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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, October to December 2019


Vision UK and the Royal Society of Medicine GP with Primary Healthcare section celebrate a successful conference
Eros Business Consulting provides some useful tips in considering purchasing equipment, refurbs and financing.
A Positive double day success
The Ophthalmologist Launches ‘A New Vision for Diabetes’ Live Roundtable
NEW TOPICS added to Optrafair 20/20 Educational Program
Free 6 Interactive point CET/CPD Seeing Beyond the Eyes Workshop - new dates announced
Voting opens for AOP Awards 2020
SILMO 2019 up on last years attendees
Vision UK and RSM Forward View Vision Conference attendees pass 150 and still booking.
IOA announces SILMO International Optician of the Year.
Next weekends big conference are you going?
Archived News from July to September 2019 on Exhibitions and Education

Vision UK and the Royal Society of Medicine GP with Primary Healthcare section celebrate a successful conference

October 2019

Forward View at RSM

On Wednesday 9 October, the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) hosted the Vision UK Forward view: Vision and eye health conference, a joint conference between the RSM General Practice (GP) with Primary Health Care Section, Vision UK and in association with the RSM Ophthalmology Section and Digital Health Section.

With 190 attendees, there was a real buzz on the day. Bob Hutchinson, President, RSM General Practice with Primary Healthcare Section and Matt Broom, Chief Executive Officer, Vision UK began proceedings by welcoming the delegates, with the key message focused on collaboration and co-operation across all professions and specialties for the benefit of people with or at risk of sight loss.

The Keynote speakers included Simon Brown, Communications and Engagement Officer at Blind Veterans UK who spoke about his own experience of sight loss, after being hit by a sniper’s bullet that almost totally blinded him.

Panel discussions were on the four strategic priorities of Vision UK: Evidence and statistics, research, cures and treatments, services, support and care, and public perception of sight loss.

Experts presented on key issues and the audience was really engaged in discussions. Delegates were able to learn from the experts onstage as well as each-other.

Carol Reece
Carol Reece, Head of Dental and Optical Services Commissioning at NHS England spoke to the delegates about improving services, specifically for children with learning disabilities and the new national programme of eye care in all special schools in England beginning in 2020.

Workshops focused on topics such as sight loss and multiple conditions including dementia and learning disabilities; the different and similar approaches across the regions of the UK; and issues around opportunities for blind and partially sighted children and young people.

Dementia considered at RSM Forward ViewBhavini Makwana, Engagement Manager at London Vision, presented a powerful speech to delegates about public perceptions of sight loss, and the barriers that are still faced by blind and partially sighted people, remining us of the importance of the work being achieved across the sight loss sector.

The final panel discussion asked the question: Is integrated health and social care for eye health and sight loss services a reality or an impossible dream? With the panel optimistic that eye health and care could be improved by the integration of services but also an acknowledgment that a lot of work still needs to be done.

Matt Broom CEO Vision UK said:“We are really happy to have staged our first conference as Vision UK and that we were able to attract so many excellent speakers and delegates. The conference allowed all participants to interact and network and we hope that the collaboration and co-operation will increase as a result as that is Vision UK’s central remit.

We’d like to thank the RSM for being great partners in this and look forward to our next conference in 2020.”

Bob Hutchinson Section RSM President commented: "The sheer energy that could be felt throughout the day was highly infectious and our key message of working outside silos and with others in the expanded Primary, Secondary and Social Teams was reiterated by all delegates during the many opportunities for networking. The RSM facilities and staff all played their part in making this joint conference truly memorable".

Vision UK is the independent partnership organisation which will work with other organisations in the eye health and sight loss sector for the benefit of blind and partially sighted people, their communities and the general population including those at risk of sight loss. It is a member of the IAPB (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness) and part of the VISION 2020: The Right to Sight initiative. This is an initiative led in partnership by the World Health Organization, and the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness, for the elimination of avoidable blindness.

The RSM General Practice with Primary Health Care section is the largest in the RSM out of 59 sections. With over 1400 members whose professions cover GPs, academics, nurses, pharmacists and optometrists it is truly the home of Primary care Professionals. By applying to join as an associate members of be considered for fellowship you can elect to join this section as well as two others of interest which could include the 2 sections that supported the section by association , namely Ophthalmology and Digital Health Sections.

The vent broke all known records in Social Media Tweets with over 500 retweets and tewwts during the day reaching an expected 1.5 million professionals accross the UK.

Some of the comments from social media about the conference

Thank you @VisionUKGB @roysocmed for an inspiring conference
So pleased to be here at the @VisionUKGB Forward View conference today #RSMVUK19 with our stand & listening to the amazing speakers

Great to be at the @VisionUKGB #rsmvuj19 conference. Powerful personal stories from @bhavini_makwana ,

Brilliant day at the #RSMVUK19 conference today. It was really useful to have health professionals and social care professionals come together to share concerns and ideas. Turns out we all want the same thing....better #EyeHealth.

Congratulations on such a fantastic event and turnout
Well done to all our speakers and delegates who asked thought-provoking questions and generating debate and conversation!

Eros Business Consulting provides some useful tips in considering purchasing equipment, refurbs and financing.

October 2019

In a new Business Briefing on the Briefing Area for the Optical Sector. Eros Business Consulting looks at the gains and possible pitfalls in buying equipment and provides a useful guide from decision making, budgeting through to financing such a project.

The free article looks at:

• Budgeting
• Selection
• Choosing suppliers
• Looking at value and getting a competitive edge
• Increasing footfall
• VAT implications and Tax
• Financing and Lenders
• Optilease, lease and lease purchase and short term loans
• Variable term contracts and fixed term contracts

Like buying houses or cars the project is full of emotion which normally means the nearer we get to selection the less our heads play a part in selection and the more does our hearts.

This is just as true for us in optical practice who are far more used to selling than buying large price items.

So, before you fall in love with your hoped-for future purchase just ensure that you have all the facts in front of you which will encourage you to drive a hard bargain and get better value for money.

Click here to read the business briefing on equipment and practice improvement purchases.

A Positive double day success

October 2019

Specialist ClubOver 80 independent practitioners attended the two Specialist Club meetings held by Positive Impact at the ABDO National Resource Centre in Birmingham last week.

The first day (30 September) had the theme ‘Successful Niche Contact Lens Practice,’ with optometrist and dispensing optician Indie Grewal discussing the keynote theme and a number of specialist contact lens companies taking part.
Phil Thompson of SynergEyes highlighted how Duette Progressive hybrid contact lenses made fitting easy for astigmatic presbyopes and Lynn White of UltraVision explained fitting soft lenses for keratoconus.

A parallel hands-on session discussed hybrid and scleral lens handling and fitting and included a topography workshop. The afternoon session focused on scleral lenses with Martin Conway of Contamac and then Josie Barlow of Menicon talking about ortho-k and myopia control.

The second day meeting started October with the interesting theme, ‘New Front Tears: Latest Technologies for Dry Eye,’ with seven CET points on offer. Positive Impact’s Director of Marketing and Professional Services, Nick Atkins, gave a presentation which focused on three therapeutic options available to practitioners for better dry eye management; artificial tear solutions, punctal occlusion and Omega 3 supplementation.

Ophthalmic surgeon Teifi James gave a presentation on his tips ‘and tricks’ for managing dry eye. Optometrist practice owner Craig Wilcox shared ‘The Things I Wish I’d Known before Starting a Dry Eye Clinic,’ highlighting the importance of patient selection and communication. He also looked at diagnostic alternatives, as well as treatment and management options for dry eye.

ABDO National Clinical Committee member Andrew Price encouraged practitioners to ‘Treat the Causes of Dry Eye Not the Symptoms.’ Optometrist and dispensing optician Jason Higginbotham explained the fundamentals of dry eye disease, including a round up of the current diagnostic tests and treatments.

Mr Atkins commented: “I’d like to thank everyone who made both days a fantastic success, from all the companies who financially supported the event to especially the delegates who attended.

“It was refreshing to see so many enthusiastic practitioners over the two days. It is to their, and Specialist Club's credit that everyone paid to attend the event because of a desire to expand their knowledge base, as well as their scope of practice and before there was any mention of CET point availability.

“It is this enthusiasm that helps create a unique feel to Specialist Club and why it’ll be back in 2020,” he concluded.

The Ophthalmologist Launches ‘A New Vision for Diabetes’ Live Roundtable

October 2019

The Ophthalmologist today announced the launch of The Ophthalmologist Live Roundtable!

This multi-platform initiative will open with a live panel discussion on November 14, 2019 – World Diabetes Day – and will bring together key thought leaders to explore the current standard of care for diabetes-related eye disease and discuss the reforms needed for a more integrated, holistic approach to patient and disease management.

Diabetes prevalence is set to grow by 48 percent over the next 25 years – an increase that will place the world’s health budget under huge stress. The condition brings with it a multitude of potential health risks, including complications in the eye.

As diabetes-related eye disease is now one of the leading causes of blindness among working-age adults globally, The Ophthalmologist will initiate ‘A New Vision for Diabetes’, bringing together two closely linked areas of expertise – ophthalmology and diabetology – to establish a coordinated approach to patient management.

The discussion will feature industry-leading ophthalmologists and diabetologists, and will be the first component in a 12-month initiative. Filmed by a professional video team, this discussion will be hosted on a dedicated bespoke channel, alongside interviews with individual panellists, who will delve deeper into their own personal experiences and give their predictions on the future of diabetes-related eye disease care.

John Marshall, Professor of Ophthalmology at the Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London will be chairing this discussion and will be joined by Winfried Amoaku, Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Nottingham, Partha Kar, Associate National Clinical Director at Diabetes, NHS England and Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trusts and Dawn Sim, Director of Telemedicine and Consultant Ophthalmologist in Medical Retina and Cataract Surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Tracey Peers, Chief Operating Officer explains; “The launch of The Ophthalmologist's Live Roundtable initiative is an exciting step forward in bridging the gap between ophthalmologists and other healthcare professionals involved in the treatment of diabetes and diabetes-related conditions. By bringing key opinion leaders from ophthalmology and diabetes together we are providing a platform to highlight emerging news and research in the battle to tackle eye-related issues as a direct result of Diabetes and explore opportunities for improved, collaborative care. I encourage anyone involved in the treatment of diabetes to join this discussion with us on World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2019, to help raise awareness of the increasing risks to vision caused by such a common condition.”

Anyone interested in joining this discussion can register for free today and watch the discussion live from the comfort of their own home here.

NEW TOPICS added to Optrafair 20/20 Educational Program

October 2019


The Optrafair theatre programme is dedicated to providing the latest information on all key areas of optics. This is why we're expanding the call for presentations with two new topics - environment/sustainability and dementia.

Your submissions play a big part in building the programme, and we'd love to hear your latest insights. Submit your session ideas now - time is short until the call for presentations closes.

Suggested topics for presentations include:

• Frames

• Lenses

• Contact lenses

• General optometry

• Ophthalmology

• Technology

• Business (Finance, HR, legal, marketing etc)

• Audiology

• Pharmaceuticals

• Environment/sustainability

• Dementia

Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee, with successful applicants included alongside sessions from leading professionals in the field of optics.

The submission deadline is 18 October 2019. If you have any queries, please contact Jessica Franks at or on 0207 501 6346.

Get more information and submit here

Free 6 Interactive point CET/CPD Seeing Beyond the Eyes Workshop - new dates announced

October 2019

Our free 6 Interactive point workshops are coming to Bristol, London, Croydon, Harrogate, Sheffield and Gloucester very soon, so if you haven't attended yet, your invitation is below or you can book here.

Your Free Invitation…

• Our Seeing Beyond the Eyes CET/CPD workshop connects clinicians with the sight loss support sector to benefit patients with low vision

• 6 Interactive CET points available

• The overall CET score for our workshops is 94% with 96% of people scoring them at 100% on the General Optical Council (GOC) website


• Open to everyone including non-clinicians

• Venues, Dates & Bookings: here

Please book now as places are filling fast

Voting opens for AOP Awards 020

October 2019

Call for patients and practitioners to cast their vote now

Patients and practitioners are invited to celebrate the achievements of their local optometrist, dispensing optician or optical practice by casting their vote in the Association of Optometrists (AOP) Awards 2020.

The AOP Awards, sponsored by CooperVision, celebrate individuals, teams and organisations across optics.

Following shortlisting by a panel of industry experts, 12 award categories are now open to a public vote including the new accolade, Hospital Optometry Team of the Year. A further two categories, Frame of the Year and Product of the Year, will be chosen exclusively by the Association’s members.

AOP Chief Executive, Henrietta Alderman described the importance of celebrating the profession: “Many of our members will view providing high-quality eye care simply as the norm but the AOP Awards is great way to show that optometry, even the day-to-day, incorporates exceptional performance and tremendous passion. We are delighted to provide an opportunity to recognise these individuals and teams who provide a vital healthcare service. Please join me in showing them your appreciation by casting your vote in the AOP Awards 2020.”

Commenting on the finalists, head judge, Dr Ian Beasley said: “To recognise this landmark year we chose a theme of ‘Excellence in optics”. The entries for this year’s Awards have certainly lived up to that – with such brilliant calibre, and a higher-volume of submissions than we’ve seen before. It’s been a pleasure to review them and see the fantastic work being done throughout the profession.”

The ceremony will take place at leading trade and education event, 100% Optical, with finalists, sponsors and guests enjoying a night of entertainment as the winners are announced.

Voting is open until 5pm on Wednesday 18 December and will be facilitated by online voting specialist Mi-Voice. A voting link for the members’ choice awards will be emailed directly to AOP members on 1 October. More information on all finalists, the voting process and how to book your place is available at

The Lifetime Achievement Award is selected by the AOP Chair of the Board, Michael George, and AOP Chief Executive, Henrietta Alderman.

SILMO 2019 up on last years attendees

October 2019

Once again this year, 970 exhibitors competed with each other in terms of boldness and creativity to make this edition a real success.

SILMO Paris welcomed 35 888 visitors (+2.5 /2018) 56% international and 44% French.

In the coming weeks we will publish a complete report of this year's show
While waiting for good rest, thank you again for your faithful support

SILMO will see you all in 2020 from 2 to 5 October for a FUTURISSILMO

Vision UK and RSM Forward View Vision Conference attendees pass 150 and still booking.

October 2019

With just over one week to go before the Vision Conference at the Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street London, confirmed numbers are in excess of 150 and still rising

Its still not to late to book with CET points now confirmed for the event for optometrists in the workshop highlighted below.

The event Forward View, Vision and Eye Health on October 9th on the eve of World Sight Day (10th) and has gathered together some of the most highly respected and knowledgeable speakers from the Optical World.

The huge number of workshops allow you to choose the subjects that are pertinent to your work and career.

The speakers providing the lectures to the whole audience will attempt to emphasise how we can all come together to prevent vision loss and learn how to work together to make improvements in the sector.

You can book here and select the workshops you want to attend.

There is a special AHP inclusive day rate for optometrists at £70 which includes all catering and the early evenings optical awards event.

Here is an example of one of the many workshops and lectures of special interest to optometrists


Evidence and statistics

How we can best use evidence and statistics to reduce prevalence of sight loss and improve patient outcomes.

What are the issues and opportunities around presently available statistics and the way they are used?

Chaired by Dr David Parkins, Vice Chair, Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning and Dr Catey Bunce, Reader in Medical Statistics, King’s College London

2:20 pm The United Kingdom national eye health and hearing survey, why is a survey necessary, what difference can it make? - Professor Rupert Bourne, Professor of Ophthalmology, Anglia Ruskin University, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Cambridge University Hospitals

2:35 pm Using statistics as public health indicators, portfolio of indicators, system and assurance framework for eye-health (SAFE). Providing useful, usable information to commissioners - Parul Desai, Public Health and Ophthalmology Consultant, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

2:50 pm Statistics around children and young people, how they can be used to ensure support for children, young people, parents and carers - Sue Keil, Research Lead and Executive Committee member,
See the whole program here

IOA announces SILMO International Optician of the Year.

October 2019

The International Opticians Association (IOA), has announced the winner of the Silmo IOA International Optician of the Year Award. This innovative award, first given at the 2018 Silmo d’OR Ceremony, recognises the importance of the optician in the optical business and their role in the choice of optimum products for their clientele.

The winner, chosen from a competitive field, is Andrew Keirl, FBDO, of the United Kingdom.

Andrew started in optics in 1979 as a student dispensing optician with Dollond & Aitchison. In 1984, Andrew was appointed Training Officer for the Dollond & Aitchision Group, based at its Birmingham headquarters. During this period Andrew lectured to students taking examinations of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians in Singapore, Malaysia and Kenya.

In 1989, Andrew was asked to join the Anglia Higher Education College (now Anglia Ruskin University) in Cambridge to instigate and develop courses in Ophthalmic Dispensing, establishing a brand new department within the Faculty of Applied Sciences. Andrew then turned his attention to a full time programme for student Dispensing Opticians.

In 1995 he launched the very first Honours Degree programme for Dispensing Opticians, a BSc (Hons) in Optical Management. An undergraduate programme in optometry was also launched and during his last four years at Anglia Ruskin University Andrew joined the programme as a part-time student while retaining a full-time teaching and administrative role. At the conclusion of the Professional Qualifying Examinations

Andrew was awarded prizes for the highest mark in investigative techniques and the highest overall mark obtained for a Dispensing Optician. Andrew now runs his own independent optical practice.

Andrew’s practice is multi-disciplinary and offers clinics for stable glaucoma patients, post-operative clinics for patients following cataract surgery and a minor eye conditions service.

This year Andrew was presented with Life Membership of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians, the highest honour awarded by the UK Professional Body for Dispensing Opticians.

Fiona Anderson IOA President and Chair of the selection committee said, “Andrew is a worthy recipient of this award. The wider world of Optics has benefited from his extensive contribution to our sector. Through his training, educational & academic writing he has enhanced our knowledge, skill & art in the world of Ophthalmic Dispensing. We owe Andrew a great debt of gratitude.”

The winner was announced on the 28 September 2019 at SILMO Paris. As well as the prestigious award, Andrew also wins a trip for 2 to Silmo 2020.

Next weekends big conference are you going?

October 2019

The AIO and BABO Conference in Bristol starts on 5th and 6th October and there are some great reasons to attend (aside from coming to our CET session)!!

• There will be a wide range of CET lectures/workshops and peer reviews for both Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians with over 30 points available over the two days (see the attached programme)

• There is a great opportunity to hear how Vision Therapy can help to differentiate your Practice

• There will be a unique opportunity to interact with representatives from the GOC, The College, AOP, ABDO, FODO, LOCSU and BCLA who are taking part in a Panel session using Slido technology

• The Conference is exceedingly good value at £75 for Saturday and £95 for Sunday (or £150 for both days)

• The Exhibition Hall will be packed with a whole range of great companies who are sponsoring the Conference and who are great supporters of Independent practice. Visit all the stands for a chance to win a weekend for two in Rome!!

• There is a great social programme which features a variety of outings as well as the Welcome Dinner on Friday night (4th October) and the Gala Dinner on Saturday night (5th October) in the wonderful Palm Court Room at the Royal Hotel

• The opportunity to meet up with old friends and make new ones in the usual relaxed and friendly atmosphere of an AIO Conference. Also Bristol is a great place to visit!!

• It is really easy to book – just visit HERE


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