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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, July to September 2020

 



ABDO College is supporting the development of dispensing across the world
SILMO 2020 D'Or Awards announce that an unprecedented year deserves an alternative approach!
Three Optometry bodies say funding uncertainty on GOC education plans threatens patient safety and public confidence
More AAOF Fellowships and Grant Recipients announced.
Professor Humphrey Scott appointed as new Dean of the Royal Society of Medicine
Varilux Comfort Max to be supported by large professional package
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPTOMETRY FOUNDATION announces the 2020 BETA SIGMA KAPPA (BSK) Research Fellowship Recipient
COVID-19 and professional issues for primary healthcare, a free webinar
SILMO 2020 SILMO D'OR Nominees
AAOF announces the 2020 KORB-EXFORD DRY EYE CAREER DEVELOPMENT GRANT RECIPIENT
Ocuco repeats highly successful webinar on Paediatric Optometry, by popular demand.
IACLE reports success of TLC (Teach. Learn. Connect.) Initiative
ABDO takes another look at the GOC ESR Consultation
GOC approves temporary changes to the Optometry Handbook and Supervision Policy
In the AAO Awards season they announce a further two deserving recipients
AAO Foundation announces two awards for 2020
GOC responds to ABDO concerns on ESR consultations
Successful ABDO Webinars
LV Honours Course updated by ABDO
Join Ocuco's next Clinical Lecture on Paediatric Optometry with Tania Constable
ABDO College has extended the deadline for applications to the Ophthalmic Dispensing and Contact Lens courses.
October SILMO exhibition becomes another fatality in the expo season
ABDO guidance and advice for Student DO's
Vision Expo West 2020 Cancelled;
ABDOs new payment plans assist in training
NRC reopens its doors
Over 140 professionals across all Vision Care Professions joined a RSM Webinar this week
Ophthalmic Lens Availability, the optical lens bible, has moved online
Archived Exhibition and Education News for April to June

ABDO College is supporting the development of dispensing across the world

October 2020

As it welcomes 10 students from South Africa onto the ophthalmic dispensing course.

Optics in South Africa has been through a difficult time since a change in employment law. There is only one university in the country that offers a full time three-year diploma course in Ophthalmic Dispensing, which isn’t a route of study that’s available to all. As a result, ABDO College is delighted to have 9 students from South Africa on the FBDO (Overseas) course, to help the profession grow and develop.

This move is supported by the South African Optometric Association, which includes dispensing opticians in its membership. Jorina Lombard says, ““Having only one institution in South Africa that hosts the dispensing course on a full time basis and no option for part-time studies, ABDO College has given us a platform for distance learning that means the world to our profession. We have so many people working in an optical environment who wishes to further their careers and by having the opportunity to study through the distance learning option, it enables them to do so.

“We are absolutely thrilled about the number of students that enrolled for the first year and I am excited to say that we already have a great interest for next year as well. We are humbled and grateful for the support and effort that we received from ABDO – a special thank you to Sir Anthony Garrett of ABDO and Mr Steve Hertz of ABDO College. They absolutely went the extra mile for us.”

"Like all ophthalmic dispensing students, the South African trainee DOs will complete weekly modules online, and gain hands on experience in practice. Boots Opticians (UK) has also donated a set of books for each student to help them get started. Les Thomas FBDO, Learning & Development Specialist at Boots Opticians says, “We were delighted to be approached by ABDO College to donate a number of textbooks for South African Student Dispensing Opticians to help with their development in the field of ophthalmic dispensing. We sincerely hope that our donation in collaboration with ABDO College will enable an increase in the number of qualified dispensing opticians in South Africa, so dispensing services can be expanded to a wider population of patients requiring them. At Boots Opticians, we would like to wish these students all the very best with their studies.”

South African student DO Amanda Visser says, “I am hoping to complete the ABDO Dispensing Opticians course so that I can take up frontline training again to provide knowledge to more frontline assistants in South Africa. We have such a shortage of dispensing opticians, and my aim is to empower other students to such a level of understanding , that they too will feel they want to take on the journey of becoming a dispensing optician.”

South African student DO Elmar Deysel says, "I think the course will benefit me in the long run to give me a lot more opportunities and knowledge. The course has already made me realize that there is a lot more to dispensing than just choosing frames and lenses. I would also like to use the knowledge I build up now, to help me share and assist others who is interested in oispensing."

If you are interested in courses from ABDO College available worldwide, visit www.abdocollege.org.uk/international.

SILMO 2020 D'Or Awards announce that an unprecedented year deserves an alternative approach!

October 2020

SILMO D'Or

For the first time, the SILMO d'Or award ceremony will be broadcast live on our social networks on Saturday 3 October at 2pm

We couldn’t imagine not supporting those exhibitors who have continued to launch products revealing their talents despite the lock-down.

The Silmo d’Or awards are a compelling spotlight of the entire industry.

The trade fair has adapted to the current situation with an itinerant version, Hors les Murs (Outside the Walls).

How to join in

Saturday 3 October at 2pm on :

Facebook Silmo Paris

Twitter

YouTube

Our website

We couldn’t imagine not supporting those exhibitors who have continued to launch products revealing their talents despite the lock-down.

The Silmo d’Or awards are a compelling spotlight of the entire industry.

Three Optometry bodies say funding uncertainty on GOC education plans threatens patient safety and public confidence

October 2020

Joint statement from the Association of Optometrists, the College of Optometrists and the Optometry Schools Council

(The Optometry Schools Council (OSC) represents the collective views of UK institutions providing GOC accredited optometry programmes. Further details, including a list of members, can be found at www.optometryschoolscouncil.org)

The General Optical Council’s proposed new framework for optometric education is untested – and it isn’t yet clear whether education providers will be funded to deliver it safely.

The Association of Optometrists, the College of Optometrists and the Optometry Schools Council are concerned that this could significantly disrupt future optometry education and training, affecting patient safety and public confidence. We are urging the GOC to agree to monitor this risk closely and only confirm the new framework when it is clear that it is financially viable for providers.

What’s happening

The GOC is currently consulting on final proposals for the new Education Strategic Review (ESR) framework, and is aiming to agree them by December 2020. The consultation closes on 19 October 2020. The AOP, the College and the OSC will all respond to the consultation, giving our individual perspectives and views. But we are making this joint public statement now because we agree the risks around funding are critical, and could cause serious damage to optometry education and training.

The ESR proposals would change the regulatory requirements that optometry education programmes in the UK have to meet.

To enable innovation, many aspects of the new framework are less specific than the current rules. However, the model also imposes new conditions, including the requirement that providers must offer an integrated path to GOC registration, incorporating at least 48 weeks of clinical experience organised by the provider.

This is a substantial change from the current two-stage process, whereby most students undertake a BSc degree followed by a separate pre-registration phase. It will require providers to arrange, manage and quality assure a high volume of placements, which will carry a substantial cost for the providers.

The risks

There are differing views in the optical sector on whether change on this scale is needed, and what the benefits maybe. At times, the GOC has suggested that the practical changes providers have to make may be modest. But, in our view, the level of change for education providers, and for employers and supervisors providing placements, will be substantial.

The AOP, the College and the OSC have all previously said that the GOC must think through the funding implications before introducing such major changes.

The GOC has done some work on this but we have deep concerns that, in the draft Impact Assessment published alongside the current consultation, the GOC has made no assessment of the financial impact its proposals will have on education providers. It has only asked providers to give their views in response to the consultation.

The GOC has recently commissioned consultancy advice on this issue, to inform its Council’s decisions on the new framework; however, the final report will not be available until after the end of the consultation.

We do not think the timeframe and funding for this commissioned work is proportionate to the complexity of the funding implications of the ESR across the four nations.

This inadequate approach will not allow time for informed public scrutiny and debate on the likely financial implications of the ESR before the planned GOC Council decision on the framework in December.

This is not just an abstract concern. If the GOC agrees a final framework that providers cannot afford to deliver, then some providers will exit the market – reducing student choice, cutting the number of trained optometrists available to join the register each year, and impacting on the fulfilment of patient care needs. Other providers may struggle to deliver the new requirements, leading to training that does not meet the revised standards.

Either outcome would threaten patient safety and public confidence in the profession – the things the GOC exists to protect.

The COVID-19 pandemic has considerably heightened these concerns. It is clear that universities are already facing massive resource and capacity pressures because of recent events, but it is too early to tell what the long-term impact will be. The additional financial uncertainty created by the ESR, including for optometry employers that invest in, support and depend on optometry workforce supply, will provide additional challenge and insecurity for providers to manage.

What we are calling for

At this point the AOP, the College and the OSC are not arguing that the new framework should be completely dropped. We believe that the proposals include some positive changes that should not be lost. Each of us will set out our own views on the way forward in our own consultation responses.

Ahead of that, given the high level of uncertainty over the financial impact of the ESR on providers, we are jointly calling on the GOC to:

1) Confirm that it will work closely with education providers and other stakeholders to address the likely financial impact of the proposed new framework and the sourcing of funding to deliver it

2) Commit to establishing that the new model is financially viable in all four nations before taking the final decision on approval

In a separate and subsequent News Release ABDO adds its opinion

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) welcomes the joint statement from the Association of Optometrists, the College of Optometrists and the Optometry Schools Council highlighting the threat to patient safety and public confidence resulting from the current uncertainty about the impact of the GOC’s education plans and how they will be funded.

ABDO welcomed the Education Strategic Review’s original aim of ensuring that student dispensing opticians and optometrists are prepared for the roles of the future and remains committed to working with the GOC, and fellow representative bodies, to ensure that the optical education system delivers consistently high standards and supports extended scopes of practice.

ABDO highlighted at the start of the consultation, however, that the GOC has failed to publish any estimates of the costs of implementing and running its proposed new system and has not provided any explanation of how these costs would be met. It also failed to provide any analysis of alternative options so the relative costs and benefits can be assessed.

Sir Anthony Garrett CBE HonFBDO, ABDO General Secretary says, "Before the GOC makes any final decision, stakeholders must have an opportunity to scrutinise the costs and benefits of both the proposed new system and other viable options. And before making any final decision, the GOC must be able to demonstrate that any changes can be funded and will deliver tangible improvements in the quality of education for the benefit of patients, students, commissioners and employers throughout the UK. The huge financial and practical challenges faced by education providers and optical practices as a result of COVID-19 make it even more vital that any changes to the education system are properly thought through and can be delivered."

More AAOF Fellowships and Grant Recipients announced.

October 2020

The 2020-2021 ALLERGAN FOUNDATION RESEARCH GRANT RECIPIENTS

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF), in partnership with the Allergan Foundation, is pleased to announce two grant recipients this year in the areas of the anterior segment and glaucoma.

The recipient of the Allergan Foundation Grant in the area of the anterior segment is Suzanne MJ Fleiszig, OD, PhD, FAAO. Dr. Fleiszig is a Professor of Optometry and Vision Science, Microbiology, and Infectious Disease & Immunity at the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry.

Dr Flesizig
As the principal investigator, Dr. Fleiszig has been awarded a $60,000 grant for her project, “Relationship between COVID-19 and the Eye.”

Her collaborative team of co-investigators include Eva Harris, PhD; University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health and Abby Kroken, PhD; University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry



Dr Stacey Choi The recipient of the Allergan Foundation Grant in the area of glaucoma is Stacey S. Choi, PhD, FAAO. Dr. Choi is an Associate Professor at The Ohio State University, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Havener Eye Institute.

As the principal investigator, Dr. Choi has been awarded a $60,000 grant for her project, “Characterization of inner retinal changes in glaucoma suspects in comparison to glaucoma patients and age-matched controls through adaptive optics retinal imaging.”

Her collaborative team of co-investigators include Nathan Doble, PhD, Mark Slabaugh, MD, and Shelly Jain, MD; all from The Ohio State University,
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Havener Eye Institute.

These highly competitive grants are awarded to talented optometrists and/or vision scientists, who are Academy Fellows, and are currently undertaking cutting edge research in the areas of glaucoma and/or the anterior segment. This is the seventh year the Allergan Foundation has sponsored this generous grant through the AAOF.

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation is pleased to partner with the Allergan Foundation to recognize individuals whose work will contribute to the future of optometric care. “We congratulate Drs. Fleiszig and Choi and their expert clinician-scientist teams on their grants. Their cutting-edge research will directly improve the care we are able to provide for our patients,” said AAOF President Pete Kollbaum, OD, PhD, FAAO.

THE 2020 DAVID AND DIANE GOSS OPTOMETRY HISTORY FELLOWSHIP RECIPIENT

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF), is pleased to announce the 2020 David and Diane Goss Optometry History Fellowship recipient. Tiong Peng Yap, OD, PhD, FAAO, is a Private Practice Fellow at the IGARD Group in Singapore.

Dr TP Yap.
This fellowship provides support for an individual pursuing research in optometric history. His proposal topic on the history of optometric education in Singapore, was chosen out of five very competitive proposals. Dr. Yap will receive a $1,000 fellowship to further his research.



Please join us in congratulating Dr. Yap as well as the other recipients on these impressive honours.

Professor Humphrey Scott appointed Dean of the Royal Society of Medicine

October 2020


Prof. Humphrey Scott New Dean of RSM Professor Humphrey Scott has been appointed Dean of the Royal Society of Medicine, a leading provider of postgraduate education and learning to the medical profession and wider healthcare teams. He will take up the post on Friday 23 October 2020.

Humphrey Scott is a consultant general and colorectal surgeon working in the NHS and is Head of the School of Surgery and Associate Dean for Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex. He is Visiting Professor in Medical Education at Canterbury Christ Church University and is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Educators and the Faculty of Surgical Trainers. In 2012 Prof Scott was awarded the 2012 Silver Scalpel for Trainer of the Year by the Association of Surgeons in Training.

As RSM Dean, Prof Scott will work with the Society’s Academic Board and senior management team to lead substantive changes to the way in which medical education is delivered to healthcare professionals, including trainee doctors who have experienced significant challenges in continuing their specialty education as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.


Professor Roger Kirby, President of the Royal Society of Medicine, said: “We are delighted that Humphrey Scott is joining us as Dean. He became a member of the RSM as a trainee and since then has been involved in the work of several of our Sections, most recently as President of our Section of Coloproctology in 2017/18. His intimate understanding of the organisation will be of enormous benefit and allow him to play a strategic role in delivering the radical changes required to allow the Society to thrive in the future.”

Prof Scott said: “I am very excited and enthused by this fantastic challenge and the opportunity to support the delivery of excellent medical education to a multi-disciplinary workforce.”

Prof Scott takes over as Dean from Dr Fiona Moss CBE, who will be stepping down after five years in the role this month.

Varilux Comfort Max to be supported by large professional package

September 2020

Varilux Comfort Max The latest Varilux lens the Comfort Max is to be supported by a large educations, social media and promo package both B2C and B2B.

You can read about the new lens launch here and about the making and innovation of the lens here, both reported on Opchat News.

But here let us take you through the background information Opchat News received at the product PR launch today.

As the MD Tim Precious said, these have been challenging times for all industry players bur Essilor has provided new launches, improved webinars for CPD and deferred payment schemes for necessary equipment during the pandemic.

Andy Hepworth introduced the Varilux Comfort Max as providing a huge leap in comfort from the previous lens design.

It provides a great number of increased viewing positions for a wide range of prescriptions from high myopes through to high hyperopes with a standard seg ht max of 17mm and a short seg ht availability of 14mm.
Read our story about how Essilor used the latest technology to make this significant technical link.

So how will Essilor assist the optician to promote the lens?


Firstly, opticians will be receiving e-newsletters with all the information they will need. Plus, Social Media, Facebook and What’s App will be used for communication.
The key part of the full frontal Essilor approach will be training.

This will comprise of


Technical

Go to Market Product Brochure and Crib Sheet

For those more technically minded a “White Paper”

Free Fits

And for the first time a helpful guide in communicating to patients assisted by psychologists to particularly assist in conversations with young first time presbyopes.

Availability


Varilux Comfort Max


All Max lenses will be available in Transitions Signature Gen 8 plus all available tint colours and mirrors.

The lenses can have Blue Light Protection and are available in High Index 1.74

The AVA system announced this year is also available giving 1/100th Dioptre accuracy

The Optifog coatings along with all other current coatings are also possible





Marketing:


All lenses have a Px 60-day guarantee allowing the Opticians a full 100-day return time.

POS

There are A1 and A2 Posters plus an A4 show card and Cube Shelf promoter.

Other additional marketing is available e.g. Billboards etc

Promotions


For the public the lens will be added to the Multi Pair Promotions
The “Take Two Offer”

For the opticians:

They will receive a virtual scratch card number which online they can check to see if they have one anything from an Amazon Voucher to Kuoni Travel Vouchers. Didn’t win with first number? Then answer a question on the Max and get a second number for a second chance!

You can order all POS and Social Media blogs from www.ecp.essilor.co.uk

The public will be reached by fashion journal inclusions and practitioners can use Essilor’s Recall Hub to assist in marketing B2C

See the launch Info here

Read about the making of the Best Lens being bettered here.

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPTOMETRY FOUNDATION announces the 2020 BETA SIGMA KAPPA (BSK) Research Fellowship Recipient

September 2020

Dr. Jack Phu
The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) in collaboration with the Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Society, is pleased to announce Jack Phu, PhD, FAAO as the 2020 recipient of the Beta Sigma Kappa (BSK) Research Fellowship.

Dr. Phu is an Associate Lecturer at the Centre for Eye Health, School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

This fellowship is designed to provide support for early career optometric and vision science faculty research. This award will fund Dr. Phu’s project, “Phenotyping open-angle glaucoma subtypes to determine disease prognosis.”

Please join the AAOF in congratulating Dr. Phu on this impressive honour.

COVID-19 and professional issues for primary healthcare, a free webinar

September 2020

RSM Webinar for Primary Health
This webinar is available to non RSM members and is produced by the General Practice with Primary Health Care Section RSM

Time: Thursday 8th October 2020 from 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Location: Online


The aim of this webinar is to foster awareness of how professional duties in a pandemic manifest for general practitioners in the UK. This is an educational event aimed at GPs and anyone who works with GPs to understand some of the professional challenges arising during the COVID pandemic.

Chaired by the section president, the discussion features practice-relevant insights from three expert speakers in Medical Ethics, Journalism and Academic General Practice.

Know how to find ethical guidance on pandemic medicine as it applies to frontline doctors.

To be aware of how national ethical guidelines are developed for doctors in the pandemic setting

Know what shapes ethical guidance on pandemic medicine as it applies to frontline doctors.

Be able to recognise ‘fake news’ in healthcare and medicine media reports

Know how to help patients recognize and critique ‘fake news’ in the media.

Know about changes to death certification during pandemic lockdown that have been piloted

To understand and have a strategy for the concept of ‘fake news’ in a healthcare context

To examine the specific case of death certification in the pandemic and how this has been adapted

Join in the conversation online using #RSMLive
Follow us on Twitter: @RoySocMed

Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 2 hours before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted.

Webinar recordings will be available for registered delegates up to 30 days after the live webinar, via Zoom. The link will be sent 24 hours after the webinar takes place.

This webinar will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels.

Agenda

2:30pm
Welcome and introduction
Dr Andrew Papanikitas, President, General Practice and Primary Healthcare Section, Royal Society of Medicine

2:35pm
Fake news in a pandemic
Mr Trevor Treharne, Journalist and Postgraduate Student, University of Oxford

2:50pm
Issues in death certification for during lockdown
Dr Selena Knight, Academic General Practitioner, Kings College London

3:05pm
How pandemic ethics guidance is produced
Dr Alexis Paton, Chair, Royal College of Physicians Ethics Committee

3:20pm
Question and answer session
3:35pm
Closing remarks

BOOK HERE

SILMO 2020 SILMO D'OR Nominees

September 2020


SILMO Organisers have provided Opchat News with the Companies nominated at the 27th Silmo d’Or

They are:

FRAME TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION

BRETT with « QSTOM »
FROST Eyewear with « JUPiTER »
QUIKSILVER with « INTERACTION »

CHILDREN

BAMBINOCLE with « Yo² »

JF REY with « LOLLY 5570 » - JF REY Kids & Teens

LAFONT with « HUGO » - Lafont Enfants

LUNETTES GRASSET ASSOCIES with « BE158 » - Bensimon

OPAL with « ELAM010 C65» - Elevenparis Boys & Girls

SPORT

BOLLÉ with « CHRONOSHIELD »

CÉBÉ with « S’TRACK 2.0 »

MARCOLIN with « COMPETITION SP0001 » - adidas

VISION


BOLLÉ with « VOLT+ »

ESSILOR with « Varilux Comfort Max »

HOYA with « HOYA MiYOSMART VISION »


MATERIAL / EQUIPMENT

ESW Vision with « tearcheck®»

LUNEAU Technology with « e-Eye Refract VX25 »

NOVACEL with« MASTER XX (HPE-910) »

TOPCON with « MYAH »

SAARGOS with « QuickSee »

More nominations are now available along with images here

AAOF announces the 2020 KORB-EXFORD DRY EYE CAREER DEVELOPMENT GRANT RECIPIENT

September 2020


The AAOF is pleased to announce William Ngo, OD, PhD, FAAO as this year’s recipient of the Korb - Exford Dry Eye Career Development Grant.

William Ngo
Dr. Ngo is head of Biosciences at the Centre for Ocular Research and Education and a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science.

The grant is designed to support an individual to further their knowledge in the broad area of dry eye. His proposal to develop a biomarker panel to differentiate dry eye disease and neuropathic pain was chosen out of seven very competitive submissions.

This $25,000 grant will help Dr. Ngo advance eyecare and improve outcomes for people with dry eye disease.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Ngo on this impressive honor.

Ocuco repeats highly successful webinar on Paediatric Optometry, by popular demand.

September 2020

Back by popular demand: CET accredited clinical lecture on Paediatric Optometry brought to you by Ocuco

Ocuco Webinar spet 23rd
Ocuco hosts a Clinical Lecture on Paediatric Optometry on Wednesday 23 September, at 18:00 GMT. The webinar will be presented by Tania Constable, who is a Paediatric Specialist Optometrist at Temple Street Children's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.

The topic "Talking Unicorns: why paediatric eyecare is not that scary" aims to demystify the assessment and management of children's eyecare.

The lecture is accredited for one CET point and it is free of charge.


Registration is open and can be completed at the following page

Tania Constable
During the one-hour webinar, Tania Constable (right) will discuss several aspects of paediatric optometry, including:

• Age-appropriate vision tests, age norms for both refractive error and vision
• Assessing refractive error in children
• When and what to prescribe to children
• Examination of children with additional needs: testing and prescribing
• The importance of fitting contact lenses in childhood
• Practical information on assessing children, including the environment, safeguarding, and record-keeping

In addition, the webinar will address some of the barriers that prevent optometrists from being confident at managing children's eyecare.

"Optometrists often mention concerns about knowing when and what to prescribe to children. The aim of this webinar is to provide some of the tools to make it easier to manage those pre-schoolers, or amblyopes, or young myopes. Honestly, paediatric eyecare can be fun and it is an opportunity to make a real difference," explains Tania.

Tania Constable is a full-time paediatric specialist optometrist, working in both a primary and secondary care setting in Dublin, Ireland. Tania holds certificates in Paediatric Eyecare, Glaucoma and Medical Retina from the College of Optometrists. She has experience working with children with additional needs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Down's Syndrome and raising awareness of the difficulties associated with cerebral visual impairment. Currently, Tania is undertaking an MSc in Clinical Optometry in Cardiff University.

Summary

Topic: Talking Unicorns: why paediatric eyecare is not that scary

Presented by: Tania Constable, Paediatric Specialist Optometrist

When: Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Time: 18:00 GMT
BOOK NOW

IACLE reports success of TLC (Teach. Learn. Connect.) Initiative

September 2020

IACLE TLC Logo

The International Association of Contact Lens Educators’ TLC Initiative to support educators, their students and the contact lens industry during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, has been a major success since it launched three months ago today.

Teach. Learn. Connect is an online education program and communications campaign that supplements IACLE’s existing educational activities.

Some of the notable achievements of the initiative include:

• At least 4,828 educators and their students have taken part online in global, regional and national TLC webinars.

• IACLE members are now registering for its first-ever Virtual Conference – Back to Contact Lenses – taking place on 26 September.

IACLE Educator resource
NOTE: Non-members and students can take part in some conference sessions via the IACLE Facebook page, including an Industry Panel Discussion on the impact of COVID-19 and the future for contact lens education, practice and the industry.

• A total of 842 members have signed up for IACLETOP, IACLE’s new Learning Management System.

• So far, 302 students from nine institutions across the world have taken the new Online Student Trial Exam (STE) to assess their contact lens knowledge.

• Social media activity has increased across all platforms, gaining over 1,700 followers on IACLE’s Facebook page, an increase of 37% in a three-month period. The introduction of Instagram has been especially popular, with 1,092 followers joining since its launch at the start of The TLC.

• Since The TLC launch, 35 new members have joined IACLE bringing the total number of members worldwide to 997.

IACLE’s next global webinar series will focus on myopia and its management, starting on 3 November.

The topic of the first webinar is ‘What causes myopia and its progression? – current understanding’, presented by Professor Nicola Logan from Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo commented: ‘The Teach. Learn. Connect. Initiative has brought together many of IACLE’s existing resources, merged them with the new activities that IACLE is undertaking and housed them under one banner making them more user-friendly and accessible. The result has been increased engagement with educators and their students.'

ABDO takes another look at the GOC ESR Consultation

September 2020

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) has set out fresh analysis to contribute to the debate about the GOC’s proposals for education reform.

ABDO has also reiterated its commitment to working with the GOC to fulfil its aim of ensuring that student dispensing opticians and optometrists are educated to a high standard and prepared for the roles of the future.

Throughout the Education Strategic Review, ABDO representatives have advised the GOC as part of its expert advisory group, drawing on the organisation’s longstanding experience of providing professional examinations in the UK and internationally.

Commenting on the current consultation, ABDO President Jo Holmes said,

" We hope that by sharing our detailed understanding of the proposals we can contribute to a wider debate that leads ultimately to a new system of education that is fit-for-purpose and can be implemented effectively.
“We do not believe that our involvement with the expert advisory group precludes our ability to raise concerns about the GOC’s proposals. Not all our advice has been taken on board and the current proposals raise issues that we want to work with the GOC to resolve.

“The GOC consultation runs until 19 October and we encourage all our members and stakeholders to consider the proposals and submit their views which should not take long to do.”

Here are three things you might not know about the GOC’s planned changes:

1. The GOC has not published estimates of the costs of moving to the new system or explained who will bear these costs.

The proposals do not include:
• any estimates of the costs associated with the proposed new system;
• any explanation of who will bear these costs;
• any analysis of whether the costs will be outweighed by any benefits;
• any separate analysis of the impact of the new system on optometrists versus dispensing opticians; or
• any analysis of alternative options so that the relative costs and benefits of the proposed new system can be assessed.

This information could and should have been gathered in advance of the consultation. Without it, respondents to the consultation will be unable to make an informed response.

2. The proposed new system will give education providers the freedom to choose both what to teach students and the standard they have to reach.

ABDO’s concern is that this will lead to lower and inconsistent standards of entry to the professions – for dispensing opticians and optometrists. This concern arises from the fact that:

• There is a lack of detail in the proposed outcomes for registration about the clinical skills and knowledge students will need to have at registration – these high-level outcomes are the same for DOs and optometrists.
• With the prospect of multiple approved qualifications and each provider deciding for themselves what is ‘the right standard’, it is not clear how the GOC will ensure that students reach the same baseline – beyond requiring providers to seek feedback from stakeholders, including patients and employers.
• The financial pressures faced by education providers, with no prospect of additional funding to enable investment in new programmes, enhances the risk of lower, inconsistent standards.

3. The GOC has not explained why it is necessary to change the system of education for dispensing opticians.

The GOC is proposing to introduce a ‘single point of accountability’ model which would make the clinical experience gained by student optometrists more integrated with academic study. But the situation for dispensing opticians is different:

• The vast majority of dispensing opticians already work in practice while studying.
• There is already a single set of competencies for student dispensing opticians, whereas student optometrists have to achieve one set of competencies while at university and another set while undertaking the scheme for registration run by the College of Optometrists.
• The GOC’s own research showed that more than 70 per cent of newly qualified dispensing opticians said they had received the right level of clinical experience during their education, compared with less than forty per cent of newly qualified optometrists.

To ensure buy-in for the proposed changes to the structure of education for dispensing opticians, it is important for the GOC to explain why a one-size-fits-all approach is necessary.

ABDO remains committed to protecting the public by ensuring that student dispensing opticians are equipped for future roles and will continue to work with the GOC in an effort to develop a new system that delivers consistently high standards of education and supports extended scopes of practice. The consultation is live until 19 October 2020. To take part, visit the GOC Consultation Hub.

GOC approves temporary changes to the Optometry Handbook and Supervision Policy

September 2020

From 23 July to 6 August 2020, the GOC ran a short consultation on proposed temporary changes to our Optometry Handbook and Supervision policy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Optometry Handbook contains the GOC’s requirements that education providers must meet as well as the required core competencies and the practical experience (‘patient episodes’) that students must obtain in order to be eligible to join the GOC register. The Supervision policy outlines requirements for the supervision of students undertaking practice-based learning.

We received a total of 71 responses and would like to thank all respondents for their commitment to helping us navigate the exceptional circumstances. After careful consideration of the feedback, we have now approved a number of temporary changes which will protect patients, students and the public and enable clinical experience to be delivered in a safe and practical way in light of the limitations that the pandemic has put on clinical practice.

A summary of the approved changes is below:

Stage 1 patient experience: We have amended and further defined the minimum number of patient episodes that students must achieve to obtain ‘an appropriate breadth of patient experience’ and we have broadened the types of experience that can be counted for this – including observation with formal reflection. This approach will enable clinical experience to be delivered in a safe and practical way and contribute to preparing students for the new world of practice brought about by the pandemic.

Certificate of Clinical Competence (GOC stage 1): For students who graduated in summer 2018, we have granted an extension to the Stage 1 Certificate of Clinical Competence (which students receive upon successful completion of their undergraduate studies) until 31 December 2020. We will work towards permanently removing this GOC requirement in its entirety so that any decisions regarding the currency of learning form part of a provider’s enrolment/admissions policy (such as the enrolment policy for the College of Optometrists’ Scheme for Registration).


Stage 2 patient experience: We have reduced the total number of GOC stage 2 patient episodes that students must achieve by 10% and removed the categorised patient episode numbers. The provider must instead ensure that the student achieves an appropriate breadth of experience, and set and justify its level of any minimum experience in specific areas of practice.

Supervision policy: We will permit non-GOC fully-qualified registrants to supervise students, if they meet our supervision criteria, are regulated, only supervise tasks that are within their professional scope of practice, and the education providers ensure that all other supervision requirements are met – including clarity about any role in patient episode or core competency ‘sign off’ that these supervisors may have.

These temporary changes to our Accreditation and Quality Assurance Handbook ‘Routes to Registration in Optometry’ (‘Optometry handbook’) education standards and requirements are applicable as follows:

Temporary changes affecting undergraduate education are applicable from 1 September 2020 for the 2020/21 academic year only.

Temporary changes affecting the College of Optometrists’ Scheme for Registration or other registrable qualifications are applicable to this year’s (Autumn 2020) incoming cohort of students/trainees only.

Due to the nature of the Scheme for Registration, these changes will apply to students/trainees enrolling onto the Scheme for Registration between 1 September 2020 and 30 May 2021.

The temporary policy documents are published on our website. The consultation report is published the GOC Consultation Hub.

In the AAO Awards season they announce further deserving recipients

August 2020

American Academy of Optometry Foundation Announces the 2020 Fredric Rosemore Low Vision Educational Grant Recipient

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF), in collaboration with the Fredric and Marion Rosemore Family Foundation, are pleased to announce the 2020 recipient of the Fredric Rosemore Low Vision Educational Grant.

Nicole Ross


Nicole Christie Ross, OD, MSc, FAAO, is an Assistant Professor of Optometry in the Department of Specialty & Advanced Care at the New England College of Optometry (NECO). Her team includes Dr. Alexin Malkin, OD, FAAO and Dr. Jeffrey Ho, OD, FAAO.


Dr. Ross and her team state their project, “Use of virtual reality technologies to support student education in patient care through telehealth in the field of low vision rehabilitation,” is intended to improve the quality of life for the visually impaired.


Erik Weissberg, OD, FAAO, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at the New England College of Optometry said, “NECO is committed to the continued integration of innovation in the use of technology within clinical care and the curriculum, and this worthy project will serve to advance this goal.”






American Academy of Optometry Foundation Announces the 2020 Bert C. and Lydia M. Corwin Contact Lens Residency Award Recipient

We are pleased to announce Kimberly Weisenberger, OD, MS as this year’s recipient of the Bert C. and Lydia M. Corwin Contact Lens Residency award. Dr. Weisenberger is a resident cornea and contact lens advanced practice fellow at The Ohio State University College of Optometry.

Nicky Lai


The award is intended to promote the practice and development of the field of contact lenses by providing incentive and support to talented optometric residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to practice, research, and education.


Nicky Lai, OD, MS, FAAO, Associate Professor of Clinical Optometry at The Ohio State University College of Optometry said, “Dr. Weisenberger has the clinical knowledge and skills to manage the variety of patients in our clinics and provides a robust educational experience for our students in her role as a clinical attending and graduate teaching associate.”


Dr. Weisenberger presented an impressive resume of experience in clinical, volunteer service, research, and lecture presentation, thus earning this prestigious award.

and:


Charlotte Wang
Charlotte Yiyi Wang, OD as this year’s recipient of the Hopkins Comprehensive Eye Care Award. Dr. Wang is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry, and primary care/community health resident at the Meredith W. Morgan University Eye Center.

Douglas W. Hopkins, OD, FAAO, was a leader within the Comprehensive Eye Care Section of the Academy who passed in 2007. In his honor, friends and colleagues established a fellowship fund. With their generosity and that of Doug’s widow Roberta, the fund quickly became fully endowed and the first award was issued in 2012.

The award is intended to promote the practice and development of comprehensive eye care by providing incentive and support to talented optometric residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to further clinical experience, research, and education.

Dr. Wang presented an impressive resume of experience in clinical research, volunteer service, and lecture presentations, thus earning this prestigious award.

Finally:

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 Johnson & Johnson Vision Residency Awards.


These residency awards support post-graduate advanced training in optometric clinical care, education, and research methods specific to the fields of children’s vision and contact lenses.

The 2020 residents were carefully chosen by peer review members from the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies, and the Binocular Vision,

Perception and Pediatric Optometry Section. Each recipient will receive $2,000 toward their graduate education.

The AAOF is once again thankful for the professional relationship between the Foundation and Johnson & Johnson Vision. Their continued support advances the caliber of optometric education.
Rosa Yang

Left to Right: Rosa Yang Mari Fujimoto and Stephanie Gee all for the Contact Lens Residency Award,

Mari Fugimoto

Stephanie Gee

 

 

 




AAO Foundation announces two awards for 2020

August 2020

Alfred A. Rosenbloom, Jr., Low Vision Residency Award Recipient

AAO are pleased to announce Carolyn N. Chakuroff, OD, MS, as this year’s recipient of the Alfred A. Rosenbloom, Jr., Low Vision Residency Award.

Carolyn Chakuroff
Dr. Chakuroff is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Optometry and an Ocular Disease/Low Vision Rehabilitation resident at the Kansas City VA Medical Center (KCVA).

Alfred A. Rosenbloom, Jr., OD, DOS, FAAO led a career marked by stellar accomplishments as a teacher, writer, lecturer, and administrator and was the recipient of numerous awards.

Dr. Rosenbloom was not only one of the first Ezell Fellows but also published more than 75 professional journal articles on topics of low vision rehabilitation, optometric gerontology, optometric education, and public health, and co-authored three major textbooks including Vision and Aging.

This award is intended to promote the practice and development of the field of low vision by providing incentive and support to sustain talented optometric residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to practice, research, and education.


Candice A. Law, OD, MS, FAAO, Chief of Visual Impairment Services Program at Kansas City VA Medical Center said “Carolyn has truly excelled during her time at the KCVA. She is both an extraordinary clinician and person. Her compassion for her patients is evident in every patient exam and time she spends developing her art as a physician. She has truly been an asset to our program and to the fourth-year students she has taught.”

Dr. Chakuroff presented an impressive resume of experience in clinical research, volunteer service, and poster presentation experience, thus earning this prestigious award.

2020 Hopkins Comprehensive Eye Care Award Recipient

CY Wang

AAO Foundation also announce Charlotte Yiyi Wang, OD as this year’s recipient of the Hopkins Comprehensive Eye Care Award. Dr. Wang is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry, and primary care/community health resident at the Meredith W. Morgan University Eye Center.

Douglas W. Hopkins, OD, FAAO, was a leader within the Primary Care Section of the Academy who passed in 2007. In his honor, friends and colleagues established the Douglas W. Hopkins Primary Care Fellowship Fund. With their generosity and that of Doug’s widow Roberta, the fund quickly became fully endowed and the first award was issued in 2012.

The award is intended to promote the practice and development of comprehensive eye care by providing incentive and support to talented optometric residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to further clinical experience, research, and education.

Dr. Wang presented an impressive resume of experience in clinical research, volunteer service, and lecture presentations, thus earning this prestigious award.

GOC responds to ABDO concerns on ESR consultations

August 2020

This week ABDO raised concerns about the GOC’s Education Strategic Review (ESR), highlighting how it felt the GOC’s proposals would risk lowering standards and result in inconsistencies in training and education. ABDO's response

The GOC has responded to ABDO’s statement refuting the claims and reconfirming its commitment to work with ABDO in the “co-commissioning of research vital to ensure our proposals to update our Quality Assurance Handbooks strengthen the capacity of future dispensing opticians to provide safe and effective care”.

GOC Response

The GOC also recognises that both the College of Optometrists and ABDO remain the most popular routes to GOC registration, but points out that it “has never been the case that each hold a monopoly position” and that as a statutory regulator the GOC has always been able to consider any applications to become a provider of a DO or optometry qualification as to not do so would be “unlawful”.

We acknowledge the Association of British Dispensing Opticians’ (ABDO) concerns, published on its website on 6 August 2020, relating to our latest Education Strategic Review (ESR) consultation to update the education and training requirements for dispensing opticians and optometrists. We would like to address these concerns and clarify our proposals.

Firstly, we would like to thank ABDO staff and members for the time they have committed to helping us draft our proposals as part of our Expert Advisory Group (EAG). We look forward to working with ABDO in the co-commissioning of research vital to ensure our proposals to update our Quality Assurance Handbooks strengthen the capacity of future dispensing opticians to provide safe and effective care.

The consultation is seeking views from across the optical sector and we encourage all dispensing opticians (DOs), and those responsible for teaching the next generation of DOs, to read our proposals and provide their feedback. The rationale for change has been clearly articulated in various reports we have commissioned and published on our website.

We note ABDO’s view in its statement that, ‘Under the proposed new model, there could be multiple routes to registration with the GOC’ and that ‘This is a fundamental change to the current system…’. There are currently multiple routes to registration as a DO or an optometrist. We know that whilst both the College of Optometrists and ABDO offer the market-leading route to GOC registration, it has never been the case that each hold a monopoly position. Any potential provider of a DO or optometry qualification may apply to us for approval. It would be unlawful of us as a statutory regulator to refuse to consider such applications.

A key material risk is that our current requirements require strengthening to ensure such approval decisions will be able to continue to be in the public interest, which is why we are consulting on updating our requirements to raise, not lower, our standards. Under our proposals, any qualification we approve must ensure students meet all the outcomes at the right level. In addition, they significantly strengthen our requirements for the teaching and assessment of the outcomes to maintain consistency between potential providers, backed up by a new and robust quality assurance process led by our well-trained lay education visitors.

The concept of a ‘single point of accountability’ is unrelated to the issue of multiple routes to registration. At present anyone can apply to us for approval, even if they are not legally incorporated or an academic institution with a substantial and demonstrable track record of assessment design and standard setting. Our proposals for a single point of accountability enhance our requirements for those who we might receive an application for approval from; it does not amend our current statutory obligation to consider, and approve (if our requirements are met) alternative/multiple routes to registration as a DO than those offered by ABDO.

The requirement for a broad range of stakeholders, including patients, to inform and be engaged in the design, teaching and assessment of qualifications we approve is more explicit than in our current requirements, and an important safeguard to ensure the clinical content of courses and its assessment remains relevant and up to date, given the varying contexts in each of the developed nations.

We are aware there is more to do to understand the impact of our proposals, particularly the financial impact on providers and students if we integrate professional and clinical experience within qualifications we approve. We look forward to receiving information from stakeholders on this and other aspects of our proposals.

To have your say, visit the GOC Consultation Hub. The consultation will close at 5 pm on 19 October 2020.

Successful ABDO Webinars

August 2020

The ABDO Examinations Department has hosted a successful two day webinar on 29 and 30 July, free of charge to all final year students to help them prepare for summer session practical examinations.

Over two hundred students registered to attend the webinars. Alicia Thompson BSc(Hons) FBDO R (Hons) SLD SMC (Tech), Director of Professional Examinations says, “Students could tap into a mixture of videos, live demonstrations, lectures, case discussions, Q and A, and mock exams. We are grateful to the examiners and ABDO staff who contributed their time and expertise voluntarily to make this happen. I feel this event has helped to instill confidence in final year students.”

Student feedback on the event was overwhelmingly positive:

• Extremely useful to have had these revision days. Amazing knowledge from everyone with really useful tips for exams
• Excellent, very thorough
• 10/10 :)
• The tutors were very clear and to the point. I found the revision days very helpful.
• Very well structured, great content and visible examples and training were good refreshers.
• I feel much more at ease about the exams and look forward to qualifying. Very well done

For those who could not make it, and those who want to revisit the revision event, the webinar recordings, Q and A sessions, handouts and case records can be found here:

The comprehensive FQE revision guide is also on ABDO’s website.

Practical examinations will start this month and continue until 18th December 2020, to ensure that we can accommodate our students safely and arrange practical dates to suit our students who are at varying stages of completing their practical experience.

LV Honours Course updated by ABDO

August 2020

The Low Vision Honours course at ABDO College has been updated for 2020, with an earlier start date. Optometrists and opticians wanting to develop their expertise in this field are encouraged to apply now.

ABDO College’s Low Vision Honours course gives eye care practitioners the chance to go in- depth into all relevant aspects of low vision practice. This can help you develop your confidence and start a new
strand of activity within your practice. And starting in September 2020, the course now includes additional teaching hours, offering you further chances to develop your expertise.

The course now incorporates two periods of block release – a four-day block release delivered virtually in November 2020, and the face-to-face teaching block in April 2021. The majority of the lectures and seminars will also carry CET points.

Simon Butterfield BSc FBDO (Hons)LVA PGCert(HE) FHEA, lecturer and course leader, says, “We have increased the Low Vision Block Release to a total of 7 days this academic year. This gives students more opportunities to discuss their applied practice with the experienced opticians and optometrist here at Godmersham.”

The course includes the theory and practical aspects of low vision consultation and fully prepares you for the ABDO Level 6 FBDO (Hons) LVA examinations. Current third-year students can apply for and start the theoretical elements of the course before the completion of their FBDO.

Applications are now open. Payment plans are available to allow you to spread the £2150 course fee. Application deadline: 10 September 2020.

If you are interested in studying at ABDO College, visit www.abdocollege.org.uk/courses.

If you have specific queries regarding the Low Vision Honours course please contact Simon directly on sbutterfield@abdocollege.org.uk

Join Ocuco's next Clinical Lecture on Paediatric Optometry with Tania Constable

August 2020

Ocuco Webinar with Tania Constable

Ocuco hosts a Clinical Lecture on Paediatric Optometry presented by Tania Constable, a Paediatric Specialist Optometrist at Temple Street Children's University Hospital, Dublin, on Tuesday 25 August, at 18:00 GMT.

The topic "Talking Unicorns: why paediatric eyecare is not that scary" aims to demystify the assessment and management of children's eyecare.

The lecture is accredited for one CET point and it is free of charge. Registration is open and can be completed at the following page www.ocuco.com/uk/cet-lecture-paediatric-optometry.




During the one-hour webinar, Tania Constable will discuss several aspects of paediatric optometry, including:

• Age-appropriate vision tests, age norms for both refractive error and vision
• Assessing refractive error in children
• When and what to prescribe to children
• Examination of children with additional needs: testing and prescribing
• The importance of fitting contact lenses in childhood
• Practical information on assessing children, including the environment, safeguarding, and record-keeping


In addition, the webinar will address some of the barriers that prevent optometrists from being confident at managing children's eyecare.

"Optometrists often mention concerns about knowing when and what to prescribe to children. The aim of this webinar is to provide some of the tools to make it easier to manage those pre-schoolers, or amblyopes, or young myopes. Honestly, paediatric eye care can be fun and it is an opportunity to make a real difference," explains Tania.

The Presenter

Tania Constable
Tania Constable is a full-time paediatric specialist optometrist, working in both a primary and secondary care setting in Dublin.

Tania holds certificates in Paediatric Eyecare, Glaucoma and Medical Retina from the College of Optometrists.

She has experience working with children with additional needs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Down's Syndrome and raising awareness of the difficulties associated with cerebral visual impairment.

Currently, Tania is undertaking an MSc in Clinical Optometry in Cardiff University.



Summary of Interactive CET Webinar

Lecture: Talking Unicorns: why paediatric eyecare is not that scary

Presented by: Tania Constable, Paediatric Specialist Optometrist (Read Bio Here: www.ocuco.com/uk/cet-lecture-paediatric-optometry)

When: 25 August 2020

Time: 18:00 GMT

Register Now www.ocuco.com/uk/cet-lecture-paediatric-optometry.  

ABDO College has extended the deadline for applications to the Ophthalmic Dispensing and Contact Lens courses.

July 2020

Steve Hertz FBDO, Head of Operations at ABDO College says, “It has been really pleasing over recent months to see how many students are keen to develop further, either by starting a new course or continuing an existing programme. However, we know that everyone has been through a time of upheaval, and it is understandable that employers and applicants may need more time to make plans for training for the coming year. As a result, we are extending the application deadline for two of our most popular courses until 22 August.”

ABDO College is offering payment plans and advice on self-funding for those who are keen to take the course but don’t have support from an employer. Employers are also able to apply for a payment plan to make cash flow easier.

If you are interested in studying at ABDO College, visit www.abdocollege.org.uk/courses. Applications for Ophthalmic Dispensing degree and diploma and Contact Lens certificate must be in by 22 August.

October SILMO exhibition becomes another fatality in the expo season

July 2020

The SILMO Executive Board met with its partner COMEXPOSIUM, and took the unfortunate decision to cancel the Silmo 2020 Paris event as it was planned to take place at Paris Nord Villepinte.

They extend great thanks to the 688 registered exhibitors who demonstrated great entrepreneurial courage by deciding to maintain their participation in Silmo Paris 2020, despite the crisis we are going through.

“SILMO Paris, so much more than a trade fair!” In such an exceptional context, agility is key. We will therefore pursue our commitment to guide the industry’s return to business, ensure our mission to promote its products and services, and uphold our pledge to the optical and eyewear sector.

That is why: from October to November 2020, Silmo will set out to encounter opticians in France and throughout Europe.

“Silmo Hors les Murs” (“Silmo Outside the Walls”) will propose events that honour our commitment to support the industry, in keeping with the Silmo convivial spirit!

This unprecedented operation will begin on 4 and 5 October 2020 at the heart of Paris, and will be repeated every Monday in the month of October in a different city, such as Bordeaux, Lyon, Rennes and Brussels (programme still being finalised).

The 2020 Silmo d’Or awards will go forward, open to all the companies registered to date. Once again this year, Silmo Academy will issue a scholarship to support a scientific research project in vision and optics.

Through a specialised application, Silmo Next – a laboratory of ideas, a forum for interprofessional discussions, and a showcase for creation and innovation – will present the summary of the work that began two years ago, probing into the future of the sector, product developments, and the optical profession:

“Towards a techno-responsible optical and eyewear future.”

We assure you that this is an “extra-ordinary” plan for the 2020 edition... SILMO 2021 will welcome you back to the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre from 24 to 27 September 2021. We sincerely thank you for your loyalty to Silmo Paris, And we hope to see you again very soon.

ABDO guidance and advice for Student DO's

July 2020

At this difficult time, when the situation can change rapidly, the team at ABDO College has been planning ahead to ensure that student dispensing opticians can continue to study and get the valuable input they would normally have from tutors on block release, without uncertainty and risk.

Steve Hertz FBDO, Head of Operations at ABDO College says, “We have monitored government rules and guidance for further and higher education institutes. Although so far there is nothing specific to the unique distance learning and block release setup at ABDO College, more general rules around distancing, PPE and group sizes are already being used in schools and in practice. We have also considered the fact that many students travel long distances and stay in accommodation while in attendance at the college.”

In order to give students and their employers complete clarity and the ability to plan for the coming term, the autumn term block will be online only. Steve explains, “Students will still need to book this entire period off work and have access to a PC/tablet to engage with the online sessions.” This announcement follows a successful three months’ worth of blocks online towards the end of the 2019-20 academic year with overwhelmingly positive feedback from students. Steve says, “We feel very confident in moving to this solution which keeps all students and staff as safe as physically possible, our number one priority. Students and employers will also benefit from saving on travel and accommodation at a challenging time.”

As already stated in previous announcements, ABDO College’s preferred method of teaching is still face to face so the current intention is for the second block to be at the College. Options to keep class sizes smaller are being examined for this situation. Steve Hertz concludes, “Especially when teaching practical elements, we believe that hands-on, in person tuition is by far the best way for trainee DOs to learn.”

If you are interested in studying at ABDO College, visit www.abdocollege.org.uk/courses. Applications for Ophthalmic Dispensing degree and diploma and Contact Lens certificate must be in by 26th July.

Payment plans are available.

Vision Expo West 2020 Cancelled

July 2020

The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions, organizers of Vision Expo, announced the decision to cancel Vision Expo West 2020, scheduled to take place in Las Vegas from September 23-26.

“Over the past several months, Reed Exhibitions’ Vision Expo team and The Vision Council worked together to prepare and plan for the highly anticipated event while closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on members of the optical community. With the health and well-being of everyone in attendance at the show as the show organizers’ primary concern, Vision Expo, along with the Venetian Resort, developed a multi-layered, in-depth plan to ensure the safety of everyone planning on attending,” according to a Vision Expo news release. “Despite these efforts and a strong interest from the industry to participate, the decision has been made to cancel Vision Expo West 2020 as a result of Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s announcement on Monday, June 26 sharing that Nevada ‘will remain in Phase 2 of reopening plans through the end of July due to current trends of the coronavirus infection.’”

“While certainly disappointing, the decision to cancel Vision Expo West 2020 is prudent and necessary following the announcement of the extension of phase 2 in Las Vegas into the end of July. Without having visibility on when the state of Nevada will be ready to roll into future phases or what the future phases will allow for, coupled with the unfortunate spiking of COVID-19 cases in the region, we know it is in the best interest of everyone in the vision community to not move forward with the Show,” said Fran Pennella, Event Vice President, Vision Expo, at Reed Exhibitions.

Mitch Barkley, Vice President of Trade Shows and Meetings at The Vision Council, stated that The Vision Council will be rolling out a series of virtual offerings to bring the optical community together in between the physical events. “Some of these offerings include our Virtual Connections program, which links our exhibitors with attendees; the Virtual EYE2EYE series, a series of virtual panels and interactive conversations inspired by Vision Expo’s EYE2EYE Educational Series; and the soon-to-be launched Virtual Vision Series, all of which can be accessed via visionexpo.com,” Mr. Barkley said.

With a focus on “delivering greater value to the industry and further developing fresh and innovative virtual offerings,” Vision Expo is launching a 365-digital platform dedicated to bringing the optical community together and allowing business to continue and flourish. The platform will include CE education, allow for direct appointment setting, virtual product showcases, service and product sourcing, and much more. The announcement on Vision Expo’s new virtual platform, its specific offerings and partners will be shared in the coming months.

Attendees and exhibitors who had registered to participate in Vision Expo West 2020 will receive separate, personalized communications in the coming days from the Vision Expo team.

ABDOs new payment plans assist in training

July 2020

ABDO College is introducing payment plans for course fees to make education and training even more accessible.

Training at ABDO College has always allowed students to learn while they earn, making the chance to develop your career in optics widely accessible. Now, in recognition of the pressures on the optical industry during the Covid-19 outbreak, the college is introducing payment plans to make it easier for business owners who want to invest in their staff and their practice while dealing with budget constraints. This change will also help students who are self funding.

The payment plans are interest free and allow the chance to spread payments over six months. This means that for the Optical Assistant course, for example, the course would cost £135 per month. The ophthalmic dispensing diploma (FBDO) 1st year would cost £585 per month and the contact lens certificate course would cost £400 per month. You can pay monthly for all courses except revision and the Vision Science
FBDO to BSc Hons top up which requires payment per module, already allowing you to spread the cost.

Steve Hertz FBDO, Head of Operations at ABDO College says, “We always wish to make training and development of practice colleagues as accessible as possible. Clearly, the current climate is putting strain on practices and students so we hope this option will allow as many students as possible to begin or continue their studies, whilst balancing the books.”

If you are interested in studying at ABDO College, visit www.abdocollege.org.uk/courses. Applications for Ophthalmic Dispensing degree and diploma and Contact Lens certificate must be in by 26th July.

NRC reopens its doors

July 2020

The National Resource Centre (NRC) is the Association of British Dispensing Optician’s flagship meeting, events and examinations venue. The NRC is reopening for bookings from 6 July, with a raft of measures in place to ensure all users are safe.

For anyone in the optical industry, now is a difficult time to plan meetings and training. Online meetings have filled the gap, but sometimes you just can’t replace the benefits of face to face events. If you are planning how to deliver training or events, you’ll be reassured by the changes made to the NRC to ensure the facilities are safe for visitors and staff as the team plans to welcome users back.

Operations Manager Mat Stringer says, “We have carried out a thorough risk assessment at the NRC. All staff have completed infection prevention and control (IPC) training, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE will be provided for all events as well as hand sanitising stations throughout the centre. And communal areas have been adapted to adhere to social distancing. Perspex screens have been fitted in areas where necessary. You can be confident that the NRC is a safe place for your events and training. Your health and well-being is our top priority.”

In the NRC Meeting, Event and Training spaces, there is now contactless sign in. Mat and team have installed hand sanitising stations and guidance throughout the NRC. All areas have been configured for social distancing, and there are now protective desktop screens available when needed. The cleaning protocols have been reviewed so cleaning will take place with increased frequency.

Visitors will receive a new COVID-19 communication and conduct protocol before each event, along with the assistance of an individual event host. PPE will be supplied to visitors.

The NRC is well known for its excellent catering and high quality drinks and this will continue. There is a brand new personal food menu with meals served individually. Single use Vegware cups, cutlery and plates are now ready for use: although single use, these are compostable and responsibly sourced. Tea, coffee and sundries and now all enveloped and single use, and there are new cleaning stations at all coffee and catering areas.

The NRC has 10 clinical bays, plus a screening area and glazing lab, all of which are available for training use. Mat says, “Each clinical bay is sanitised before and after each use, and we have PPE and IPC signage in place along with social distancing markings. There are hand wash stations with soap, paper towels, hand cleaning signage and closed lid wastage. We have also installed slit lamp guards.”

Over 140 professionals across all Vision Care Professions joined a RSM Webinar this week

June 2020

The webinar entitled “Guiding patients and public with eyecare concerns during the Covid-19 Crisis” was provided free by the General Practice with Primary Healthcare section of the RSM, its largest section.

Bob Hutchinson Immediate Past President RSM and Opchat Editor
It was chaired by Bob Hutchinson, the Immediate Past President of the section who was joined by Dr Waqaar Shah, a practising GP. Mr Paul Ursell Consultant Ophthalmologist and Phil Ambler for the Thomas Pocklington Trust

The Chair explained the current availability of optometric practice, the CUES services and the need for care in PPE, hygiene and regular cleaning as well as pre assessment of patients and their family members. All of this will reduce the patient flow through practices and practitioners will need to prioritise patients ensuring that those in the greatest need are seen as soon as possible.


It became evident through later Q & A’s that there were still some CCGs who had not taken up the CUES system and some LOCs had found it impossible to bypass that barrier.


Waqaar Shah Waqaar Shah made the point about the lost months during lockdown.

“We have a lot of patients who have been referred for elective care having to wait for a much longer time as a result of the cessation of surgery,” general practitioner Dr Waqaar Shah informed us.

“These patients may have anxiety about their conditions, and they may even be in a situation where their sight is deteriorating,” he added.



The webinar chairman emphasised the importance of working together across professions to reduce the length of patient journeys and the importance of streamlining referrals. Dr Shah confirmed that he had considered seeing a patient with partial sight loss in one eye but then considered the visit would just add one further appointment and visit for the patient to make whereas directing them to an optical practice who saw them in 2 hours proved the efficacy of direct optometric referral.

Mr Paul Ursell
Mr Paul Ursell explained the dramatic changes that Covid had made to hospital practice saying, “During the lockdown I think most of us realised it was a little bit like the blitz. We had a war time mentality,” he observed.

Mr Ursell noted that the demands of COVID-19 allowed for faster decision making, with processes that might have previously taken five years in normal times enacted in five days.


“It has been an incredible experience. I don’t think any of us thought we would ever have to go through something like this, both professionally and socially. There have been horrors. But we have come out the other side and I think there will be procedural benefits in the system,” he emphasised.

Phil Ambler
It was then the turn of Phil Ambler Director, Evidence and Policy, Thomas Pocklington Trust who reminded the audience that people with vision impairments as well as those with learning difficulties needed much better information about how to access eyecare.

Children as well find PPE quite disturbing if surprised on arrival so it was important that when booking appointments, the full expected experience is provided to the patient, may be even pictures of those in PPE.

Whilst the College has suggested that patient examination time should be kept to a minimum was admirable for most it must be remembered that many patients with learning difficulties need more time and cannot be hurried.

There was a very interactive Q & A to follow which commented on the favourable changes that Covid had brought in working across professions with direct sending of results to eye clinics using modern digital comms such as Zoom and Opera. But comments were made that these improvements need proper funding.

The Chair, Bob Hutchinson, the Immediate Past President at the RSM praised how the spread of professional work from primary, secondary and social care had been compressed with much better communications. Once again “Necessity has proved the Mother of Invention”, he said.

This could be, if used properly, the impetus needed for change and hopefully Health Authorities and NHS Commissioners will recognise these improvements in service and work to bed them in place for the future.

Hutchinson reminded al those wishing to claim CET points to email GP@rsm.ac.uk with their Full Name and GOC number.

The RSM is considering follow up webinars during the Covid pandemic and encourages ECPs to consider joining the RSM as associate members allowing them to join the Primary Care Section where they will mix with a wide cross section of primary care professionals and be very welcome.

Ophthalmic Lens Availability, the optical lens bible, has moved online

June 2020

Ophthalmic Lens Availability (OLA) brings together data found in an extensive range of manufacturers’ catalogues in one handy location.

An ABDO team has been working over the last year to convert the annual print publication into a searchable online database of lenses.

The site contains an interactive search function enabling you to view lenses available from all of the contributing manufacturers in one place. And it can now be updated whenever data changes ensuring that you get the best lens data possible.

There are also sections for each manufacturer, bringing together an enormous number of useful resources. New sections include Specialist Lenses, Educational Information, Hidden Lens Engravings, Interactive Tools, Digital Dispensing and further reading in Optical Miscellany.

OLA Online is now available to all ABDO members as part of their membership, which means around 9000 dispensing opticians, student DOs and associate members will now have access to this exciting new development.

Companies can also use this channel to engage with dispensing opticians at the forefront of bringing new products and technology to optical practice.

Site editor Phil Gilbert has been the driving force behind the site and says, "We hope you enjoy the site and we can assure you the site will progress in content as time goes on."

ABDO head of communications Antonia Chitty says, “As members return to practice we hope that OLA Online will make life easier at a difficult time. Members who have been involved in testing and developing this addition to the ABDO website have been enormously enthusiastic about OLA, and it is great to be able to make this data widely available now.”

OLA Online is exclusively available to all members of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians. Membership of ABDO starts at £19 per month for associated professions, and comes with a wide range of benefits beyond OLA online.

 

 
 
 
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