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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, April to September 2021

 



The Specialist Club is back
SEE Summit announces Key Note Speaker
Millmead to continue ABDO College funding
FREE entry to deafblind virtual convention
New AOP mentoring programme launched
SILMO PARIS 2021
GOC commissions Sector Partnership for Optical Knowledge and Education
Join Professor James Loughman's Clinical Lecture on Myopia Management
Half Price 3 CET Point Offer - now just £20
The SEE Summit, learn more
Double Vaccs Requirement for AAO meeting
BABO announce 3 events in October 2021
New Sponsor for Careers in Eyecare Campaign
ZEISS Innovation Week – Premiering new technologies
Hospital Optometrists Annual Conference announced
ABDO extends Deadlines
3 CET points available to Optoms and Dispensing Opticians
Apply now for courses at ABDO College
College of Optometrists announces new accreditation of Professional Certificate in Glaucoma at University of Hertfordshire
iDay has been rescheduled to late October
New e-learning course enhances skills when assisting people with visual impairments
SEE Summit booking now open
IOA SILMO 2021 Award Nominees
The future is bright with Essilor
Join Doctor Wes McCann's Clinical Lecture on Dry Eye Disease. Webinar June 28
Webinar on Dry Eye and Lid Hygiene
How digital eye care referrals will transform care
ABDO announce further freeze on fees
New AOP webinar series for optical teams
Let’s enjoy real contact again at SILMO Paris 2021!
ABDO launches syllabus review
ESSILOR intoduces latest equipment at 100% OPTICAL Online
Extra CET opportunities with Fresh Content from Essilor E-Academy
The International Opticians Association (IOA) has opened applications for the 2021 IOA Silmo International Optician of the Year Award
Programme announced for business symposium iDay21
One more sign of emerging "normality".SILMO 2021
ABDO College, first day back!
Join an interactive CET webinar addressing data security needs in sight care
AOP launches virtual events to secure interactive CET points
15 winners announced at prestigious West Midlands healthcare awards
ABDO freezes Course Fees
Entrepreneur Academy launched to support health and social innovators across West Midlands
Archived Exhibition and Education News from January to March 2021


The Specialist Club is back

September 2021

Prof Johnathon Moore

The Specialist Club is next month holding its first live, face-to-face CET meeting for two years. Themed ‘New Front Tears: Techniques and Technologies for Dry Eye’ it is focused on delivering an accurate level of diagnosis and management for dry eye sufferers in 2022 and beyond.

The one-day event is on Monday October 25 at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull, and will focus on the latest diagnostic and treatment options and their practical application in practice.

The keynote speaker is consultant ophthalmologist Professor Jonathan Moore who will highlight the role of Omega 3 and supplements in his CET lecture, ‘Managing Dry Eye in the Modern World.’

Optometrist Nick Dash will present another CET lecture, ‘Establishing a Successful Dry Eye Clinic.’ CET discussion lectures will be held on ‘Lifting the Lid on Periocular Care,’ led by contact lens optician Rosemin Mussa and ‘The Role of Intense Pulse Light Therapy in Optometric Practice,’ presented by optometrist Craig Wilcox.

“It’s not often that you’ll find this quality of interactive education, covering so many useful dry eye diagnosis and management options, under one roof,” highlighted the event organiser, Nick Atkins.

“Gone are the days when a bit of stain and counting to 10 constitutes a dry eye consultation,” he added. “This will be a truly valuable, not to be missed seminar for practitioners wanting to take dry eye management to the next level. Not only that, but the cost of attendance is dwarfed by the value of the discounts offered by the event sponsors on the day.”

The Specialist Club is an educational initiative designed to bring together like-minded practitioners keen to develop their sphere of practice in interesting new directions.

Sponsors and exhibitors for the October event include Positive Impact, Lumenis, Topcon Healthcare and The Eye Doctor.

An early bird attendance price of £35 plus VAT is offered to practitioners booking by September 30. The full cost of attendance is £49 plus VAT. BCLA members are offered a 10% discount off the full price.

SEE Summit announces Key Note Speaker

September 2021

The keynote speaker for the SEE Summit on the Environment will be Nick Bridge.

Nick is the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change and is directing the UK’s global diplomatic climate change work, currently focused on COP26.

Nick says, “The urgent and compelling need to tackle climate change is clear to us all. The UN Climate Change conference – COP26 – will be hosted by the UK in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021 and bring together Heads of State, officials, campaigners & business to make new commitments that can help us avoid catastrophic impacts.

“Ahead of COP26, the UK is working round the clock with partners around the world – every country, sub national governments & cities, businesses, and a full array of civil society – to reach the most ambitious possible agreement in key areas such as finance, energy, transport and nature, and limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

“I am delighted therefore to support the UK optical sector’s SEE Summit for the Environment, which will provide practical ideas and support for eye care practitioners, practice owners and suppliers so they can minimise their carbon footprints and contribute to a sustainable global economy for the benefit of current and future generations.”

Book your place at the inaugural SEE Summit on the Environment on 4 October 2021 to hear more from Nick and gain inspiring and practical tips from a range of key figures in the industry.

Visit www.abdo.org.uk/events/see-event/ to book.

Millmead to continue ABDO College funding

September 2021

Students at ABDO College will be learning all things optical in the Jai Kudo Optics lab, thanks to renewed sponsorship from the Millmead Optical Group.

Chief Executive Officer of the Millmead Optical Group James Conway says, “Having been involved in the optical industry for 75 years we feel it is important to support the next generation of professionals coming through as it is vital to keep the industry moving forwards and innovating. One of the ways we do that is to support ABDO College. The critical job performed by the College along with the supportive and extremely dedicated staff made the decision to sponsor the College an easy one. Having worked with them closely for many years we are pleased to be able to extend our partnership for many years into the future.”

Students will find supporting information for their studies across the classrooms relevant to the functions carried out in each room. Millmead will be updating many of the materials currently presented throughout the building. The sponsored classrooms will have new educational wall artwork and imagery. New manufacturing techniques and new product innovations will be highlighted and explained for all to see. Hopefully this will provoke more awareness on the manufacturing side of optics and the importance of sustainability going forwards.

Dr Robert Cubbidge, principal of ABDO College says, “On behalf of the staff and students at the College I would like to thank Millmead Optical Group for their generous support to the optical dispensing programme. Building strong relationships between the optical industry is a vital component in maintaining an up-to-date education for our students. The continued sponsorship will raise awareness of the Millmead product portfolio amongst our students in the years to come.”

Millmead Optical Group is an independent owned company with three main entities – Continental Eyewear, Jai Kudo Lenses and Optoplast. The original company was founded by two families in 1946 and is still in the ownership of these families today. Millmead aims to put its partners and customers first in everything it does and focuses a huge amount of time looking at its impact on the wider environment. It’s goals of increasing sustainability are engrained in its business and the entire team is continually engaged in this area.

FREE entry to deafblind virtual convention

September 2021

Join deafblind UK for the UK’s first virtual deafblind convention on 7th October 2021!

This is a day of talks and seminars from people who live with or work with sight and hearing loss.

Focusing on the theme of ‘living better with sight and hearing loss’, the event will welcome world class speakers who will bring you up to date with latest research and academic thinking as well as motivate and inspire you to make the most of live with sight and hearing loss.

Register free here

New AOP mentoring programme launched

August 2021

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is launching its new AOP Mentoring Programme for newly-qualified optometrists and dispensing opticians.

Free and exclusive to AOP members, the new mentoring programme is designed to support a mentee over three to six months to help them achieve development goals in their optical career.

Newly-qualified optometrists who take up the programme, will have the opportunity to work with an experienced, qualified professional in the sector to set their development goals, grow skills and confidence and gain professional insights.

Commercial Director at the AOP, Wendy Steele explains: “Knowledge sharing is a fundamental part of everyone’s professional development and career progression. With practitioners having faced extraordinary challenges during the pandemic – now, more than ever, you may want to seek the support, wisdom and expertise of an experienced practitioner and mentor. We hope that it will be an enriching experience for our members who are just starting out in their careers.”

There are currently more than 50 mentors to assist in the programme – with numbers set to increase. All AOP mentors are experienced optometrists with a wealth of knowledge spanning independent and multiple High Street optometric practice, hospital eye departments and academia.

Ms Steele added: “The programme is self-service – giving mentees complete control to choose the right mentor, and the flexibility to make the mentoring experience work for them.”

Newly-qualified members can view mentor profiles on the AOP website at www.aop.org.uk/mentoring to find out more about their specialisms. Mentees can receive support in a range of areas, including:

• Clinical management
• Confidence building/dealing with doubt
• Communication (patients)
• Career progression
• Adjusting to change
• Self-development (core skills)/self-led learning and CET/CPD
• NHS Performers (how to get on list and obligations)
• Relationship management/working with others
• NHS awareness
• Referral best practice

The mentoring programme forms part of the AOP’s existing professional-development and support services.

The AOP is currently looking at a further roll-out of the programme to additional membership grades.

SILMO PARIS 2021

August 2021

The future is coming!

SILMO 2021

 

Preparations are intensifying and the 2021 edition of the international rendezvous for optics and eyewear is looking optimistic: “Finally, the entire industry will be able to gather together again”, Amélie Morel, President of SILMO Paris, reminds us, as she provides an update along with Eric Lenoir, Director of the Fair, in a video for all the visitors. *

In summary:

The 2021 edition will be along the same lines as previous editions in terms of both content and style, with already more than 500 confirmed exhibitors representing every aspect of the industry, whose regularly updated list can be found on the Fair’s website (https://www.silmoparis.com/Catalogue).

Encouraging figures for visitors’ pre-inscription with already 53% of international registrations: “Figures so far suggest distribution of France-international participation similar to that of 2019 and lead us to believe we’re on track for a global fair”, observes Eric Lenoir.

A Fair where information, trends and the showcasing of innovations lend substance to the strength of SILMO Paris: SILMO Next with market conferences, the presentation of tendencies and decoding of the sector, which help us in co-building a technologically sustainable future together. SILMO d’OR with the announcement of the 2021 winners and SILMO Academy with the award of a €10,000 grant for a research project in the field of optics and vision science.

A convivial and festive event where safety is ensured and constraints are fewer thanks to the health pass for visitors and exhibitors throughout the Fair, in compliance with the regulations in force in France.

Ongoing mobilisation with a communication campaign for visitors and exhibitors who wish to demonstrate their support with the hashtags #SILMOParis I am in ! #SILMOParis I Go! A nod of recognition acknowledging that SILMO Paris has become what it is today - unique, inspiring and welcoming, thanks to all the professionals, opticians, businesses, the press etc.- https://en.silmoparis.com/Visitors/Communicate-on-your-participation

An edition to encourage discussions and discoveries and looking towards the future as always, “with nevertheless an additional element: the power and emotion of reunion”, underlines Amélie Morel.

GOC commissions Sector Partnership for Optical Knowledge and Education

August 2021


The General Optical Council (GOC) is delighted to announce that it has commissioned Sector Partnership for Optical Knowledge and Education (SPOKE) to establish a Knowledge Hub/Information Exchange to facilitate knowledge-led collaborations within the optical sector to meet our updated requirements for qualification approval.

The College of Optometrists are the lead partner for SPOKE and will be supported by Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), Optometry Schools Council (OSC) and bodies from across the sector to deliver projects, online resources and networking activities. The full Knowledge Hub Oversight Committee and Advisory and Review Group representation can be found in the ‘notes to editors’ section.

The hub will be a resource for programme leaders, academic staff, module coordinators, supervisors and practice-based staff/ employers and sector businesses. It will support the academic community in their design and development of qualifications, to meet our outcomes and standards, and further support practices and sector businesses in their role as placement providers within the new qualifications.

The first crucial project of the Knowledge Hub/Information Exchange will be to develop the sector-led co-produced indicative guidance, to supplement the ‘Outcomes for Registration’. SPOKE will shortly be recruiting expert volunteers from across the sector to support the hub steering group in undertaking this work.

The Knowledge Hub/Information Exchange will also undertake further projects which will address topics such as; facilitating and assessing experiential and work-based learning, mentoring and supervision, values-based admissions and hosting successful placements.

Leonie Milliner, GOC Director of Education, said: “We are delighted that The College of Optometrists, OSC and ABDO’s proposal for their collaborative knowledge hub, Sector Partnership for Optical Knowledge and Education, has secured GOC support for the next four years. This is an important initiative for the GOC, and we thank the sector for responding so positively to our request for proposals. We look forward to working with stakeholders and experts across the field as part of SPOKE to support providers of GOC approved and provisionally approved qualifications adapt their provision to meet our updated requirements for qualifications we approve in optometry and dispensing optics.”

Lizzy Ostler, Director of Education at The College of Optometrists, said: “I am really excited that the SPOKE bid, developed in collaboration with Joy Myint (Optometry Schools Council) and Alistair Bridge (Association of British Dispensing Opticians) has been successful. As a steering group, our plan is to involve the whole sector in establishing expected and best practice guidance for the qualifying education of optometrists and dispensing opticians. This will be a great opportunity to bring to life the GOC’s new requirements for providers and those involved in course approval for years to come.

A wide range of experts have already volunteered to support the activities of SPOKE, and we look forward to moving forward at pace to produce the indicative guidance. We are keen to involve all stakeholders and welcome all interested parties to step up, join in and contribute to this sector-wide collaboration.”

Join Professor James Loughman's Clinical Lecture on Myopia Management

August 2021

Webinar from Ocuco on Myopia

Ocuco supports the clinical webinar "Evidence-Based Myopia Management – Clinical Implications of the New Standard of Care" on Thursday, September 2, at 5 pm BST. The webinar will be presented by Professor James Loughman, Head of the Centre for Eye Research Ireland (CERI) and Ocuco's Clinical Research Director.

Myopia is thought to be a modifiable risk factor for developing eye disease and associated vision loss. As a result, alleviating Myopia symptoms with spectacles or contact lenses is no longer considered sufficient.

The World Council of Optometry, the European Society of Ophthalmology, and the International Myopia Institute have recently called for an evolution in the standard of care for Myopia management.

This clinical lecture will explore what the term "standard of care" actually means and the implications of implementing it for clinical practice.

During the one-hour webinar, Professor James Loughman will discuss:

• The New Standard of Care for Myopia Management
• How to implement an evidence-based approach to Myopia management
• The necessary changes in clinical practice to meet the new standard of care
• The clinical decision supports available
• The relevance of patient communication to successful Myopia control including setting realistic treatment expectations

According to Professor James Loughman, "Scientific and industrial innovators have responded to the threat posed by Myopia. We now have a rapidly increasing range of treatments available which have been shown to delay Myopia onset, reduce or eliminate the progression of Myopia in some children, which may thereby reduce the risk of long-term damage."

About the Presenter

James Loughman

Professor James Loughman is the Clinical Research Director for Ocuco Ltd. An Optometrist with more than 20 years of clinical, academic, research and management experience, James is also presently the Head of the Centre for Eye Research Ireland (CERI), a research facility based in Technological University Dublin, the same university where he received his PhD in 1997. James oversees a portfolio of research, including technology development and big data analytics projects alongside various clinical trials for the control of Myopia, glaucoma and other factors impacting eye health.

Summary

FREE CET Accredited Clinical Lecture
Topic: "Evidence-Based Myopia Management – Clinical Implications of the New Standard of Care"
Presented by: Professor James Loughman
When: Thursday, September 2, 2021
Time: 5 pm BST
Registrations open at: www.ocuco.com/upcoming-clinical-lectures/

Half Price 3 CET Point Offer - now just £20

August 2021

Following the success of his Seeing Beyond The Eyes CET roadshow, social businessman Dan Williams of Visualise Training and Consultancy has launched a 3 CET point e-learning version to upskill learners when assisting patients with a visual impairment.

The Seeing Beyond the Eyes bundle empowers eyecare professionals in clinical and non-clinical roles to better understand and support their patients with low vision and enhance accessibility and inclusion within practices and clinics.

Three non-interactive CET points are available to qualifying optometrists and dispensing opticians who complete the following sections:

A. Sight Loss Champion course C-78895
Competencies – Optometrist and Dispensing optician: (2) Communication and Standards of Practice

B. An Introduction to Visual Impairment (Recorded lecture) C-78600
Competencies – Optometrist: (3) Ocular Disease, Standards of Practice, Communication. Dispensing optician: (4) Ocular Abnormalities, Low Vision, Standards of Practice, Communication

C. Sight Loss Champion (Image/poster quiz) C-78566
Competencies – Optometrist: (2) Standards of Practice and Communication. Dispensing optician: (2) Standards of Practice and Communication

The course covers:
1. Sight Loss Facts and Myths
2. Eye Conditions and their Effects
3. Emotional Impacts of Sight Loss
4. Certification and Registration of Sight Loss
5. Referrals to Support Services
6. Making Clinics more Accessible
7. Assistive Technologies
8. Communicating Effectively
9. Mobility and Sighted Guiding

Dan, who has been registered blind since the age of 8, developed the accredited course for eyecare professionals to empower them to provide more accessible services and make referrals to vital support services. He has visited numerous eye hospitals and consulted a variety of eyecare professionals over the years so has a first-hand understanding of what is missing in terms of holistic support for patients.

“I remember on several occasions, optometrists would talk in medical jargon without informing me of my eye condition in terms I could understand,” explained Daniel, who pointed out other difficulties too.

“They would call my name in the waiting room and then walk off,” he continued. “I saw practices with poor colour contrast, witnessed professionals talking to family members whilst ignoring the patient, and many other non-inclusive issues.”

The Seeing Beyond the Eyes CET roadshow successfully trained over 5,000 optical professionals and Dan now wants to reach more staff to ensure patients with sight loss receive accessible information and timely referrals to support services.

Sadly, an all-too-common experience Daniel and others with sight loss have had is to be told ‘There is nothing more we can do for you’ resulting in patients despairing and not knowing where to access support at such a traumatic time.

"Optical professionals are highly experienced in the anatomy of the eye and experts in lenses,” added Daniel, “but there is a big knowledge gap in understanding visual impairment and how it affects people on a daily basis.”

He also feels optometrists should be more aware of how assistive technology, mobility aids and support services as these can provide huge improvements in quality of life.

“The more optical professionals learn, the more people with sight loss will be empowered with the knowledge they need to move forward as is they who are generally the first point of contact in a person’s sight loss journey.”

You can purchase our Seeing Beyond the Eyes 3 CET Point e-learning bundle at half price until the end of September, providing you are a qualifying Optom or DO.

The Seeing Beyond the Eyes e-learning bundle normally costs £40 but can be purchased for just £20 until the end of September 2021 by using code SBEPR50 at checkout.

The course empowers you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to assist patients with low vision while making your practice more accessible and inclusive to improve their experience. It is suitable for both clinical and non-clinical staff and takes around three hours to complete.

It also teaches you how to refer low-vision patients to life changing support services that can help them through the trauma of diagnosis and plan for a different way of life.

The knowledge and skills you’ll acquire really will help to change lives, so to find out more, please visit https://www.visualisetrainingandconsultancy.com/training/cet-accredited-training/ then use the Seeing Beyond the Eyes button to enrol using discount code SBE50 at checkout to purchase this excellent bundle for just £20.

The SEE Summit, learn more:

August 2021

Sustainability in manufacture of frames, lenses and accessories is key to more eco-friendly optical practice – but what do manufacturers need to do?

Book your place at the inaugural SEE Summit on the Environment on 4 October 2021 and you can hear from James Conway, Millmead Optical Group CEO James Conway and a champion of sustainability.

The group has worked to reduce its environmental impact in the office, the production line and the product distribution, supporting Millmead’s overall mission to continuously find more efficient ways to improve the impact the business and industry may have on the environment. James says, “Our sustainability efforts are a journey, not a destination, and I will share how that journey can be navigated at the SEE Summit.” James will discuss some exciting projects in the pipeline and how sustainability should be at the forefront of everyone’s business operations.

The SEE Summit aims to promote environmental sustainability in the UK optical sector and contribute to the government’s goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It takes place in the run-up to the COP (Conference of the Parties) climate change summit in November 2021. The event is supported by the OSA and FODO as well as a host of other optical organisations.

Running from 7-8.30pm, the event offers a packed agenda with inspiring speakers talking about how they have moved towards environmental sustainability in practice and in manufacturing. Attendees will also receive practical advice on the changes that can be made at work.

Visit https://www.abdo.org.uk/events/see-event/ to book.

Double Vaccs Requirement for AAO meeting

August 2021

AAO: Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Required for All Registrants Attending Annual Meeting in New Orleans

The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s board of trustees has decided that proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all registrants attending the Academy’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

Every AAO 2021 attendee, all Academy staff, exhibitors, and guests will be required to show proof of vaccination before being allowed to enter the convention center, according to a “Health & Safety” message posted on AAO’s website.

Prior to arriving on site, attendees will be asked to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the FDA or the World Health Organization (WHO).

The following vaccines will be accepted:

Pfizer-BioNTech
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen
Moderna
AstraZeneca-Oxford
Sinopharm

The Academy will be working with a third-party vendor to manage proof of vaccination process. Instructions will be provided to all pre-registrants on how to verify your vaccination status by Wednesday, September 15.

If guests arrive at the convention center without having already completed the proof of vaccination process, it may result in unnecessary delays as we process and verify the information you provide, according to AAO.

For those who are unvaccinated, AAO is offering a virtual option for the annual meeting.

“If you are already registered and would like to switch your method of attendance to virtual, email a written request to registration@aao.org by Oct. 29. No processing fee will be assessed for moving your registration,” according to the Academy.

Other important information from AAO:

Definition of Fully Vaccinated

By November 10, you must be 2 weeks post your final dose:

Second dose in a 2-dose series, such as with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the one shot of a single-dose vaccine such as with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Switching from In-Person to Virtual

If you will not be fully vaccinated by Nov. 10, you can switch your registration to the virtual meeting by emailing registration@aao.org. Deadline is Oct. 29 to make the switch without penalty.

BABO announce 3 events in October 2021

August 2021

BABO Logo

The three events will be located in the Marriott Hotel at Heathrow and are as follows:

Saturday 2nd October - Monday 4th October OVT 3 - Vision and Learning Training Course

Ideally suited to optometrists with an interest in learning difficulties and with some experience of Behavioural Optometry. Prior attendance at OVT1 and OVT2 courses is essential, and attendance for all three days of this course is mandatory. This course brings together previous learning and its application to testing and therapy. The course covers basic theories of learning difficulties, the impact of visual problems on learning, testing, vision therapy and practice management.

Sunday 24th October - BABO's 30th Annual Meeting

Open to members and non-members, you are invited to our jam packed day, with guest and member speakers. The event offers a great chance to network and share ideas and experiences. For those staying into the evening there will be a relaxed meal to round off the day.

Monday 25th October - Wednesday 27th October OVT4 - Strabismus and Amblyopia, Optometric Assessment and Treatment Training Course

Practical instruction of vision therapy techniques that integrate the theory with practice will be the heart of this course.
Lens prescribing will be discussed in detail and case histories will be used to illustrate the important principles for effective lens prescribing. The format of this seminar has been reviewed with greater emphasis on therapy and will be of interest to those that have taken the course before as well as those new to the subject.

Experienced participants will gain strong insights that allow them to meet the needs of their patients more effectively. This course is designed for the experienced BABO member who has studied OVT1, OVT2 & OVT3 and who has practised Optometric Vision Therapy with at least 50 patients. Those with less experience or studies should find the course fascinating, and useful, but should not expect to introduce this approach into their practice without considerable further studies in Behavioural Optometric Vision Therapy.


All events will be held at the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel, Bath Road, Heathrow Airport, Hayes, UB3 5AN

For more information and to book please contact info@babo.co.uk

Contact: info@babo.co.uk to register

New Sponsor for Careers in Eyecare Campaign

August 2021

Careers in Eyecare, the award winning cross sector initiative to highlight the range of careers in eye care and eye wear, has received a boost as Woodspeen Training comes on board as a sponsor.

With over 30 years’ experience, Woodspeen Training is a well-established provider of Level 2 – Level 5 Apprenticeship and skills programmes. In the past year it has also begun to offer optical assistant apprenticeships.

Kay Bagshaw FBDO of Woodspeen Training says, “We are delighted to support the Careers in Eyecare campaign. Starting out as an Optical Assistant (OA) apprentice is the first step to a wide variety of potential careers, and at Woodspeen we are already helping young people learn the essential skills to become a great OA. We are looking forward to working with Careers in Eyecare to attract young people to this amazing industry where there is something for everyone, whether they are interested in health, technology, science, retail, business or fashion.”Nick Walsh of ABDO says: “Careers in Eyecare was born from a desire to do more to raise awareness of all of the great career opportunities available in our sector. The campaign aims to ensure that we have a future pipeline of new talent to keep the sector buoyant and fresh. Having Woodspeen as a sponsor helps us to increase the range of help, expertise and resources that we can offer to students, teachers and careers advisers. We look forward to working with Woodspeen and any other companies who would like to become sponsors too.”

Find out more about the campaign here. You can also find the campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The Careers in Eyecare campaign, which was launched by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians in 2020, is now sponsored by Woodspeen, Specsavers and Stepper (UK) Limited. The campaign is looking for further support. If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved, email Nick Walsh, nwalsh@abdo.org.uk.

ZEISS Innovation Week – Premiering new technologies

August 2021

This year Zeiss will introduce their new innovations at an exclusive virtual event:

21 – 23 September 2021

ZEISS Innovation Week! Join them on September 21 – 23, 2021 for the premiere of the latest integrated technologies advancing your workflow in cataract, corneal refractive and diagnostics.

Zeiss are excited to share with you our newest innovations during short, engaging virtual sessions with renown doctors and ZEISS experts.

Join for an introduction to the latest integrated technologies – connecting devices, data, and applications.

Learn about latest advancements

Renown doctors share first clinical experiences

One-hour sessions with choice of two time slots per day

Join here

Hospital Optometrists Annual Conference announced

August 2021

The Association of Optometrists has announced the programme for this year’s Hospital Optometrists Annual Conference (HOAC virtual), supported by Menicon and No7 Contact Lenses.

The virtual conference, offering a dedicated day of online education for those currently working in a hospital environment, or considering it, will take place on Saturday 25 September.

The day will consist of four webinars which will look at ocular oncology referral, emergency eye care, new perspectives on glaucoma and the use of artificial intelligence in predicting eye disease.

AOP Head of Education, Dr Ian Beasley, said: “We’re delighted to be able to facilitate this annual conference for those working in a secondary care setting. One of the key considerations for the sector right now is how we deliver events and training like this one, safely. So being able to run it virtually, without losing the essence of this important conference as a live event, is a real win.”

Dr Beasley continued, saying: “There is a great line up of speakers from diverse settings and backgrounds across the UK – expertly placed to share their insights.”

The programme includes speakers from Cardiff University, Google Health, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield.

Each webinar session has capacity for 1000 practitioners. The conference also includes two peer discussions, one of which is specifically for therapeutic prescribers. Spaces on the peer discussions are limited so early registration is advised.

ABDO extends Deadlines

August 2021

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

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. We know that completing all you need to apply for the course can take time. As a result, we are extending the application deadline for some of our most popular courses until 8 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 the Optical Assistant course, Senior Optical Assistant course, Ophthalmic Dispensing degree and diploma and Contact Lens certificate must be in by 8 August.

3 CET points available to Optoms and Dispensing Opticians

July 2021


The current CET cycle runs until the end of December - our Seeing Beyond the Eyes e-learning course enables qualifying Optoms and DOs to earn 3 points with the flexibility of online learning.

The course empowers you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to assist patients with low vision while making your practice more accessible and inclusive to improve their experience. It is suitable for both clinical and non-clinical staff and takes around three hours to complete.

It also teaches you how to refer low-vision patients to life changing support services that can help them through the trauma of diagnosis and plan for a different way of life.

The knowledge and skills you’ll acquire really will help to change lives, so to find out more and enrol, please visit

https://visualise.thinkific.com/bundles/seeing-beyond-the-eyes 

Apply now for courses at ABDO College

July 2021

Applications close 1 August for courses at ABDO College including Ophthalmic Dispensing, Contact Lens Certificate, Optical Assistant and Senior Optical Assistant.

Steve Hertz FBDO, Head of Operations at ABDO College says, “If you are looking at the next steps for your career now is the time to apply for courses starting this September.”

If you want to develop your knowledge as an optical assistant and gain the knowledge to allow you to apply for the ophthalmic dispensing course in a year’s time, the Optical Assistant and Senior Optical Assistant courses could be for you.

Apply for ABDO College’s Ophthalmic Dispensing diploma and degree courses to gain a professional qualification and develop your career as a dispensing optician.

Dispensing opticians who want to move into a more clinical role should look at the Contact Lens Certificate course which leads to the FBDO CL qualification.

All courses allow you to learn while you earn. Payment plans are available to allowing you or your employer to spread the cost over affordable monthly instalments.

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

College of Optometrists announces new accreditation of Professional Certificate in Glaucoma at University of Hertfordshire

July 2021

The University of Hertfordshire has been accredited as a provider of the Professional Certificate in Glaucoma by the College of Optometrists. This is the first higher qualification that the University of Hertfordshire has been accredited to offer. The course is designed to prepare optometrists to participate in formal referral refinement and ocular hypertension (OHT)/suspect chronic open-angle glaucoma (COAG) monitoring schemes and provides the core knowledge and practical skills required in the detection of glaucoma within a primary setting.

Lizzy Ostler, Director of Education at the College of Optometrists, said: “I’m delighted to see the University of Hertfordshire join the group of Higher Education providers who are accredited to offer a College Higher Qualification. The College’s Higher Qualifications enable optometrists to deliver enhanced community services and to develop professionally and progress in their careers. The courses are all designed to fit in with the lives of busy professionals and are proving popular as healthcare systems develop in response to change causes by the pandemic. This Professional Cert course offered by the University of Hertfordshire will enable more optometrists to train in the management of glaucoma and thus give patients better access to a wider range of eye healthcare closer to home.”

Colin Davidson FCOptom, Programme Lead and Principal Lecturer at University of Hertfordshire said: “We are delighted to have had our first higher qualification accredited by The College of Optometrists. With the knowledge gained through this certificate, optometrists can work safely and confidently to manage stable glaucoma patients in the community or co-manage complex glaucoma in hospital clinics. These qualifications allow optometrists to demonstrate an ability to provide the best patient care in their chosen area and level of qualification.”

The course is a mixture of online lectures, one day face-to-face teaching and one day of face-to-face assessments. It will begin in January 2022 and lasts a total of fifteen weeks. Enrolment starts on 27 January 2022.

The Professional Certificate in Glaucoma is part of a growing collection of higher qualifications developed by the College to enable optometrists to provide extended services in key areas such as contact lens practice, paediatrics, low vision and medical retina. Courses are undertaken on a part-time basis and are designed to fit with life in a busy practice or hospital department.

iDay has been rescheduled to late October

July 2021

The Independents Day (iDay) business symposium has been rescheduled for Sunday October 24 and with an added benefit for delegates who will receive £200 off if they purchase the More Profits More Often toolkit from the Independent Marketing Partnership.

The one-day symposium is returning to the venue where it all began in 2005, the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. The event will be supported by the iShow exhibition, enabling independents to meet up with suppliers face-to-face.

The More Profits More Often toolkit is a self-study programme which shows practice owners how they can increase their practice’s profit through applying strategies tried with a group of independents and proven to work.

The toolkit includes practical support such as a sales training video on how to dispense more profitable eyewear and telephone consultancy, as well as 25 professionally-written patient recall letters, texts and emails.

Before the event delegates can read the free Profitability Research Report offering 10 key insights from the research project and an analysis of the financial consequences of the pandemic.

Independents Day Director, Nick Atkins, said: “This toolkit is a comprehensive resource that has a lot of straightforward and practical advice for all independent opticians for improving financial performance. I’m pleased that delegates attending iDay21 will not only get a great day of insights into successfully establishing the business of myopia management within their practice, but additionally the benefits of attendance can continue through the excellent resource that is the More Profits More Often toolkit.”

Managing Director of the Independent Marketing Partnership, Graham Hutchison, added: “Delegates can use the programme and watch their practice’s profitability grow. This will be around £34,000 extra profit per year for a typical independent optician.”

The iDay21 event will focus on ‘Commercialising Myopia Management,’ with its keynote speaker US optometrist and entrepreneur Dr Gary Gerber. The other speakers include optometrist Sarah Morgan, Nick Black, chief executive of award-winning BBR Optometry and myopia control specialist optometrist Nick Dash.

“This is possibly the first meeting anywhere in the world focussed on changing our commercial approach from a transactional sales model that simply corrects paediatric myopia, to a therapeutic model of managing a child's myopic progression,” Mr Atkins concluded.

Early bird pricing is available until August 31. Individual booking for the event is £129 and for a practice team of at least three people its £99 per person, excluding VAT. For more information, visit www.independentsday.co.uk. The More Profits More Often toolkit will be available to iDay delegates for the discounted price of £595.

New e-learning course enhances skills when assisting people with visual impairments

July 2021

A new e-learning course to develop knowledge, skills and confidence when assisting people with a visual impairment has been launched by award-winning social businessman Dan Williams of Visualise Training and Consultancy.

Having lived with sight loss from childhood, Dan fully appreciates the challenges it brings. However, thanks to his lived and professional experiences, he understands what support is needed and has designed the course accordingly.

He says, “There are so many emotional and practical aspects to living with sight loss, so I wanted to design a course that will raise awareness and provide the knowledge and skills needed by everyone who regularly engages with people who have a sight impairment. There is often a fear of offending someone by offering assistance and not knowing how to guide, but the skills gained by learners gives them the confidence to overcome this.”

It covers identifying sight loss, eye conditions and their effects, emotional impacts, accessibility, assistive technologies, communication, mobility and sighted guiding techniques.

It provides an ideal induction or refresher tool, can be completed online from any location and can be used for CPD evidence if applicable.

SEE Summit booking now open

June 2021

Would you like to learn more about how opticians, optometrists and those working in the optical industry can work together to reduce our impact on the environment? You can now book to attend the inaugural SEE Summit on the Environment on 4 October 2021.

This event, which is supported by the Association of Optometrists (AOP), the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA), the College of Optometrists, the General Optical Council (GOC) and the Optical Suppliers Association (OSA), aims to bring together the industry to increase awareness of – and engagement with – Social, Ethical and Environmental (SEE) issues.

AOP Chief Executive, Adam Sampson, said: “The SEE Summit gives recognition to the vital area of environmental sustainability: facilitating the conversation around critical, tangible goals for the future of the industry. We’re pleased to be part of those conversations – helping our members, and the wider profession, take achievable steps to reduce waste and improve sustainability.”

Daryl Newsome, Vice President of ABDO, commented: “We all recognise the importance of climate change and pollution. Many different organisations within optics are making great efforts to make our industries and professions environmentally sustainable. This event will bring together individuals and organisations to share best practices in an impartial and collaborative way.”

Luke Stevens-Burt, Chief Executive Officer of the BCLA, said: “It is excellent to see this ABDO event lined up. Environmental action is everyone’s responsibility – not just the remit of G7 leaders – and it is important for eyecare professionals to consider their place in this.”
Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive Officer of the College of Optometrists, stated: “We are proud to support the SEE Summit and its core goal of increasing awareness of environmental sustainability. I am looking forward to seeing the range of initiatives currently taking place in the fight against climate change, and hope that this event will see industry and the profession coming together, and involving patients, to reduce environmental impact.”

Lesley Longstone Chief Executive Officer of the GOC said, “We are proud to support the Social, Ethical and Environmental issues summit and its mission to highlight the importance of sustainability. It’s important that the sector reduces its environmental impact, and the GOC is committed to doing the same. I look forward to working together to bring about positive, lasting change.”

OSA chairman, Stuart Burn, said the organisation was “delighted to be a part of the first SEE Summit in October, where optical bodies can help shape a better future for our planet.” Stuart added: “This fantastic initiative will bring positive change and lasting effects to the optical sector and the environment we inhabit.”

The event aims to promote environmental sustainability in the UK optical sector and contribute to the government’s goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It will take place in the run-up to the COP (Conference of the Parties) climate change summit in November 2021.

Running from 7-8.30pm, the summit will offer a packed agenda with inspiring speakers talking about how they have moved towards environmental sustainability in practice and in manufacturing. Attendees will also receive practical advice on the changes that can be made at work.

Visit https://www.abdo.org.uk/events/see-event/ to book.

IOA SILMO 2021 Award Nominees

June 2021

The International Opticians Association (IOA) has announced the finalists for the 2021 IOA Silmo International Optician of the Year Award. The finalists are:

• John Billings (New Zealand)
• Miguel Gianinni (Brazil)
• Clive Marchant (UK)
• Eric Milot (Canada)
• Jean-Franck Pineau (France)
• Helen Whitaker (Canada)

Fiona Anderson BSc(Hons) FBDO R SMC(Tech) FEAOO, President of the International Opticians Association says, “Having missed this opportunity to celebrate the optical profession last year due to the pandemic, we are delighted to be able to engage in 2021 to find the International Optician of the Year. The standard of nominees has been incredibly high and has led to an exciting shortlist of six dedicated and inspiring professionals from around the globe. We wish them all luck in the final stages of judging.”

As well as being able to demonstrate that they are a qualified dispensing optician in the country where they practice, the winner of the award will display:

• Professionalism – the client is at the heart of their business and receives excellent care.
• Excellent communication skills – both personally and via social media.
• Entrepreneurial spirit – with solid business acumen highlighted through the success of their enterprise.
• Innovation – within their business model / product offer / shop design.
• Specialisation – with a reputation in a specific branch of optics
• Creativity – both in the products they offer and the way they practice.
• Engagement – with the profession, the community, charitable endeavours and industry.
• Advocacy - championing the profession of dispensing.

The shortlisted nominees will now complete a final dossier for consideration by the special jury. The members of the international jury will cast their votes in the weeks leading up to Silmo, Paris to choose the laureate.

The winner will be announced during Silmo Paris, 2021. The winner will receive the coveted title, a certificate, lifetime membership of the IOA, flights for two to Paris for Silmo 2022 and 2 nights’ accommodation in a four star hotel.

To find out more visit www.ioassn.org/award

The future is bright with Essilor

June 2021

Essilor Ltd is hosting an exclusive virtual event, ‘The Future is Bright’, on 23 June presented by broadcaster and author, Clare Balding.

Clare Balding will interview a panel of Essilor’s top experts in a roundtable group discussion on the optical retail market and unveil its brand-new Customer Partnership Programme.

Tim Precious, managing director at Essilor Ltd said: “Independent ECPs are invited join us for our exciting event where they’ll find out about new benefits and tools to help them grow, stay competitive and build a brighter future.

“It’s also a great chance to hear the panel discuss the state of the optical industry and listen to our insights on the latest optical trends and consumer attitudes.”

The Essilor panel is made up of managing director Tim Precious, commercial director Alan Pitcher, director of instruments Paul Cumber and marketing director at UKIN Océane Couybes.

The event, which will be held from 6:00- 7:00pm on 23 June is available for all independent ECPs who can register for a pass via https://futureisbright.co.uk/

A wide range of prizes are also up for grabs including places to join Essilor's ECP event at 5-star luxury golfing resort, Gleneagles, in September, plus Egg Barbeques and Amazon vouchers.

Join Doctor Wes McCann's Clinical Lecture on Dry Eye Disease. Webinar June 28.

June 2021

Ocuco Clinical Lecture


Ocuco supports a clinical webinar on Dry Eye Disease (DED) on Monday, June 28, at 6 pm BST.

The webinar will be presented by Doctor Wes McCann, a Doctor of Optometry practising in Ontario, Canada. Dr. McCann is an active member of the optical community and has served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Association of Optometrists from 2016 to 2018.

Wes McCann

The topic "Dry Eye Disease: Building a Thriving Dry Eye Practice" aims to present the latest technological advancements in DED treatment. "Dry Eye Disease (DED) is a multifactorial disease that has been treated with over-the-counter artificial tears from your local drugstore for decades. With the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society's Dry Eye Workshop II (TFOS DEWS II) publication, there is an entirely new paradigm to manage this disease", explains Dr. McCann.

During the one-hour webinar, Dr. Wes McCann will discuss several aspects of Dry Eye Disease, including:

• The aetiology of Dry Eye Disease (DED)
• TFOS DEWS II highlights
• The guidelines for performing a full Dry Eye assessment
• In-office treatments to consider adding to your practice
• The importance of at-home therapy and a comprehensive treatment plan approach

In addition, the webinar will cover the financial benefits of treating and managing Dry Eye Disease. The lecture is accredited for one CET point, and it is COPE approved for 1 hour of CE credit. The online event is free of charge, and it is organised by CETpoints.com, supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Ocuco.

The Presenter

Wes McCann, Doctor of Optometry, owns six practices across Ontario, Canada. A graduate of Western University and Nova Southeastern University, he has earned three Honors Bachelor of Science degrees, an accelerated MBA and a Doctorate of Optometry.

McCann is also a professional consultant for Johnson & Johnson and has experience lecturing on contact lenses, Dry Eye, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment for J&J, B&L, Labtician and ZEISS. From 2016-2018, he served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Association of Optometrists. In 2017, Wes was nominated for the Top 20 Under 40 Award for business achievements and community involvement in London, Ontario, Canada.

Summary

Interactive Clinical Webinar

Topic: "Dry Eye Disease: Building a Thriving Dry Eye Practice"
Presented by: Wes McCann, Doctor of Optometry
When: Monday, June 28, 2021
Time: 10 am PDT | 1 pm EDT | 6 pm BST
Registrations open at: www.ocuco.com/upcoming-clinical-lectures/

Webinar on Dry Eye and Lid Hygiene

June 2021

Sarah Farrant

Positive Impact (PI) has released a webinar about dry eye and lid hygiene protocols featuring a leading national expert in therapeutics and dry eye management.

Sarah Farrant, who represents the UK as an ambassador for the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS), shares her best practice tips on the webinar. She discusses her experience with the NuLids electronic lid cleaning device, as well as how she has started incorporating the use of a new antimicrobial spray, Purifeyes, in practice. The webinar can be accessed here

Purifeyes employs an advanced proprietary hypochlorous technology to provide highly effective hygiene and protection, without causing irritation to the delicate ocular surface or periocular skin.

Purifeyes is a pH-balanced solution that represents a step-change in ocular and periocular hygiene and is recommended for the treatment and prevention of eyelid margin inflammation and protection from it.


PurifeyesDuring the webinar, PI’s Director of Marketing and Professional Services, Nick Atkins, discusses with Sarah the role and value of hypochlorous, as well as how it dovetails into her dry eye patients home care regimen.

Sarah explained that, while the mechanical action of using a lid cleaner dislodges eyelid debris, it does not address the cause of blepharitis. Adding an antimicrobial agent such as Purifeyes to the patient regimen, should work alongside a cleanser to reduce the bioburden contributing to eyelid inflammation and consequently, reduce symptoms.

Nick said: “Hypochorlous acid is the molecule naturally produced by neutrophils during the immune system’s innate response. Purifeyes uses an oxidising action which is highly effective and also non-cytotoxic, causing no harm to human skin, eyelashes or the ocular surface.

“Purifeyes’ manufacturing process is proprietary and results in an extremely pure hypochlorous solution at almost half the concentration of more conventionally produced competitors.”

To celebrate this recent addition to its best-in-class Dry Eye Zone product portfolio, PI is offering 10 packs of Purifeyes for the price of eight. A free sample is available on request for professional evaluation, while stocks last.

How digital eye care referrals will transform care

May 2021

by Claire Roberts (NHSEI clinical lead and optometrist)

Claire Roberts, NHSEI clinical lead and optometrist, reflects on an important moment in eye care transformation as NHS regions start to implement referral and image sharing solutions funded by NHSX through the eye care electronic referral service (EeRS) programme.

I qualified as an optometrist in the 1990s, at a time when mobile phones were a luxury. There were no smartphones or tablets, we were just starting to use the internet, watched DVDs and listened to music on CDs and had no concept of live streaming. Despite many changes in the way technology has become embedded in our everyday lives and in optical practice, this has not necessarily been the case for sending referrals, with referral methods remaining largely unchanged in all that time. In my pre-registration year after university, if I needed to refer a patient after a sight test, I had to hand-write referrals and put them in the post to the patient’s GP. Roll on 30 years to 2021 and amazingly, in many areas, this is largely unchanged, with referrals still often paper-based, and sent by post and often via GP.

This year, thanks to funding from NHSX, this is about to change. Regional NHS teams will be rolling out digital referral solutions to connect high street optometrists with hospital eye services and other eye care providers. This will allow us to attach data and images to the referral and provide quick and easy access directly to the hospital.

This project has been developing at pace across England to meet a longstanding need from high street optical practices delivering NHS eye care services. Around 6,000 optical practices deliver NHS sight tests and other NHS eyecare services such as urgent eye care, diagnostic tests or reviewing patients with long-standing eye conditions like glaucoma.

Mounting pressures in hospital eye services, exacerbated by the pandemic, have led to a natural ambition to make better use of high street optometrists, so more patients can be seen closer to home and capacity is released in hospital-led services. Through EeRS, we can send referrals and images more efficiently, communicate quickly with hospitals and provide more eye care services directly to patients.

Since December, we have worked at pace to scale up EeRS across England. We have five suppliers now delivering EeRS solutions across four regions and contracts, award recommendations and procurements ongoing across the rest of the country. In total, this will bring us to covering 40million of England’s population in just 6 months.

The scale and speed at which these systems are being implemented owes a lot to the collaborative working of all the people involved, in particular teams from NHS England and NHS Improvement, ICSs, CCGs and leaders across the eye care professions. Their willingness to cooperate and focus on the overarching goal has truly made a difference.

It feels like this is a moment of real change and I’m really excited about the potential of EeRS to transform care. It’s been a long time coming, but if we can keep up this pace and make the most of the first year’s funding we can really focus on getting digital referral systems rolled out and help our patients benefit from the best eye care we can give them.

ABDO announce further freeze on fees

May 2021

Following positive negotiations, ABDO College can announce that fees for the BSc(Hons) in Ophthalmic Dispensing will be frozen for academic year 2021/22.

The BSc(Hons) in Ophthalmic Dispensing is offered by ABDO College in collaboration with Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU). ABDO College has successfully negotiated the fees freeze with CCCS in order to support current and prospective students during a period that has been financially challenging for both employers and individuals.

ABDO College’s Head of Operations Steve Hertz says, “It is very encouraging to be able to freeze fees, and I hope this allows more students to start or continue their studies this Autumn. Along with the payment plans now offered by ABDO College, this makes ABDO College’s blended learning approach accessible to as many trainee dispensing opticians as possible. It has been great to welcome back small groups of students on block release at the college over the last month, and we are preparing for a busy Autumn term with options in place to ensure all students’ education continues uninterrupted and students can study with confidence.”

This news follows the announcement that ABDO College is also freezing fees on all other courses, including those for optical assistants and contact lens and low vision courses for qualified dispensing opticians.

New AOP webinar series for optical teams

May 2021

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is launching a new webinar series, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson Vision, aimed at upskilling the practice team in key areas.

The series of four webinars is designed to fulfil a spectrum of training needs, covering the most common issues and challenges faced by dispensing opticians, optical assistants and frontline workers across optical teams.

Speaking about the series, AOP Head of Education, Dr Ian Beasley, said: “These new additions to the AOP education programme are designed to enable the whole optical practice team to flourish and grow their skill set, which is why we’ve made them open to AOP members and non-members.

“Each webinar looks at a specific aspect of working in practice – from dilemmas sometimes faced as a frontline team member, dispensing, visual fields and OCT, to contact lens recruitment and retention.”

The webinars, which are free to attend, will take place in June and July 2021. For more information and to register visit www.aop.org.uk/events

Let’s enjoy real contact again at SILMO Paris 2021!

May 2021

CET Knowledge from Essilor on Dementia


Join us at SILMO Paris, at Paris Nord Villepinte, 24 to 27 September 2021.

Opchat News is looking forward to being at this year's SILMO 2021 in September and we will be featruing UK suppliers who are also hoping to showcase their goods at the show.

Amélie Morel, Chairwoman of SILMO Paris sent this message to us:

Last Thursday, the French government announced a plan to progressively release the country’s lock-down measures. This officially confirms what we have been anticipating: that trade fairs, conferences and exhibitions will be able to open. Beginning on June 30th, there will be no maximal capacity for such events, as long as the health measures still in force are observed.

The benefits of worldwide vaccination campaigns and their widespread acceleration, the loosening of international travel conditions, the establishment of a European health pass, and the obvious eagerness of professionals to reunite enable us today to confirm that Silmo Paris 2021 will take place.

“After two years without any major international assemblies, the reunion of optical and eyewear industry professionals will only be more intense, I’m sure. The whole team of SILMO Paris is hard at work to prepare this recovery edition, and we are looking forward to seeing you! We can’t wait to amaze you once again with the talent of these enthusiastic professionals. We can’t wait to enjoy the delight of discovery, the opportunity for encounters and the conviviality of discussions. It is clear that all the technology in the world will never replace the power and emotion of a physical event...”

So join us from September 24th to 27th at SILMO Paris to rediscover the fulfilment of real-life encounters, and to experience an edition filled with humanised business, creative interactions and positive energies.

ABDO launches syllabus review

May 2021

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) is calling for feedback from across the profession as it launches a review of the syllabus of its FBDO qualification to ensure that student dispensing opticians are prepared for the roles of the future.

ABDO’s Level 6 diploma in ophthalmic dispensing enables students to register with the GOC and practise using the protected title of ‘dispensing optician’. The syllabus sets out which areas students study, and the depth and breadth of what they study in each area.

Dispensing opticians’ future roles are likely to be affected by a range of factors, including the growing number of older people in the UK, the increasing prevalence of childhood myopia, increased delivery of eye care in community practice rather than in hospital, the opportunity for dispensing opticians to carry out the refraction element of a sight test, the increasing use of technology in community practice and the growing focus on preventative healthcare.

As a result, a number of areas might need to be added to the FBDO syllabus or covered in greater depth. There is a limit to how much material can be included in the syllabus, so ABDO is also seeking views on what should be no longer covered or covered in less detail.

ABDO President Jo Holmes says, "ABDO is working on the syllabus review with the aim of giving our students an excellent baseline with our FBDO qualification. This qualification should continue to open up many opportunities for our students once they qualify that can then be built on, including in areas like paediatrics, myopia management, low vision and refraction. We are offering sectors of the profession as well as patients and the public the opportunity to comment on the syllabus review and what the priorities should be in their view for student dispensing opticians of the future. We want to ensure that the profession can evolve to meet future needs, and the syllabus is key to this. Please share your views.”

Read the consultation paper and share your response to the consultation at https://www.abdo.org.uk/regulation-and-policy/syllabus-review/.

The consultation closes on 22 July 2021.

ESSILOR intoduces latest equipment at 100% OPTICAL Online

May 2021

Essilor Ltd is launching a new compact Vision Station at 100% Optical Online 2021 and invites ECPs to book an appointment to hear about it first.

Essilor Vision S 700
Paul Cumber, Essilor Ltd instruments director, said: “We’re looking forward to introducing the brand-new Vision-S 700 which promises to provide an immersive experience that patients are guaranteed to remember.

“Thanks to its compact all in one design it offers great space saving, and it can be operated by a keypad at a safe distance of seven metres making it ideal for practices looking to incorporate social distancing into an eye examination.

“Our sales team will explain how simple it is for both ECPs and patients to use thanks to its unique smart tests and algorithms which allow the refraction to be carried out in three minutes whilst maintaining academic accuracy allowing for increased productivity.

“We’ll also be reminding attendees about our innovative equipment to diagnose and treat dry eye disease in practice as we recognise this is an emerging growth area to maximise this year.

“If these are areas of interest, then please book an appointment to talk to us via the 100% Optical portal about how we can support you in practice.”

CET opportunities

Two Essilor Ltd sponsored webinars will take place as part of the wider CET programme on Sunday 23 May.

A new approach to subjective refraction is presented by Dominique Meslin at 13.30.

Dominique Meslin is the director of professional relations and technical affairs for Essilor Europe. He trained as an optometrist and is the author of several scientific papers and many Essilor technical publications.

This in-depth, technical article with MCQs will review the principles of a new vectorial method for determining the corrective cylinder and presents the rationale for an associated automated cylinder search algorithm. This is in comparison with the, generally unchanged, refraction technique traditionally used to determine the corrective cylinder for a prescription. Based on a strong understanding of refraction principles, it aims to challenge and raise question of new methods of determining cyl power.

Dry eye in the digital age is presented by Nick Dash at 17.15.

Nick Dash is an optometric director at the Matrix Eye Clinic and a leading expert in the dry eye field.

The session will highlight specific diagnostic techniques and innovative technologies. Focusing on meibography, lipid layer thickness, tear volume measurements, digital imaging and communications to offer differential diagnosis of different types of dry eye disease, evaporative or aqueous deficient dry eye. The presentation will draw upon the latest information from scientific papers and including the learnings from The TFOS dry eye reports.

For more information or to book an appointment visit here

Extra CET opportunities with Fresh Content from Essilor E-Academy

April 2021

CET Knowledge from Essilor on Dementia
Essilor Ltd has introduced new CET content on its E-Academy platform to provide registered ECPs extra opportunities to gain points across a wide range of competencies.

With nine months to go in the current CET cycle and the General Optical Council reporting that three quarters (76%) of registered ECPs are yet to obtain all their CET requirements, the E-Academy is a useful online resource.

The site is updated regularly with free educational content for all eye care professionals including articles, videos and clinical case studies and hosts many hours of CET content covering numerous competencies and topics.




Dr. Andy Hepworth, professional relations manager at Essilor Ltd, said: "The site launched in 2019 as part of Essilor’s ongoing commitment to ECPs and it's been a pleasure to support registered practitioners with this wide range of approved content, for them to enjoy reading whilst gaining valuable CET points.

“This last year has been disruptive for the industry and it’s understandable that some ECPs may be slightly behind schedule in terms of CET points. That’s where we hope the E-Academy can really help with its rich tapestry of easily accessible education and training.”

New modules:

Dementia & sight loss

This article will focus on the links between dementia and sight loss and how practitioners can help to give those affected suitable care, solutions, and a better quality of vision. Whilst it is commonly known that the majority of dementia diagnoses affects the elderly, with one in six people over the age of 80 suffering from it, it is also true that over 42,000 people in the UK with dementia are under the age of 65.

CET Knowledge from Essilor on Blue Light

What is blue light?

This module covers the topic of blue light in detail. Starting with what blue light actually is and how ECPs can differentiate between the different parts of it - that being blue violet and blue turquoise. It will explore how the term ‘blue light’ is fairly broad and does not necessarily pose a potential danger to vision and ocular health.

Visit here for further information.

The International Opticians Association (IOA) has opened applications for the 2021 IOA Silmo International Optician of the Year Award

April 2021

The event, recognises the importance of the optician in the optical business.

Fiona Anderson BSc(Hons) FBDO R SMC(Tech) FEAOO, President of the International Opticians Association says, “We are delighted to launch the IOA Silmo Optician of the Year Award again in 2021. The calibre of previous entrants and winners has been astonishing and we hope this year continues to highlight the skills and talents of opticians from around the world. We eagerly await this year’s entrants and are excited to review the applications from outstanding opticians worldwide.”

As well as being able to demonstrate that they are a qualified dispensing optician in the country where they practice, the winner of the award will display the following attributes:

• Professionalism – the client is at the heart of their business and receives excellent care.
• Excellent communication skills – both personally and via social media.
• Entrepreneurial spirit – with solid business acumen highlighted through the success of their enterprise.
• Innovation – within their business model / product offer / shop design.
• Specialisation – with a reputation in a specific branch of optics
• Creativity – both in the products they offer and the way they practice.
• Engagement – with the profession, the community, charitable endeavours and industry.
• Advocacy - championing the profession of dispensing.

IOA members, country members and industry partners may nominate opticians worldwide. The nominees will be contacted and asked to fill in a dossier. The dossiers will be scrutinised by a panel made up of industry experts. A shortlist of up to four people will be established and the winner will be announced during the prestigious Silmo d’Or ceremony in Paris France.

Nominations should be sent to Elaine Grisdale at elainegrisdale@yahoo.co.uk before May 7 2021 with a paragraph stating why the person should be considered for this coveted award taking into account the criteria above.

A shortlist will then be drawn up after approval from the IOA Board and the shortlisted nominees will be contacted to fill in the final dossier for consideration by the special jury. This judging process will be completed by 15 August 2021. The winner will be announced at SILMO Paris.

As well as the prestigious award, the winner will also win a trip to Silmo 2022.

To find out more visit www.ioassn.org/award

Programme announced for business symposium iDay21

April 2021

Early-bird booking has opened for the popular Independents Day business symposium and the full programme has been announced. Reported erlier this year (see original report)

The one-day event is back following a hiatus of over two years and is returning to the venue and date where it all began in 2005. It will take place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on Sunday July 4.

The symposium will be supported by the iShow exhibition, enabling independents to meet up with suppliers face-to-face. The event sponsors are Visioneering Technologies Inc. (VTI), Birmingham Optical, Topcon, Bausch + Lomb, SynergEyes, Essilor and Positive Impact.

The iDay21 event will focus on ‘The Business of Myopia,’ with its keynote speakers, US optometrist and entrepreneur Dr Gary Gerber OD and his co-founder at Treehouse Eyes, Matt Oerding. Treehouse Eyes is probably the first dedicated myopia management clinic anywhere in the world. Dr Gerber will highlight the challenges and opportunities in establishing the business which currently boasts nearly 50 locations in the US. Mr Oerding will focus on marketing myopia management.

Event organiser Nick Atkins said: “This is the first conference held in the UK dedicated to myopia progression management. In fact, it is possibly the first meeting anywhere in the world focussed on changing our commercial approach from a transactional sales model that simply corrects paediatric myopia, to a therapeutic model of managing a child's myopic progression.”

Other speakers include myopia control specialist optometrist Nick Dash, renowned speaker and communication guru, Sarah Morgan and Nick Black, CEO of award-winning BBR Optometry, who will look at charging for myopia management.

Mr Atkins added: “Considering myopia as a disease that can be treated and ensuring no child is left behind, is the biggest step change in how we practise since the inception of the NHS, not only from a clinical perspective, but from a business one too.”

Event co-organiser David Goad concluded: “With the devastation the pandemic has caused business, it seems appropriate that one of the first live events of 2021 will be focussed on business success, more than clinical skills. We look forward to seeing practitioners on 4th July and celebrating our independence, in all its forms.”

Individual early-bird booking for the event is £129 by May 23 but practices booking for a group of three or more will pay just £99 per person (excluding VAT).

One more sign of emerging "normality".SILMO 2021

April 2021

SILMO 2021 Septmber 24 to 27

The attractiveness of SILMO Paris is reinforced with each edition.

Year after year, the event federates an increasing number of professionals of the optical and eyewear industry around the same objective: to explore the future of a profession that is undergoing profound changes.To visit SILMO Paris is to travel through time in pursuit of a glimpse of one’s own future.

To visit SILMO Paris is to access a multidimensional space where the latest technologies and the trends of the future converge, meet and agglomerate to bring forth new projects, rewarding collaborations, and unique ideas.

So much more than just a fair, SILMO Paris is – now more than ever – the key event of the year for the optical world, and the place where brands and opticians encounter tomorrow’s business and their own future successes.

The Future is SILMO

ABDO College, first day back!

April 2021

ABDO College has welcomed back its first group of students today after a year of online teaching.

Small groups of first and third year students will be attending in coming weeks for focussed practical sessions to compliment the in depth online teaching they have already received this academic year.

ABDO College Head of Operations Steve Hertz FBDO says, “We are delighted to be welcoming back our first group of students to the College building today – just over a year since Lockdown 1.

The feedback around online teaching has been really positive, however a consistent theme mentioned by our students was their will to get back to the College. After the Government roadmap was announced in January, the process of risk assessment as well as class preparation got fully underway and we are so pleased to be in the position to offer intensive practical tuition to our Year 1 and 3 dispensing students who have their all-important end of year practical exams this summer.

Welcome back folks, we’ve missed you!”

To find out more about the College and to apply for courses starting in September, visit www.abdocollege.org.uk/courses.

Join an interactive free CET webinar addressing data security needs in sight care

April 2021

Ocuco supports an interactive session centred on addressing data security in optometry on Wednesday 28 April, at 6 p.m. BST.

The webinar will see Optometrist Christopher Bagot of Bagot Opticians raise the security concerns central to providing optometry services across the UK. Security gurus Dom Clulow and Darragh Leahy will then share their expertise in addressing these concerns.

The webinar aims to raise awareness around the importance of maintaining data integrity from both a practical and legal perspective. During the one-hour session, attendees will also have the opportunity to learn more about the steps that can be taken to safeguard data.

Topics covered will include:

• The importance of addressing patient data security needs
• Data security regulatory requirements
• Mitigating the risk of a malware attack
• Factors to consider when selecting a PMS solution

The webinar is accredited for one CET point and attendance is free of charge.

Those interested in attending can register at www.ocuco.com/uk/security-cet-webinar/

Speakers

Christopher Bagot qualified as an optometrist in 2003; he now works in a team of 22 staff including, his father, brother and wife, in a group of four independent practices. Christopher has always had a particular interest in IT and takes a hands-on role in its provision.

Dom Clulow is a retail solutions architect with proven successful large-scale program delivery across complex IT infrastructure and business functions. He is an expert in advancing IT Governance with a business-led acumen guiding the delivery of innovative retail system applications and bespoke advancements.

Darragh Leahy has been with Ocuco for 7 years and currently holds the position of Head of Cloud and Infrastructure Services. Darragh holds academic qualifications in various fields from a number of institutions and is a recipient of multiple professional certifications in the field of IT.

Summary

Interactive CET Webinar
Topic: Addressing Data Security in Sight Care
When: Wednesday, 28 April 2021
Time: 6 p.m. BST
Sign up: www.ocuco.com/uk/security-cet-webinar/

Ocuco is a leading provider of software solutions to the eyecare retail, optometry, ophthalmology and lab markets worldwide. It is a long term supporter of Opchat News and PHN and helps us provide the free independent news resource to over 7500 opticians every day.

Ocuco leads the UK and Irish optical markets with their flagship products Acuitas and Innovations.

Acuitas software suite includes Point of Sale, Practice Management, EHR and eCommerce software solutions for eyecare professionals. Ocuco's leading Lab Management solution, Innovations Enterprise, manages thousands of labs worldwide.

Ocuco was established in 1993 in Dublin by CEO Leo Mac Canna. The company maintains its corporate headquarters in Dublin, with offices in the USA, Canada, the UK, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, China and the Netherlands.

AOP launches virtual events to secure interactive CET points

April 2021

Coinciding with the final year of the CET cycle, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) is delivering tailored online events to ensure practitioners can gain interactive points during the pandemic.

For the first time, 100% Optical will be delivered as a two-day virtual event between Sunday 23 and Monday 24 May. On Sunday 23 May, the optical community will come together to learn in the CET-accredited sessions and network with suppliers. Monday 24 May is exclusively designed for eyewear buyers and business owners to meet.

Sessions will be covering a range of topics. The first session on Sunday will be delivered by the AOP’s clinical negligence legal team – looking at how to spot the red flag signs and symptoms of intracranial tumours. The following session will look at the importance of OCT imaging for detecting peripheral retinal disease and the third session will provide an update on myopia management uptake by practitioners.

Another highlight session will look at the role of the tear film in relation to ocular health and contact lens wear.

Commenting on the AOP’s programme, Dr Ian Beasley, Head of Education said: “The AOP-led programme at 100% Optical provides an opportunity to update practitioners on key clinical topics while also offering interactive CET points across a range of core competencies.

“In addition to the education delivery at 100% Optical in May, an extensive range of interactive CET will be available online throughout the year, offering webinars and peer discussions with key target groups in mind, including locums, independent practitioners and therapeutic prescribers.” he continued.

This week, the AOP is launching the April-July events programme. Online events providing interactive CET include a locum webinar on how the IR35 off-payroll legislation impacts locums, an online peer discussion for therapeutic prescribers and a new health and wellbeing webinar on emotional intelligence.

Visit 100% Optical for more information and to pre-register for the event.

To view and book the AOP’s virtual events calendar visit www.aop.org.uk/events

15 winners announced at prestigious West Midlands healthcare awards

April 2021

The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) has revealed the winners of its esteemed Meridian Celebration of Innovation Awards. The 15 winning teams, individuals or projects from across the West Midlands were announced in last night’s (30 March) virtual ceremony, hosted by TV personality Des Coleman.

Since its launch in 2015, the programme has been celebrating individuals and organisations that are revolutionising healthcare across the West Midlands with new ideas, technologies, and initiatives.

This year, winners have been selected for their continuous work in implementing positive changes to patient care and the region’s healthcare economy; in spite of the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The winners for each category are:

Above and Beyond’ Adoption of Innovation Award

• Winner: Implementation of the PIGF test at UHCW to rule out pre-eclampsia
• Highly Commended: SaTH NHS Trust NELA team

Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Management Innovation Award

• Winner: Impulse AF: Improving outcomes for AF patients in the West Midlands

Driving Digital Transformation Innovation Award

• Winner: Dignio Connected Care: Oximetry at Home with Dudley CCG & WMAHSN
• One to Watch: Yokeru
• One to Watch: SnoRelief

Medicines Optimisation and Management Innovation Award

• Winner: A collaborative stakeholder approach to the development of a streamlined medication ordering process

Mental Health Resilience Innovation Award

• Winner: UHB Coronavirus: Your health and well-being
• One to Watch: 24/7 Patient Access Platform for remote monitoring and management of chronic patients by their GP

Meridian Innovation and Improvement Champion Award

• Winner: Gill Phillips - Creator of the ‘Whose Shoes?’ approach which ensures all voices are heard and reduces inequalities
• Winner: Dr Hesham Abdalla – Pioneer of the first healthcare timebank in the UK, supporting over 1,100 members to improve healthcare services
• Winner: Dr Sarb Clare – A national leader in Point of Care Ultrasound who has led and delivered critical education and training in this essential tool
• Winner: Nina Johns – Creator of a remote monitoring solution for expectant mothers and passionate advocate for innovation in maternity
• Winner: Jodie Winfield – Clinical member of the STP Digital Innovation Group and provider of a community-based service to support patients in the Wolverhampton region remain in their home
• Winner: Sarah Sherwood – Implementor of Observation and Escalation of Deteriorating Residents training across 5 CCGS, including over 300 care homes, during the COVID-19 pandemic

MidTECH Award for Best NHS-Developed Medical Technology Innovation

• Winner: The Volunteer Platform: WHAT Edition
• Highly Commended: Patient Connect: Technology based virtual visiting for hospital patients to reduce social isolation
• One to Watch: Fit 4 Surgery

Patient Safety and Improvement Award

• Winner: Embedding Parent Knowledge and Ergonomic Principles in a Paediatric Early Warning System

Workforce Innovation Award

• Winner: Hexitime: the national skill exchange for improving health and care services

Meridian Award – Special Focus on COVID

• Winner: Safe Nasendoscopy assisted procedure (SNAP) by endoscope-i

Tammy Holmes, Head of Innovation Exchange at WMAHSN, said: “We’d like to congratulate all of the winners at this year’s Meridian Celebration of Innovation Awards. We received many fantastic entries and are truly humbled by the work that has been taking place within the region, in what has been an incredibly challenging year.

“The awards ceremony may have been virtual, but we still had a fantastic evening celebrating the successes of those seeking to address challenges and offer tangible improvements to our industry and patient care. I would like to extend a big thank you to the many incredible innovators entering this year’s Awards and to all those who tuned in to celebrate with us.”

Anyone who didn’t have chance to view the awards ceremony on the night can catch up online here: https://www.meridianawards.co.uk/

Meridian Innovation Exchange is a platform open to any individuals or organisations to find healthcare innovations, share ideas, build groups, and grow networks to collaborate and improve healthcare provision across the West Midlands.

The platform helps users showcase their ideas, spread good practice, and bring about change with collaborators from across sectors.

ABDO College freezes Course Fees

April 2021

ABDO College has announced that, for all courses where it sets the fees, fees will be frozen for the 2021/22 session.

Applications will open on 1 April for the ophthalAmic dispensing courses, contact lens and low vision courses and optical support courses including Optical Assistant and Senior Optical Assistant. The decision to freeze fees has been made to reflect economic disruption faced by many optical practitioners in the past year, which still continue for some.

ABDO College Head of Operations Steve Hertz FBDO says, “It is great to be able to tell current student and those hoping to apply for the coming session that course fees will remain at 2020/21 levels for 2021/22. We feel it is important to recognise the difficult year that practitioners have had, and that for many trade continues to be disrupted, which will in turn affect the amount they can invest in training. It is part of ABDO College’s mission to encourage as many people as possible to upskill, which could mean signing up their support staff to the Optical Assistant course, or encouraging committed optical assistants to go on the work towards their FBDO diploma. In freezing the fees we hope that as many people as possible will be able to continue their career development.”

To find fees for each course and to apply, visit www.abdocollege.org.uk/courses.

Entrepreneur Academy launched to support health and social innovators across West Midlands

April 2021

The Meridian Health and Social Care Entrepreneur Academy is launching this month (April 2021) which aims to support health and social care innovators across the West Midlands.

The Academy is being led by West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) and will be supported by the Black Country and West Birmingham Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP). The new Academy will see a programme of activities launched to identify entrepreneurs within health and social care and develop their healthcare solutions, while addressing current priorities within the West Midlands.

The Academy has two entry points; an intensive, free boot camp that allows attendees to explore entrepreneurship and develop transferable skills. This will be open to all health and social care professionals within the Black Country & West Birmingham STP and registration will be managed through Eventbrite.

An additional six-month, on-the-job workforce development programme will also provide health and social care professionals with the commercial skills, knowledge and experience needed to successfully develop and spread innovative solutions to the health and social care challenges being faced across the West Midlands. Applications will be managed through Meridian https://meridian.wmahsn.org and will be open from 1st April 2021.

Tammy Holmes, Head of Delivery (Innovation and Commercial) at WMAHSN and creator of the Entrepreneur Academy, says: “There is no better place to find new ideas and enthusiastic individuals than in the organisations at the forefront of delivering patient care and looking after our communities.”

“WMAHSN is pleased to be working with the Black Country and Birmingham STP in offering both clinical and non-clinical healthcare professionals, from the NHS and from valued social care organisations, the chance to develop their ideas and confidence around healthcare innovation, to really make a difference in the region.

“Helping people achieve their dreams and making their ideas a reality is something I'm personally passionate about. I’m excited to meet the NHS entrepreneurs of the future.”
The academy will launch April 2021 with the first Meridian Entrepreneur Boot Camps taking place in May 2021 and the first cohort of the Meridian Entrepreneur Programme starting in June 2021.

 

 
 
 
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