Primary Health Net
Visit our Public Information Site
Go to my LOC site
Snowbird find my opt sos

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


Celebratory Awards presented at the School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire
New Teesside Optometry course to address regional eye health needs
Surgery Live Streaming is another first for this years Optrafair 20/20
End of the road for the Autograph IntelligenceTM Roadshows, but stay tuned there's more en route
BCLA Visionaries conference offers insight into emerging practice
ABDO Optical Assistant Course opens
Registration opens for Optrafair 20/20, April 4th to April 5th at the NEC
Full speed ahead for next year’s exciting and upgraded Optrafair 20/20 April 4th 2020
First look at the forthcoming educational line up for next year's big Optrafair 20/20 in April 2020
Just 10 days to make the most of Early Bird rates for the IOA Summit in Thailand in 2020
Evaluating OCT Angiography for Daily Clinical Practice
ABDO stays put at Godmersham Park
The College of Optometrists recognises outstanding contributions to optometry with Life and Honorary Fellowships
Vision UK and RSM GP with Primary Healthcare Section publish report on the Forward View Conference held in October
Insight Optical Training announces partnership with SightCare.
Announcing Optometry Tomorrow 2020 – 50% off tickets ends 31 October
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

Celebratory Awards presented at the School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire

December 2019

Clare Gabba
At the end of November Clare Gaba, Head of Marketing & Communications for Louis Stone (rt) spoke to an excited audience before presenting the prizes for Excellence and Best in Year, at the University of Hertfordshire Life and Medical Science Dean Awards.

Clare Gabba
This was the first time that the Herts Optometry Department joined the awards evening and received their prizes as the chosen Best in Year students.

Abdurahman Anshur
pictured left with Clare and the Dean.

Clare announced

Best in Year 1 winner Abdurahman Anshur who won £50,

Best in Year 2 winner Khaleda Begum who won £50 (unfortunately Khaleda couldn’t attend)

Priyanka SaxenaEmma Saunders

Best in Year 3 winner Emma Saunders who won £50 (Left)

Best in Year 4 winner Priyanka Saxena who won £75. (Lower right)

They also all received one of the popular Louis Stone mugs each!


Clare stated, “ It has been a magical evening and I congratulate once again all winners "

Dr Richard Southern, Dean of the School of Life and Medical Sciences was in attendance to congratulate the winners and present the prizes.

New Teesside Optometry course to address regional eye health needs

December 2019

University of TeesideTeesside University is responding to growing eye health needs by offering a brand-new course to educate, train and retain optometrists in the region.

The new BSc (Hons) Clinical Optometry course has been developed with sector partners specifically to address the growing need for qualified optometrists in the North East.

It is the only optometry degree course in the region and students will be learning in the new purpose-built facilities at the University, designed to replicate the clinical setting in which optometrists work.

Teesside University is also working with partners in the sector and professions who will provide placement opportunities for students throughout their education and training. These include a range of local practices for all three years who will be joined by South Tees Hospitals, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals and County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trusts for the students’ final year.

Building on Teesside University’s wide experience of educating high-level graduates in other clinical specialties, a unique element of the new degree course is the amount of time students will spend on placement, with one day a fortnight in the first year and one day a week in the second and third years working alongside qualified eye care professionals in clinical settings.

By being embedded in clinical practice and services, it is hoped that many of the students will stay in the region and work as optometrists once they graduate to address the workforce shortages across eye care in the North East.

Patrick Friis is Senior Lecturer in Optometry and worked as a practitioner before coming to Teesside University to help develop and launch the new degree course. He said: “We decided to develop the course as an integral part of the local eye health community specifically to meet local health needs and to train the kinds of clinicians the profession will need in the future. That is why our training is so forward-looking.

“It is fantastic to have the wider sector, including large providers, independent practices and hospital colleagues, working alongside us as they are key to developing a highly-skilled local profession for the future.”
Gordon Mitchell, Associate Dean (Marketing and Recruitment) in the University’s School of Health & Life Sciences, added: “We are really excited about this new degree course and proud to be the only provider of optometry degrees in the North East.

“This reinforces the University’s ethos of responding to and working with local communities and partners to meet local needs and to provide our students with great career opportunities to make a real impact within their chosen profession.”

David Hewlett from the FODO, the professional representative body for eye care providers in the UK, said: “We are delighted that Teesside University will be offering this innovative, new optometry degree. The University has an outstanding reputation for learning and teaching excellence, and this will provide a unique opportunity to train and retain talented optometrists here in the North East. Most importantly it will help safeguard the eye health of local people for now and future generations.”

The new BSc (Hons) Clinical Optometry course is currently recruiting for a September intake. Find out more here

Surgery Live Streaming is another first for this years Optrafair 20/20

December 2019

Sunil Shah
Watch Prof. Shah perform surgery, live streamed from the Midlands Eye Institute

A key focus of the Optrafair 20/20 programme is how technology is transforming the optical industry.

Laser surgery is seeing enhanced precision and accuracy with new technologies such as Femto-Second Laser Cataract Surgery.

Professor Sunil Shah is a globally recognised Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and leading exponent of cataract laser surgery.

On Day 3 you can watch him perform surgery, live streamed from the Midlands Eye Institute. Followed by a Q&A and a chance for one-to-one discussions at Profs Corner.

Don't miss this fascinating look into the future of optical care at Optrafair 20/20.

Femto-second laser cataract surgery performed by consultant ophthalmic surgeon professor Sunil Shah at Midland Eye will be streamed live to views in the Iris arena of the exhibition.

The Iris Arena in the centre and heart of this years exhibition will highlight many ways where technology and working together will enliven optics and assist in us fighting vision loss in the UK.

Professor Shah will then host a question and answer session in the new Ophthalmology Theatre.

‘This is a major coup for Optrafair 20/20,’ said David Ellison, FMO operations director. ‘Sunil will be one of many world-class speakers at Optrafair 20/20, where the focus is firmly on technology.’

The recent addition of SpaMedica as the event’s ophthalmology partner bolsters the clinical offering. The company is one of the UK’s main providers of NHS ophthalmology services, providing NHS cataract surgery, AMD treatments and YAG capsulotomy.

It operates a cataract post-op accreditation schemes in conjunction with community optometrists, who provide 71% of post-op assessments for the company.

End of the road for the Autograph IntelligenceTM Roadshows, but stay tuned there's more en route

December 2019

Shamir AI TM Show
Shamir have officially come to the end of the Autograph IntelligenceTM Roadshows, which took place all over the United Kingdom throughout November. This was the first time Shamir have hosted events of this kind and are pleased to say they were a complete success and they plan to host more in the immediate future, so stay tuned!

During the evening itself, attendees were greeted with a glass of fizz on arrival and treated to a variety of delicious buffet style delicacies and canapes throughout.

The informative portion of the evening consisted of a product talk featuring Shamir’s Award-Winning lens, Autograph IntelligenceTM and a Non-tolerance interactive CET workshop worth 3 CET points.


Shamir AI TM Show These were presented by Shamir’s National Sales and Marketing Manager, Russell Bickle and Area Lens Consultant, Kate Lowcock.

The Roadshows were held in exciting venues that offered delegates something new.

To name a few, The National Museum of Scotland, Newcastle’s Life Science Centre, Liverpool’s Science and Industry Museum, Brighton’s Amex Stadium and Birmingham’s Edgbaston Stadium.

Shamir AI TM Show

There has been lots of positive feedback so far, 100% of attendees have said they would love to attend future Shamir CET events, which is great news. “Presented very well and got me excited about the product.

All questions answered thoroughly.” So, if you are interested in attending any upcoming events, please keep an eye on Shamir’s social media accounts, emails and opchat news and optics magazines for updates.


BCLA Visionaries conference offers insight into emerging practice

December 2019

Pioneers Visionaries
Eye care practitioners attending the BCLA’s Visionaries & Pioneers conference have been challenged to make the most of their opportunity to address myopia in a child’s formative years, while contact lens drop-out rates and the possibilities offered by artificial intelligence also came under the microscope.

Delegates attending the conference saw Professor Michel Guillon deliver the Pioneers Lecture, in which he addressed the issue of contact lens discomfort – a subject he described as “the biggest challenge we face in practice”. He added: “Currently, 15 per cent of lens wearers drop out, of these 50 per cent say it is because of discomfort. If we are losing 15 per cent a year, we need to find an additional 15 per cent just to stand still. If there is a problem, let’s deal with it early on, let’s be proactive.”

Speaking during a session looking at whether orthokeratology lenses should be used for refractive correction or myopia management, Shelly Bansal discussed his role as a pioneering ‘early-adopter’ of Ortho K at the start of his career.

He added: “It wasn’t mainstream practice, it was done for correction then, not myopia management. I decided to wear the lenses myself before trying them on patients and I could see why they would get so excited over the lifestyle benefits; it was like magic.

“The freedom Ortho K gives young people is a big plus, they much prefer it to wearing glasses. We have a duty to discuss myopia management with our patients and their parents but it’s essential we get the language right.

“Our younger patients are the future of our practices and their expectations are high. They are savvy and they have access to information and resources that we never had.

Shelly was joined by Dr Jacinto Santodomingo-Rubido for the session, chaired by Nick Howard, which kicked off the annual meeting at the Royal College of Medicine in London.

Further sessions at the conference included Dr Vijay Anand and Shreeti Lakhani looking at the role of mini-sclerals and Sarah Farrant and Indy Sian discussing dry eye from the viewpoint of both an optometrist and an ophthalmologist.

The final session gave a glimpse into the future with Dr Manbir Nagra, Dr Byki Huntjens and Dr Nikolas Pontikos examining the potential for artificial intelligence to impact on anterior segment grading.

The programme was shaped by BCLA members and also featured an exhibition showcasing the very latest technology from sponsors including BCLA partners Alcon and CooperVision, platinum sponsors Johnson & Johnson Vision, gold sponsors Menicon and SEED with UltraVision, technology sponsor Topcon and premium sponsors mark’ennovy and Visioneering Technologies.

This year’s Visionaries & Pioneers was one of the final events masterminded by outgoing BCLA chief executive Cheryl Donnelly.

President Jonathon Bench paid tribute to Cheryl’s “enthusiastic marvelousness” which has seen her lead the organisation with passion, energy and determination for the past six years.

ABDO Optical Assistant Course opens

December 2019

Last week the first group of optical assistants on ABDO College’s Optical Assistant course met at ABDO's National Resource Centre to learn more about key skills in optics. The workshop allows optical assistant to develop their skills in spectacle repairs and adjustments and pre-screening.

ABDO College Head of Operations Steve Hertz says, “The latest part of the Optical Assistant programme to debut, the Practical Skills Workshop, added to the course’s ongoing success. The day was fully booked more than a month ahead which confirmed our thinking that those working in Assistant roles are keen to progress and expand their skills. The feedback from students that I have received so far has been lovely to hear and shows that a fantastic day was had by all. Well done to the staff and students for making it such a positive, informative experience!”

Rian Love, one of the lecturers running the course, says “The workshop brought together a diverse background of optical assistants, some long term optical staff and others who were only in practice a matter of months. It was fantastic to meet so many students who felt that this course was just the beginning of their optical education and who intend to carry on within optical education upon completion.”

Amongst the feedback from students on the course was this comment from Optical Assistant Fabio Carmo: “It was a very informative event. I thought I knew a great lot after working in optics for nearly three years. But I left knowing a lot more than what I already knew. All delivered with great humour by both lecturers. Would recommend everyone doing the course to attend.”

The Practical Skills Workshop is open to any optical assistant who wants to develop their skills in spectacle repairs and adjustments and pre-screening.

It is suitable for those new to optics as well as OAs who want to formalise their knowledge.Find out more about the Optical Assistant course from ABDO College.

Applications for the next course need to be in by 10th January, and the next workshop takes place 9th March 2020

Registration opens for Optrafair 20/20, April 4th to April 5th at the NEC

November 2019

This years conference and exhibition will provide :


Optrafair 20/20 Registration

As the UK's original flagship optical event, Optrafair has a history of bringing all areas of optics together to promote cohesion and collaboration.

In 2020, Optrafair brings you a carefully curated programme of lectures, workshops and panels designed to inspire and support everyone in the field.

The exhibition hall is a bustling marketplace of innovation and value, where you'll find the latest technologies and products to energise your practice.

Progress can only be made when care givers and technology providers communicate.

This is Optrafair's mission and we invite you to be part of the journey.

With the opening of the Registration PHN has opened its Optrafair Pages which will be updated regularly to follow the progress of the now almost complete exhibitor sign ups as well as the exciting line up of extraordinary events that the FMOs collaboration with the MA Group intend to bring to the whole optical profession and sector.

This will be the one conference to attend next year if you are serious about your role in vision improvement in the UK. Meet your friends, arrange key meetings and expand your knowledge at the UK's Optical Big Family event.

PHN once again are the co-media partners for the conference and offer exhibitors a free platform to showcase their hopes and products for the show.

Make the date and register now to ensure you get up to date info on the show especially the always over subscribed lecture program.

Full speed ahead for next year’s exciting and upgraded Optrafair 20/20 April 4th 2020

November 2019

Optrafair 2019Following the recent FMO General Meeting, FMO and Mark Allen Group came together to hold two Optrafair 20/20 Transformation events to update companies on a host of new features for 20/20.

Led by FMO chair-elect, Stuart Burn, the event provided the perfect environment for companies old and new to Optrafair to discover what had been happening behind the scenes in preparation for 2020’s transformative event.

The new Iris stage generated a great deal of excitement, with 2019’s dynamic catwalk stage being integrated with thought-provoking keynote lectures from industry leaders such as

Pearse Keane. Keane is a consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and was placed 4th on a worldwide ranking of up-and-coming ophthalmologists by The Ophthalmologist journal, making him a key draw for visitors to the 2020 show.

Also new for 2020 is the Practice Owners’ Lounge, which will provide space for practice owners to gather and network over complimentary refreshments. Attendees to the

Transformation meetings were pleased to see this on the floorplan, with many of the surrounding stands already booked up.

Due to the calibre of speakers already confirmed for 2020, the show floor also features Profs Corner, a dedicated area allowing visitors to meet and network with selected Optrafair speakers.

No other event provides professionals this level of access to speakers, giving Optrafair exclusive domain over this exciting networking opportunity.

Optrafair 2019The popularity of 2019’s catwalk and Eyewear Boutique confirmed continued interest in frames, leading to a new opportunity for frames exhibitors being built into Optrafair 2020: Frames Boulevard. From high-end fashion to popular collections, this space will showcase the latest trends in a rustic set up with low costs for exhibitors.

Optrafair’s renowned CET programme will be back once again, curated by a newly appointed Conference Director alongside a highly experienced Advisory Board. To respond to exhibitor feedback, this year the CET will feature an intelligent structure designed to periodically release visitors onto the floor, ensuring exhibitors have quality face-to-face time with attendees.

The programme includes the new-for-2020 Ophthalmology Theatre, sponsored by SpaMedica, which will spearhead Optrafair’s move to diversify content this year. Leading speakers will explore topics such as the relationship between optometry and ophthalmology, and how optics professionals can expand their practice.

As Optrafair expands its horizons for 20/20, the programme will also cover other topical global subjects, including audiology, dementia, sustainability, AI and emerging technology, the future relationship with the NHS and much more. This revamped programme will sit alongside sessions on topics such as optometry and business as well as ABDO’s dedicated CET programme, drawing in optical professionals at all levels.

If you’re interested in becoming part of next year's exciting opportunities at Optrafair 20/20, please get in touch with Victoria Gould at or on +44 (0)20 7333 1743. (FMO members receive discounted rates on stands at the show, so secure yours now – limited space remaining.)

For the 5th year running Primary Health Net who publish Opchat News have been recognised by the FMO as its chosen media partners. As usual this working together will allow free publication to all exhibitors on the Optrafair Preview Pages as it was last year.

Our relationship also provides reduced priced eblasts to those registered and subscribed to receive them.

We will provide news and coverage both within these pages and on our special Optrafair 20/20 pages as received.

First look at the forthcoming educational line up for next year's big Optrafair 20/20 in April 2020

November 2019

How AI is transforming the optical industry: Pearse Keane provides an update at Optrafair 20/20 ‘AI and its likely impact on optometry and ophthalmology’

Pearse Keane Automation is everywhere. Amazon now has more than 100,000 robots inside its warehouses around the world. Driverless cars are being driven in the US and in a couple of months’ time will be tested on a public road near you here in the UK, courtesy of the Government. However, there are sometimes bumps in the road. You might have seen that half the 243 robots in Japan’s “Strange” hotel have been laid off!

A step up from automation is AI (Artificial Intelligence), which is simply technology, from machine learning to natural language processing, that allows machines to sense, comprehend, act and learn. The crucial factor here is that machine-learning algorithms can learn to build other machine-learning systems! But don’t worry, humans are still in control – at least for the foreseeable future.

Machine learning allows computers to study algorithms to perform specific tasks without being given specific instructions, and deep learning allows networks to learn unsupervised from unstructured data. Deep learning is the key here, giving us the ability to use AI in all areas of health care, including eye care.

Back in 2016, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust announced a 5 year partnership with British tech company DeepMind, the world’s leading AI organisation, which had joined forces with Google in 2014 to accelerate their work. The partnership’s aim was to determine if AI could help improve patient care. A breakthrough in their research involved machine learning technology analysing over a million anonymised retinal scans to automatically diagnose eye diseases such as AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and diabetic retinopathy. Crucially, having analysed the scans, the tech is also able to make referral decisions.

Over 50 eye diseases can now be correctly referred via AI with 94% accuracy. In case you’re wondering, this is in line with world class eye experts. The bottom line is that this technology has the potential to recognise eye diseases earlier and prioritise the most serious cases.

Leading the research at Moorfields, the oldest eye hospital in the world, is Pearse Keane. Having graduated to Master of Science and Doctor of Medicine at University College Dublin, Keane is now consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and NIHR Clinician Scientist at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

Keane explains: “The number of eye scans we’re performing is growing at a pace much faster than human experts are able to interpret them. There is a risk that this may cause delays in the diagnosis and treatment of sight-threatening diseases, which can be devastating for patients.

Pearse Keane at Moorfields“The AI technology we’re developing is designed to prioritise patients who need to be seen and treated urgently by a doctor or eye care professional. If we can diagnose and treat eye conditions early, it gives us the best chance of saving people’s sight. With further research it could lead to greater consistency and quality of care for patients with eye problems in the future.

“If this technology can be used more widely – in particular by healthcare professionals without computer programming experience – it will really speed up the development of these systems with the potential for significant patient benefits. The process needs refining and regulation, but our results show promise for the future expansion of AI in medical diagnosis.”

Technological change and innovation are the key themes for Optrafair 20/20, which runs from 4 - 6 April 2020 at Birmingham NEC. Optrafair is owned by FMO, whose Chair Andy Yorke and Vice Chair Stuart Burn have secured a host of keynote lectures from industry leaders including Pearse Keane, who has been awarded the inaugural Optrafair Lecture. Other world-renowned speakers will be announced over the next couple of months.

Regarding his lecture, Keane has said: “I will describe the motivation - and urgent need - to apply deep learning to Optometry and Ophthalmology, the processes required to establish a research collaboration between the NHS and a company like DeepMind, the initial results of our research, and finally, why I believe that Optometry and Ophthalmology could be fundamentally reinvented through the application of artificial intelligence.”

Confirming the importance of the research at Moorfields, Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary, said: "This is hugely exciting and exactly the type of technology which will benefit the NHS in the long term and improve patient care”.

We look forward to seeing you at Birmingham NEC at midday on 5 April 2020 for Pearse Keane’s lecture.

Just 10 days to make the most of Early Bird rates for the IOA Summit in Thailand in 2020

November 2019

Would you like to spend a week in Thailand, taking part in education and informative debate about the world of optics. Now is your chance to join members of the International Opticians Association (IOA) for their biannual event.

You can combine visits to key optical facilities in Thailand with enjoyable days out, fantastic meals in the company of like minded people, and the chance to go to SILMO Bangkok.

Fiona Anderson BSc(Hons) FBDO R SMC (Tech) FEAOO is President of the Association and she says, “Our time together will be filled with fun, education, engagement, learning and some exciting visits. Take part in this summit to discover a renewed vigour for the fulfilled life in optics that we all share.”

The summit includes a varied programme with visits which will offer those who attend insight into different facets of the wider world of optics in Thailand & beyond. There will be a full day at SILMO Bangkok, including VIP access to the opening ceremony, a networking lunch and a cocktail reception as well as an educational afternoon at the SILMO Academy.

There is an active social and activity programme planned for the IOA 2020 Summit in Thailand including:

• Royal WAT visit and cruise
• Lunch at the Supatra River House
• Free time to relax / shop / spa / see the sights
• Cooking a communal Thai dinner to be enjoyed together
• A private dinner on the river sponsored by Silmo.
• A celebratory farewell dinner and presidential handover at the stunning Vertigo restaurant with panoramic views across Bangkok

Fiona Anderson adds, “I look forward to seeing you all in Thailand & my hope for this meeting can be found in the words of an ancient Thai proverb: ‘Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is success’”.

To find out more visit here

Evaluating OCT Angiography for Daily Clinical Practice

November 2019

OCTA from Heidelberg

Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) offers a nonmydriatic, efficient, and noninvasive modality to evaluate and monitor vascular disease.

Heidelberg Engineering’s SPECTRALIS OCTA Module provides clinicians with high-resolution OCTA images with distinct image contrast.

This Module is based on a truly multimodal imaging platform with confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and addresses inherent challenges with the technology.

As reported in the last issue of Retina Today: The SPECTRALIS OCTA Module’s combination of live eye tracking and dense OCTA scan patterns delivers the highest axial resolution OCTA on the market.

ABDO stays put at Godmersham Park

November 2019

ABDO College has announced that it has renewed the lease on its premises at Godmersham Park, near Canterbury in Kent.

The College, established in 2001 by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) as a centre of excellence, specialises in distance and blended learning education for the optical profession.

It is the only college in the UK devoted solely to the teaching of the theory and practical aspects of ophthalmic dispensing and its related specialist areas.

Sir Anthony Garrett, General Secretary of ABDO, says, “The College has grown and developed significantly over 18 years. I am delighted that the Trustees have been able to extend the lease on College until December 2040. This provides the highly capable academic and support staff with the reassurance that the College will remain at Godmersham for many years to come. It is also a clear signal to employers and future students that the College is determined to remain at the forefront of Ophthalmic dispensing studies.”

The Grade I listed building at Godmersham Park gives students attending ABDO College on block release a truly unique educational experience. The building dates back to 1732 and Jane Austen was a regular visitor between 1798 and 1813.

Mansfield Park is said to be based on Godmersham Park and the building now features on the reverse side of the £10 note.

The College lies within 1,000 acres of beautiful Kent countryside and benefits from stunning views across the North Downs. Situated between Ashford and Canterbury, it provides an ideal venue for study and reflection away from the pressures and demands of everyday practice life.

Although the building is old, ABDO College has a continuing programme of updates to equipment and facilities for students, with an up to date lecture theatre being the latest addition.

The College of Optometrists recognises outstanding contributions to optometry with Life and Honorary Fellowships

November 2019

The College of Optometrists has announced it is awarding six new Life Fellowships, and one Honorary Fellowship, to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the profession or to the College.

The six new Life Fellows of The College of Optometrists are:

• Professor David Elliott PhD FCOptom, Professor of Clinical Vision Science, University of Bradford, Editor, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics (OPO)
• Andrew Riley FCOptom, Immediate Past Chairman of Optometry Wales
• Professor Kathryn Saunders PhD FCOptom, Professor of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Ulster
• Professor Fiona Jane Stapleton PhD FCOptom DCLP Scientia Professor, University of New South Wales, Associate Dean (Enterprise), Faculty of Science, University of New South Wales
• Dr Cindy Tromans FCOptom DipTp(IP) DipTPAS DipTPSP FEAOO, Consultant Optometrist and Head of Optometry Services, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
• Wendy Newsom BSc FCOptom DipTp(IP) Higher Cert Glauc, recently retired Community Optometrist. Formerly Senior Optometrist at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Chair of Cambridgeshire Local Optical Committee and Lead Optometrist at Moorfields Eye Centre at Bedford Hospital.

This year the College has awarded an Honorary Fellowship posthumously to:

John Thompson HonFCOptom, former Chair of The College of Optometrist’s Lay Advisory Panel and former Vice Chair of DOCET.

Professor Edward Mallen PhD MCOptom, President of The College of Optometrists, said:

“Fellowship is the College’s highest award. It is our opportunity to celebrate the most outstanding and significant achievements made by some of the most talented and committed individuals working in eye and vision care, and their exceptional contribution to the advancement of the profession. I would like to congratulate all recipients and thank them for their valued input to the profession across the years.

“I also welcome to opportunity to posthumously recognise John Thompson as an Honorary Fellow. John spent a lifetime in service of the public and made a huge contribution to the College, as well as other organisations in the sector and will be fondly remembered by all who had the privilege of knowing him.”

The College has also awarded four Fellowships by Portfolio to recognise achievement in the workplace:

Dr Dirk J Booysen FCOptom has been awarded Fellowship of the College in recognition of his contribution to clinical practice, provision of visual or wider healthcare, optometric education, the achievement of higher qualifications and the management of visual healthcare.

Daniel Hardiman-McCartney BSc FCOptom Prof Cert Glauc has been awarded Fellowship of the College in recognition of his contribution to the management of visual healthcare.

Dr Michelle L Hennelly PhD FCOptom has been awarded Fellowship of the College in recognition of her contribution to optometric education.

Dr Saleel Jivraj FCOptom has been awarded Fellowship of the College in recognition of his contribution to clinical practice.

The awards will be presented at the College’s annual Diploma Ceremony on Tuesday 12 November 2019 in Central London, when, as well as welcoming newly qualified optometrists to the profession, the College also celebrates the achievements of its members through the award of Higher Qualifications and Research Excellence Awards.

College members can apply for Fellowship by Portfolio by submitting a portfolio of evidence. Find out more at

Vision UK and RSM GP with Primary Healthcare Section publish report on the Forward View Conference held in October

November 2019

Forward Vision



Report on Forward View: Vision and Eye health: the main points

The Forward View: Eye health and sight loss conference held on 9 October 2019 was a joint venture between the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) GP with Primary Health Care Section, Vision UK and in association with the RSM Ophthalmology Section and Digital Health Section for everyone involved in eye health and associated care.

The day included interactive workshops with tangible takeaways around new social and clinical research, up-dates on social care and policy across the four nations, children and multiple conditions such as dementia and sight loss.

The main points from the workshops and some resources mentioned during the day are listed below.

Main points and conclusions from workshops for delegates and Vision UK’s reference

Workshop A: Research, cures and treatments

Co-Chairs: Michele Acton, CEO, Royal Society of Medicine and Richard Wormald, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

1) Key research is focussed on developing preventative interventions, early detection and the use of artificial intelligence to understand disease.

2) The first treatment (Voretigene neparvovec, (Luxturna) a gene therapy drug) for an inherited retinal dystrophy affecting 80 -100 people will be available on the NHS in 2020.

3) Most progress in AMD has been made in addressing late stage wet AMD. Work is being undertaken to find a therapy to address early and intermediate AMD including using data to find markers of early AMD and looking at repurposing of existing medicines.

Workshop B: Services, support and care

Chair: Matt Broom, CEO, Vision UK

1) Allow people with sight loss not just to survive but to thrive.

2) There are challenges around capacity in all sectors Ophthalmology, Rehabilitation, Low Vision, Counselling for Blind and Partially sighted people and those at risk of Sight loss.

3) The need to get rid of fragmentation and gett sight loss on commissioning agendas.

4) Understanding that it’s not just services that are fragmented but also data.

5) We need an ambition for change, describing what good looks like and how we can use that to define services for the future.

Workshop C: Sight loss and multiple conditions

Chair: Dr Renata Gomes, Head of Research and Innovation, Blind Veterans UK

1) The need to improve recording that someone is visually impaired on their clinical notes, not just that they had a recent assessment; particularly of importance to those with dementia and/or learning difficulties.

2) We need more research in these areas.

3) More awareness on how to help and empower those with dementia and/or learning difficulties with sight loss.

4) The need for simplified pathways for these patients.

Workshop D: Signposting for professions

Chair: Jenny Pearce, Trustee, Vision UK

1) Signposting is key, so why are professionals not doing it? A collaborative approach is needed.

2) Specific, tailored, personalized information is needed from Ophthalmologists. People are not vacuum cleaners. They must be treated with respect.

3) We need to close the gaps and not just bridge the gaps.

4) Support is disjointed. We need integrated medical and social care to achieve continuity of care.

Workshop E: Vision Strategy across the UK: how professionals can work together

Chair: Phil Ambler, Director, Evidence and Policy, Thomas Pocklington Trust

1) Working collectively allows us to better develop and achieve effective services, care and support to best meet the needs of the population.

2) Having targets and minimum standards is good but you need someone to monitor them otherwise they risk being devalued.

3) We can learn a lot from each other as nations and should continue to do so as we are all dealing with similar issues albeit in different health and social care systems.

Workshop F: Children’s vision screening – Are we fiddling while Rome burns?

Chair: Mary Bairstow, National Development Manager, Vision UK

1) We need to work collaboratively to support at risk groups – particularly ensuring children and young people with learning disabilities have access to eye health checks.

2) We need better evidence on extent of uncorrected vision in school and the impact this has on education.

3) Myopia – the epidemic. All agreed it is a concern. All agreed there is no significant evidence on best treatments. All agreed concern is health inequality. Currently any ‘treatment’ can only be accessed in medical trial (atropine trials) or private optometry practice (contact lens or specs).

Ideas for projects for the Vision UK Children and Young People’s Committee:

1) Work to promote a holistic approach “Balanced vision” (similar to a balanced diet / lifestyle) – to promote outdoor activity, limiting concentration on near tasks etc.

2) Highlight the ‘Myopia epidemic’ and the prospect for severe health inequality. In particular prepare Government for the prospect of treatments for myopia and the need to ensure there is equitable availability of these.

Workshop G: Comparing primary eye care provision across the UK: strengths, weaknesses and learning

Chair: Richard Whittington, Chief Operating Officer, Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU)

1) The issues that we are trying to address – the formation of an integrated approach with the aim of taking pressure off acute trusts whilst delivering a better patient service is universal.

2) The approaches to solving the problems are very similar across the UK – make use of primary care in an integrated way.

3) The commissioning context causes a barrier to success. In England the Clinical Commissioning Groups set up leads to commissioning inconsistency and a post-code lottery. In the other nations the ability to deal direct with government and policy makers makes the delivery of a revised system much easier. That is evidence by the consistent progress in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland against the definite progress in England but with its inconsistency due to different local commissioners commissioning the same service but in slightly different ways.

Workshop H: Evidence and statistics

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

1) Importance of timely and accurate data to identify gaps and monitor quality improvement.

2) Priorities across the 4 home countries are broadly the same.

3) Importance of collaboration.

Workshop I: Public perception of sight loss

Chair: Lee Kumutat, Producer In Touch, Radio 4, BBC

1) The sector should re-look at the promotion of better sight as a joint venture. A new body unfettered by charity status like the old Eye Care Information Trust would be able to combine an upbeat message with a mixture of eye wear, contacts and eye care which is a bigger turn on to the public than bleak messages of sight loss.

2) National Eye Health campaign should be continuous all year instead of focussed on one week of the year. We need to find ways of the whole sector paying a levy. It would be better if all key areas of the vision scene could be seen to contribute and join in with the advertorials or run the campaign anonymously

3) Like Cancer UK we need to be much more optimistic about eye treatments that can stem site loss often easily. This will stop the public from being frightened of a diagnosis as early intervention is better than the old word ‘prevention’.

4) We must though be careful not to be forgetful that those who have total sight loss through mass injury or pre-natal loss which will never be likely to be repaired are not left out of the loop. However, saving sight has a much greater reward.

Insight Optical Training announces partnership with SightCare.

November 2019

Insight Optical Training will be running one-day workshops at venues across the UK at a discounted rate for SightCare members.

With the first four workshops already available to book for 2020.

• Why We Need Spectacles: An Introduction to the World of Optics
• Customer Service Excellence and Communication Skills
• Frame Fitting and Repairs
• Frame Styling and Recommendation: Wow your Customers

SightCare has been offering training to its members for many years and we are planning new topics for later in 2020; which will be available in all parts of the UK.

“These one-day workshops will help staff members become more confident in their role and enable independent practices to offer even better service to their customer” said,
Anthony Blackman – Director of Training

“SightCare is delighted to be able to provide its independent practice members a new and improved workshop and online modular staff training programme for 2020. Insight Optical Training has been chosen as our new partner due to its independent optician experience and recent NCFE national Awarding Organisation accreditation”
commented John French – SightCare CEO

SightCare members can book online via the SightCare website, but non-members can still attend by visiting the Insight Optical Training website

Insight Optical Training offers online courses for optical & ophthalmology support staff internationally; as well as having a range of one-day workshops.

Gight Care and Insight
Its Directors are Anthony Blackman and Chris Maughan

Announcing Optometry Tomorrow 2020 – 50% off tickets ends 31 October

October 2019

The programme for Optometry Tomorrow, The College of Optometrists’ annual two-day conference, has been announced – College members have until 31 October to secure a 50% discount on the full ticket price.

The conference will take place from 23-24 February 2020 at the Telford International Centre and will offer cutting-edge lectures, seminars, peer discussions and hands-on clinical and discussion workshops.

Speakers will include Mr Kam Balaggan, who will lead a lecture on peripheral vitreoretinal disorders, and Dr Gordon Hay, who will discuss ocular tumours.

The programme will also cover a range of practice-based topics including myopia management, ocular allergies, BV and a range of OCT workshops. Up to 16 interactive CET points are available over the two days.

College members who book their tickets before the 31 October can purchase a two-day ticket for just £170 (full rate £340), or a one-day ticket for £120 (full rate £240).

Further discounts are available for students and members who qualified from July 2016 onwards.

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


Office Giant
Primary Health Net