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Opchat Magazine General NewsGeneral News, April to June 2021

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

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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