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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, January to March 2021


Westminster Health Forum policy conference announces Webinar for Older People's Care
Webinar to discuss the ‘case’ for water avoidance in contact lens wear
A Look at DRY EYE in the digital age
ABDO opens Student DO revision event.
College appoints Lizzy Ostler as Director of Education
The College of Optometrists celebrates researchers at Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize event
WCSM invites entries to two of its esteemed medals.
New partnership focussed on improving eye health services for Gloucestershire
The College of Optometrists’ Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize to take place as month-long online learning event
Clinical Hub launched for ABDO members
AIO Conference to go ahead on 9th and 10th October
College of Ophthalmology produce report on Ophthalmic Imaging.
Business symposium iDay is back for 2021
Hundreds of clinicians gain additional training on the early signs of brain tumours
Webinar: Introducing OpRegen® from Lineage Cell Therapeutics
Heidelberg Engineering launch online CET course room
Transitions hosts global virtual summit
100% becomes postponement victim of Covid for a second time
Health and care is changing – CQC’s Strategy Consultation an upcoming FREE webinar
"eyeRISE" sponsored by Topcon Health is a grand virtual event with 40 speakers representing over 15 countries
Not to be missed Webinar Invitation on Cataract Referral and Management
Applications now open for Optical Assistant training in Scotland
Management & Leadership qualifications for those in Optical Industry
Glaucoma 360 New Horizons Forum
CET Rules Consultation by GOC
The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers rewards research excellence
Archived Exhibition and Education News for October to December 2020

Westminster Health Forum policy conference announces Webinar for Older People's Care

March 2021

Next steps for improving older people’s care - integration, managing the impact of COVID-19, and driving forward preventative healthcare

Dateline Morning, Wednesday, 28th April 2021

The conference will be an opportunity to assess proposed reforms affecting the future care of older people in the Government’s Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all white paper.

Delegates will also consider what can be learned from the management of care through the pandemic - and the policy support required to tackle the critical challenges currently being faced around community support, integrated care, and managing and preventing long-term conditions.

Areas for discussion include:

• progress on integrated care systems and community care - and the potential impact of proposals in the Future of Health and Care white paper
• rollout of urgent rapid response teams and reducing the length of hospital admissions
• delivery of care during the COVID-19 crisis, and the vaccination programme
• digital remote management of long-term conditions
• self-funding of older people’s care
• prevention, including weight management services
• tackling loneliness

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from DHSC and The Scottish Government; as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Lords.

Book Here

The meeting will be chaired by:

Baroness Pitkeathley

Speakers are:

Dr Adrian Hayter, National Clinical Director for Older People and Integrated Person-Centred Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Dr Michael Dixon, National Clinical Lead, Social Prescribing, NHS England and NHS Improvement; Co-Chair, Social Prescribing Network and Chairman, College of Medicine

Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive, Care England;

Anna Dixon, Chief Executive, Centre for Ageing Better;

Professor Paul Gately, Professor of Exercise and Obesity, Leeds Beckett University and Chief Executive, MoreLife;

Jamie Innes, Product Director, Inhealthcare;

Professor Martin Knapp, Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, Health Policy Department, LSE, and Director, School for Social Care Research, NIHR;

Dr Lizzie Ward, Principal Research Fellow, School of Applied Social Science, University of Brighton

Jennifer Gardner, Stroke Association;

Adrian Hopper, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust;

Gareth Lyon, Associated Retirement Community Operators;

James Roach, Conclusio

Webinar to discuss the ‘case’ for water avoidance in contact lens wear

March 2021

The latest BCLA webinar will examine best practice around caring for contact lenses and safeguarding against potential contamination.

The interactive online session, to be held from 7.30pm to 8.30pm on Thursday, 25th March, will be presented by Dr Nicole Carnt, Professor Fiona Stapleton and Irenie Ekkeshis and registration is now open.

As part of the session, the panel will look at the major factors that can lead to contact lens case contamination and review how those risks may be mitigated through proper hand hygiene, use of the correct contact lens disinfecting solutions and cleaning of contact lens cases.

Dr Carnt, a Scientia Fellow at UNSW, Sydney and Chair of the Australian Standards Contact Lens Committee, said: “Contact lens-related infection is a rare but severe disease and the only complication of contact lens wear to result in loss in vision. Correct hygiene practices are considered part of an initial journey into contact lens wear.

“Patient instruction should concentrate not only on wearing practices but also how to handle, clean and disinfect contact lenses. This results in optimal vision, comfort and maintenance of ocular health.”

Professor Stapleton is a clinical scientist with expertise in epidemiology and clinical research in the fields of corneal infection, dry eye and contact lens related disease.

She added: “Contact lens case contamination can be a significant risk factor for microbial keratitis. Lens case hygiene practices are important in maintaining safe contact lens wear. Many contact lens wearers are not aware that swimming and showering in lenses are established risk factors for contact lens infection.”

As an Acanthamoeba keratitis patient leader, Irenie Ekkeshis’ efforts to raise awareness of this infection and the 'no water' campaign have been recognised through the award of campaign of the year at the RNIB vision pioneer awards.

She said: “A ‘no water’ symbol on contact lens paraphernalia (endorsed by the BCLA) improves water avoidance and decreases contact lens case contamination. Routine aftercare appointments for contact lens wearers should review both wearing practices and compliance and include a discussion on how patients care for their contact lenses.”

To register for the session, which is worth one interactive CET point, visit the BCLA website

A Look at DRY EYE in the digital age ~ webinar

March 2021

An Essilor Ltd sponsored webinar, discussing the exacerbating impact that enhanced screen time is having on dry eye disease, will take place for ECPs on Wednesday 24 March.

Leading experts in the field, clinical optometrist, Nick Dash who was been awarded for his innovative work in treating dry eye and Norwegian optometrist Erik Robertstad will explore how increased digital use is affecting dry eye disease.

Paul Cumber
As screen time reaches a high with people working from home and keeping in touch using video calling, the speakers will explore the innovative approaches which can be used to diagnose and treat the disease in practice.

Eye care professionals are invited to join the ‘Dry Eye in the Digital Age’ webinar to gain CET points and learn more about this emerging growth area to help develop their dry eye services.

Paul Cumber,(left) instruments director at Essilor Ltd, said: “More patients are suffering with dry eye and it is likely to become even more prevalent as screen time increasingly dominates our leisure hours, as well as work time.

“The webinar is a good starting point for ECPs looking to offer a dry eye clinic to help existing patients with dry eye symptoms and attract new customers through the doors by marketing the service.”

The event will run between 6:30 and 7:30pm. For more information visit here

ABDO opens Student DO revision event.

March 2021

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) has opened bookings for a revision event for student DOs. Now in its sixth year, the event aims to help students revise with the support of expert tuition from ABDO practical examiners over a three day online event.

The ABDO 2021 student revision event will take place online on 11, 12 and 13 May.

• Tuesday 11 May: All sections of Unit 2 (PQE practical) including the PQP and case records.
• Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 May: all sections of Unit 12 (FQE practical) including case records.

Alicia Thompson, BSc(Hons) FBDO R (Hons) SLD SMC(Tech), ABDO’s Director of Professional Examinations says, “We are pleased to be able to run this event online, giving students access to great expertise. Every tutor is a current and experienced ABDO Practical Examiner.

“The online format, successfully received last year, allows delegates to join any of the lectures they choose as well as access open question time at the end of each revision session. There will also be access to the recording of most of the event for those who may want to revisit the sections prior to their examinations.”

The event is tailored to the 2015 Level 6 Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing. Revision will be delivered through lectures, video demonstrations, peer discussion and open questions. The event is free of charge and open to all PQE and FQE student members.

For more information and to book please visit:

College appoints Lizzy Ostler as Director of Education

March 2021

Lizzy Ostler The College of Optometrists has appointed Lizzy Ostler to the role of Director of Education. Lizzy will lead the strategic development and delivery of all aspects of the College’s role in qualifying and developing the profession, beginning in mid-March.

Lizzy will join the College from the University of Brighton where she was first appointed as a senior lecturer in 2001. In this role, she has overseen curriculum development and educational quality assurance across a broad range of subjects. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was promoted to Professor of Chemical Biology in 2018 in recognition of her educational innovation and leadership, as well as her world-leading research on the remediation and reversal of age-related degenerative processes.

She has served as Trustee and Honorary Treasurer of the British Society for Research on Ageing, and recently completed her final term as Staff Governor at the University of Brighton. She has served in multiple education-related capacities within the Royal Society of Chemistry, most recently being elected to Chair the Standing Committee of Heads of Chemistry UK.

Speaking about her appointment, Lizzy said; “I am delighted to be joining the College senior management team at this time of substantial change in the profession. I look forward to working with the College’s Education team and UK-wide stakeholders to develop and deliver a high quality ongoing educational experience for student and practising optometrists to ensure the profession is equipped to meet future challenges.”

Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of the College said; “I’m so pleased to welcome Lizzy to our team. We are about to enter a period of change for optometric education, the biggest in at least a decade, and with the College hoping to take a leading role in the new route to qualification, we will be drawing on all of Lizzy’s experience to shape and deliver our role. I would also like to thank the outgoing Director of Education, Sally Gosling, for her tireless work on behalf of the College and the profession during her time working here.”

The College of Optometrists celebrates researchers at Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize event

March 2021

The College of Optometrists presented the prestigious Research Excellence Awards today as part of Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize 2021. The College’s awards, which celebrate outstanding contributions to research in the fields of optometry, optics and vision science, were presented by the Chair of the College’s Research Committee, Ed Mallen MCOptom.

The researchers were presented with four of the College’s Research Excellence Awards:

• Dr Rebekka Heitmar MCOptom was awarded the Neil Charman Medal for her cross-disciplinary approach to ocular haemodynamics and a commitment to dissemination beyond the field of optometry
• The George Giles Postgraduate Research Prize was awarded to Dr Reena Chopra MCOptom for her PhD looking at the development of artificial intelligence in optometry and ophthalmology, and its application to AMD
• The Philip Cole Prize for excellence in practice-based research was awarded to Dr Shelley Black MCOptom and Dr Emma McConnell MCOptom jointly for research that has impacted on paediatric optometry and children with learning disabilities
• The Bernard Gilmartin OPO Award was awarded for the paper; Chua, SYL, Sabanayagam, C, Cheung, Y‐B, Chia, A, Valenzuela, RK, Tan, D, Wong, TY, Cheng, C‐Y, Saw, S‐M. Age of onset of myopia predicts risk of high myopia in later childhood in myopic Singapore children. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2016; 36: 388–394, and accepted on behalf of the authors by Professor Seang-Mei Saw. The award was accepted on the authors’ behalf by Prof Ed Mallen.

Speaking during the webinar, Prof Ed Mallen MCOptom, Chair of the College’s Research Committee, said: “It is such a pleasure to honour and celebrate the success of those who have made a significant contribution to the profession and practice of optometry through the awarding of the Research Excellence Awards. I would like to congratulate all recipients and thank them for their contribution to the body of research on behalf of the profession.”

For more information on the Research Excellence Awards, visit

WCSM invites entries to two of its esteemed medals.

March 2021

At a fitting end of British Science Week, the WCSM request submissions for the Ruskell Medal and the Master’s Medal for 2021.

The Ruskell Medal acknowledges work which represents a significant advancement in knowledge; the Master’s Medal is for those publishing work for the first time - people in academic study who have not yet achieved a doctorate or those working in product design and application in industry. The Medals will be awarded at our Court Lunch in Apothecaries’ Hall in London on 6 October 2021.

Since receiving its Royal Charter in 1629, the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers has encouraged research into the prevention and treatment of vision impairment.

THE 2021 RUSKELL MEDAL (A brief outline)

Each year, the Company awards a bronze medal to recognise research in ophthalmology and/or vision science which contributes significantly to the advancement of our understanding of vision and the prevention of unnecessary blindness. The Ruskell Medal is named after the late Gordon Ruskell, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Optometry and Visual Science at City University, a classical anatomist whose interest in optometry and neurology resulted in many discoveries in ocular science.

The 2021 Medal Award process launches today. The Ruskell Medal and an accompanying purse of £750 will be awarded to the first-named author of the best paper in the fields of ophthalmology or visual science published during the qualifying period (1 September 2020 to 31 July 2021) by an entrant currently working in an academic department in the United Kingdom. We encourage applications from all eligible candidates, regardless of nationality, age, race, disability, gender or self-identification.

THE 2021 MASTER’S MEDAL (A brief outline)

The Company now invites submissions for the 2021 Master’s Medal, which is awarded each year, by competition. The Medal is intended to encourage those taking higher degrees or pursuing higher level studies to publish their work. It is accompanied by a purse of £750.

Applications are invited from any individual studying within the UK for a doctorate or higher degree or working at a higher level in any aspect of vision research. This will include optometrists, ophthalmologists, orthoptists and others whose first research paper has been accepted for publication in a refereed journal during the qualifying period. It may also include those working in practice or in industry in manufacturing, design or product development, whose studies have been reviewed and presented nationally or internationally during the qualifying period. The qualifying period is 1 September 2020 to 31 July 2021.

New partnership focussed on improving eye health services for Gloucestershire

March 2021

Newmedica has taken on its first trainee nurse as part of a partnership with the University of Gloucestershire to train tomorrow’s top ophthalmology nurses.

Charlotte Bubb 
Newmedica Gloucestershire partnered with the University to offer training opportunities to student nurses and Charlotte Bubb is the first through the door.

Charlotte joins Newmedica Gloucester’s staff in their new state-of-the-art surgical centre, Brighouse Court, for 16 weeks. She will gain invaluable experience in a surgical environment, as part of her training to qualify as a Registered Nurse.

Nigel Kirkpatrick, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Clinical Director at Newmedica, has worked in the county for 24 years and says the partnership will help improve ophthalmology services in the area.

He added: ‘Bringing Charlotte into our team is such an exciting move for all concerned. She has already shown great talent and enthusiasm, and will be a real asset for us while she’s here.

‘By linking with the University of Gloucestershire, we are guaranteeing that we take the best students and are able to give them the highest levels of training.

‘Investment in training means that the people of Gloucestershire will have access to the best standards of eye-health treatment and care for years to come.’

The new programme is led by Debs Andrew, a theatre training practitioner and Registered Nurse in Gloucester who has more than 30 years’ NHS experience in ophthalmic theatre nursing.

Nick Oxlade, Placements and Partnerships Lead at University of Gloucestershire, said: ‘The University of Gloucestershire is excited to be working with Newmedica as a new placement partner.
‘The University has a growing portfolio of professional health programmes, including Adult Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Learning Disability Nursing, Physiotherapy, Paramedic Science, as well as a number of post graduate offerings, Master’s Degree pathways and other new programmes currently under design.
‘We have previously worked with Newmedica to offer conference spaces in our Oxstalls Campus site and look forward to building on this relationship over the coming years.’

Newmedica Gloucestershire recently opened a new site at Brighouse Court in Barnwood, to meet increasing demand for NHS and private treatment for life-limiting eye conditions such as cataracts.

Like the Aspen Medical Centre clinic, the new site will provide treatments such as cataract surgery, glaucoma management, oculoplastic surgery, general ophthalmology and YAG, a special laser treatment designed to improve vision after cataract surgery.

Newmedica Gloucestershire works in close partnership with the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups and Trusts locally.

The College of Optometrists’ Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize to take place as month-long online learning event

The College of Optometrists is running Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize as a month-long online learning event for members, starting from Tuesday 2 March.

The online event, which showcases highlights from Optometry Tomorrow 2020, features 15 sessions including webinars, peer discussions and discussion workshops as well as some brand new content including triaging myopia and managing mental health. Delegates will have the opportunity to earn up to 17 CET points across the month.

On 23 March, Dr Rowan Candy from the Indiana University School of Optometry, USA, will deliver her keynote lecture; ‘Is this young child going to be at risk for strabismus or amblyopia?’. Other highlights include Dr Dan Rosser MCOptom presenting his lecture ‘Glaucoma laser treatments; what are they and should optometrists be doing them?’ on 10 March and Dr Benjamin Wakerley presenting ‘A headache for optometrists’ on 17 March. The full programme can be viewed online at

College President, Colin Davidson FCOptom, said: “We are excited to be able to bring Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize to our members in their own homes. We have such a range of high quality CET sessions, and we have drawn some of the most respected practitioners from the eye health sector as speakers and presenters. I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of members virtually across the month.”

The majority of the lectures and sessions are free to attend for College members, but workshop tickets can be purchased for £20. Workshop places are limited. Sessions can be booked online at:

Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize is sponsored by Platinum sponsors, Johnson & Johnson Vision and DOCET and silver sponsors, Scope.

Clinical Hub launched for ABDO members

February 2021

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) has launched a clinical hub for members which will bring together up to date research and current knowledge on a range of topics to allow dispensing opticians (DOs), low vision opticians and contact lens opticians (CLOs) to maintain and extend their knowledge and practice.

The hub, which can be found by visiting will be a constantly expanding resource. It launches with a focus on myopia management, along with a DO guide to eye diseases, plus a section on extended services. Plus, members can access useful resources such as a guide to acronyms used in eye care and eye wear, a glossary of terms, as well as links to ABDO’s clinical advice and guidelines, patient leaflets, and information to share with patients.

The hub has been developed by ABDO Clinical Lead Max Halford FBDO CL who says, “This hub is for you if you are looking for support on topics from children’s eye issues to supporting older people with their visual needs. It offers headline information followed by a deeper insight into each subject and is fully backed up by, and linked to, the research that is available. No matter what stage you are at in your career, we hope that the resources and links provided will prove useful to you. In each main section you will find an overview of the topic, as well as fuller articles, and resources to help you find out where to go next.

“We need to be sure that the patients we care for are fully informed and participate in decisions around their eye health and to do this we, as clinicians, need to ensure our knowledge and understanding is up to date and relevant. Dispensing opticians are part of a wider clinical multi-disciplinary team and we hope this new clinical hub will help them contribute as widely as possible in patients’ eye health decisions.”

The Clinical Hub will be developing over coming months. Topics planned for 2021 include healthy living optical practices (HLOP), contact lenses, low vision and dry eye. There are also further topics in the pipeline for 2022 and beyond.

Explore the Clinical Hub here:

AIO Conference to go ahead on 9th and 10th October

February 2021

AIO has announced that its Annual Conference will take place at Chesford Grange in Warwickshire on 9th and 10th October 2021.

The Conference programme will include both clinical and business lecture streams , together with a series of CET Discussion Workshops and Peer Reviews. As ever there will be an extensive social programme with a Welcome Dinner on Friday 8th October and Gala Dinner on Saturday 9th October, as well as a number of outings to local attractions.

Dr Christian French, AIO Chair said ‘As an organisation that was founded on “Standing Conferences” in the 1950s, our inability to hold a Conference in 2020 left a big hole for all our members.

As the signs of emerging from the Covid pandemic look increasingly positive, we have bitten the bullet and are proceeding with the organisation of the 2021 AIO Conference in the lovely rural surrounds of Warwickshire.

The programme for the Conference will be published in full by the end of April, but will contain some outstanding speakers, as well as providing an opportunity to debate the future of the world of optics set against the background of issues such as the Covid pandemic and the GOC Education Strategic Review.’

To Register an interest in the Conference or find out more about it, please e-mail

College of Ophthalmology produce report on Ophthalmic Imaging.

February 2021

Ophthalmic imaging is an integral part of the work of all ophthalmic departments. It allows the clinician to record the findings from clinical ocular examination in an objective, reproducible, transmissible and durable manner. Many ophthalmic imaging devices also facilitate identification of anatomical and disease features that are not readily visible with standard examination techniques, and enable sophisticated quantitative analyses.

As a result, ophthalmic imaging is essential to the diagnosis, treatment, and long-term monitoring of many ocular conditions. In addition, it plays a central role in ophthalmic disease screening, teaching, clinical trials and in virtual clinics and medicine.

Both the range and sophistication of ophthalmic imaging technologies have increased rapidly in recent years. This document provides an overview of the current state of commercially
available ophthalmic imaging technologies and their clinical applications as things stand at the time of publication and readers should note this is a rapidly changing field. It also provides recommendations regarding minimum ophthalmic imaging requirements for hospital eye services.

Finally, it touches on a number of important issues related to ophthalmic imaging, including information technology and information governance requirements, and the need for valid informed consent.

You can read the full report here

Business symposium iDay is back for 2021

February 2021

Proven Track Record has announced that its popular Independents Day business symposium is back for 2021, following a hiatus of over two years.

The event will once again be supported by the iShow exhibition enabling independent practitioners to meet up with suppliers face-to-face.

The one-day iDay21 event will take place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on Sunday July 4, returning to the venue and date where it all began in 2005.

Proven Track Record director, Nick Atkins, said: “We are delighted to be back. After the nightmare that was 2020, we are looking forward to getting back to some resemblance of normality. And, despite the current national situation, we are confident that with the vaccination programme in full swing, the appropriate hygiene protocols, and the arrival of Summer, we can safely run one of the first face-to-face conferences of 2021. The exhibition will be integral in bringing independent- supporting suppliers together with their customer base.”

Dr. Gary Gerber 
The iDay21 event will focus on ‘The Business of Myopia,’ with its keynote speaker US optometrist and entrepreneur Dr Gary Gerber OD, (pictured). Dr Gerber co-founded Treehouse Eyes, possibly the first dedicated myopia management clinic in the world. He will share his experiences with UK practitioners, highlighting the challenges in establishing the business which currently boasts 20 locations in the US.

Mr Atkins added: “We are tapping into the zeitgeist to focus on one of the most significant changes in paediatric optometry since the inception of the NHS. This will be the first meeting held in the UK dedicated to myopia progression management and is possibly the first meeting anywhere focused on commercialising this new approach to treating myopic children.”

Proven Track Record co-director, David Goad, said: “With the devastation the pandemic has caused business, it seems appropriate that one of the first live events of 2021 will be focused on business success more than clinical skills.

“We are in the process of confirming the sort of top-quality speakers we are renowned for, with technology enabling us to access keynote speakers from all over the world. They will be ably supported by a string of local business talent,” he concluded.

More speaker and other details will be released over the coming weeks and practice owners and their teams wanting to attend iDay21, will be able to book from early Spring.

Hundreds of clinicians gain additional training on the early signs of brain tumours

February 2021

610 Specsavers optometrists - qualified or in training - attended a lecture and discussion by Lorcan Butler of the Brain Tumour Charity on Monday 25 January and Wednesday 3 February.

Lorcan, an optometrist and dispensing optician himself was the lead speaker at the first two Professional Development Evenings - the most recent in the series of Specsavers online events for their optometrists and therapeutic optometrists.

Lorcan’s current role as optical engagement manager for The Brain Tumour Charity, means he educates optometrists and dispensing opticians on the early signs of brain tumours. He delivers this training to Optometry Wales, Optometry Scotland, and directly to optical practitioners and groups throughout the UK, such as Specsavers clinicians. He is a College of Optometrists Council member for Northern Ireland, and a Council member for Optometry Northern Ireland.

Approximately 30% of people with a brain tumour will have effects on the eyes such as papilloedema, and early detection leads to earlier diagnosis and treatment. 

Lorcan’s lecture, titled ‘Papilloedema - is it or isn't it? Making appropriate referrals’ was followed by short case discussion about the differential diagnosis of papilloedema and when and how to refer a patient to a consultant ophthalmologist at a hospital eye service. Participants could gain two interactive CET points.

Gill Robinson director of professional training and development says: ‘Our first Professional Development Evening this year, with the superb guest lecture from Lorcan, kindly supported by the Brain Tumour Charity, was so popular that we have had to put on extra dates. Eyecare practitioners have an important role to play in detection of papilloedema and thereby reducing the harm caused by brain tumours and we are very grateful to the Brain Tumour Charity making it possible to offer this important learning to as many of our practitioners as possible.

Paul Morris director of professional advancement says: It’s an important topic as avoiding over-referrals is more important than ever in these times when healthcare is stretched as never before, and the serious nature of papilloedema makes it vital to make the correct decision for the patient’s wellbeing.

Paul continued: ‘With every potential life or sight-threatening condition, it is important that optometrists are aware of current best practice in diagnosis and management, which is why it’s great to see these sessions have been so popular among clinicians.’

As well as listening to the lecture, optometrists discussed good practice in referring papillodema to hospital eye services, use of OCT and integration of OCT data with other clinical tests to make an appropriate diagnosis of pigmented fundus lesions.

Delegates benefitted also from a peer discussion session developed by optometrist Magda Jamroz, which focused on assessment, differential diagnosis and referral decisions for cases of other types of eye problem.

Previous Professional Development Evening speakers included:
College of Ophthalmologists president Prof. Bernard Chang and Moorfields Eye Hospital consultant ophthalmologist Mrs Melanie Hingorani.

The next Professional Development Evening is on Monday 22 February with Moorfields Consultant in Ophthalmology and Public Health, Miss Parul Desai speaking on effective referrals and their impact on multidisciplinary patient care. 5 CET points for optometrists are on offer for the evening session.

Webinar: Introducing OpRegen® from Lineage Cell Therapeutics

February 2021

Wednesday 10th February at 6:30 PM
Duration: 90 minutes including questions

Lineage Cell Therapeutics Inc. (LCTX) is a biotechnology company developing three clinical-stage cell therapy programs based on allogeneic (“off-the-shelf”) cell lines and supported by one of the largest patent estates in cell therapy.

Their lead program is called OpRegen®.

RPE Webinar
OpRegen is a transplant of retinal pigment epithelium cells which are derived from pluripotent cell lines.

OpRegen is in Phase 1/2a clinical development for the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the developed world.

All 24 patients have been enrolled in the clinical trial and data collection is ongoing.

Recent results included evidence of improved visual acuity, slower growth of GA, and notably, the first known clinical report of retinal tissue regeneration which has persisted to 23 months in one patient. Additional data updates are expected in Q1 & Q2 2021.

Our guest speaker for this session is Brian Culley, who joined Lineage as CEO in September 2018. Mr. Culley is an experienced public biopharmaceutical company CEO, having served in that capacity at multiple publicly traded biotechnology companies.

His broad experience includes the clinical development of pharmaceutical products from research through Phase 3, corporate partnering, institutional capital raising, and numerous other activities. His earlier positions include leadership roles in business development and technology transfer and as an early discovery researcher for Neurocrine Biosciences.

He received a B.S. in biology from Boston College, a Masters in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California Santa Barbara, and an M.B.A. from The Johnson School at Cornell University.

Please register here to attend.

Heidelberg Engineering launch online CET course room

February 2021

Heidelberg Eyewaycode online
The Heidelberg Engineering Academy has launched a new Online CET Course Room, where optometrists and dispensing opticians can earn Continuing Education and Training (CET) points through recorded webinars.

The CET course room is free of charge and participants can collect 1 CET point for each online course, after watching the video content and completing a multiple-choice quiz.

The first online course available in the CET course room is “Learning the Eyeway Code" with Mark Holloway (Independent Optometrist, Thomas & Holloway Opticians) and Tim Cole (Clinical Affairs Manager, Heidelberg Engineering). This online course is aimed at beginners and is designed to help participants confidently identify and describe pathology in OCT scans.

“The Heidelberg Engineering Academy began a highly successful programme of live, CET-accredited, webinars in 2020, which continue into 2021”, explains Emily Malbon, Head of UK Marketing and Education.

“We are passionate about raising the standard of education in ophthalmic diagnostic imaging across the industry. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of exhibitions and events nationwide, we decided to continue to provide education in innovative ways virtually. The Online CET Course Room will make our informative library of recently recorded webinars accessible and engaging. If the Online CET
Course Room proves popular, we plan to add more content over the coming months.”

Visit the Online CET Course Room

Transitions hosts global virtual summit

February 2021

Transitions Puls Virtual Summit

Transitions Optical is set to hold its first virtual global summit bringing together thousands of eyecare professionals from around the world on 9 February.

ECPs can register for a pass and join like-minded peers from 42 countries to hear first-hand about the latest light science news, lens innovations, and solutions from Transitions, all delivered by expert speakers.

The event will be subtitled in 12 languages and attendees can connect live on-screen to train, network and ‘feel the love for eyecare’ together.

Delegates can join sessions with Chrystel Barranger, president of Transitions Optical & Essilor Europe, and an array of top optical speakers to learn about the latest best practices, future trends in retail and fresh insight on worldwide consumers trends.

Doug Stephens, founder of the Retail Prophet, will also divulge the latest retail strategies and future scenarios.

Tim Precious, managing director at Essilor Ltd said: “The summit is the perfect opportunity for the optical industry to come together and be the first to hear about what’s new in terms of light intelligent lenses.

“Keeping on top of these consumer insights and trends will help build business opportunities in the coming months and especially as we enter into spring/summer when patients are much more open to hearing about ways to enjoy light more comfortably without having to switch spectacles.”

The event runs from 5.30pm to 7.00pm. To register click here

100% becomes postponement victim of Covid for a second time

February 2021

Following the loss of the Industry's Optrafair 2020 exhibition which contributed to the brands demise and eventual sale to Media 10, this year's already date-adjusted event, 100% Optical has been postponed for a second time, with event organisers confirming that the event is now expected to take place in January 2022.

The 8th edition of 100% Optical was reset to take place on 8-10 May 2021 at London’s ExCeL. We have no confirmation of the venue but given Media 10's previous record we assume London ExCeL will be confirmed.

News of the cancellation has not as yet been posted on the 100% website .

Health and care is changing – CQC’s Strategy Consultation an upcoming FREE webinar

January 2021

Wednesday 10 February 2021 | 10:00 am - 11:15 am GMT
In partnership with Bevan Brittan

Health and care is changing – CQC’s Strategy Consultation

On 7 January CQC launched a Consultation on its draft strategy for the next five years. The Consultation promises wide ranging changes in the way CQC will regulate the health and social care sector including:

• even greater emphasis on the experiences of people using services;
• more dynamic and improved reporting on the quality of services;
• stronger focus on safety cultures;
• raising the bar for ‘Good’;
• doing more to support providers to improve services;
• championing innovation and technology-enabled services; and
• potentially requiring the additional registration of parent companies in corporate groups.

It will be important for the sector to engage with the Consultation and this webinar will give providers and investors an opportunity to hear more from CQC on the draft strategy and raise issues to inform the response.

Register HERE

"eyeRISE" sponsored by Topcon Health is a grand virtual event with 40 speakers representing over 15 countries

January 2021

A multi-disciplinary, virtual congress showcasing the latest innovations in eye care.

Three solutions-focused tracks will deliver clinical and practical education through symposia, roundtable discussions and interactive workshops.

Topcon Healthcare sees eye health differently. Their vision is to empower providers with smart and efficient technologies for enhanced patient care. Keeping pace with the ever-changing landscape of the healthcare industry, they offer the latest integrated solutions including advanced multimodal imaging, vendor-neutral data management and groundbreaking remote diagnostic technology.

A globally-oriented business, Topcon is focused on developing solutions towards solving societal challenges in the mega-domains of healthcare, agriculture, and infrastructure. In healthcare, these challenges include increasing eye disease, rising medical costs, access to healthcare and physician shortages. By investing in value-driven innovations, Topcon works to enable people to enjoy good health and a high quality of life.

Here is a brief look at the program included within 3 major tracks.


Building Clinical Confidence

International Swept Source OCT Symposium

Retinal Research & Innovations

Round Table Discussion

Glaucoma Diagnosis and Management, Clinical Case Studies


Optimizing Image Quality: The Clinical Advantages of PixelSmart


Entering New Markets: Myopia and Dry Eye


Myopia Management – Putting Theory Into Practice

Round Table Discussion

Why Cataract Surgeons Cannot Afford to Overlook Dry Eye


How to Drive Revenue by Incorporating Myopia Management and Dry Eye


Too Many Patients, Not Enough Time


Future of Medicine – Ocular Telehealth and Mobile Screening

Round Table Discussion

The Reality of Innovations in Refraction


Remote Diagnostics (RDx) Live!

Find out much more and register for the 2-day event on February 9th & 10th HERE

Not to be missed Webinar Invitation on Cataract Referral and Management

January 2021

Next Monday! Monday 25th January 2021

The Cataract Pathway Webinar

Ms Tahmina Pearsall, Consultant Ophthalmologist invites all Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians to join her free Cataract Pathway Webinar event next Monday.

Titled: How to refer the cataract patient and manage them post-operatively

During the webinar you will learn how to assess patients presenting with signs and/or symptoms of cataract and postoperative care.
We look forward to your participation and feedback

Ms Tahmina Pearsall is the Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Surrey & Sussex Healthcare Trust specialising in complex Glaucoma and Cataracts. She is UK trained in centres of excellence such as Moorfields Eye Hospital, St Thomas’ and Addenbrooke's (Cambridge) which enables her to provide excellent medical and surgical care across all aspects of Ophthalmology. Her research and surgical achievements have won many prizes both nationally and internationally and most recently she has been nominated for the “Hospital Heroes” award.

Nick Bradshaw is the Local Eye Health Network Chair for Surrey & Sussex representing ophthalmology in the Local Professional Network for NHSE. He is also the Vice Chair of the Surrey Local Optometric Committee. Nick is a qualified optometrist with over 20 years of experience in the field including private refractive surgery support with pre and post-operative care and is currently the Optometrist Director at Redhill Specsavers.

This webinar is interactive and free

Monday 25th January 22, 2021
Time: 7.30pm
Duration: 1 Hour plus Q & A’s
Speakers: Tahmina Pearsall and Nick Bradshaw.

Click here to register

Or Email

Applications now open for Optical Assistant training in Scotland

January 2021

Applications have now opened for the Scotland Level 5 and 7 Certificates in Optical Care.

The courses receive generous funding from NES Optometry, so employers need only pay £200 (Level 5) or £250 (level 7) per person, with everything they need included in the small fee.

Places are strictly limited on a first-come-first-served basis.

For the third year in a row, the courses are being delivered by Insight Optical Training.

“Despite the pandemic, we had really good feedback from our 2020 learners and have made several updates and additions to the training materials to make sure that they remain engaging, relevant, and up-to-date” We are extremely pleased to be continuing our partnership with NES”.

Anthony Blackman – Director of training

About the Courses

These courses are designed to give optical assistants the necessary skills and knowledge to provide the best possible eyecare to every patient.

Level 5 is an entry-level qualification ideal for those who have not studied for a significant length of time, or for those that need a gentle introduction into the world of learning.

Our Level 7 course is slightly more challenging and may be progressed to upon passing Level 5.

In Summary

• Start in April 2021
• Finish in December 2021
• Qualifications are endorsed by NCFE – a national awarding body
• The small fee includes course materials, three workshops and the assessment
• A range of online resources, including lectures, videos, quizzes and activities
• Supported by a printed colour training manual and an experienced personal tutor

Applications can be made online at

NB: Applications go live on Thursday the 21st of January.

Management & Leadership qualifications for those in Optical Industry

January 2021

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians’ (ABDO) Level 5 Management & Leadership qualification is now available to everyone working within the optical industry.

ABDO Management & Leadership Training is a great way to turn any informal learning into a recognised qualification through a course of study and assessment. The training courses are accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) which also assesses and awards the qualification.

ABDO members have been able taking part in the training and qualifications since launch in April 2020, with 29 students studying towards diplomas and certificates. Students say that the courses are relevant, resources are easy to locate and use, tutors are easy to contact and respond in a timely fashion with the relevant information, and the courses are good value for money. All students said they would recommend the courses to others.

Mark Turner FBDO SMC(Tech) is working on the diploma and says, “I never realised there are so many tools and theories which can help you in developing, managing and leading individuals. I’d advise always to try and stretch yourself a little: this course offers just that and will be useful to anyone who is already in a similar role or looking to further their career. The tutoring has been very productive: the tutors will check, guide and give constructive feedback on your work. I’d absolutely recommend this course to others.”

Nick Walsh, ABDO’s Sector Skills Development Officer says, “These courses from ABDO are the ideal next step for any manager, whether you are just starting out or looking to formalise knowledge and experience gained in practice.” He adds, “As a manager you need to make time for your own development: this will improve the success of the business, the effectiveness of the team and the morale of the team as well as bringing benefits to your career.”

The qualification awarded by CMI is well recognised. Students get membership of CMI and access to the support and materials that they offer including the fantastic ManagementDirect online resource. It is an ideal way for employers to develop existing managers and train up those aspiring to a role in management.

ABDO Management and Leadership Training is entirely via e-learning and with the support of a tutor, removing the need for time away from the business to complete study. The qualification can be completed at either a diploma or certificate level.

To find out more, go to

Glaucoma 360 New Horizons Forum

January 2021

This event is free and virtual.

Glaucoma 360

Join us for the 10th annual New Horizons Forum – this year a virtual event – dedicated to speeding the development of new therapies and diagnostics for glaucoma patients.

Register Now.

There is no registration fee for this year's event

Participate in a half-day of virtual panels, presentations and discussions dedicated to the worldwide advancement of glaucoma drugs, devices and drug delivery systems.

View the preliminary Agenda

Who Should Attend

• Early-stage company CEOs and executives

• Business Development and other representatives from companies that offer pharmaceuticals, devices, drug delivery, and IOP monitoring for glaucoma patients

• Key Opinion Leaders, scientific innovators, and leading ophthalmologists and Optometrists

• Industry executives, Venture Capitalists, Clinical Research Organizations

To ensure the health and safety of attendees and speakers, the 10th Annual Glaucoma 360 will be hosted on a global virtual platform.
There is no registration fee for this year's event for the 10th Annual New Horizons Forum on January 30, 2021.

We look forward to seeing you virtually!
Adrienne L. Graves, PhD
Glaucoma 360 Founder & Co-Chair

CET Rules Consultation by GOC

December 2020


This consultation seeks stakeholder views on changes we intend to make to our Continuing Education and Training (CET) Rules 2005 (amended in 2012). We are amending our CET Rules in order to underpin the changes that we will introduce at the start of the new three year Continuing Professional Development cycle in January 2022.

This consultation gives stakeholders an opportunity to review our draft amended CET Rules and to provide feedback before we progress with legislative change.

Why we are consulting

We have consulted extensively with stakeholders over changes we intend to make to our current CET scheme. Our aim is to make the scheme more flexible and less prescriptive, allowing registrants greater freedom to undertake learning and development which is relevant to their own personal scope of practice.

We ran a public consultation in 2018 and more recently another consultation from 28 May to 20 August 2020. On 14 November 2020 we sought approval from the GOC’s governing Council to progress with the following changes:

Replacing the competencies which currently underpin the scheme, to the Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians.

Allowing registrants more control over their learning and development and the ability to tailor it to their own personal scope of practice.

Enhancing requirements for registrants to reflect on their practice.

Changing the name of the scheme from CET to Continuing Professional Development (CPD). In line with this, from here on in this consultation, we will refer to any future scheme and activities within it as ‘CPD’, and the current CET arrangements as ‘the current scheme’.

Introducing a new proportionate system of CPD approvals.

Consult on a new requirement in our Rules to introduce peer review for dispensing opticians. This would be the same requirement that we currently have for optometrists and contact lens opticians, who are required to do one peer review activity in every three year cycle.

Remove reference in the Rules specifying a set fee of £45 payable by CET providers annuallly to the GOC, instead allowing Council to set the fee at their discretion.

This consultation gives stakeholders an opportunity to review the amended CET Rules to ensure that they do not have any unintended consequences or impact and we welcome any feedback. Once this consultation has ended, we will analyse all the responses before finalising the draft amendments. We will present the amended CET Rules, along with the consultation outcome, to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). In order to amend our Rules we will need legislative change including approval from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Privy Council.

Amendments to CET Rules for consultation 201211.pdf

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers rewards research excellence

December 2020

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) will present bronze medals for excellence in vision research in a virtual ceremony on Thursday 17 December 2020.

The bronze medals are awarded each year by competition. Anyone working in vision research within the UK is eligible and submissions are assessed by a panel of eminent professors drawn from universities and research departments around the UK.

Lewis Fry
The Master’s Medal
for the best first-published paper goes to Dr Lewis Fry (left), a junior doctor and researcher from New Zealand who is completing his DPhil at the University of Oxford.

Under the supervision of Professor Robert MacLaren, his research focuses on genetic disorders of the eye such as choroideremia and retinitis pigmentosa. He is currently working on developing treatments to fix the underlying genetic causes of these diseases using gene therapy and genome editing.

His research investigated why some patients with choroideremia had less severe disease. The team was able to use the findings to deduce the dose of gene therapy that might be required to treat choroideremia patients by replacing their missing copy with a working copy of the choroideremia gene.

The 2020 Ruskell Medal
, for the best paper in the fields of ophthalmology and vision science by a researcher at any stage of their career, is this year awarded to an optometrist who has not yet achieved her PhD.

Reena Chopra

Reena Chopra (right) is an optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and a clinician scientist at Google Health. She is currently a PhD student at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (supported by the College of Optometrists).

In a collaboration between Moorfields Eye Hospital, DeepMind and Google Health, the team were able to train an artificial intelligence (AI) system to predict whether a patient with wet AMD in one eye would develop the condition in their second eye.

Ms Chopra’s research paper, published jointly with computer scientist Jason Yim in the journal Nature Medicine in May 2020, demonstrates the potential for AI to help improve the understanding of disease progression and predict the future risk of patients developing sight-threatening conditions - and in the future could help identify which patients might benefit from preventative treatment.

The winners will attend a special online ceremony introduced by the Chair of the Company’s Professorial Committee, Professor Robin Ali, Professor of Human Molecular Genetics at King’s College London. The medals and accompanying cash prizes will be presented by WCSM’s Master, Mr Huntly Taylor.

Applications will open for next year’s competition in February 2021.


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