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Opchat Magazine General NewsGeneral News, July - September 2015

No changes needed in PHN’s Opchat News Publication! Just the odd Tweak!

Milton Keynes-based student dispensing optician erased from GOC registers

Today sees the start of National Eye Health Week which also coincides with World Alzheimer's Day

SILHOUETTE supports National Eye Health Week 2015

Devon LOC makes another TV Broadcast

21 Cyclists join in the “Tour de Yorkshire” for World Sight Day Challenge

Alleged missed papilloedema lands locum with Manslaughter charge

DADA IS BACK FOR 2016 at 100% Grand Event

PHN reports on the death of John Rawlings

A new dynamic is promised in Paris this September

AOP Awards 2015 – final chance to vote

Trustee Changes at the Irvine Aitchison Memorial Fund

STOP PRESS! 2015/16 GOS S/t Fees at last agreed

PHN secures special offer for readers using Gett Black Cabs

New research provides up-to-date insights into the management of dry eye disease

Norville Opticians helps novice cyclist to ‘do the ton’

Tributes to Brien Holden who passed last Monday


Silhouette Hosts An Event With Breath-taking Views

Norville at Thornbury provides School with magnifying advances

FODO Welcomes Incoming Director-General of the CBI

No changes needed in PHN’s Opchat News Publication! Just the odd Tweak!

September 2015

Whilst optical publishers around us are having to make drastic material changes to their print publications due mainly from the pressures of the digital world, we at PHN will continue to evolve by listening to our readership, not our accountants. (See recent stories on Optician and OT)

Although PHN was set up 10 years ago originally to help LOCs with advice and websites, which still carries on successfully today, we didn’t start publishing news stories until around 7 years ago.

We made the decision at that point to stay digital which has been proved correct of recent times but of course it wasn’t easy to convince others back then that digital news feeds would be what people really need in their busy lives.

The Opchat News Magazine's LogoNow print is under pressure and we are pleased to have 7 years’ worth of digital publishing knowledge on board to forge ahead with your help in spreading the word.

As 7000 professionals know, you can read our daily published stories at home, at work or on the hoof, for those who miss out on a story we remind them with a fortnightly email with live links to every story.

Listening again to our supporters in recent times has made us realise that our usage of the Primary Health Net brand title for the news magazine area is for the uninitiated confusing as apparently to some the name implies a more medical connection.

For many registered free on the site as Opchat Members this does not occur as many of them log on via our other domain name and will see the logo, but for at least half of the other 7000 readers and those registered on our secret LOC websites they will come to the PHN home page.

So here’s the tweak! We have badged our daily news magazine front page with our Opchat logo and have done the same on all of our specific news related pages: News, Industry, New products & Services, LOCs, Exhibitions & Training, Professional Matters, Contact Lenses and Charities. The separation of news catagories has proved very popular this year.

There's something for all on Opchat News.

Just a tweak, everything else stays the same with no reductions in service from PHN required and Primary Health Net will continue to supplement news with archived information and its clinical and business briefings as well as its suppliers guide and supporters pages within its PHN Knowledge website.

If you feel we need other pages or want to email or write to us with ideas feel free we like to think this is the Optical Sectors neutral and natural home for news. Or you can Tweet us or like us on FaceBook.

Follow us on twitter:
Like us on Facebook:

Primary Health Net proud publishers of the Optical Sector's Opchat News, The PHN Knowledge website and the Optical Sectors Public Education Site.

Milton Keynes-based student dispensing optician erased from GOC registers

September 2015

The General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for opticians, has erased Thomas Evans, a student dispensing optician from Milton Keynes, from its registers.

A GOC Fitness to Practise Committee found his fitness to undertake training impaired by virtue of criminal convictions for making and distributing indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children.

In making its decision the Committee, chaired by Ian Crookall, said: “The Committee had regard to the serious nature and extent of the Registrant’s conduct which was severely criticised by the learned Judge in his sentencing remarks. The child pornographic material involved the serious sexual abuse of very young children and the distribution of multiple images and videos.

“Given the serious nature and extent of these offences, the Committee was of the view that it is manifestly apparent that the public and children, in particular, require protection from the Registrant now and in the future. The Committee concluded that erasure is the only sanction which would be sufficient to protect the public, including children.”

Evans is now unable to undertake training to qualify as a dispensing optician in the UK.

Today sees the start of National Eye Health Week which also coincides with World Alzheimer's Day 2015.

September 2015

NEHW LogoThis is an example of how so many valid health issues compete for the same space in Media, digital, written and broadcast.

Its mid-morning Monday 21st. September and so far this week NEHW has succeeded in capitalising on using the Raconteur supplement yesterday in the Sunday Times.

This has been heavily supported by Vision Express who are sole advertisers in the 8 page publication taking approx. 2 and ¾ of the pages for advertorials.

On the other hand the Alzheimer’s story has been picked up in the Radio 4 Today programme this morning and as a leading news line on the hour each hour.

We can do little to affect the current climate of news about better health grabbing the headlines, it is more of a matter of the old adage: "It's not what you say it’s; how often you say it!"

What is evident is that messages of health improvement are always more successful when placed in front of those who are interested in the message itself but that also smacks of “preaching to the converted”.

The public has also become quite savvy at listening to research results and the next diet fads and realising that the backers have a close relationship with the product!

This is of course one reason why 3rd party and particularly Governmental Health Messages are taken more seriously.

The Alzheimer’s World message lasts for 1 month as opposed to NEHW’s one week, but that is not necessarily the issue. In fact it is the power of the work in marketing that happens over the whole year that sows the seed for a good focussed campaign.

That is where in Optics we have often failed. With the exclusion of Vision Strategy campaigns that we at PHN publish regularly (just use the search box to find the many stories) the rest of the sector seems to only muster up changes to for example its NEHW websites a few weeks before NEHW week and its presence is soon forgotten after the event.

It’s difficult to pin point any particular reasons for the weak messages throughout the year that reach the community but at a guess those involve hard cash, a reason why retail sponsors are so important, but another might be that we feel a need to spend that money on outside agencies to do work that much could be provided by workers in our professional businesses guided by those who have proven to be good at their own campaigns.

An experienced team paid for throughout the year to drip feed evidence based and hard hitting messages by the Confederation via its members, industrial and retail should do this job better than one large weekly bash each year. It's a commercial hard world in which we compete and we need to dedicate the same amount of effort and cash as companies do in their own marketing, it is not necessary to add further restrictions on our ability to allow this work to be run by a charity, this is a business.

Forming a neutral though combative group hopefully means that the message would be spread widely to all media players whether perceived as industry competitors or not.
This would allow the message to be continuous throughout the year.

Surprising results have taken place by the invention of LOCSU and perhaps we should relook at its evolution to see if a similar but of course separate and different model could be used. Let’s hope that NEHW repeats its yearly, if only week's success but many reading this will be awoken to the news today that it is indeed National Eye Health Week.

Of course we must build on what we have but maybe relook at the vehicle and methodology we currently use.

Ed. We are read by over 30,000 members of the public each month and with Social Networknig last year reached over 35,000 people in NEHW, but have received no PR on the event this year! However we are pleased that both our sites are official partners. And will be working hard in raising its profile this week. Go to the official NEHW website for recent updates.


SILHOUETTE supports National Eye Health Week 2015

September 2015

Silhouette helps out at NEHWThe sixth annual National Eye Health Week starts today 21st ending 27th September. Eye care charities, organisations and health professionals from across the UK will join together to promote the importance of eye health.

During Eye Health Week, Silhouette will be working with their UK opticians to build awareness and create a foundation for knowledge and understanding on
the importance of eye health.

Through Silhouette’s individual approach to design and the use of latest technology, the brand has established itself as a world leader in premium
eyewear and eye health.


The brand is a pool of knowledge when it comes to eye health.

This includes Silhouette’s unique eye yoga guidelines and revolutionary materials such as SPX+, which is hypoallergenic and free of plasticisers.
Silhouette's have been helping people choose the correct eyewear for years especially when it comes to sunglasses.

Silhouette recommends the following when buying sunglasses:

• Sunglass lenses that have UV-400 protection+
• Sunglasses with HEV radiation filters that reduce harmful rays
• Sunglass lenses that improve contrast and image resolution (visual clarity)
• Anti-reflective glare as well as a water-repellent coating
• Hypo-allergenic materials
• Glasses that do not leave pressure on your ears or slip down your nose
• Glasses that are light weight and exceedingly comfortable to wear


Hiblio TV is where you will find Devon's TV Broadcast

September 2015

Hiblio TV from Devon LOC

As part of National Eyecare Week Devon LOC is to create another TV broadcast

Devon LOC is to produce another HIBLIO TV broadcast as part of National Eye Health Week – on this occasion the subject is on Children’s Vision on Wednesday 23rd September 2015 at 7pm.


Make a date in your diary to remind yourself and practice staff to watch as well as your engaging customers.

Optics Cycling for Sight Tour of Yorkshire 2015

September 2015

Darren,euan,Pail,PhilipOn Sunday 30th August, twenty one cyclists began their journey to complete Stage 1 of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire. Organised by Eyecare, this World Sight day Challenge is the largest organised cycle ride in aid of Optometry Giving Sight.

The 107 mile challenge began at Sewerby Hall & Gardens, with riders meeting at 7am in the Yorkshire sunshine.

Following the beautiful scenery of Dalby Forest, a further seven cyclists welcomed the riders for coffee and cake before embarking on the remaining 65 miles.

Eyecare organised the registration and event logistics, and provided the support crew including five vehicles and ten team members who were on hand to offer refreshments, tools and general encouragement throughout the day. Without the support of these dedicated volunteers, the event would not have been possible.

After a great team effort, a total of 2702 miles was cycled in one day which raised over £6,000 for Optometry Giving Sight with donations still coming in.

This has contributed towards the current Optics Cycling for Sight 2015 total, which is now over £10,500.

The target for this year is to collectively cycle 25,000 miles and raise £25,000 for Optometry Giving Sight as part of the World Sight Day challenge. Essilor UK has made a generous pledge to match the first £10,000 raised.

At the finish line, the cyclists were even welcomed by The ‘Think About Your Eyes’ Protectors .

David Shannon, UK Development Manager for Optometry Giving Sight said, “This is a tremendous achievement. On behalf of the 600 million people around the world who are visually impaired because they do not have access to glasses, I would like to congratulate and thank the riders who gave up their Bank Holiday Sunday, their families, generous sponsors and in particular Eyecare without whom this fantastic event could not have happened.”

One of the cyclists, Ivan Cammack who took part in the full distance gave us an insight in to the last 20 miles of his ride:

Darren,euan,Pail,Philip“The last 20 miles down the coast to our finish in Scarborough’s North Bay went in a blur – very much on auto pilot – thank you Brian and Dan for ‘towing’ us in. 107 gruelling miles. Huge achievement, very sore in places! My first thank you has to go to the weather gods – not a spot of rain all day – in fact quite a gorgeous day, which made the ride safer and the scenery more beautiful.
My second thank you goes to everyone who has been training, fundraising and participating in this amazing challenge – you’re all brilliant. A special mention to the Eyecare team who provided support vehicles, food and drink stops, maps, vocal support and a fantastic fish ‘n’ chip supper at Winking Willies in Scarborough on Sunday evening”.

George and Brian on their tandem deserve a special mention. Brian at the back, who is blind, told David Shannon he needed a lot of confidence in George who he relied on to steer and see what was coming. For someone who had just completed an arduous 107 miles he looked remarkably relaxed.

Funds raised support Optometry Giving Sight which has joined forces with Vision Aid Overseas in their 30th anniversary year. With an ambitious target of £150,000 in additional donations VAO hopes to help an additional 30,000 people gain access to life changing eye care services.

It’s not too late to take part in Optics Cycling for Sight 2015. Why not set up your own challenge before World Sight Day on October 8th? For more information go to,

Alleged missed papilloedema lands locum with Manslaughter charge

September 2015

Honey RoseLocum Optometrist Honey Rose has been charged with manslaughter at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich.

The locum was working at Boots Opticians in Ipswich at the time, and is accused of killing eight-year-old Vincent Barker by gross negligence on July 13, 2012.

The 34-year-old, who has been suspended since March 2013 by the GOC is from East London, and appeared in South East Suffolk Magistrate Court on Tuesday this week for the first hearing of her case.

Her case was referred to the Crown Court and she was given unconditional bail with the case expected to be heard between January and March 2016.

She is to be charged with manslaughter with gross negligence following the death of an eight year old patient who died of a fatal build-up of fluid in the brain four months after an eye examination.
It is alleged that the papilledema should have been spotted at the time of an internal eye examination and referred on.

The maximum prison term for such an offence is life.

It is believed that this is most likely the first criminal case to have been brought against an optometrist for such an offence involving alleged negligence.

DADA IS BACK FOR 2016 at 100% Grand Event

September 2015

TD Davies DadaAfter the success of last year, the Tom Davies DADA frame design competition is back and it’s bigger and better than ever.

This is your chance to design a totally crazy pair of glasses and have your ideas made into real life specs by the Tom Davies workshop.

Read more to find out how to submit your entry.

Go on line to to join in the fun

John Rawlings Obit

Sad news has been received of the death of John Rawlings

September 2015

We are very sad to announce that John Rawling of Rawlings Opticians who passed away peacefully on Tuesday 25th August aged 77.

Qualifying in 1959 John was the third generation of the optical family and worked in the Surrey area for over 40 years. An early adopter of contact lenses he started fitting lenses in the 1960s and was a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers.

He was also Councillor for Chaldon in Surrey for 24 years and Chairman of Tandridge District Council twice during that time as well as being heavily involved in the community, having been chairman of school governors, local benevolent trusts and other organisations.

A passionate gardener and an expert on Rhododendrons, he was also a Camellia judge for the Royal Horticultural Society and was heavily involved in the Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia group of the RHS, for whom he was the editor for 13 years of their Bulletin Newsletter which was circulated all over the world to fellow enthusiasts.

A Service of Thanksgiving for his life will be held on Thursday 10th September at St Mary’s Church, Caterham CR3 5RA at 1.30pm.
Bouquets of flowers welcome or donations to Alzheimers UK or Chaldon Village Hall. All enquiries to BC Baker & Son Tel: 01883 3

A new dynamic is promised in Paris this September where the French passion and energy is once again displayed at SILMO 2015

September 2015

SILMO 2015The annual event situated at Villeponte, just a few minutes ride from Charles de Gaulle Airport and 30 minutes from the Gare du Nord Eurostar would not be what it is today without its unique and outstanding package of information points, open forum events,  meeting and socialising areas.

The 2015 event will be no exception with a raft of invaluable services rolled out to exhibitors and visitors: SILMO ACADEMY, SILMO d’OR Awards, SILMO FASHION STYLE, MO by SILMO, MERCHANDISING WORKSHOP, Merchandising Workshop, SILMO TV by ACUITE and more.

A host of active and interactive resources designed to forge links between professionals, provide information and training and offer an opportunity to explore and understand industry developments.

SILMO 2015 presents a complete restructuring of the layout

With close to a thousand companies occupying an exhibition area of some 80,000 sq. metres SILMO offers an in-depth overview of areas of expertise that are as complementary as they are varied.

In order to provide clearer signage and enable visitors to save time, the organisers have introduced a new way the industry segments are sited.

This is of all events a big show as last year’s figures demonstrate:

Key Figures

  • 33,301 visitors , including 56% international
  • 950 exhibitors, including 70% international

Sectors represented by exhibitors
- Optical Frames
- Sunglasses
- Lenses
- Contactology (a new phrase to the UK)
- Low Vision
- Materials for opticians
- Point of Sale Equipment

This year 25 British Exhibitors will be their to welcome you click here to see which Brits relish International Business

So don’t forget to make a date to visit a great show situated close to the romantic night life of Paris

Dates to remember:

25 September 2015 - 28 September 2015
At Paris Nord Villepinte, FRANCE

Click here to register interest

AOP Awards 2015 – final chance to vote

August 2015

Dr Rohit Narayan

With less than four weeks to go until voting closes – there’s still time to take part and vote for the AOP Awards 2015.

Headline sponsored by contact lens manufacturer Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, the AOP Awards has grown in popularity year-on-year since the launch in 2011 to become an established highlight in the optical calendar. Voting closes at midnight on 20 September 2015.

Henrietta Alderman, AOP Chief Executive, said: “The AOP Awards celebrate the achievements of the outstanding individuals and organisations who give so much to the public and the profession. Everyone can vote – members, practitioners and the public. We encourage our colleagues to get involved and help us celebrate the extraordinary contributions of all the shortlisted candidates.”

A wide variety of nominations were received across all of this year’s 12 categories, with the newly-introduced accolade for Newly-Qualified Practitioner of the Year proving particularly popular.

For more information on all the shortlisted nominees and to vote, visit the AOP website awards page.

The 2015 AOP Awards winners will be revealed at a special black tie gala dinner and ceremony on 5 November at the Hilton Metropole Birmingham, during the National Optical Conference.

Pictured is last year's winner for Optometrist of the Year Dr. Rohit Narayan

Trustee Changes at the Irvine Aitchison Memorial Fund

August 2015

At last week’s Annual General Meeting of Trustees of the Irvine Aitchison Memorial Fund in London, Brian Carroll and Michael Bateman, who were standing down, were warmly thanked for their contributions over many years.

Jeet Saimbi also stood down and was thanked, and new Trustees Lynda Oliver and Claire Slade were welcomed. They join existing Trustees David Cartwright who was appointed Chairman and Brian Keefe.

The Charity was established in 1966 in memory of Irvine Aitchison who assumed responsibility for Opticians Aitchison and Co. on the death of his father in 1911 and took over the ailing Dollond and Co. in 1927 to build the foundations of the Dollond & Aitchison Group which is now part of Boots Opticians.

He was the first Chairman of the Society of Opticians [now part of the Optical Confederation], had a prominent role in promoting the Opticians Act of 1958 and was a founder member of the General Optical Council.

Irvine Aitchison’s sense of adventure [he was President of the Alpine Ski Club] and unfailing demand for high standards of optical education, led the current trustees to form an arrangement whereby two second year optometry students are sponsored to take part in a Vision Aid Overseas project - gaining experience in learning to cope in sometimes difficult conditions, acting as part of a team and seeing unusual ocular conditions. In the 18 years that this scheme has been running, 42 students have benefited from it.

STOP PRESS! 2015/16 GOS S/t Fees at last agreed

August 2015

The long awaited GOS fees for 2015/16 were announced by the Department of Health today, they are

  • 1% on all fees (£21.31)
  • 1% on CET payments (£535)
  • and 1% on grants for the training of pre-registration optometrists (£3445).

Contractors do not need to do anything as these will be back-dated as appropriate to April 2015.

As all of these fees are implemented without the 4% efficiency requirement, FODO considers this quite an achievement in these times of austerity.

And don't forget as part of the package practitioners have been granted access to the NHS logo last year.


CET arrangements are as in previous years. The CET window runs from 1 September 2015 - 31 December 2015.


FODO remnds contractors that, in England, the CET grant has to be made through a contractor and is intended to reflect the loss of ‘chair time’ for CET. FODO members are particularly encouraged to support their locum optometrists who have provided their own CET but need a contractor through which to claim.

Ed.: We are sure others will follow this advice.

Read the Staement issued by the OFNC and who the OFNC are on our "Professional Matters" page

Click to download CET Claim form here


PHN secures special offer for Black Cabs by using Gett Taxi

August 2015

Gett £30 off next black cab rideHopefully this special offer will be the first of a number of savings that PHN will be bringing to its 7000+ readership.

All you need to do is click on the Special Offers page in the suppliers guide to read about the Gett Taxi app and then download the app on your smart phone, or tablet ready for a £30 reduction on your first ride in a black taxi using Gett.

"Wondering how to get to your important meeting this week? Or perhaps getting back from a night at the theatre? Easy peasy. Download Gett, the only UK app working exclusively with licensed Black Cabs that already drives half the Fortune 500. Give them a try and get £30 free taxi credit towards your first ride.
Unlike other apps, Gett only works with licensed Black Cabs and the UK's best drivers, ensuring you get from A to B as quickly and safely as possible. You can book a taxi with just a tap of your finger, pre-book up to two weeks in advance, pay by card via your phone and speak to a someone from their 24/7 London based customer care team (should you ever need to).

Primary Health Net has teamed up with Gett to pass you an exclusive first time ride offer. Download Gett today and receive £30 free credit for your first ride when you type in coupon code 'GETTPHN30' in the app. Simpy register your details and a credit or debit card on the app, then type the code in the coupon codes section in the app menu - easy!"

While in our suppliers guide you will see many of the companies that sponsor us each having further information about their latest products and services with links to their own pages.

It is these sponsors who allow us to provide this news service and online knowledge resource to the Optical Sector, please support them whenever you can.

Click to the Suppliers Guide now and check out the special offers page

New research provides up-to-date insights into the management of dry eye disease

August 2015

• 57% of GPs believe Dry Eye Disease (DED) should be treated by optometrists

• 70% of patients require repeat visits to a healthcare professional

• 31% of those prescribed hypromellose re-present with problems

“There is an awareness issue amongst patients and GPs when it comes to dry eye disease. Patients don’t realise that there are effective treatments available, and GPs lack knowledge about the progress that has been made. It’s optometrists that should be treating it.” - Sarah Farrant, optometrist in Taunton, Somerset

New research1 conducted with 200 GPs reveals insights into Dry Eye Disease (DED) and highlights the role of optometrists and opticians in managing and treating the condition.

The research commissioned by Scope Ophthalmics, a leading player in the UK ocular surface disease market, finds that the incidence of DED has increased over the past decade, with one in three people aged 65 or older now suffering from the condition2. Despite GPs seeing an average of 7 patients with DED each week, over three quarters (77%) of GPs do not feel fully confident in treating the condition.

Living with red and irritated eyes can have a serious impact on quality of life, comparable to angina3. DED is a common cause, yet often overlooked by patients and underestimated by GPs1. Brian Tompkins, optometrist in Northampton and BCLA President explains, “Optometrists are the eye experts. GPs receive very little ophthalmic training and realise that their knowledge about the eye is limited. It’s ingrained that a prescription of hypromellose will solve the problem, but it doesn’t. This new research demonstrates the need for both optometrist-led DED clinics and alternative treatment options.”

Resources and compliance

The research finds that only 6.5% of GPs use diagnostic tests before providing a prescription, with 3 in 5 relying solely on patient discussion. A lack of knowledge and time to conduct diagnostic procedures is prevalent amongst GPs; with 45% admitting that they want more training on diagnostic procedures such as Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), fluorescein and ophthalmoscopes.

The survey also found that the majority of GPs believe compliance to be a significant barrier to effective treatment of DED, (71%). Studies have found that adherence to eye drops is often poor and better communication between professional and patient can improve compliance4,5.

Paul O’Reilly, Marketing Manager UK & Ireland at Scope Ophthalmics explains, “Optometrists are expertly equipped to provide a more in depth consultation, and have the clinical time to follow up to ensure correct compliance and explore different treatment pathways. Over 70% of patients make repeat visits to a GP, optometrist or pharmacist when suffering with DED, suggesting that first line treatments are often not sufficient for the majority of patients.”

The research confirms that nearly a third (31%) of patients prescribed hypromellose re-present with problems of intolerance or unsatisfactory improvements in symptoms.

Patients requiring a preservative free eye drop or those with an allergy to hypromellose benefit from extended consultations and alternative treatments. Hycosan (RRP £9.99) and Hycosan Extra (RRP £10.99) offer patients a preservative free drop with hyaluronic acid, which can be used for 6 months from first opening. The unique device also dispenses a single calibrated drop with each click, as well as being contact lens compatible.

To help patients manage and understand their DED or blepharitis, Scope Ophthalmics has produced a series of information guides specifically for patients, to explain the condition, causes and provide advice on treatment options.

Norville Opticians helps novice cyclist to ‘do the ton’

August 2015

Greg Power sponsored by Norville

Norville Opticians which has practices across South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire has helped a novice cyclist to complete yesterday’s gruelling Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 ride in just over eight hours.

Greg Power, aged 55 and an independent financial advisor from Cirencester, completed the 100 mile route just twelve weeks after buying his bike and Norville Opticians stepped in with a pair of multifocal spectacles that enabled him to see both the route ahead and to read his Garmin device.

The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 which aims to become the largest charity fundraising cycling event in the world covered a closed route through London and the Surrey countryside some of which was used in the 2012 London Olympics.

“This was one of my greatest personal challenges” said Greg reflecting on his success. “I have raised around £125000 for various charities in the past but this £2000 target I have set for the hospice care charity Longfield will be one of the sweetest to have completed.”

He added: “The last time I rode a bike was 40 years ago and part way through my training I decided that I must be mad. To even contemplate riding 100 miles non-stop within three months of buying a bike was nuts; but I have done it and managed to raise lots of money for a very worthy cause.”

Norville Opticians Dispensing Optician and Cirencester Practice Manager Jo O’Neill described the spectacles with which Greg was provided. “They were no ordinary specs”, she said. “They have been designed by Norville specifically for cycling with a varifocal lens which enabled Greg to both see where he was going and then to look down and read his cycle computer; each with crystal clear vision. “

Longfield (formerly Cotswold Care Hospice) provides specialist services for people living with a life-limiting illness in Gloucestershire, 365 days per year.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to Greg’s target of £2000 can do so through his JustGiving web page:

Tributes to Brien Holden, who passed last Monday July 27th

July 2015

Brien Holden ObitPHN has learnt of the death of Professor Brien Holden last Monday.

It seems just weeks have passed since once again he held BCLA delegates in awe as in his usual manner he Chaired the important meeting on Myopia Control.

The generations of contact lens practitioners and optometrists and dispensing opticians have been very lucky to have seen, read and heard his views and too have also received the encouragement from his enthusiasm to go one step better in all their professional lives.

His passing will leave another of those gaps in the optical hall of fame but he will be remembered affectionately by many for long.

RIP Brien Holden, 6 January 1942 - 27 July 2015

OGS remembers Brien

Brien was a great visionary, and inspiring leader, who was instrumental in establishing Optometry Giving Sight as a way of ensuring that the Optometric community would be at the forefront of global efforts to eliminate uncorrected refractive error and impaired vision.

As tributes pour in for Brien from around the world, and the great legacy that he has left is celebrated by us all, OGS wants to share this very moving tribute from our current Chairman, Dr. Juan Carlos Aragon.

A tribute from Dr. Aragon:

I am writing this as I’m flying from Madrid to San Francisco, after having heard over-night about the sudden and unexpected death of my dear friend, Professor Brien Holden.

I was awoken by multiple e-mails and text messages from Australia, and from around the world, informing me of such sad news. I was shocked. I was sad. I could not believe it. I cried.

I saw Brien recently in Liverpool during the BCLA, and as I normally did, shared a beer or two, as we discussed how to resolve the problems not only of our industry and profession, but also of the world. Although we were at the extreme opposites of the political spectrum, I always enjoyed my conversations with him.

I met Brien back in 1985, while I was employed at Bausch & Lomb. He and B&L had several joint projects, covering R&D and educational initiatives, but the relationship was a tense and difficult one, which to a large extent defined Brien’s relationship with industry, in general, throughout his career. I got to know Brien very well through activities of IACLE (International Association of Contact Lens Educators), APCLEP (Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educational Program) and his involvement as a speaker and session moderator at the ERS (European Research Symposium), sponsored by B&L. I also got to know him quite well as B&L’s guest during the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, where his deep pride and love for Australia truly manifested itself. Over my 30 years within the contact lens industry, working in addition to B&L, with CIBA Vision, Ocular Sciences and CooperVision, Brien was always a constant. People would come and go; Brien was always there. His presence grew, as did his contributions.

Brien was brilliant, a true visionary, a fantastic thinker and charismatic communicator. Initially his reputation came from his work with contact lens research and education. Although many groups were involved, to a significant extent, we owe to Brien, and his group, the availability of silicone hydrogel materials, which today make-up over 50% of the world’s US$8 billion contact lens market (at wholesale). Through his educational efforts, through work at IACLE, APCLEP, ICLEP and other initiatives, contact lenses expanded globally beyond Europe and North America, and are now used by over 150 million people worldwide. Brien was truly a contact lens pioneer. Today, the Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) is unsurpassed in their accomplishments in eye research, public health and education, benefiting millions of people worldwide.

This is part of Brien’s legacy.

But Brien was more than contact lenses; he loved optometry, and saw in this profession, in his profession, as the ideal and most efficient and affordable way to provide primary eye-care to millions of people globally. Brien was a humanitarian; he believed in the greater-good, and in our collective responsibility to do what was right.

His work in developing long-term sustainable eye-care programs aimed at reducing the prevalence of vision impairment due to uncorrected refractive errors led to the establishment, in 2003, of Optometry Giving Sight (OGS), as the only global fundraising organization aimed at mitigating this problem, which affects over 600 million worldwide . He founded OGS and for the first time, through his efforts, uncorrected refractive errors were recognized by the World Health Organization as a major cause of visual disability. He convinced organizations such as the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the World Council of Optometry (WCO) to join with BHVI in establishing OGS.

Brien chaired OGS’ Global Board of Directors for 10 years, until he invited me to replace him when he stepped down in 2013. This has been a true honour and privilege to continue with Brien’s dream to provide vision to people everywhere, to continue with his legacy. On a timely manner, OGS bestowed on Brien our first Humanitarian Award in October of 2014.

Brien was a complex individual, and like all of us, was not perfect. He was so intense that not many people could keep up with him indefinitely. He was passionate; he lived life to its fullest. Always working; always thinking. He loved his family; he loved his friends. He loved to dance, and I must say, for a non-Latin, had good rhythm.

He died doing what he loved. Brien never would have retired.

Brien was my dear friend. I was very proud of this friendship. I learned so much from him. He was always there for me. He travelled half away around the world to join me at my wedding a couple of years ago. He made me a better person. He saved my son’s life. I loved Brien and will miss him. The industry and the profession of optometry have lost a giant.

I have lost a friend; an unreplaceable friend, whom I will miss forever.

As I wrap-up my thoughts, I should end by saying, Brien, rest-in-peace.

However, Brien will never rest. I am sure he’s already talking to God, to his God, proposing some kind a project that would benefit people on Earth.

Knowing Brien, he will convince God.

See you later Brien; take care my friend.

Dr. Juan Carlos Aragón
Chairman, Global Board of Directors
Optometry Giving Sight

The BCLA expresses its sadness on the passing of Brien Holden

We are very sorry to hear about the sad demise of Professor Brien Holden.

Brien Holden at BCLABrien was a huge supporter of the BCLA over the years. He was a regular and very popular speaker at the BCLA’s conference including this year’s meeting in Liverpool where he was a chair and speaker at the Myopia Management Day.

Brian Tompkins, President of the BCLA said, “Brien will be sorely missed by many people and especially by the BCLA and our thoughts are with his family. On a personal level, he was a friend, a mentor and a valued colleague. We shared many things over the years – beer, food and stages, but importantly the aim to promote contact lenses and healthy vision. He was a legend in his time and will be sorely missed by those who were lucky enough to know him.”

“I will be paying tribute to Brien on a personal and professional level at my Presidential Address in September,” he continued.
Brien was a leading champion for research and the development of new and better vision care technology and products.

His contributions extend across research, education, public health and social enterprise. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his work in eye health and vision science; the Schwab Social Entrepreneur Award for Africa 2010 at the regional World Economic Forum; and seven honorary doctorates from universities Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe and the US. He was also awarded the BCLA medal 1997. In addition, he presented the George Nissel Memorial lecture in 1999.

His contributions have been acknowledged through a host of other national and international awards and honours, such as in 2010 the renaming of the Institute for Eye Research to the Brien Holden Vision Institute.

College of Optometrists remembers Professor Brien Holden

The College of Optometrists is deeply saddened by the untimely death of Professor Brien Holden.

Bryony Pawinska, Chief Executive of the College, said: “The last time I saw Brien was in Malaga in 2013 at the joint meeting the College organised of the European Academy of Optometry and Optics, ECOO, the World Council of Optometry and the Spanish General Council of Optometry.

This was Brien’s milieu – amongst the movers and shakers in global optometry, and as always leading from the front on the issues closest to his heart. He was passionate about a lot of things, but especially ensuring that people could access eye care in the developing world and rural communities. He fully appreciated that optometry is not well understood by politicians and decision makers – ‘optometry is what optometry does’ was his way of explaining it in typical Brien fashion.”

Brien was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the College at the Diploma Ceremony in January 2006, in recognition of the contribution he made to international optometric research and education. He continued to contribute until his untimely death. He will be missed not only by individuals, but by the entire global optometric community.


July 2015

The Gravitas PR Team for 100% Optical100% Optical are delighted to announce the appointment of Gravitas Public Relations to handle the PR for 100% Optical in 2016.

Gravitas came highly recommended by their optical clients and have 22 years’ experience in the healthcare industry, including eye health, for UK and international companies.

The team, Kay Williamson, Angharad Welsh, Kate Screen and Kirsty Scaplehorn, will be working with us to create buzz for the show and our exhibitors - highlighting their unique offerings and the challenges faced alongside breakthrough industry news before, during and after the show in February.
MD Kay Williamson said, “I’m thrilled we’ll be working with 100% Optical to help make 2016 their best show yet. We’ve got years of experience in the optical sector and have run seamless press offices at shows like the BSAVA congress over the last few years. I know the team is excited to get going on the account and we can’t wait to start creating a fabulous buzz around the show in the UK and abroad.”

The team will work before, during and after the show to help exhibitors:

Announce any exciting product / service launches
Highlight company expertise and industry thought-leadership knowledge
Make the most of celebrity links or brand ambassadors
Utilise social media with tips and suggestions
Have the best experience at the show

Silhouette Hosts An Event With Breath-taking Views

July 2015

Silhouette Eyewear hosted a successful evening event specifically for important London accounts on Thursday 9th July.

The event was held at the Sky Garden in The Walkie Talkie Building in the City of London.

Silhouette Night at Walkie TalkieThe aim of the event was to showcase and highlight Silhouette’s award winning frames and to re-confirm the message that Silhouette is a brand leader in lightweight rimless AND full-rim frames.

Silhouette highlighted styles that expand on existing classic collections.

With the City of London area being a core demographic for Silhouette, it is important to ensure that all key accounts are aware of the full Silhouette offering.
The event was compact and selective with only 25 guests.

The hot Summer’s evening started with cocktails on the Garden Terrace, with a private area for Silhouette where guests could enjoy the sunset in style. The evening continued on the top floor of the building where guests were treated to champagne and canapés whilst enjoying a presentation, giving by Silhouette’s UK Managing Director David Chalmers.

The focus of the presentation was on Silhouette’s new full-rim collections

David Chalmers comments “Despite the tube strike, we received a full house, including full attendance all round which speaks volumes”

Norville at Thornbury provides School with magnifying advances

July 2105

Pupils at the Sheiling School in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire can now view the world in close up thanks to the donation of a high power desk magnifying glass by Norville Opticians.

Sheiling School

The Sheiling School is an independent residential school for children and adolescents aged 6-19 with special educational needs.

When Norville Opticians Thornbury Practice Manager and Dispensing Optician Andy Griffin decided that the high quality desk-mounted magnifying glass was surplus to requirements he asked if the school would like it to help them with their lessons.

Needless to say they were delighted to receive it.

Class Teacher Fergus Elliott said: “This magnifying glass really brings things out for the children. They need to see things in a different way and the world has now come alive for them."

Image: Sheiling pupil Jacob with teacher Fergus Elliott and Practice Manager Andy Griffin (right)

FODO Welcomes Incoming Director-General of the CBI

July 2015

Carolyn Fairbairn is ‘excellent appointment’ at Confederation of British Industry says FODO Chief Executive

David Hewlett CEO FODOFODO welcomes the appointment of Carolyn Fairbairn as new director general of the CBI to replace John Cridland when he retires in November.

Chief Executive David Hewlett said: "Carolyn is an excellent appointment and a seasoned economist, policymaker and strategist. Her time in the civil services (in the PM's Policy Unit) will also have stood her in good stead.

We look forward to working with her to promote the social and economic value of the eye health sector and the importance of not snuffing out small businesses and community success and enterprise with unnecessary legislation whether from Europe or home-grown from the NHS."

FODO maintains membership of and influence within the CBI on their members' behalf both in the UK and at European (legislation) level. They also members of the CBI’s Trade Association Forum.

David Hewlett continued: “Like the CBI, we work hard to get the views of our large, SME, independent and individual members on the eye health and general health maps and their views taken into account in all legislation that impacts on us as a sector.”


Printer Inks
Primary Health Net