will now appear on Alpine F1 Team equipment, such as mechanics' helmets, garage doors, and so on.

Cédric Journel, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Alpine: “We are delighted to welcome Shamir on board. Visual excellence is a much-underexplored area in our sport and we look forward to exploring new avenues with Shamir, an ophthalmic industry leader, to improve performance through visual tools and processes. They share our drive for constant improvement and there is huge scope to collaborate on many creative and innovative new technologies that will initially help our team but also consumers across the world.”

Antoine Magnan, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Alpine: “We are proud to introduce Shamir as our vision performance partner. One of the pillars of our commercial strategy is to match with best-in-class brands to explore new solutions. Formula One offers a unique laboratory for brands to push the boundaries of their technology and develop new processes and materials to enhance Alpine F1 Team performance that can also be applied in the real-world to consumers. It is an exciting partnership, full of potential to explore areas of human performance not yet analyzed in Formula One.”

Davide Brivio, Racing Director, Alpine F1 Team: “Excellence in Formula One arises from excellence in every area, from every person, and vision is often overlooked as a key performance differentiator. We have seen from many different sports, such as skiing and rallying, that if an individual can focus precisely, without distraction from glare, blurring and flare, it allows them to perform better. Shamir develops world-class innovative ophthalmic technology and we look forward to exploring many different avenues with them.”

Yagen Moshe, Chief Executive Officer, Shamir: "We are proud to be associated with this great brand and happy to apply our expertise in support of Alpine F1 performance. We believe our partnership will allow Shamir to express its passion for innovation and continue developing unique and leading products. A wonderful collaboration such as this, with a leading team in one of the top performance sports, represents for us a great opportunity for furthering the Shamir mission - Improving quality of life by improving vison."


May 2021

The wait is finally over: NIRVAN JAVAN's new campaign #SEETHEWORLD – THE SHOW introduces the multifaceted richness of this world and celebrates a cosmopolitan, modern society embracing different perspectives.

#seetheworld campaign

The campaign serves as an extension of the concept #SEETHEWORLD and the invitation to see the world with one's own eyes.

#SEETHEWORLD – THE SHOW: A symbol for diversity

Walking through life with an open mind and experiencing the world in its endless diversity. With the current campaign #SEETHEWORLD – THE SHOW, Zurich-based lifestyle brand NIRVAN JAVAN offers a deeper insight into their cosmopolitan approach.

In #SEETHEWORLD – THE SHOW this philosophy is shown through the gathering of different characters from all over the world who come together in a unique place to celebrate life and the multifaceted richness of this earth. They all are modern cosmopolitans and represent the diversity of our planet.

#seetheworld campaign

A journey throughout the year with different destinations

#SEETHEWORLD – THE SHOW will join us throughout the upcoming year. Each character represents a collection and metropolis within the NIRVAN JAVAN universe and creates a thematic spotlight over the year. London, Tokyo, Paris, Chicago and Rome – all those cities will be highlighted and are once again drawing attention to the diverse impressions that the brand gathers on its stylistic journey around the globe. The campaign video forms therefore the opening of this multifaceted campaign.

#seetheworld campaign

"The campaign #SEETHEWORLD – THE SHOW and the story behind it is truly special to me. After a long and intensive process, we are very excited to invite every single one of you to this show and take you with us on a journey around the globe." Nirvan Javan, Creative Director

#SEETHEWORLD – THE SHOW its collections, as well as the character and their personal stories, can be followed throughout the year on the brand's website, as well as its social media channels.

Watch the video:

College of Optometrists releases ‘Forty Years of Research’ Report

May 2021

The College of Optometrists has published a report reflecting on the history and impact of its research work and funding. The report, which was compiled to celebrate 40 years since the formation of the College, details how it’s research awards, support and collaboration have impacted on knowledge, practice, and defining the profession.

Mike Bowen, Director of Research for the College says, “We are so proud to launch this report to our members, looking back on projects of all sizes, which have truly helped to shape the profession in important ways. The report demonstrates how the College has invested over five million pounds in optometry, optics, vision science and eye health sector public policy research. "

"Research forms the foundation of clinical and professional practice and we are pleased to be have developed the profession’s knowledge and supported the development of clinicians, academics, researchers and teachers of future generations of optometrists. I hope the report interests our members, and they are proud of what they have achieved as a profession through their College. We really hope it may be a source of inspiration for future researchers at all levels.”

Some key highlights from the report are included below:

• Approximately £400,000 has been invested in Research Fellowships since 2008
• The College has awarded over 70 Postgraduate PhD Scholarships
• More than 350 research funding awards have been made
• Over £235,000 has been awarded by the Small Grant Scheme since 2008, for more than 30 practice-based research projects, across all 12 regions of the UK represented by College Council
• The College has collaborated with over 40 partner organisations including universities, hospitals, eye heath care sector bodies, independent researchers
• In the past 10 years, the College has awarded over £50,000 to 60 Research Excellence Award winners, based at research institutions from more than 10 countries, across four continents.

The report also includes key outcomes from a number of key research projects including The Enhanced Scheme Evaluation Project (ESEP), Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction Project (NICER) and The Prevalence of Visual Impairment in People with Dementia (PrOVIDe) project, amongst others.

It also details the success of a range of member benefits that are produced by the research department, including research journals, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics (OPO) the top-ranked optometry journal in the world, and Optometry in Practice (OIP), supported by engaging podcasts, which keep optometrists up to date with current research and developments in optometric practice.

The report can be read, in full, on the College website:

To contribute to the Research Fund, visit the College’s donation page:

"CAN’T SEE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS" College proves the the point.

May 2021

- Beloved British children’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been re-released with entirely BLURRED text and illustrations to highlight the importance of children’s eyesight –

• The College of Optometrists has re-released one of the best known and most popular works of English literature fiction - Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - with entirely blurred text and illustrations

• The Blurred Edition has been commissioned as part of a public awareness campaign, after research1 revealed that up to 23% of parents don’t take their children to get their eyes tested

• The out of focus novel can be downloaded from

The classic 1865 novel by Lewis Carroll has today been re-released by The College of Optometrists in entirely blurred text, to raise awareness of the importance of children’s eye health. The new release named ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: The Blurred Edition’ has been launched after new research reveals that up to a fifth (23%)2 of parents have never taken their children to get their eyes tested.

Every single word of Carrolls’ classic, including the original illustrations by John Tenniel are out of focus in this newly released blurred edition. As Alice herself thinks: “what is the use of a book without pictures or conversations?” - in this case, while the book cannot be read, its use is to reflect the deteriorating eyesight of many of our children and how the much-loved book could appear in their eyes.

Indeed, where iconic characters like the Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit have lingered in sharp focus in the memories of millions, in this blurred edition these friends and foes in Wonderland appear on the page as little more than fuzzy shapes.

For parents that do get their children’s eyes tested, the most common reasons for visiting the optometrist are due to children commenting on things being blurry, not being able to see the board at school, and sitting too close to the television (18%). Noticing that their children don’t enjoy reading is also a reason for taking a trip to the optometrists for 9% of parents. When it comes to their own eyesight, almost one third (31%) of adults have noticed their vision get worse during lockdown, and 40% believe their eyesight has markedly deteriorated in the past two years.

Daniel Hardiman-McCartney FCOptom, Clinical Adviser for The College of Optometrists comments: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: The Blurred Edition hasn’t been published for people to read, but instead for the public to consider what it could be like for a child living with deteriorating eyesight. Reading is so important for a child’s development, but to read well, you need to be able to see clearly. We’re committed to encouraging people to get their sight checked regularly and we hope this blurred classic will help illustrate what it’s like to not be able to see everything in focus. We need to alert people to the importance of taking care of their children’s eye health as well as their own.

“Things to look out for in toddlers and young children include having one eye turned in or out, rubbing their eyes a lot, watery eyes, clumsiness and poor hand-to-eye co-ordination, avoiding reading, writing or drawing, screwing up their eyes when they read or watch TV, sitting very close to the TV, or holding books or objects close to their face. Having behaviour or concentration problems at school, blurred or double vision, or unexplained headaches are also factors to look out for. If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure to book an appointment with an optometrist for your child.”
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: The Blurred Edition’ will be displayed in the College Museum. Although the museum is currently closed, when it re-opens, visitors can look through the illegible pages of blurred text themselves to understand the importance of eye health and eye examinations. The online version can be downloaded from

All optometric practices are following government guidance and optometrists wearing PPE, to ensure each patient visit is safe. If you have any concerns about your vision, book an appointment with your local optometrist, you can find a directory of College members on our patient website:

The College has created a series of patient-focused videos related to COVID-19 and eye care:

• What to expect when you visit your optometrist:
• How to prevent your glasses from fogging up when wearing a face mask:
• How to avoid dry and uncomfortable eyes when wearing a face mask:

Join us at SEE,Summit on the Environment.

April 2021

On Earth Day, the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) is calling on everyone across the optical professions and industry to save the 4th of October 2021 for the inaugural SEE Summit on the Environment.

ABDO formed a working group at the start of 2021 to address Social, Ethical and Environmental (SEE) issues with the aim of working across the industry to increase awareness and engagement. As part of this project, ABDO is calling on practice owners, professionals and manufacturers to take part in a launch event to promote environmental sustainability in the UK optical sector and contribute to the Government’s goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The event will take place in the run-up to the COP climate change summit in November 2021 and will highlight the importance of environmental sustainability and inspire change by sharing good practice case studies and providing practical advice.

ABDO Vice President Daryl Newsome says, “We all recognise the importance of climate change and pollution. Many different organisations within optics are making great efforts to make our industries and professions environmentally sustainable. ABDO would like to play its part by bringing together individuals and organisations to support and recognise their efforts and achievements and to share best practices in an impartial and collaborative way.”

The event is supported by the OSA. Stuart Burn, Chairman of the OSA says, “The OSA is delighted to be a part of the first SEE Summit in October where optical bodies can help shape a better future for our planet. This fantastic initiative will bring positive change and lasting effects to the optical sector and the environment we inhabit.”

ABDO’s working group is also looking to develop a network involving professional bodies, manufacturers, practice owners and practitioners, all of whom can work together to highlight good practice and raise awareness of the importance of this issue.

If you have environmental initiatives you would like to showcase in the run up to or at the event, please email

If you would like to be involved in or support the event, email

If you would like to attend: save the date: Monday 4 October 2021 from 7 to 8.30pm. An announcement will be made when bookings open.

Covid antiviral taskforce for the Autumn

April 2021

Government launches COVID-19 Antivirals Taskforce to roll out innovative home treatments this autumn

The Antivirals Taskforce will identify treatments for UK patients who have been exposed to COVID-19 to stop the infection spreading and speed up recovery time.
A new Antivirals Taskforce has been launched by the government to identify treatments for UK patients who have been exposed to COVID-19 to stop the infection spreading and speed up recovery time.

The taskforce will search for the most promising novel antiviral medicines that can be taken at home and support their development through clinical trials to ensure they can be rapidly rolled out to patients as early as the autumn.

The taskforce will also look at opportunities to onshore the manufacture of antiviral treatments.

The aim is to have at least 2 effective treatments this year, either in a tablet or capsule form, that the public can take at home following a positive COVID-19 test or exposure to someone with the virus.

This will be another vital tool to combat any future increase in infections and limit the impact of new variants, especially over the flu season later this year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

The success of our vaccination programme has demonstrated what the UK can achieve when we bring together our brightest minds.

Our new Antivirals Taskforce will seek to develop innovative treatments you can take at home to stop COVID-19 in its tracks. These could provide another vital defence against any future increase in infections and save more lives.

College Update on Chloramphenicol

April 2021

The College has produced an update to the summary of product characteristics (SPC) for the Prescription Only Medicine (POM) form of chloramphenicol 0.5% multi-dose eye drops.

This relates to a change in posology, where it can now only be given to adults and children over 2 years of age.

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are reviewing the evidence for this change. We will notify members regarding the outcome of this review. In the meantime the Collge have temporarily updated the Optometrists' Formulary.

This change does not apply to the SPCs for chloramphenicol 1% eye ointment (POM), or chloramphenicol 0.5% minims eye drops (POM), which can be given to adults and children over 1 month old. However, as the minim form also contains the same boron based excipients as the multi-dose eye drop form, we recommend that this too should not be used in children under 2 years old.

The posology for the Pharmacy only (P) form of chloramphenicol (multi-dose eye drops no more than 0.5% and 10ml pack size; eye ointment no more than 1% and 4g pack size) which can be sold or supplied directly to patients remains unchanged, where it can only be given to adults and children over 2 years old. The P form is licensed only for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis.

HEIW says the "Future approach for optometry services“ paper suggests major change in Wales

April 2021

Health Education and Improvement Wales heralds the biggest change in primary care optometry in Wales in a generation”.

HEIW appointed two optometrist clinical fellows for the first time in 2020:

• Tim Morgan, former Optometry Wales vice-chair, is leading developments to enable “optometrists to contribute in health prevention, involving the patient in decision making and providing advice” as part of the planned new contract. “Tim is also analysing how optometrists can provide sustainable healthcare, ensuring cost analysis of service delivery whereby financial costs, person impact costs and environmental costs are all considered as a whole.”

• Sarah Schum, community optometrist, is leading a workforce data analysis.

Dr Nik Sheen, clinical lead at Cardiff University, Director at WOPEC and eye care transformation lead at HEIW, is “providing the education and development input with the aim of upskilling optometrists and supporting them when they take on additional clinical roles and, crucially, enabling them to become more adept at managing and accepting clinical risk.”

Read the report here

@Théa the new 2021 " let's open our eyes" Campaign

April 2021

Thealoz@ Duo Dry Eye drops, Thea's leading dry eye brand is repeating its successful TV advertising campaign.

Thealoz @Duo Dry Eyes Campaign The 20 second advert focuses on the symptoms dry eye sufferers experience, highlighting how Thealoz@ Duo offers a unique combination of ingredients that are clinically proven* to relieve the symptoms of dry eye, without the need for preservatives.

The advert goes through the most common symptoms and why consumers need to consider a preservative free solution. The advert can be seen here

The TV ad kicks off wider Thealoz@ Duo brand activity online.

Point of sale for Opticians and Pharmacies is available through the Thea Sales Team or by contacting the Thea order line on 01782 381698 or

The advert will be on air nationwide on ITV3 from April the 6th for 11 weeks, and via the Sky Adsmart channel in London exclusively from the 1 st of May through to the 31 st of May.

The campaign is designed to support Théa's pharmacy & optometry customers, who have had a tough year throughout the pandemic and highlight Dry Eye to consumers, particularly with screen use on the rise, which can often be particularly hard on your eyes.

Thea's aim is to bring the most advanced formulations in eye care and unique preservative free products to patients.

Further information about Théa's eye care range can be found on the Thea consumer website —

Why Blue Light Protection Matters

April 2021


Transitions against Blue Light Light is all around us, and it is essential for our health and wellbeing. However, some lights can be harmful, causing eye fatigue and eye strain or affecting our mood and sleep patterns.

Did you know?

• 78% of wearers are more likely to purchase a product that provides harmful blue light protection after receiving a simple statement on blue light.1
• This percentage increases even more with millennials, with 85% claiming they would be likely to purchase.1

In the past year, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for protection, including eye protection, has increased even more:

• 86% claimed that protecting their health and their family’s is more important than ever2
• 70% thought that protecting their eyes is more important than pre-pandemic.2

This, associated with more time spent indoors and in front of screens has resulted in more awareness about harmful light and an increased need to protect the eyes:

• 75% said they want UV and harmful blue light protection.2

Transitions against Blue Light



Transitions® light intelligent lenses™ offer an always-on protection, indoors and out, as they block 100% uv rays and help filter harmful blue light.

Entrepreneur Academy launched to support health and social innovators across West Midlands

April 2021

The Meridian Health and Social Care

The Meridian Health and Social Care Entrepreneur Academy is launching this month (April 2021) which aims to support health and social care innovators across the West Midlands.

The Academy is being led by West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) and will be supported by the Black Country and West Birmingham Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP). The new Academy will see a programme of activities launched to identify entrepreneurs within health and social care and develop their healthcare solutions, while addressing current priorities within the West Midlands.

The Academy has two entry points; an intensive, free boot camp that allows attendees to explore entrepreneurship and develop transferable skills. This will be open to all health and social care professionals within the Black Country & West Birmingham STP and registration will be managed through Eventbrite.

An additional six-month, on-the-job workforce development programme will also provide health and social care professionals with the commercial skills, knowledge and experience needed to successfully develop and spread innovative solutions to the health and social care challenges being faced across the West Midlands. Applications will be managed through Meridian and will be open from 1st April 2021.

Tammy Holmes, Head of Delivery (Innovation and Commercial) at WMAHSN and creator of the Entrepreneur Academy, says: “There is no better place to find new ideas and enthusiastic individuals than in the organisations at the forefront of delivering patient care and looking after our communities.”

“WMAHSN is pleased to be working with the Black Country and Birmingham STP in offering both clinical and non-clinical healthcare professionals, from the NHS and from valued social care organisations, the chance to develop their ideas and confidence around healthcare innovation, to really make a difference in the region.

“Helping people achieve their dreams and making their ideas a reality is something I'm personally passionate about. I’m excited to meet the NHS entrepreneurs of the future.”
The academy will launch April 2021 with the first Meridian Entrepreneur Boot Camps taking place in May 2021 and the first cohort of the Meridian Entrepreneur Programme starting in June 2021.

Ocean blue project & Miami beach clean up join efforts with Mita eyewear, for a more sustainable future

April 2021

The green eyewear brand along with these two no profit organizations hopes to create environmental awareness with this new campaign of ocean pollution clean up.

Ocean Blue MITA beach Cleanup Project For MITA - the eyewear brand made with PET plastic from bottles thrown into the ocean - environmental sustainability is not only our company philosophy, but our real and concrete commitment as a brand.

Hence the collaboration with two major American non-profit organizations dedicated to the environment and the protection of the seas: Ocean Blue Project and Miami Beach Clean Up. Both associations promote beach and water cleaning campaigns from plastic and waste through the involvement of volunteers and educational programs aimed at citizens.

Ocean Blue Project based in Oregon, aims to make oceans, beaches and rivers pristine and self-sufficient ecosystems again; where wildlife and human communities can coexist and thrive. The project is developed thanks to the direct commitment of local communities and administrations able to mobilize and coordinate resources aimed at educating the younger generations to respect the natural environment.

With similar activities and with the same purpose. Miami Beach Clean Up was founded by Sophie Ringel, a resident of the metropolis who started collecting garbage on the Miami beaches with the aim of making it a clean and welcoming place for citizens and tourists, but mainly to protect its marine fauna. Sophie's commitment and enthusiasm has grown to the point of being able to involve City officials, local Police Department Officers, students, teachers and professionals all united to protect the environment.

In addition to financially supporting the two associations, the MITA team participates as a volunteer in the clean up activities of the beaches, with the aim also to raise awareness of customers, followers and friends. MITA's commitment is also manifested in further concrete help: the company donates 2% of the value of each sale to either organization, where the consumer gets to choose at the time of purchase, which of the two associations they would like their donation to go to.

"MITA EYEWEAR was born with the aim of creating a movement of environmental responsibility within the eyewear industry. Our models are made with recycled materials, the lenses are biodegradable and the packaging is eco-sustainable. We are proud of the collaboration with Ocean Blue Project and Miami Beach Clean Up, an important opportunity to join forces to protect our oceans and our Earth "said Fabio Ferracane, CEO of Vision of Tomorrow.

MITA EYEWEAR is the brand of Vision of Tomorrow (VOT), the consulting and services company in the eyewear sector born from the twenty-year experience of Nora Cabrera (COO) and Fabio Ferracane (CEO).

MITA is the union between MI of Miami, the city where Vision of Tomorrow is based, and ITA like Italy. A name that represents a bridge between the melting pot stylish culture of the American Magic City and the concepts of Italian craftsmanship and design.

ABDO highlights 2 new sponsors for its 2020 "Careers in Eyecare"

April 2021

Careers in Eyecare, the cross sector initiative to highlight the range of careers in eye care and eye wear, has received a boost as two significant companies come on board as sponsors.

The award-winning campaign, which was launched by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) in 2020, is now sponsored by Specsavers and Stepper (UK) Limited.
Nick Walsh of ABDO says, “Careers in Eyecare was born from a desire to do more to raise awareness of all of the great career opportunities available in our sector. Ensuring that we have a future pipeline of new talent will keep the sector buoyant and fresh. Support from these great forward-thinking sponsors helps us to increase the range of help and resources that we can offer to students, teachers and careers advisers. We look forward to working with them and any other companies who would like to become sponsors too.”

Lucy Knock Early Careers Manager says "Specsavers is delighted to work with ABDO on the Careers in Eyecare Campaign, which we hope will inspire more young people to become opticians. We're keen on sharing the hidden secrets of the fantastic opportunities we have in our industry and in particular our role as STEM employers - for people who love science and technology, but also want to work in a caring environment. We look forward to sharing all the amazing ways we change people's lives with a career in eyecare."

Peter Reeve, Managing Director Stepper (UK) limited says, “Delivering comfort and fit that delights spectacle wearers requires good product and the best dispensing skills, so encouraging professionalism in eyecare early in a career delivers the best possible outcomes for all. Stepper is supporting Careers in Eyecare so we can work together with parents, schools and careers advisers to let more young people know about the amazing range of roles available in design and manufacture of eyewear, with career routes available for those who like engineering, craft and design as well as those who are interested in science, technology and healthcare.”

900 Specsavers stores have now installed OCT

April 2021

Ensuring the latest optical technology is accessible to as many people as possible

Specsavers has today announced its 900th store location in the UK and Ireland to install an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) as Selby in Yorkshire. The technology is used as part of Specsavers’ most advanced eye test.

The landmark has been achieved four years after the company announced the commitment to a £35 million pound investment. Since 2017, Specsavers stores have been installing OCT scanners, backed up by an extensive training and mentoring programme for all optical colleagues.
This nationwide rollout allows most Specsavers optometrists to work with OCT technology.

Mo Basharat at Specsavers Selby Mohammed Basharat, who has been the ophthalmic director in Selby for 19 years said all the store’s optometrists had completed a seven-module training course to work with OCT.
‘We are so pleased to be able to offer this technology to the Selby community and enhance the customer experience. The team have loved using it and the feedback from customers so far has been brilliant.
'It also helps relieve pressure on the NHS because it reduces the number of referrals we need to make.'

Paul Morris, Specsavers Director of Professional Advancement adds: ‘Using this remarkable technology alongside the data we collect in our clinical outcome report, we are able to ensure our clinicians deliver the very best care in their communities by being aware of key metrics from their clinics such as recall and referral rates. This allows clinicians to reflect on their practice like never before and opens up multiple opportunities for continuous
professional development.

Specsavers clinical services director Giles Edmonds says: ‘Together with our partners, we’re totally committed to making a positive difference to the lives of everybody – and OCT is part of this.’
‘Having OCT available nationwide is great news for customers who love the fact we use the latest technology and it’s also great news for optometrists who want to advance eye care by working with OCT. The completion of our national rollout is proof of our investment into innovating optometry’. 

More than 4,000 optometrists have completed the online training to work with OCT, from an overview of the technology to disease progression analysis.
OCT is offered when booking an eye test to people aged 25 and over, or if clinically indicated. The £10 charge for an OCT scan is additional to the standard eye test fee.

Pictured: Mohammed Basharat at Selby


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