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Optical News - April - May 2015

Our aim is to provide a broad coverage of all events in Optics UK, including Clinical, Educational, Political, and Business News as well as International stories from around the world. Email your news to Primary Health Net aims to publish news within 48 hours of receiving information.

Don't forget to visit our New Product Briefing, and LOC Briefings for the latest in these areas.

PHN provides dedicated sector pages to make navigation to find stories easier

High Demand for Waterside Labs' Digital Solutions

Safilens Announce Launch of Fusion 1 Day Presbyo at BCLA

GOC Erases DO from Registers

GOC Set to Move to Farringdon

Manchester Leads Research for Screening Diabetic Retinopathy

AOP Inspires as Official UK Partner at 100% Optical 2016

Shamir's New Products Attract Visitors at Optrafair

Shamir Publishes Optrafair Winners

Adlens Signs New Partnership with Lempereur Group

College Guidance App Launched

UK Optical Market Under Spell of Easyscan

College Response to Increase in Myopia Headline

Election Fever Hits BCLA

Vision 2020 Announce GOC as New Member Organisation

Frank Norville to Talk at Next Yorkshire Optical Society Event

FMO Members Scoop Top Industry Accolades

PHN Announces Site Improvements

Premium Technology Catches Imagination at Optrafair

BIOVISION 2015: Innovation & Interdisciplinarity at Core of Renewed Forum

Global Leaders Convene to Debate Myopia Management

John Nides Appointed Ogi Eyewear's VP of Sales

WCSM & ABDO College to Co-operate in Qualifying Optical Technicians & Retail Staff

Easytear® partners with Six Six Contacts for UK distribution, A new online resource dedicated to the profession

College Event Set to Explore the Latest in Glaucoma Treatment, Surgery and Service Delivery

Snowbird Finance Announce Long Funding Lease

ABDO CET at Optrafair - Places Still Available

BCLA 2015 Exhibition in Liverpool

Optics Cycling for Sight 2015

2015 BCLA Industry Award Nominees Announced

Consultant Neuro-surgeon to Present at College Event in Coleraine

Blue Light - Market Hype? Optical Professionals Gather to Discuss Issue

FODO Celebrate 30 Years in Optics with Optrafair Events

Speaker Programme Announced for Vision UK 2015

IACLE Reaches Record Number of Educators and Students

Silhouette Celebrate Successful Open Office and Rimless Training Day

FMO Release Plan for 2016

More Optrafair Previews

John Hoods Joins Snowbird Finance

PHN Wants to Thank its Sponsors and Provide Optrafair Visitors with a Chance to Win a Great Prize

Grafton Announces New Relationship with i-Optics ready for Optrafair 2015

Ocuco to “Show and Tell” on Numerous Upgrades to Acuitas at Optrafair

PHN Who Share Their Offices in London with JCL Consulting Ltd Move to Larger Accommodation on April 15th

SIGN Guideline for Glaucoma Launched

Optrafair Preview Page Launched

Obituary - Michael Banes

Adlens Interface Supported by New Report Highlighting Danger of Blue Light Emisions

FMO Members Encouraged to Visit Optrafair

New Clerk of WCSM Announced

Norville Bids Farewell to Long Serving Staff

UK Vision Strategy Team Launches New Website

100% Optical Commits to Year Round Presence on PHN


PHN provides dedicated sector pages to make navigation to find stories easier

April 2015

This week sees the launch of our newly expanded professional site where we have dedicated additional space to specific sectors of the UK and International Optical Scene.

Breaking news headlines will continue to be visible on the home page and a click on each will take you to the full story which will be stored and archived on one of our new sectors appropriate to the story. So a click from the news headline could take you to pages dedicated to Professional Matters, Industry news, Charity news, New products and services, Exhibitions and Education, LOC’s and AOC’s, or non-specific general news and finally the Contact lens pages.

These defined areas on the site also provide a place for your specific announcements, changes in personnel and news that can have special importance to your fellow sector workers and peers.
This will allow PHN to archive news from each sector allowing for example Industry to communicate and search for previous stories on their Industry sector pages. There is never any charge for publication of any story and we add images and videos to bring your story to life.

So from now on in addition to the news items you can search on your own sector pages and stay up to date with the news that interests you. Important and urgent news will always be highlighted in our new headlines and you find more stories on your sector pages.

High Demand for Waterside Labs’ Digital Solutions at Optrafair 2015

April 2015

Waterside Labs, the independent prescription laboratory, has reported an unprecedented level of interest in the company’s new technologies and digital solutions for the optical industry at Optrafair 2015.

Waterside LabsThe Waterside team were inundated with requests for demonstrations of the ‘OptikamPad’ its digital measurement and dispensing tool for the iPad, and Waterside MD Bob Forgan’s CET presentations on ‘Smart Glasses – the Future of Eyewear’ were among the most popular seminar sessions of the whole event. In addition to this, such was the positive reaction to the launch of Waterside’s exciting new lens concept, ‘ELYSIUM®’, a complete new Lens Series complemented by its ‘Lifestyle Analysis App’, the company has now had to generate more customer codes to meet the high demand generated by Optrafair visitor enquiries.

Bob Forgan says: “From my view Optrafair has confirmed that we have struck a nerve across the industry with our digital offerings. We are seeing an insatiable appetite among independent opticians and multiples for new technology. More and more opticians are appreciating the benefits of harnessing digital dispensing tools and the massive new business potential presented by the smart eyewear sector.”

During his presentations Bob gave an insight into the latest developments in Smart Glass technology, focusing on the opportunities this new category offers to Opticians and addressing how to overcome the new optical challenges that Smart Glasses will present.

Waterside LabsFollowing Optrafair Waterside received many messages of thanks including one from Optician Inna Rapatskaya, she says: “I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation, it’s been a highlight of my Optrafair visit.” And Jon Paxman, senior researcher at who attended Bob’s presentation and took advantage of Waterside’s new Elysium APP adds: “Thanks for setting up the Elysium connection – looking forward to checking that out!”

“Our OptikamPad was certainly a key focus of attention for many. Possibly prompted by recent media coverage of Specsavers in-store use of iPad applications. Our digital dispensing tool attracted lots of enquiries not least because it’s the leading and most accurate device on the market, taking 10 measurements with just one photo image,” adds Bob.

SAFILENS announce Official UK Market Launch of Fusion 1day Presbyo at BCLA

April 2015

Safilens is confirming and strengthening its presence at BCLA by choosing the leading international event – Europe’s No.1 appointment for contact lenses – for the official UK market launch of fusion 1day presbyo, the first daily contact lenses for presbyopia based on the patented, widely acclaimed fusion technology™.

Fusion 1day presbyo, which debuted at Opti 2015, stems from the intent to develop soft dailies that ensure clear, uncompromised vision. Fusion 1day presbyo lenses are not just for people with age-related, close-up vision difficulties who cannot get used to “reading glasses”, but also for those who are thinking of doing away with contact lenses because they are not happy with the results or for those who simply prefer not to wear glasses sometimes – whether for convenience or aesthetic reasons.

Fusion 1day presbyo guarantees unparalleled, exceptional depth of field and clear distance, intermediate and close-up vision, even for the most demanding of shortsighted people. Stable images and crisper contours under all light conditions: unlimited, uncompromised vision is what the new Safilens contact lenses offer.

Ever since their launch in Germany, these lenses have performed very well with a +85% positive user response in terms of clear distance, intermediate and close-up vision, and of almost 80% for shortsighted people. Those with astigmatism up to 1.50D / 2.00D can also benefit from this new Safilens product by taking advantage of the sphere equivalent for close-up and intermediate vision.

Fusion 1day presbyo lenses feature the innovative fusion technology™, a cutting-edge technology which guarantees extended protection of the surface of the eye, a win-win solution considering the end users of the new lenses. Wearer response to product comfort has in fact been very high, at almost 100%.

Fusion technology™ incorporates a Tamarind-Seed Polysaccharide (TSP) and hyaluronic acid (HA) co-polymer in the contact lens. This combination enhances the well-known properties of TSP and HA in hydrating, lubricating and protecting the surface of the eye from the mechanical stress caused by contact lenses, thereby promoting the re-growth of epithelial microvilli. This technology therefore improves wearer comfort by normalizing the tear film and works in sync with the eye to deliver a consistent, controlled release of natural tear substitutes and mineral salts from the lens to the tear film.

Fusion 1day presbyo are also quick and easy to fit, ensuring immediate results without a period of adaptation and are hygienic, comfortable and practical.

Fusion 1day presbyo have a 8.60 mm base curve, 14.10 mm diameter and a + 8.00D to – 10.00D power range.

Live fittings at the Safilens stand for the entire duration of the exhibition will allow all visitors to personally test 1day presbyo and its performance at all distances.

General Optical Council announces Dispensing optician has been erased from GOC registers

April 2015

The General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for opticians, has erased dispensing optician Amanda Al-Hassani from its registers.

A GOC fitness to practise committee found her fitness to practise impaired by virtue of misconduct relating to fraudulent transfers and attempted transfers of company funds into her personal bank account.

In making its decision the committee, chaired by Margaret Hallendorff MBE, noted that: “The obligation to be honest and trustworthy is a central and fundamental tenet of the profession. The Committee has no doubt that the registrant’s dishonesty breached these duties in the Code [of Conduct] and that the registrant brought the profession into disrepute by deceitfully taking company money and putting it into her personal bank account. The conduct amounted to a serious breach of trust by the registrant who was a senior member of staff in the company’s employ. The Committee has no doubt that such conduct is deplorable and reaches the threshold for misconduct.

“In these circumstances, the Committee cannot be satisfied that such behaviour is highly unlikely to be repeated. The registrant demonstrated an entrenched attitude that she had done nothing wrong, but took no active steps to support her case. Therefore, the Committee found that the fitness of Amanda Al-Hassani to practise as a dispensing optician is impaired. The Committee is satisfied that the only proportionate and sufficient sanction is one of erasure.”

Al-Hassani is now unable to practise in the UK as a dispensing optician.

Al-Hassani has 28 days to appeal her erasure, during which time she is suspended from the register under an immediate order.

GOC set for move to Farringdon

April 2015

The General Optical Council (GOC) has today announced plans to move to a new, more modern office in the Farringdon area of London.

The regulator expects to move by the end of the summer once the new space has been fitted out. The GOC will surrender its lease on its current premises, a converted house on Harley Street.

Josie Lloyd, GOC Director of Resources, said: “The move to a new building will have a number of benefits. A more modern working environment will help our staff to work more effectively together, will allow us to improve our IT infrastructure and will be more accessible, especially for wheelchair users and people with sight loss.

“It will also mean we can conduct more of our activities in-house such as Council meetings, meetings with stakeholders, training, public events and hearings. Although many in the profession will have fond memories of Harley Street, the new premises will be far more suitable for us as a modern organisation.

“We’re looking forward to the move, which will really help our staff to work in a collaborative way in line with our organisational values. The deal will also provide good value for registrants and we will invest the proceeds from Harley Street carefully to ensure our long-term financial stability.”

The GOC has owned a long lease on the Harley Street HQ since 1958, paying a small ground rent each year. The GOC is surrendering this lease, and has appointed Brewin Dolphin as investment advisers to ensure it makes best use of the proceeds for future financial stability.

The GOC’s new address will be 10 Old Bailey, London, EC4M 7NG. It is within a short walk of Blackfriars and City Thameslink stations, as well as St. Paul’s tube. The GOC has appointed Peldon Rose to conduct the fit-out of the new office. The GOC has signed a 15-year lease on the new building. The GOC will receive around £6.85m from the sale of its old office, 41 Harley Street. The exact figure will depend on inflation between now and the moving date.

Manchester leads research for screening diabetic neuropathy

April 2015

Diabetic neuropathy – the most common and costly complication of diabetes leading to foot ulceration and amputation in severe cases – is the subject of a major international ocular research project at the University of Manchester.

The £200k, six month project, has significant implications as nerve fibre damage is typically assessed through invasive tests, including nerve and skin biopsies. Screening for diabetic nerve damage via corneal nerves is being sponsored by Heidelberg Engineering, with clinicians using the HRT3 with Rostock Corneal Module advanced screening technology.

The study of patients with diabetic eye disease – from four very diverse areas of Greater Manchester – will show the value of early neuropathy screening believes the lead researcher, Dr Mitra Tavakoli, optometrist and research fellow at the University’s Centre for Endocrinology and Diabetes.

“Early identification of neuropathy enables earlier treatment to control progression of this serious and life-limiting condition. Corneal confocal microscopy (CCM) is an established diagnostic tool used in a variety of other clinical applications. This relatively novel eye test is non-invasive and quick to administer, making it an ideal method to study the cornea as a sensitive alternative marker to detect diabetic neuropathy early,” believes Dr Tavakoli.

Jointly funded by Heidelberg Engineering and the CLAHRC-GM National Institute for Health Research, the study will be conducted at four primary care optometry practices across Greater Manchester. The areas selected for assessment reflect the diverse genetic and social demographical mix that includes the most opulent and the most deprived communities of Harpurhey, Hulme, Urmston, Altrincham – will each monitor 100 patients with diabetic eye disease.

The novel and important project aims to assess the feasibility and acceptability of implementing this new technology in community optometry practices alongside routine diabetic retinopathy screening.

As a leading centre for the past twelve years in the establishment of corneal confocal microscopy for the early detection of diabetic neuropathy, Manchester was a natural choice to conduct the study. Translating research into clinical practice is the aim, with a combined cost-of-illness and budget impact analysis. This will provide an assessment of the likely impact that routine screening would have on healthcare budgets.

“This study forms part of a wider, long term, programme of work which aims to consider whether early assessment of diabetic neuropathy using CCM would be appropriate to adopt as a national screening programme. The major clinical impact of this work is that the most costly and serious complication of diabetes – namely neuropathy which results in foot ulceration and amputation – could be identified to allow earlier treatment and prevention,” added Dr Tavakoli.

“It is possible that following the study, all people with diabetes mellitus could undergo regular screening for diabetic neuropathy alongside their retinopathy screening. People with existing early-stage neuropathy, or at risk of this, will be able to access treatment early, preventing progression of this damage.

“We have a very successful, long established, retinopathy screening programme in England and this reflects the fact that the UK has the world’s lowest incidence of blindness caused by diabetes. We believe that the Early Neuropathy Assessment Group is set to take this to the next level. Our fellow healthcare clinicians around the world are watching the study with great interest as this screening negates the need for invasive and painful nerve biopsies, as a basis to intervene with treatment,” said Dr Tavakoli.

“In the future we expect High Street opticians to be performing this screening for both retinopathy and neuropathy and to share this data with General Practitioners. Currently only the Heidelberg Engineering technology is sensitive enough to monitor these minute changes,” she added.

AOP inspires as official UK partner at 100% Optical in 2016

April 2015

"As the Official UK Partner, I am delighted that the AOP will be working with 100% Optical again in 2016 to deliver this innovative event. We will be developing the event further, in partnership with Media 10, to provide new educational and networking opportunities for AOP members, students and professionals from the optical sector.

I have no doubt that 100% Optical will continue to grow as an outstanding event. This year's show attracted an impressive 6,500 attendees, many of whom benefited from the AOP's expertise through our education hubs, a pre-registration boot camp, one to one advice sessions and our exceptional CET programme." Herietta Alderman, CEO, AOP

Shamir’s new products attract many visitors at Optrafair last week

April 2015

The Shamir stand was bustling with interest this year at Optrafair 2015 thanks to the launch of several exciting, unique and award winning products.

On display was winner of Spectacle Lens Product of the Year at this years’ Optician awards – Shamir Attitude III™ - the latest generation Fashion and Sport sunwear lenses. Offering unparalleled choice for prescription sunwear, this fully optimised range of lenses for single vision and progressive lens wearers is individualized according to the personal visual needs and lifestyle requirements of the wearer.

Also available to view was an exciting range of new innovative coatings with unique wearer benefits, including the world’s first Anti-fog coating that doesn’t require any activation cloth, spray or wipe.

Shamir publishes Optrafair Winners list from its Prize Draws

April 2015

Shamir UK Ltd would like to thank all of the entrants taking part in the recent prize draws at Optrafair’15 at the Birmingham NEC and they would also like to congratulate their winners:

Gemma Warnack
Shazad Waris
Roy Driver
All winners of an iPad.

Ben Duffill
Lauren canning
Jiu Rai
All winners of a Samsung Smart Camera.

Andrew Tompkin
Paul Rutter
Emma Hayden
Roop Maini
Helen Tippett
Elle Carter
All winners of a £100 SmartVision Voucher.

Adlens® signs new partnership with Lempereur Group, France

April 2015

Adlens®, the global leader in adjustable focus eyewear, has signed a distribution partnership with the renowned Lempereur independent optical group, opening doors for consumers to discover Adlens adjustable focus eyewear across France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Founded in the 1950s, Lempereur Group has grown exponentially as customers have chosen the more tailored and customer-focussed experience independent opticians are able to provide. With its own retail outlets and 2 wholesale divisions, including Karavan Production, the group is highly regarded for introducing eyewear brands and trends to key sections of the European market. A strong taskforce of 35 reps maintains their position at the forefront of optical distributors in France, Belgium and Luxembourg, serving over 2,000 stores.

Adlens AdjustablesTM, Adlens SundialsTM and Adlens InterfaceTM will join the distinguished ranks of brands represented by the wholesale companies, and will also line up next to iconic eyewear in Lempereur Opticiens retail outlets.

“It is not often that something unique and genuinely new enters the eyewear landscape in these territories”, said Jerome Lempereur, Président du Directoire of the Lempereur Group, “Adlens eyewear brings a taste of innovation and style that we are excited to show our customers. The user-focussed intuitive design will really make an impact, and we look forward to seeing great reactions in stores as people try them for the first time.”

Drew Opperman, International Director of Sales at Adlens, commented “We love working with partners who have a strong heritage in this competitive market. Lempereur is a distinctive and creative force in eyewear, and we are glad they share our excitement for Adlens’ considerable market potential.”

Adlens eyewear will land in Lempereur Group stores from April 2015.

Knowledge at your fingertips: College of Optometrists’ guidance app launched today

April 2015

The College of Optometrists launched a brand new app for its Guidance for professional practice today, allowing members to access and search the guidance from their smart phone or tablet, even when offline.

The new app is the latest stage in the College’s efforts to make the guidance accessible 24/7 to professionals working in a range of settings. College members have already received an exclusive bound version of the guidance, and a public microsite allows anyone to view the full guidance online.

Catherine Bithell, Director of Member Services and Communications, said: “The app is only available from the College’s guidance microsite, so there is no need to log on to iTunes or the app store. All members need to do to get the app is use their College login details and download it to their device.

“Members only need to download the guidance app once, then they can then use it to their heart’s content, even when offline, which is perfect for people who work in areas and practice rooms with little or no internet access. The app is responsive, so can be used on a range of devices, and we’re really proud of how fast and accurate the search function is. We are sure this will be a fantastic addition to the in-practice support we provide to our members.”

College members can download the app on their smart phone or tablet via the guidance microsite at

Optrafair 2015: UK optical market under the spell of EasyScan

April 2015

Last week’s Optrafair in Birmingham, UK has been a great success. The leading theme of this year’s edition of the Optrafair concerned, once again, networking, learning about the latest market trends and closing business deals. With almost 200 exhibitors at the trade show (running from 18 until 20 April 2015), visitors were able to achieve what they came for. The three days were fully packed with seminars, panel discussions and workshops that left no stone unturned when it came to the most recent developments in the market.

One of the highlights of the show has been the retinal imaging device EasyScan. The device shows not only to be a true innovation for opticians and optometrists, but also for consumers. Retinal diseases can be easily assessed with the help of Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (SLO) technology. Anand Manichand of i-Optics B.V. in The Netherlands was excited in demonstrating to many keen optometrists why SLO scanning can provide diagnostic images of a much greater use to the profession within its remit to refer and control visual problems.

“We have had a very successful three days. Together with Grafton Optical we were able to showcase EasyScan and educate the UK market about the potential of this highly innovative device.”

EasyScan employs SLO technology that has multiple benefits compared to regular fundus cameras. It is a retinal imaging device that does not require dilation thanks to the use of dual laser technology that provides optimal patient comfort. The device scans through pupils from only 1,5 mm wide and supplies high contrast images of multiple layers of the retina. A welcoming fact is that the device is very cost-efficient in comparison with OCT. “With an impressive amount of demos given to potential clients, we believe that the market is ready for the EasyScan. This overwhelming interest indicates that the demand for ways of doing business innovatively is growing,” Manichand continues.

The Optrafair gala dinner on Saturday evening, where the yearly Optician Awards were held, was once again well visited. This ceremony recognizes industry professionals for their outstanding achievements. Grafton Optical -together with their technology partner Visionix- was one of the main sponsors of this event, allowing the company’s CEO, Brian Bowles, to announce Peter Ivins Eye Care as the winner of “Technology Practice of the Year”.

College response to Times Headline on massive increase in childrens Myopia apparently due to a lack of outside activity

April 2015

“Huge rise in short-sighted children blamed on indoor lifestyles”

Michael Bowen, Director of Research for the College of Optometrists, said: “There is evidence from a variety of sources that the prevalence of myopia has increased significantly in the last 15 to 20 years, with the largest increases seen in East Asia.

“There are relatively well established links between increased urbanisation and increases in the prevalence of myopia. These are largely considered to be connected to the role it plays in reducing exposure to the outdoors and daylight, rather than to close work. There has been some suggestion that near work (reading, screen use, game console use, etc.) plays a part, but the strongest evidence currently available points to time spent outdoors and exposure to daylight having a protective effect in reducing the risk of developing myopia.

“Further research is necessary to fully understand whether it is primarily the daylight exposure, or the different visual environment / experience provided by external environments, or some combination of these that is responsible for the observed influence of time outdoors on myopia development and the College of Optometrists is part-funding the Ulster University’s Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction study in order to track the development of children’s vision, including myopia. Its latest report, detailing how myopia develops over a six-year period through childhood, is currently being prepared for publication.”

Election fever hits BCLA with Record Council nominations received

April 2015

The British Contact Lens Associations (BCLA) has received a record number of Council nominations, and is now inviting all members to participate in an electronic ballot to vote four new members into office by noon on Wednesday 6 May.

Last month, the BCLA issued a call for nominations for two Contact Lens Optician (CLO) Representatives, two Optometric Representatives, one Medical Representative and one Technical Representative. This led to a record number of nominations being received.

Professor Sunil Shah will join the BCLA Council next month, and Maxine Green will remain on Council as Technical Representative. Both vacancies were uncontested.

The Contact Lens Optician candidates are:

• Atkins, Nick
• Conway, Damian
• Howard, Nick
• Mussa, Ros
• Samuel, David

The Optometrist candidates are:

• Alderson, Alison
• Bench, Jonathon
• Gage, Alex
• Grewal, Indie
• Jackson, Jonathan
• Killpartick, Michael
• Lucas, Elaine
• Patel, Sheetal
• Retallic, Neil

In a move to ensure that all members participate in the elections, the BCLA is holding an electronic ballot.

“With a General Election just weeks away, we’re really getting into the voting swing here at the BCLA with our recently announced Industry Award ballot and now our Council elections,” said BCLA CEO Cheryl Donnelly.

“It’s a truly exciting prospect to see so many members of our Association nominated to join the Council and help develop the BCLA from the inside out. By giving our members the opportunity to cast their votes online, we hope to see a bigger percentage turnout than ever before.

“The Association is at a pivotal point of change – so please nominate the person you feel will lead the Association on to the next stage,” added Cheryl.

The successful candidates will be announced at the Association’s 2015 AGM, to be held at 4.15pm at the ACC Liverpool on Sunday 31 May during its 39th BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition.

VISION 2020 UK announce the General Optical Council as a new member organisation

April 2015

VISION 2020 UK, the umbrella charity bringing together agencies across the eye health and sight loss sector, announce that the General Optical Council is to be a new member organisation.

The General Optical Council (GOC) are the regulator for the optical professions in the UK, currently registering around 26,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses. The addition of the GOC marks an exciting step forward for VISION 2020 UK, with the health regulator building on the organisation’s existing membership of charities, professional bodies and voluntary organisations.

VISION 2020 UK CEO Mercy Jeyasingham said: “We are delighted to confirm the GOC as the newest VISION 2020 UK member. The membership of the GOC is a vote of confidence in the value provided by VISION 2020 UK to our members, and we anticipate a strong, fulfilling working relationship in the coming years, to help the GOC achieve all of their organisational objectives.”

GOC Director of Strategy Alistair Bridge said: “Our membership of VISION 2020 UK will allow us to work collaboratively with other members, and with VISION 2020 UK itself, to engage even more effectively with patients and the public. The GOC is committed to collaborative working, and we really look forward to making the most of the opportunities presented as members of VISION 2020 UK, such as involvement in the organisation’s Special Interest Groups, and working with other members to ensure that we fulfil our core functions to an even higher standard.”

The GOC are members of VISION 2020 UK effective immediately.

Frank Norville invited to talk at the next meeting of the Yorkshire Optical Society

April 2015

This year’s Owen Aves Memorial Lecture is to be given by Mr Frank Norville, OBE, Hon FCOptom, Hon FBDO titled An Ophthalmic Trilogy.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday 20th May 2015 at 7.00pm for 7.30 pm at the Holiday Inn, Leeds-Brighouse, Clifton Village, Brighouse, HD6 4HW.

RSVP to John Goacher, Tel 0113-226-7393, e-mail

A CET point for DOs and Optoms is to be applied for.

FMO members scoop top industry accolades

April 2015

FMO members, Eyespace and Shamir, scooped top industry accolades at this week’s OPTICIAN Awards, beating off tough competition in each of their sectors.

Shamir was awarded Lens Product of the Year for Attitude III Sports and Fashion. Head of Sales, Stuart Cooksey said the company was “elated” with the win, as it highlighted the technical advantages of the lens.

Eyespace, winning Optical Supplier of the Year, said the result was “overwhelming”. Julie Abel, Managing Director of the eighteen month old frame company, said –

“We don’t stand still for a moment as a business and it means the world to us to win this – we are a real team effort.”

PHN announces plans to make improvements to navigating the professional news and knowledge site

April 2015

Reflecting the large volume of news that PHN now receive from many different sectors of optics PHN plans to add more directional tabs at the top of the home page to allow instant access to news that relates to the profession, vision improvement, vision charities, contact lenses and industry as well as current well used sectors such as the events page to be called Diary, LOC pages and suppliers guide and a new products and services arena.

Another page will be devoted to conferences, international and local as well as CET events and other seminars highlighting the involvement of industry in their support. PHN has now gained 3 years of media partner expertise in the UK and abroad and the new conference sector pages will provide space for all companies wishing to promote their goals for individual exhibitions.

The home page will still lead with all the stories received often published on the same day of receipt and these will directly link to the full story on the appropriate tabbed page. News stories announced in the regular 2 week update will also direct you to the leader on the home page. If you are reading this news article on the website and do not receive the 2 weekly update alerts you should register your email address for free by clicking here.

The new innovation will help readers look for interesting stories and those directly affecting the sector they work within. It will open up more space for manufacturing, wholesale and distributing companies to announce new plans and HR announcements and in the same way we will clearly report on vision charity work both home and abroad and this section will be linked to our individual charity pages which PHN provides at no cost to them both on the PHN professional site and their public site , thus saving each charity £3600 per annum across both sites.

“It is good to have become accepted as the major news and knowledge resource within the Optical Sector, which I believe is helped by us taking a totally independent view within Optics with our staff’s background knowledge in the profession and Optical Primary Care gained over many years.

PHN has been providing that service for 10 years and we are still gaining readership which now stands at over 7000 professionals. I am looking forward to the new home page format that will encourage more stories from all parts of the optical sector.” Said Bob Hutchinson, PHN Director.

It is expected that the changes will be completed by May.

Premium technology catches imagination at Optrafair

April 2015

Unprecedented demand for OCT was seen at Optrafair as parallels were drawn to the 1999 rush to purchase retinal cameras, said Heidelberg Engineering UK Director, Krysten Williams.

“The show saw huge interest in OCT with practitioners looking at an upgradeable OCT platform and multi-modality imaging. We have not seen such a surge in demand for technology since retinal cameras stole the show in 1999 – it has been a similar scenario at this Optrafair,” she said.

The clear advantages of OCT are now widely understood – both as a diagnostic tool and as a means to work more closely with supporting long term care provided by the local ophthalmology departments.

“All of the work we have done in the past year with our education programme came together at the show with visitors keen to invest for the future of their businesses,” she added.

Another German technology company, Ipro, with its Paskal 3D refraction testing, also caught the imagination of visitors looking for a fresh impetus for their businesses -

Martin Himmelsbach, Managing Director of Ipro, drew crowds to see the Apple TV demonstration of the iPad driven refraction test. Using a landscape scene with hot air balloons the 3D test is conducted under binocular conditions, with no occlusion. It was promoted as the freshest idea in refraction for decades –

“Creating a cinema-like environment in the consulting room, with the patient in a relaxed position is a novel and very positive experience – with excellent refraction, too. We were pleased to see the appetite for new technology at the show,” added Martin.

BIOVISION 2015: Innovation and interdisciplinarity is at the core of a renewed forum

April 2015

BIOVISION, the annual forum organized by the Fondation pour l'Université de Lyon, devoted to research and action for life sciences, closed its doors yesterday with its 2015 awards.

BIOVISION is an international forum devoted to life sciences. The aim is to discuss forward-looking opportunities and facilitate collaboration between the various stakeholders, to encourage innovation and ultimately ensure public access to knowledge and solutions.

"Personalized medicine and its future impact on global health and the economy were at the core of the prospective debates," said Didier Hoch, president of BIOVISION. "As for the action side, more than 100 projects and start-ups from different countries in Europe and beyond, working in various fields (life sciences, environment, digital and other technologies) were presented. The Big Booster program that we are launching will allow us to strengthen our international foothold and help projects and entrepreneurs to thrive, starting with the best ones from those two days."

"This 10th meeting of BIOVISION was a success, including high-level debates between participants from 50 different countries," said Alain Mérieux, president of the Fondation pour l’Université de Lyon and president of the Institut Merieux. "BIOVISION attracts many projects that foster innovation and help start-ups grow. This strengthens the attractiveness of our territory as a hub for innovative entrepreneurship; Lyon is positioned as the reference point in Europe for the creation and acceleration of start-ups. The Fondation pour l’Université de Lyon contributes to this ambition."

BIOVISION and Lyon Start-Up winners

Prizes were awarded during the BIOVISION closing ceremony in the presence of Alain Mérieux, president of the Fondation pour l’Université de Lyon and president of Institut Mérieux, and Gérard Collomb, chairman of Lyon Metropole and Senator-Mayor of Lyon.

A new prize, the BIOVISION Next/TWAS/University of Lyon/SATT Pulsalys Lyon St Etienne Award, was given to Mohamed Abdelsalam of the University of Sao Paulo/School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. It was presented by Peter McGrath, coordinator, TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences)/IAMP (the InterAcademy Medical Program), Frank Debouck, director of the Ecole Centrale de Lyon, representing the president of the University of Lyon, Khaled Bouabdallah, and Marc Legal, CEO of Pulsalys. This award recognizes the most promising project.

Michel Goldman, co-chair of the Catalyzer selection committee, professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and former executive director of the Innovative Medicine Initiative, granted the 2015 BIOVISION Catalyzer Award to Diabeloop. He also gave two special awards to Cartimage and the GitHealth project supported by Novadiscovery. These awards recognize projects with high innovation potential that will provide benefits to both individuals and society.

The Investor Conference biotech and medtech awards, presented by Florent Gros, managing director, Novartis Venture Fund, and co-president of the selection committee were respectively assigned to Alizé Pharma and FineHeart. The Investor Conference Special Prize went to Kallistem. They reward companies identified by the selection committee for their particularly promising approach to innovation and for their contribution to medical and societal advances.

"Money is coming". In order to reconcile finance and the real economy, Jean Rognetta, president of PME Finance, awarded four prizes that highlight growth and innovation:

• For the two largest IPOs on Euronext since BIOVISION 2014: Cerenis in biotech and Supersonic Imagine in medtech
• For the two listed companies with the fastest growth in turnover over the last three years: Valneva in biotech and Diaxonhit in the medtech category
To conclude, the Lyon Start-up finalists were announced:

In the ‘project with potential’ category, the jury looked at the level of innovation, the ability to answer an existing need, the value creation, the potential and the feasibility:

• The 1st prize was awarded to Prototypo, the 2nd prize went to the IceStick project
In the ‘company with potential’ category, the innovative nature and the potential for job creation were evaluated:
• The 1st prize went to Watch Live and the 2nd prize to Chantiers Passerelles
Don’t miss the next edition of BIOVISION in April 2016 in Lyon, with a focus on prevention.

The next conference is in April next year in Lyon titled BIOVISION 2016

Global leaders convene to debate myopia management

April 2015

At BCLA Myopia Management Day on Friday 29 May

A unique educational event – dedicated to current research, understanding and strategies in the management and control of myopia – will take place at the ACC Liverpool, UK, on Friday 29 May, hosted by the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA).

“With commercial products now in development to specifically address the ‘global epidemic’ of myopia, the BCLA is providing eyecare practitioners with a definitive guide to myopia management in everyday practice,” said BCLA President, Susan Bowers.

“The prevalence of myopia today is such that it is imperative we understand current management strategies, and judge how best to employ these with our own patients,” continued Susan. “Never before have we seen so many global leaders come together in one room to debate the subject; this is a rare and exciting opportunity not to let pass.”

Taking place as a stand-alone event on the first day of the 39th BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition (29-31 May), the BCLA Myopia Management Day will be chaired by Professor James Wolffsohn, Professor Brien Holden and Dr Noel Brennan, and will offer attendees the chance to gain up to five CET points.

The programme* includes:

• ‘Epidemiology and the public health time bomb’ by Ian Flitcroft (UK)
• ‘The case for spectacle treatments’ by Dr Nicola Logan (UK)
• ‘Pharmaceutical treatments’ by Dr Janis Orr (UK)
• ‘Multifocal contact lens treatments’ by Professor Brien Holden (Australia)
• ‘Orthokeratology treatments’ by Professor Pauline Cho (Hong Kong)
• Live ortho-k fitting’ with Shelly Bansal (UK)
• ‘Risk/benefit analysis: can we afford to do nothing?’ by Kate Gifford (Australia)
• ‘Review of current practice across the globe: BCLA survey’ by Professor James Wolffsohn (UK)

The day will conclude with a panel debate on: ‘Clinical guidelines – what should we do for the person in my chair and what will the future look like?’ Dr Brennan, Professor Pat Caroline (USA) and Clinical Conference keynote speaker, Dr Loretta Szczotka-Flynn (USA), will also join the panel. This will be followed by a Partner Sponsor presentation by CooperVision, after which all delegates are invited to enjoy the BCLA Welcome Reception in the Exhibition Hall at 6pm.

Delegates staying on for the Saturday of the conference will be able to attend a follow-up session to Shelly Bansal’s live ortho-k fitting, entitled ‘The morning after….’ This will take place at 9.30am in Hall 3. There will be a further follow-up on the Sunday at 3pm.

Commenting ahead of the event, presenter Kate Gifford said: “Myopia control is a hot scientific topic, and its translation into clinical practice is fascinating, evolving and challenging. Contact lens options currently have the strongest research results for myopia control, yet the practitioner must balance the risk of intervention with the risks of myopic pathology, which escalate alarmingly with myopia progression.

“Although future cataract, maculopathy and retinal detachment may seem quite distant prospects, the risk comparison to that of contact lens complications is bound to surprise you, and motivate you into determining your approach to myopia management for your paediatric patients,“ Kate added.

Dispensing and contact lens optician, Shelly Bansal, who is also presenting, added: “This is a ‘must attend’ event for every practitioner – optometrists, contact lenses opticians and dispensing opticians – where we can learn how to manage and create strategies to deal with an issue that we are faced with on a day-to-day basis. The exciting and unprecedented programme will provide invaluable insights into myopia control so that we can offer our young patients the best advice and care to safeguard their future.”

The day costs £175 for BCLA members, or £295 for non-members, and includes lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments, exhibition entry and the BCLA welcome drinks reception from 6pm in the exhibition hall. Delegates may also attend the day as part of their full conference delegate package, for which group booking discounts of up to 20 per cent for 10 or more delegates are available.

Download the latest conference programme, and book your place, at or via the BCLA mobile app. Paper abstracts will be available ahead of the event from the BCLA app and website.

John Nides Appointed as Ogi Eyewear’s Vice President of Sales

April 2015

Ogi Eyewear has announced the appointment of John Nides as their new Vice President of Sales.

John Nides has been working at Ogi Eyewear for 8 years, beginning his career with the company as the National Sales Manager for Scojo New York, Ogi Eyewear’s premium reading eyewear brand, in July of 2007. Nides has led the development of innovative sales and marketing strategies across multiple channels of distribution that have led to double digit growth.

"I strongly believe Ogi Eyewear has the right team, management and fashion forward collections to succeed in 2015 and beyond. I look forward to leading the Ogi sales team to continue providing innovative solutions for our customers and partners,” says Nides. He added, “We are inspiring our retail partners to think differently and capture new business with a creative approach to sales and marketing."

As the Vice President of Sales, Nides will assume increased responsibility for leading a growing sales team for the entire Ogi Eyewear company under the guidance of CEO, Joseph Tallier. As a part of the aggressive growth plan, Ogi has recently launched two new brands, Red Rose and Bon Vivant, which are part of a new luxury segment of the company known as the North Division.

John Nides brings a unique skill set to this new position stemming from his vast experience in retail, manufacturing and distribution as well as being the creator of Volleyworld, an outdoor beach volleyball facility for corporate and team play.

Ogi Eyewear is a leading luxury wholesale optical company that delivers exceptional value and craftsmanship.

UK practices can check out the fashion design and product quality of OGI eyewear through a dedicated supplier who showed for the first time at Optrafair called Carina Eyewear and managed by a well known lady Carmela Ariano, who has considerable experience in the international frame industry and known to many of us. You can contact her at

WCSM & ABDO College to co-operate in qualifying optical technicians & retail staff

April 2015

It was announced at Optrafair today that ABDO College and the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) have agreed in principle that, with effect from 1 September 2015, the College will take over the day-to-day running and administration of the WCSM training courses for optical technicians and optical retail staff leading to the WCSM’s nationally accredited qualifications. The WCSM will remain the awarding body, and will accredit the College as an examination centre. Successful candidates will still be presented with their certificates at the Company’s annual ceremony in Apothecaries’ Hall each October.

The WCSM retains responsibility for running the examinations scheduled for June and December 2015, and the preparatory training leading up to them, based on the existing programme of qualifications. However, the two organisations are already engaged in a review of that programme with a view to the introduction of a simpler, more easily understood suite of qualifications, including a new Level 4 qualification for optical retail staff to stand alongside the renowned ‘SMC Tech’ qualification regarded by many as the gold standard for optical technicians. It is proposed that those attaining the new qualification will be entitled to put the letters ‘SMC(OA)’ after their names.

This planned initiative is intended to provide a solid foundation for the development of essential optical skills, and opens up a clearly defined career pathway for those entering optics at the lowest levels. As ABDO College Principal Jo Underwood explained: “For those acquiring the WCSM Level 4 qualifications who wish to progress further, we are seeking to enable a seamless transition into year 2 of the ABDO College Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing course, which in turn leads to the Level 6 ‘FBDO’ qualification awarded by the Association of British Dispensing Optician.” Indeed, it is hoped that the change will also eventually swell the number of former WCSM students who have not only subsequently obtained the FBDO qualification, but gone on to qualify as optometrists.

It was also announced that the WCSM’s director of training, Deborah Gigg, has joined ABDO College as course co-ordinator – optical support programmes, and she gave this assurance: “Those studying for the June and December 2015 examinations will be fully supported, and if necessary enabled to resit any units that they do not pass first time throughout 2016 and into 2017.”

Commenting on behalf of the WCSM, the Master, Dr Christine Tomkins, said “The Company anticipates that optical technicians and optical retail staff will be able to benefit from ABDO College’s proven expertise in training and conducting examinations. The resources at the College’s disposal will ensure that the Livery Company’s qualifications are attained by a broader section of the optical community, and thereby raise the standards of eye care available to the public.”

Those seeking further information should contact the ABDO College Courses Team on 01227 738 829 (Option 1) or email, or the WCSM on 020 7236 2932 or email

Easytear® partners with Six Six Contacts for UK distribution

April 2015

A new all in one tool for the diagnosis of dry eye is now available in the UK. EASYTEAR® of Italy have agreed an exclusive distribution agreement for the EASYTEAR® view+ instrument in the UK and Ireland with Six Six Contacts. The instrument is designed and developed to observe the tear film and the anterior segment of the eye in a non-invasive way.

Unlike other instruments from the past and present, EASYTEAR® view+ is equipped with three types of light. White light with different brightness levels to assess the tear film and lipid layer of the tear film. Blue light is used to illuminate a larger area than the slit lamp to observe fluorescein patterns, perform BUT, blink analysis and corneal staining. Infrared light and the special camera allow full investigation of the integrity and functionality of the meibomian glands.

Graham Avery of Six Six Contacts said, ‘With so many practices now aware of the importance of diagnosing dry eye and offering dry eye clinics to their patients, the EASYTEAR® view+ is a valuable tool to assist accurate assessment in a non-invasive way and actually demonstrate the problem to patients either by photo images or video as the instrument can be connected to a PC. For those that remember the original Keeler Tearscope that was discontinued a number of years ago, EASYTEAR® view+ represents a significant advance in the features now available for those dry eye aficionados and those looking to start providing a dry eye service.’, A new online resource dedicated to the profession

April 2015

TransitionsYounger Optics, in partnership with Transitions Optical, have launched, the most comprehensive source of Transitions product information ever to be made available free of charge to the profession.

Registration is quick, easy and free and is open to, all professionals who will have unlimited access to the latest Younger Transitions, products, technical information, marketing tools, news, training and education.

Younger transitionsIf you want to run your own bespoke information, communication and educational program for your clients, all the resources you need are here. You’ll find details of Transitions® Signature VII®, Transitions® XTRActive® Grey & Brown, Acclimates® and Transitions® DriveWear® a click away.

Raising people’s awareness and asking them the right questions are important and you’ll find plenty of advice and guidance to help you make the most of Younger Transitions adaptive lenses.

Younger Transitions lenses are available on request from privately owned prescription labs throughout the UK and Ireland.


College event set to explore the latest in glaucoma treatment, surgery and service delivery

April 2015

Consultant glaucoma and corneal specialist and leading iStent® surgeon, Mr Leon Au, will present his lecture titled Latest in glaucoma treatment, surgery and service delivery at the College of Optometrists’ free member event in Peterborough on 30 April.

His lecture will focus on glaucoma medical therapy and issues with generic prescribing. It will also help optometrists understand how their patients are being treated, and provide tips on how they can communicate better with them.

Mr Au said: “This lecture will explain what medical therapies are available for glaucoma patients. It will help optometrists and therapeutic optometrists understand the potential problems of generic prescribing, and will provide them with an insight into the wide range of glaucoma surgical treatment options available.

“Delegates will leave the lecture with a comprehensive overview of how glaucoma clinics are evolving and will be able to inform their patients accordingly.”

Delegates who attend this lecture at the KingsGate Conference Centre, Peterborough, will earn one interactive CET point.

This lecture is part of the College’s series of events which take place across the UK throughout the year. Catherine Bithell, Director of Member Services and Communications, said: “Our events offer members the chance to attend cutting edge lectures from experts in that field. They also have the opportunity to network with other optometrists from their region and earn valuable interactive CET points.”

The lecture will take place after a buffet and networking time and a peer discussion session worth three CET points will follow the lecture. The peer discussion will cover cases on: normal tension glaucoma, abusive patient and change in Rx. There will also be the opportunity for delegates to meet their local College Council representative.

Bookings for this free event can be made at

Better on the Red or the Green?

April 2015

For years opticians have been asking this question – as they have asked themselves - Better lease or outright purchase?

Now Snowbird Finance announce their new Long Funding Lease at Optrafair 2015.

For many years practices had to choose between their VAT de minimis considerations or 100% tax relief using the Annual Investment Allowance. Now they can have both with a Long Funding Lease from Snowbird Finance!

Snowbird Finance will be showcasing the Long Funding Lease product on our brand new exhibition stand at Optrafair at NEC Birmingham from Saturday 18th – Monday 20th April.

Visit them on stand F67 for coffee and cupcakes and talk to their team to find out more about the funding solutions they can offer.

Download their Optrafair Flyer here

ABDO CET at Optrafair

April 2015

ABDO will be hosting a CET lecture programme this weekend (Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 April) at Optrafair. The lectures feature internationally acclaimed speakers, including special guest Bernard Maitenaz, the inventor of Varilux lenses. Read more on our Optrafair preview page.

BCLA 2015 Exhibition in Liverpool …..A contact lens and technology showcase to remember

April 2015

A world-class venue and the promise of a multitude of new innovations to appraise and discuss look set to make this year’s British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) Exhibition in Liverpool a contact lens and technology showcase to remember.

Taking place at the stylish, accessible and WiFi ready ACC Liverpool, UK, this year’s BCLA Exhibition will get underway at 1pm on Friday 29 May – with all visitors invited to stay on for the BCLA Welcome Drinks from 6-8pm in the exhibition hall.

As always there is no charge to enter the BCLA Exhibition* and visit the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers showcasing everything from the latest contact lens technologies and ocular health nutritionals to practice management software and anterior eye instrumentation.

Enjoying centre stage in the exhibition will be the Beatles-themed BCLA stand, where visitors can find out about the latest membership offers, and how to be in with the chance to win one of several great prizes during the conference.

“A welcoming hub where visitors can enjoy complimentary refreshments, whilst catching up with the BCLA team and each other, the BCLA stand will be your first port of call for all your events and membership needs,” said BCLA Events Manager, Sarah Greenwood.

A popular component of the BCLA Exhibition, the Exhibitors’ Pavilion will once again provide visitors with practical tips and advice at bite-sized drop-in learning sessions. The timetable of presentations, along with a complete list of exhibitors, will be available prior to the event on the BCLA app and website,

The Exhibition will also give visitors the chance to catch up with this year’s sponsors and premium exhibitors, which are:

• Alcon (Partner)
• CooperVision (Partner)
• Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (Partner)
• Topcon (Gold & Technology)
• David Thomas Contact Lenses (DTCL)/Menicon (Gold)
• mark‘ennovy Personalised Care (Premium)
• Scope Ophthalmics (Premium)

Inma Perez, Head of Professional Affairs, EMEA, Alcon Vision Care, commented: “Comfort through technology will dominate Alcon’s programme and stand this year. We have 13 Alcon supported clinical posters and other presentations providing delegates with scientific findings on the technologies that make our company a leader in vision care, from improved permeability and wettability technologies in contact lens and lens care, to consistent surface performance of our monthly disposables.

“In addition, an opportunity that delegates should not miss this year is Alcon’s Partner Sponsor Presentation on Saturday morning: Improving Patient Outcomes Through Innovation – A look into the future, where our Vice President of Research and Development, Dr Franck Leveiller, will share his deep insights into the future of contact lenses, lens care, and eyecare delivery,” added Inma.

Nigel Mallinson, Managing Director for the UK & Ireland at CooperVision, commented: “We believe that this year is going to be an extremely exciting BCLA event for us here at CooperVision. We are delighted to be showcasing our newly expanded portfolio, including the world’s only full family of silicone hydrogel daily disposable contact lenses. We’re also going to be highlighting the Biofinity range of reusable contact lenses, as well as helping practitioners grow their practice through offering key insights as part of the business track sessions.

“The event is a must attend for anyone working in the optical industry as it’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone to come together to learn from the expert opinion leaders, network with peers, meet suppliers, as well as pick up new skills. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in Liverpool,” added Nigel. Andrew Yorke, Managing Director of Topcon GB Medical, commented: “With technology moving faster than ever before, Topcon is committed to the delivery of an advanced education programme in support of all of its ECPs at this year’s BCLA conference in Liverpool and are once again delighted to be the preferred equipment provider.

“With the introduction of the world’s first combination anterior/posterior Swept Source OCT, the importance of continued professional development is of paramount importance in maximising the benefits of the technology. Our team of clinical experts from Topcon University will be on hand to further explain this new and exciting technology to our customers, old and new. Along with a number of other new and exciting products including our new corneal analysis system and our upgraded MGA slit lamp system, Topcon are looking forward to supporting the extremely exciting clinical programme.”

Gill Narramore, sales and marketing manager for DTCL, said: “We are delighted to be a Gold Sponsor once again. It’s an exciting time for us – and the BCLA – with a completely new venue this year. As there isn’t a conference in 2016, we are determined to make this a year to remember. We have some new and exciting products for delegates, with Steve Newman coming over from Singapore to talk about Miru 1day, Paul Rose from New Zealand on Rose K2 Soft, and Jac Santadomingo from Spain to present on MeniCare Pure RGP Solution.”

Gary Daniels, UK Sales Director of mark’ennovy, said: “With this year’s new location, a strong line-up of presentations and industry key opinion leaders, the mark’ennovy team are looking forward to welcoming BCLA delegates to our stand. Our theme for this year will be ‘Meeting every patient’s visual needs’ with premium custom-made contact lenses. BCLA 2015 is not to be missed.”

Tom Freyne, Commercial Director of Scope Ophthalmics, said: “Scope Ophthalmics is delighted to be partnering with the BCLA as it’s a great forum for leading optical professionals. It gives us the opportunity to showcase the most innovative ocular surface disease (OSD) products and provide education on how to diagnose and treat OSDs effectively. We have a growing product range, including our HYCOsan and OcuSoft ranges, and a clear focus on dry eye, blepharitis and OSD education. At Scope we aim to empower delegates in diagnosing and treating ocular surface diseases with Scope’s extensive product range.”

Exhibition opening times:

• Friday 29 May: 1pm to 8pm (Welcome Drinks 6-8pm)
• Saturday 30 May: 9am to 5pm
• Sunday 31 May: 10am to 3pm

Pre-registration for the Exhibition is available on the BCLA website, but it’s also possible to register at the ACC on the day. Download the BCLA app for detailed information about this year’s exhibitors and their products.

* Please note: exhibition only visitors are not permitted to attend any of the conference lectures or workshop sessions nor have access to delegate or exhibitor lunches.

Optics Cycling for Sight 2015 - Get fit, have fun and raise funds!

April 2015

Following several years of success, Optics Cycling for Sight (OC4S) a.k.a Optoms Cycling for Sight launches for 2015 in support of Optometry Giving Sight. This popular initiative is asking the profession to come together in the UK and cycle 25,000 miles - the incredible equivalent cycle of around the world. The start time for cycling is from anytime now until World Sight day – Thursday 8th October.

The cycling initiative is a wonderful, healthy, participatory, team building exercise (literally) that fundraises! Last year’s activities achieved over 9,000 miles being cycled up and down the UK and funds raised were generously matched by Essilor UK limited. In total last year’s initiative raised £24,000, the equivalent to helping screen and provide spectacles to over 8,000 people who have no access to eye care services. The goal this year is to collectively cycle 25,000 miles and raise £1.00 for each mile cycled.

For those who wish to take the challenge can do as little or as much as they want. Previous participants have done anything from cycling 10 miles to 1,000. It all makes a difference and every mile counts. This can be done anywhere in the country, on your own, a static bike or as part of group.

Tim Bowden of Bowden and Lowe Opticians in Kent has taken part the last couple of years “It has been good for my health and fitness levels whilst at the same time helping to drive awareness amongst patients and friends of the misfortune of others that do not have access to the essential eye care that we take for granted.”

In addition, for those that would like to join an organised cycle there is the opportunity to take part in a CET cycle event by organised by Eyecare on Sunday 30th August between Bridlington to Scarborough with different distance options. More details on this will be available soon.

Donna Power, Optometry Giving Sight Regional Manager, Europe, said, “We hope even more people from the profession will get involved this year, including their friends and family. It’s such a great way to get fit whilst making a direct impact to others lives. What’s great is that there’s no restriction on millage, participants can do whatever their comfortable with, and wherever they want.”

To register and take part please visit: you can register your fundraising page at justgiving:

2015 BCLA Industry Award nominees announced

April 2015

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has announced the nominees for the 2015 BCLA Industry Award – and is inviting its members to cast their votes by the deadline of Thursday 30 April.

Launched in 2013, the BCLA Industry Award honours and recognises the entrepreneurial work being carried out by individuals working in contact lens science, research and technology. The inaugural recipient of the 2014 BCLA Industry Award was Dr Paul Rose – inventor of the Rose K lens for keratoconus.

There are five nominees for this year’s award, put forward by 2014/15 BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition sponsors and exhibitors. They are:
Francis Erard, Teifi James, Tony Martin, Steve Nemwan and Dr Paul Nicolson.

Beginning his career in the 1980s as Managing Director of Biolens SA in Switzerland, Francis Erard pioneered the development of new nanometric lathe technology – an industry revolution that enabled contact lenses to be produced with unrivalled precision and quality. In recognition of this, Francis and his team were awarded the prestigious 1997 EFCLIN Technology Award.

Inventor of the MGDRx EyeBag, leading to the development of a whole new category in dry eye management, Teifi James is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Prifysgol Caerdydd, Cardiff University, where he is a leader of the WOPEC Post-graduate Module on The Management of Tear Film Disorders. He is a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Ophthalmic Surgeon at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust and Director of the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Uveitis and Inflammatory Eye Disease Clinic.

Known as ‘The Father of ACUVUE’, Tony Martin has been at the forefront of ACUVUE innovation for more than 30 years. He began his career with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care in 1984 as an integral member of the team that first brought ACUVUE to market. Since that time he has helped the company drive the evolution of the contact lens industry through a number of game-changing technologies and innovations.

Inventor of the flat-pack for daily disposable contact lenses, Stephen Newman is Managing Director of Menicon Singapore Pte Ltd and Deputy Executive Officer of Menicon Co Ltd’s Area and Product Marketing Strategy division. Previously he served as Chief Technology Officer and General Manager of Global Product Strategy of Menicon Co Ltd and was responsible for global product and branding planning and technology development.

Dr Paul Nicolson is considered one of the fathers of the silicone hydrogel revolution in the contact lens industry. In addition to his pivotal contribution to the application of silicone hydrogel chemistry to contact lenses, which has altered the course of the industry since the late 1990s, Dr Nicolson has played an important role in new lens and lens care innovations throughout his 30 plus years in the vision care industry.

BCLA members are now being informed about the nominees, and are invited to cast their votes via an online poll by 30 April. BCLA President, Susan Bowers, will reveal the winner of this prestigious Industry Award during the BCLA Dinner to be held at the magnificent Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on the evening of Saturday 30 May.

Susan said: “This year’s roll-call of Industry Award nominees reflects the huge achievements and progress being made in our industry – past and present and future – and further demonstrates that fresh ideas and advancements in contact lens and anterior eye technology are providing endless opportunities for the everyday contact lens practitioner.

“We look forward to receiving our members’ votes and to announcing, and celebrating with, this year’s winner during a fantastic and swinging 60s style evening at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral next month,” added Susan.

In keeping with the Liverpool/Beatles connection, the 2015 BCLA Dinner will have a 1960s pop music theme so guests can look forward to a memorable night with great entertainment at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

Tickets are £80 per person and should be purchased online at the same time as booking a conference package. However, if further BCLA Dinner tickets are required post-booking, please email Table places must be reserved no later than Friday 15 May.

Consultant Neurosurgeon to present at College event in Coleraine

April 2015

Roddy O'Kane, Consultant Neurosurgeon, will present his lecture titled ‘You found it, I removed it. I got the bottle of wine!’ at the College of Optometrists’ free member event in Coleraine on 21 April.

In his lecture, Roddy who works at the Institute of Neurological Sciences at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, will outline the details of various neuro-ophthalmological findings that have led to the diagnosis of intracranial conditions and their subsequent management.

Roddy O’Kane said: “This lecture will provide delegates with an understanding of visual field analysis in determining the location of lesions in the visual pathway. They will leave the lecture with an appreciation of the significance of a full and detailed history and symptoms in relation to possible underlying conditions that may give rise to neuro-ophthalmological findings.

“Early detection and surveillance of these findings has provided improved outcomes across many of these pathological processes. I will highlight the neuro-ophthalmological signs and symptoms that may constitute an ocular emergency and explain how the patient should be managed.”

This event also features a peer discussion session for College members and will include Optometry Northern Ireland’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

This lecture and peer discussion session is part of the College of Optometrist’s series of events which take place across the UK throughout the year. Catherine Bithell, Director of Member Services and Communications for the College, said: “This is set to be a fantastic event, with a lecture by an industry expert on a very interesting topic, and a peer discussion featuring excellent case studies which are sure to get debate going among colleagues. I am very pleased that we are hosting this event with Optometry Northern Ireland, and we are looking forward to arriving in the region later this month.”

The peer discussion session worth three interactive CET points will cover cases on: emergency examination, macular supplements and advanced undiagnosed glaucoma.

The lecture and peer discussion will follow the Optometry Northern Ireland AGM.

Bookings can be made at

Blue Light – Market Hype? Optical professionals gather to discuss the issue

April 2015

Optical professionals from across the UK gather this month in Birmingham to see industry developments in lens technology; hear the latest research on the effects of blue light, and discuss other topical clinical issues relating to the nation’s eye health.

Says Malcolm Polley of the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians and Optrafair Director, “Pre-registration for the lecture on Blue Light at Optrafair is unprecedented. Two hundred and fifty people have registered for the session - the theatre holds 150!

“A number of companies will also be showcasing blue light products at this year’s show – there is guaranteed to be a great deal of interest.”

Chris Bennett, Editor of Optician Magazine says, “Interest in lens technology is certainly riding high. Getting passionate about optical products is not always easy but there is a rich seam of technology being showcased at Optrafair this year.”

Optrafair is the UK’s leading educational conference and trade show (NEC 18-20 April). It is an opportunity for those working in optics to share best practice, see the latest cutting edge diagnostic technology in action, as well as the very latest trends from global fashion brands destined for the high street.

With all the trade bodies, major manufacturers and retailers represented, the three days are also packed with world-class seminars from renowned speakers in their fields of expertise.

Petri Eskola, Category Management & Education Manager for Hoya Vision Care Europe will be delivering the heavily subscribed seminar on Blue Light on Sunday 19th April.

Says Petri, “I hope that the industry does not mystify this important matter too much with the jargon that we sometimes see. It is very important to keep it simple in order to be able to convey the right message instead of fear talk to consumers."

Hoya is one of the leading suppliers of ophthalmic lenses. The Hoya BlueControl lens helps neutralise the blue light emitted by LCD and LED screens preventing eye fatigue and eye strain and even sleeplessness. It keeps the eyes in better condition, offering more comfortable and relaxed vision and a better contrast perception when using every day digital devices. Recent consumer research shows that 83% of spectacle wearers report eye discomfort while using digital devices.

Recently launched, and also being showcased at Optrafair, is an innovative anti-reflection coating that reduces artificial blue light. Solitaire® Protect Balance 2 from Rodenstock, a leading manufacturer of lenses, represents a significant contribution to relaxed and healthy work at a PC, laptop or tablet.

Rodenstock Lens Product Manager, Debbie Bathgate says, “Blue light can lead to overstraining the eyes and sleeplessness. This new technology reduces blue light, increasing a general feeling of well-being and ensuring a balanced biorhythm through relaxed sleep.”

High street retailer Boots Opticians is also championing new lens technology with the recent launch of its Protect Plus Blue Lens which effectively screens out 20% of bad blue light while allowing through 96% of good blue light.

Ben Fletcher, Managing Director for Boots Opticians says, “The launch of Boots Protect Plus Blue lens is another example of how Boots Opticians is supporting the everyday eye health needs of our customers. We understand how our customers live their lives today and how the rise of technology focused lifestyles means our eyes are increasingly exposed to blue light - which can not only impact eye health but can also affect sleep patterns.

“This is why we are leading the way in developing products that help to protect the eyes from the harmful effects of blue light.”

Stuart Peirson, Associate Professor in the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, says, “Exposure to blue light produced by many modern day electronic devices can inhibit the release of melatonin and affect our sleeping and waking cycles. Recent studies have shown this may explain why many people often wake feeling unrested and less alert on a morning. Disrupted sleep can also cause broader health issues such as an increased risk of weight gain and impaired concentration, so it is important to try and maintain a healthy sleeping pattern and limit the use of light-emitting electronic devices before bedtime.”

Essilor, the company famous for the world’s first varifocal, last year ran a campaign to raise awareness of ‘blue light’ and the impact it could be having on long-term eye health.

Highlighting the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) associated with prolonged exposure, Mike Kirkley, Managing Director for Essilor Ltd said, “It’s a sad but true fact that many consumers don’t appreciate the value of their vision until they’ve lost it, so if, through our PR campaigns we can convince just one person to take eye health seriously and protect themselves against the dangers, then it’s very worthwhile.”

Essilor will have a major presence at Optrafair where their successful blue light lens, Crizal Prevencia, which filters 21% of toxic blue-violet light, will be on show.

FODO celebrate 30 years in UK optics with Optrafair events

April 2015

To mark 30 years at the forefront of UK optics FODO are inviting Optrafair attendees to meet their sector-leading legal and business advisors for free drop in sessions. See FODO’s listed event timetable on the Optrafair preview page.

Speaker programme announced for Vision UK 2015

April 2015

The conference titled ‘Working together to deliver the UK Vision Strategy’ will be held on Thursday 18 June 2015 at Central Hall Westminster, London.

For the first time delegates are able to choose from one of five conference streams, focused on delivering aspects of the UK Vision Strategy and tailored for different professional interests. The streams are as follows:

• Making the case for improving eye health
• Transforming patient care to ensure timely treatment and support
• Empowering adults with sight loss to regain their independence
• A world without barriers for children and young people
• Social inclusion: transforming lives through digital technology

The streamed conference programme features a wide range of high profile expert speakers including:

• David Allen, Chief Executive of Faculty of Public Health
• David Cartwright, Chair, National Eye Health Week
• Jarnail Chudge, User Experience Architect at Microsoft
• Emily Davison – ‘Fashioneyesta’
• Dr Stephen Hicks – Research Fellow in Neuroscience and Visual Prosthetics, creator of Google Smartglasses
• Lord Holmes of Richmond
• Andrew Kaye, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Independent Age
• Chris Lines, Director of Communications, Public Health Wales
• Dr. Kenneth O’Neill, Clinical Director NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
• Paul Smythe, Head of IT Accessibility at Barclays bank
• Paul Wood, Social Care Policy & Legislation, Department of Health

The Vision UK 2015 early bird discount ends at midnight on Friday 17 April. The early bird rate is £84 (incl. VAT) for voluntary, and £114 (incl. VAT) for non-voluntary sector attendees.

Katherine Raven, UK Vision Strategy Senior Manager, said: ‘We are delighted that this year’s Vision UK 2015 conference will feature such a wide range of leading experts covering different aspects of the UK Vison Strategy. We encourage everyone working within the eye health, sight loss and related sectors to book their early bird places by 17 April so they can join us for a day of relevant and engaging content, tailored to a wide range of professional interests.”

Book your Vision UK 2015 conference place now at

IACLE reaches record numbers of educators and students

April 2015

Membership of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) grew by 11% last year and its activities reached more students than ever before.

IACLE’s annual Activity Summary for 2014 is available online at and reveals that the association now has 958 members in 75 countries worldwide. Half of IACLE’s total membership is in its seven Global Priority Countries: China, India, Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Brazil and Russia. The largest growth last year was in the Asia Pacific region.

IACLE programs reached a record number of 23,030 students in 658 institutions around the world in 2014.

A total of 17 Web Lectures were broadcast live online to students and educators at priority institutes in India, China and Latin American countries. The format was also extended to include a live Discussion Forum among educators.

The annual report also shows:

• 68% of members are educators at recognised teaching institutions, 22% work in industry and 10% are associate members

• 1,386 students in seven countries and 36 institutes completed the IACLE Student Trial Exam in 2014

• IACLE has 169 Resource Centres in 46 countries worldwide.

2014 also saw major innovation with the introduction of the first IACLE Contact Lens Educators of the Year Awards, to recognise achievements in contact lens teaching. The awards are sponsored by CooperVision and supported by the British Contact Lens Association.

This year there will be further exciting developments with the Third IACLE World Congress on Contact Lens Education taking place from 24th to 28th May.
Participation for IACLE members attending the congress at the University of Manchester, UK will be facilitated by IACLE, thanks to generous support of Platinum Sponsors Alcon, CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.
November will mark the 10th administration of the IACLE Fellowship Exam. So far, 397 members have achieved FIACLE status with 343 currently active compared to 285 in 2013.
And the IACLE Contact Lens Course, an essential resource for high quality contact lens teaching, is undergoing a complete update and will be re-launched during 2015.

President Dr Shehzad Naroo welcomed recent major achievements for IACLE and thanked the association’s 2014 sponsors ‒ Alcon (Platinum), CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (Silver) and Bausch + Lomb (Bronze) ‒ for their support and commitment to contact lens education worldwide.

He commented: ‘In 2014 we were able to exceed our goals for the year. We reached more students and educators than ever before. Our membership levels increased and our message seems to be more far reaching. We look forward to 2015 and have an even busier year ahead with the Third IACLE World Congress in May and the launch of the revised ICLC later in the year.’

Silhouette eyewear celebrate another successful open office and CET rimless training day

April 2015

Silhouette UK hosted their second successful ‘Open Office’ and CET rimless training day on Thursday 26th March welcoming over 70 customers to their UK head office in Chiswick, West London.

Peter Black, ABDO President, delivered 4 CET Rimless Workshops and other activities including a practical dispensing discussion and an ocular conditions test, earning each guest 5 CET points.

Participants travelled from around the country to take part in the workshops, Silhouette led tours of their offices, held Q&A sessions with specialist Silhouette technicians, gave exclusive previews of new adidas and Silhouette 2015 frames, as well as putting on plenty of refreshments, sandwiches and cake!

Guests were treated with Silhouette and adidas goodie bags as they left, along with CET points and a new confidence in working with rimless frames.

Hatty Scrace, UK Marketing Comms Manager comments, “Our rimless training days are a wonderful way for us to meet our customers face to face and to spend valuable time together helping them to feel confident working with our rimless glasses. We love meeting our customers and showing them the technical side of our frames. Often people don’t realise how easy it is to work with Silhouettes and it is very rewarding to see our customers leave feeling enthused and confident”.

Silhouette will be running more ‘Open Offices’ and CET rimless training days later in the year.

FMO release plans for 2016

April 2015

The FMO today confirmed that Optrafair will be returning to Birmingham again next year, taking place in their usual Spring slot – April 9th to 11th 2016. Their show partners will once again be the team at Optician, who will be operating under the FMO’s newly defined parameters to deliver an improved and even more dynamic Optrafair.

The FMO says its spent a lot of time consulting with exhibitors and visitors during the past few months and have listened to and acted upon the feedback. As a result they will be making a significant investment in changes to the show floor and are planning:

• A new modish Central Eyewear area for frames suppliers.
• A new focus and format for contact lens and pharmaceutical exhibitors.
• A fresh approach to visitor education resulting in a world class program.
• A new VIP package for key buyers.

They will show potential exhibitors how these great new ideas will affect the available stand space – and give you them a chance to select their stand – at Optrafair 2015 in a few days’ time.

The FMO says it recognises that participation at exhibitions is becoming increasingly expensive, which is why they plan to engage with other like-minded partners in the future to drive down the cost, increase attendance and improve the experience in all areas. They welcome input from FMO members and other allied organisations to help develop this key objective.

More Optrafair Previews

April 2015

Read about the innovative products Mainline Optical Connections will be showing at Optrafair including Safe Clean, MLM-9000, Chemistire Bespoke Eyewear, Huvitz Edging Systems, and Easy Read. More innovation, this time in an awareness campaign from the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.

Snowbird Finance Ltd announces that John Hood has joined the company to assist their expansion in the optical sector

April 2015

John Hood joins the team from Carl Zeiss where he spent 20 years as a high-tech diagnostic equipment salesman. John will now be Business Development Manager for Optics at Snowbird and brings with him a wealth of experience and a vast network of industry contacts.

John has spent his entire career working with optical and medical equipment; both in sales, training and product development services. John comments, “My combination of knowledge and experience, coupled with Snowbird’s understanding of the optical profession and their high standards of specialist finance services is an opportunity too good to miss. I look forward to working with such a dynamic team and building on the reputation of Snowbird in optics.”

Simon Freeman, Managing Director of Snowbird added, “John is a great addition to the team and his appointment demonstrates once more our commitment to being the leading provider of healthcare finance in the UK. We look forward to working with John, using his skills and expertise to build on our reputation and developing new relationships with optical suppliers and professionals.”

Visit Snowbird's Page

PHN wants to thank its sponsors and provide Optrafair visitors with a chance to win a great prize

Apriil 2015

PHN is able to provide over 7000 professionals involved in the optical sector with news, knowledge and archived information as well as Suppliers Directory and events information all complimentary.

We also provide around a 1000 plus members of the public with eye care information and with the ability to look for opticians in their post code providing services and selling branded goods they want to buy. Advertising your practice to the public is also free.

We couldn’t do this without the continued support of our sponsors and of course the PHN staff who work tirelessly to keep the profession up to date, more through loyalty than for gain.

So we want you to download the Optrafair visit card which will enable you the prospective buyer to visit our sponsors’ stands and ask for a signature at the end of your visit. Completed cards should be emailed or posted to our new offices after the show and the first drawn out will be awarded either a crate of wine or a voucher worth £50.00, whatever you prefer.

View and download our PHN visit list now which contains all the information you need to locate our sponsors' stands.

If you forget to take it, most of our sponsors will be able to furnish you with a replacement.

Grafton announces new relationship with i-Optics ready for Optrafair 2015

April 2015

Grafton Optical will be showing a number of hi-tech instruments on their stand F50 at Optrafair this month.

With their new collaboration with i-Optics they will be demonstrating the new EasyScan retinal camera.

Avoid delays at Optrafair and pre-book your personal demonstration time now at

A camera like no other in the marketplace, the EasyScan, made in Holland, provides for greater detail in retinal photography even through cataracts and pupils as small as 1.5 mm, using the latest SLO technology. SLO stands for Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope technology which gives superior imaging far better in contrast to a fundus camera. Retinopathies are far easier to detect with a sharper image allowing for earlier detection and diagnosis.

Read more about the EasyScan on our Optrafair Preview pages as well as Grafton’s array of groundbreaking super technology products and make sure you try them at personally on stand F50.

Ocuco to “Show and Tell” on numerous Upgrades to Acuitas at Optrafair

April 2015

Ocuco the largest UK provider of practice management solutions have announced that Stand P10 will be the “must go” platform to learn about the Major new features and improvement that have been made to Acuitas, many having been requested by the Ocuco user groups.

These include new and improved business intelligence from LOGIX, a new integration of Microsoft Word and a new improved contact lens module including an online contact lens catalogue capability.

Read about all the new features within their product range on PHN’s preview pages.

PHN who share their offices in London with JCL Consulting Ltd move to larger accommodation April 15th

April 2015

A combination of a successful year for both companies has required a need for larger IT capacity and an increased number of work stations. “We have been in our current space for almost 10 years now and unless we hot desk, which is really not an option, when we need to respond quicly to opportuinities and breaking news, we need more space, “commented Charles Greenwood, a Director of both companies.

The new offices and new contact details are as follows from April 15th onwards:

Primary Health Net Ltd, Unit 3, 2 Thayers Farm Road, Beckenham, BR3 4LZ

T: 020 8090 1467

Email remains;

And web & social media contacts continue as:


SIGN guideline for glaucoma launched

April 2015

The Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network has published a Guideline for glaucoma referral and safe discharge.

Optometry and ophthalmology representatives in Scotland have worked over two years to produce advice that will help coordinate the care of glaucoma suspects in primary care and secondary care which was published on 25 March.

A defined and standardised approach to the examination of the potentially glaucomatous eye is recommended and the guideline provides assistance for the optometric evaluation of glaucoma suspects and the recommended equipment and procedures. It also helps optometrists decide which patients to retain and monitor in the community, who to refer to the Hospital Eye Service (HES), and what information should be included in the referral.

For ophthalmologists, there is guidance about who may be considered for discharge from the HES, back to their community optometrist, or for patients on treatment, to a named or listed optometrist. There is also guidance about what information should be provided by the ophthalmologist to the optometrist at the discharge point, and re-referral criteria.

Hal Rollason FCOptom, member of the SIGN committee and College of Optometrists Council member and Fellow said: “I hope that the guideline is adopted without delay as it will help support a further shift in the balance of care, from secondary to primary. This has been an ongoing aim in Scotland for the last 10 years, due to capacity issues within the Hospital Eye Service and the new treatments now available for blinding diseases that must be delivered very quickly after onset.

“This is excellent news for everyone who is at risk of glaucoma. It provides more convenience for patients who will be monitored by their community optometrist, possibly at the same time as their routine eye examination. It also reduces appointment costs to the NHS and increases efficiency, ensuring that patients who need to be seen in hospital are seen when needed.”

The Harry Potter effect and fashion savvy youngsters drive increased demand for children’s eyewear brands

April 2015

Eyewear brands are reporting a large increase in demand for fashionable frames for children and young teens.

Optrafair (NEC, Birmingham 18-20 April), will see the debut of many exciting new childrens’ ranges destined for the UK high street. Read about it on our Optrafair preview page.


Nikon Optical UK Ltd will be showcasing its ever expanding range of spectacle lens products at Optrafair 2015 including the Capture-I, an iPad-based advanced optical measurement system.

Optrafair, is offering free professional fashion and style advice for retailers to take back to their practice at the iconic NEC show this April.

Paskal to provide visitors to Optrafair, who are looking to update their practice, a chance to see the latest in eye examination technology which, at first glance, looks like a trip to a 3D cinema.

Heidelberg launches new SPECTRALIS Connect Investment Club, at Optrafair, which is set to bring cost savings and to facilitate access to the most advanced eye scanning technology.

Read more on our Optrafair preview page

Obituary Michael John Banes FCOptom MSc DipCLP DipTp(IP): 1947-2015

April 2015

The College of Optometrists is sad to report the death of Michael Banes, who passed away on 5 March aged 67.

Michael, who was the son of well-known optometrist Stanley Banes, originally qualified both FBOA and FSMC in the late 1960s after training at City University. He practised at his own independent practice and at Moorfields Eye Hospital. He was also a volunteer member of staff at the Institute of Optometry (previously the London Refraction Hospital) and, in particular, helped with binocular vision clinics, as well as being on the Board of Management.

Michael was one of the College's founding Fellows and a member of the College Council from 1993-2005. He was also Chair of the Professional Development and Standards Committee during his time on the College Council. He had also qualified as an independent prescriber and was involved in the International Glaucoma Association.

Michael will be greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues in the profession and at the College.

Adlens Interface supported by new report highlighting dangers of blue light emissions

April 2015

Adlens®, the global leader in adjustable focus eyewear, has identified a continuing trend in the publication of health warnings and studies related to harmful blue light emitted by screens. Exposure to these harmful wavelengths continues to increase as all generations become more and more dependent on smartphones, computers, televisions and tablets. Based on this, Adlens InterfaceTM proves to be the perfect solution to combat blue light and other eye strain associated with screen use.

The Vision Council released a new report at CES 2015, titled “Hindsight is 20/20/20: Protect your eyes from digital devices”. The report discusses the dangers of blue light; particularly wavelengths between 415 & 455 nanometers. It claims that “Because blue light can reach deeper into the eye than ultraviolet light, it may damage the retina. Although the issue is nascent, emerging research points to a possible link between exposure to blue light and long-term vision issues such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts”.

This matches research conducted over the past decade, as early as a 2004 UK study where the abstract states “On balance the evidences suggests but does not yet confirm that blue light is a risk factor for AMD”. These findings were enhanced again in a well-known 2011 study in France, centering on the potentially harmful ocular effects of using LEDs for domestic lighting. Ongoing research continues to highlight the potential dangers of prolonged screen use at all hours of the day, with indications that blue light emitted by screens is linked to eye strain, and at worst, AMD.

Adlens Interface has been shown to block 80% of harmful blue light. Such effective blue light reduction could make a significant contribution to eye health for those who regularly use screens, as well as limit the symptoms of digital eye strain. These include dry, itchy eyes; neck, shoulder or back aches; headaches, and blurred vision.

What makes Adlens Interface especially unique is the addition of its adjustable focus technology, which enables the wearer to set their required level of focussing power for screens at all distances. Compared with standard prescription eyewear or readers, this flexibility means the eyewear itself can adapt to the screen in use, rather than forcing the wearer to adapt their position by leaning forwards or straining their neck. This ease of use makes Adlens Interface a particularly effective tool for combatting digital eye strain, as they can be used by anyone, for any screen, in any circumstance.

FMO Members Encouraged To Visit Optrafair

April 2015

FMO members, and those interested to know more about the UK optical trade body, are invited to visit The FMO within the Optrafair Association Lounge (S50) at The NEC, Birmingham.

During the three days of the show – April 18-20 – the FMO team will be on hand to promote the many benefits of membership.

“Newcomers to the industry are especially welcome to come and meet us. We are keen to spread the message about our member benefits, networking events, new optical standards, plus our training and optical apprenticeship opportunities,” said FMO Chief Executive Kevin Gutsell.

“One of my major plans when joining the FMO was to improve and increase the benefits offered to our members. At Optrafair we will have Willis Network for insurance and DX couriers present. Both provide advantages for our members and Optrafair is the time to come and find out more,” he added.

Recent FMO events have attracted speakers on the benefits of engaging with social media and using the Buying Support Agency which can bring advantageous terms across a wide range of utilities, products, office supplies and services for FMO members.

New Clerk of WCSM is announced to take over from May 22nd

April 2015

The successor as Clerk to the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers will be Mrs Helen Perkins MA(Oxen), FCIS, FCSI, currently Company Secretary of Hydrogen Group plc, “a small , AIM-listed recruitment business with a growing international presence, but a very small senior management team”. Helen lives in Esher with her husband and children. She will be making periodic visits to the SMC office before the formal handover on 22nd May.

She was appointed to the position of Company Secretary after covering a period of maternity leave at Hydrogen Group plc in April 2014. Her role included, focusing on support for the Chairman and the Board but covering a very wide range of activities, as needed in an AIM-listed company.

Norville bids farewell to three long serving staff members

April 2015

The trio of long service personnel are:

Ray Simms with 45 years service all at Harrogate starting under the Stigmat flag previously Harrogate Optical before its purchase by Norville.

Peter Turner worked for the Norville Optical engineering field sales group and John Lane who was their Operations Director, after 49 years man and boy of ophthalmic manufacturing across the Norville Rx network including the start up of their Livingston Laboratory.

Frank Norville commented, “one cannot begin to even contemplate their huge contribution to manufacturing optics only to say how lucky yesterday’s opticians were to benefit from such lifetime individual contributions, something the next generation is unlikely to ever see again”.

UK Vision Strategy team launch new website

April 2015

The UK Vision Strategy team have launched a new and improved website, which is now live at The new UK Vision Strategy website will host all content from the previous Strategy site, including information on UK Vision Strategy events, tools to enable stakeholders to implement the Strategy and progress on Strategy implementation across the UK. The new UK Vision Strategy website is fully accessible for people who are blind or partially sighted, and provides an easy-to-navigate website experience for all users. In particular, the website will act as a one-stop portal for all information relating to the 7th annual Vision UK conference, which will be held on Thursday18 June 2015 at Central Hall Westminster, London. Conference delegates are encouraged to visit the new website for the latest speaker announcements.

Katherine Raven, UK Vision Strategy Senior Manager, said: “We are delighted to launch the new website for the UK Vision Strategy. I encourage all of our supporters to visit and try the new site for themselves. The site will continue to be an in-depth resource for all of the latest tools and information to enable both national and local organisations and supporters to find out how they make the Strategy a reality. As well as the latest sector news, the website features country-specific pages for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, providing more information on the delivery and implementation of the Strategy across the UK.

In addition, the eye care commissioning website information has also been incorporated into the new UK Vision Strategy website. The site is still accessible via, but will no longer be a separate microsite.

Experience the new and improved UK Vision Strategy website at

Supporters can also keep up to date with the latest Strategy news by signing up for the UK Vision Strategy new monthly e-newsletter by visiting:

100% Optical Commit to Year Round Coverage with PHN

April 2015

Over the last two years PHN has provided a communications link to the profession as Media Partners to all the leading shows in the UK and Paris. 100% Optical have now extended that relationship to enable them to continue their presence on the site throughout the year leading to next year’s London event in February.

This will allow you to click on their banner and read about the 2016 February show on their regularly updated pages; learn about the shows aims and its buildup and opportunities to attend. It will also provide news about their quarterly newsletter and how to receive it.

“Previously we have provided 100% Optical a service within a 6 month window, now we have the opportunity to promote their brand throughout the year. Moreover 100% Optical's financial support to PHN for a year round contract provides us with the funds we need to keep our news and knowledge database services to the profession and the optical sector fresh and relevant and free.” Said Bob Hutchinson, PHN Director.

Nathan Garnett commented on behalf of 100% Optical, ‘We are delighted to be working with PHN all year around as we believe it is a great platform for us to promote our exhibitors and deliver information about the 2016 event as it takes shape over the year’.

Take a look at the latest quarterly magazine now by clicking

Also you can view a video of the 2015 show online here or on our facebook page

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