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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, July - September 2015

Grafton Optical is looking forward to demonstrating the EasyScan at AIO Conference

‘Less than two weeks to go to the AIO Conference’

100% Optical's first main speaker announced.

Third successful Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize event delivered

SILMO 2015 with a backdrop of a Parisian Indian Summer provides for a memorable weekend.

100% Optical have published their quarterly colour magazine for their February 2016 Show

HEIDELBERG ENGINEERING gears up for Glaucoma

TxCell to present its cellular immunotherapy developments at leading cell and ophthalmology conferences

College’s monocle exhibition for Open House London 2015

Free Training days at Silhouette Rimless Workshops in Belfast and Dublin provide 8 CET points

Gartry to present lecture on femtosecond laser cataract surgery



Come and meet the Guide Dogs at the ABDO conference

BCLA and NCC Issue Call for Papers for NCC 2016

Additional Sponsors announced for AIO Conference

Shropshire LOC provide top rate CET day with 20 CET points available

ABDO College publish new WCSM courses prospectus

FMO 2 year contract for Optrafair with RBI to pass to MA Group following sale

SILMO 2015 provides an interesting series of lectures amongst the razzle dazzle of the event

AIO announce this year’s conference.

Introducing the Eye Health Conference 2015

100% provides for New Year, with a New Look

Heidelberg Engineering academy raises the bar in October

BCLA and ABDO announce collaboration for September conference

Pharma Company announces their first ever Eye Health Conference

100% On a roll this week

Specsavers announce presence at 100% Optical 2016

De Rigo returns to UK trade fair circuit partnering with 100% Optical 2016

National Optical Conference 2015 Poster Competition

Haag-Streit UK announced as second headline sponsor of Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize 2015

Latest Update from 100% Optical

SILHOUETTE EYEWEAR celebrate the success of their first Scottish CET rimless workshop day

Grafton Optical is looking forward to demonstraing the EasyScan at AIO Conference

September 2015

Graftons EasySacn

With a record breaking visitor numbers declared this week at the AIO Conference which opnes in less than 2 weeks time, Grafton Optical are looking forward to a good show.

"These meetings are always well attended with Optometrists and professionals who want to make a difference to their professional services and demonstrating the amazing new Laser technology of the EasyScan Laser Fundus Camera brings something new to the world of diagnostic optometry." Said James Furness from Grafton.

SLO stands for Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope technology which gives superior imaging far better in contrast to a fundus camera.

Retinopathies are far easier to detect with a sharper image allowing for earlier detection and diagnosis.


‘Less than two weeks to go to the AIO Conference’

September 2015

AIO ConferenceLively Round Table Discussion between the great and the good on the Cards

With just over two weeks to go the AIO Conference in Nottingham on 11th and 12th October, delegate numbers are breaking all records.

The combination of a very full Academic Conference agenda on 11th October and the high number of CET points on offer at a very reasonable cost have proved a very strong pull for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians alike.

Perhaps one of the big draws for the event though is the unique Round Table discussion that is scheduled for Sunday afternoon which will include a range of dignitaries from the Optical Confederation, The College, ABDO, AOP and FODO as well of course as AIO itself.

Topics under discussion are likely to include ‘Free’ eye tests, the GOS fee, the new GOC standards and the unregulated supply of contact lenses, amongst other important issues of the day.

On top of this the AIO will be releasing to the profession for the first time its much anticipated Independents Patients Quality Code which will be new standard for setting apart the provision of excellent ocular care offered by the Independent sector. with a fascinating ‘In Practice morning on Monday 12th it really is a very full and comprehensive event.

There is a Gala Dinner on Sunday evening and with overnight accommodation and other social packages available there is something for everyone, including spouses and partners.

There are still some delegate packages available which start at the very low price of £10 for the ‘In Practice’ Day on Monday 12th October.

100% Optical's first main speaker announced.

September 2015

Main Stage of 100% Optical100% Optical 2016 will deliver another world-leading educational programme, led by Dr Ian Beasley, the AOP’s head of education and clinical editor of the AOP’s popular journal, Optometry Today (OT). Delegates will have the opportunity to hear first-hand from leading academics and clinicians at the cutting edge in their respective fields.

Prof. Keith Meeks



We are delighted to announce our first main stage speaker, Professor Keith Meek, Head of Biophysics Research Group and school research mentor at Cardiff University.

Professor Meek’s research programme is aimed at investigating the ultrastructure of connective tissues and in particular, the basis of the shape and transparency of the cornea. He has received over £6 million in external awards including three consecutive 5-year MRC (Medical Research Council) programme grants.

“Delegates will be fascinated by Professor Meek’s ongoing research projects which aim to understand the basis of novel therapeutic regimes for corneal pathology and his involvement in collaborative efforts to develop artificial biological corneal replacements.” said Dr Ian Beasley, head of education, AOP



Last years booked out experience suggests you should REGISTER NOW, so you can book your seminars to guarantee entry. Click here to register

Third successful Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize event delivered

September 2015

The third Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize was delivered in Manchester yesterday.

Prof Bruce Evans


Attracting over 150 attendees, Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize featured some of the best received sessions from Optometry Tomorrow 2015, including Myopia and soft contact lenses: changing the optometrist’s role from correcting to treating by Professor Bruce Evans FCOptom; Intraocular Tumors by ophthalmic surgeon Dr Mandeep Sagoo; and Glaucoma through the eyes of the patient by Professor David Crabb.

The Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize programme consisted of lectures, workshops and peer discussion sessions, including one for independent prescribers. All optometrist and therapeutic competencies were covered during the day, with up to nine points on offer.

David Parkins, President of the College of Optometrists, said: “Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize provides a whole package in a convenient one day event – we included a great mixture of peer discussions, workshops and practical experience – everything our members say they want and need to be able to take back into practice.

And at just £60 for members, it’s great value too.”

Delegate Peter Fahy MCOptom, who attended Bitesize for the second time, said: “Everything was first class and sponsors of Bitesize should be very pleased with the interest shown by delegates. This is a very high profile and prestigious event in the optical calendar.”

The College will host its annual conference, Optometry Tomorrow 2016, in Birmingham on 13-14 March. Members have until 31 October to book one or two day ticket for 50% of the full rate.

SILMO 2015 with a backdrop of a Parisian Indian Summer provides for a memorable weekend.

September 2015

From Friday through till Today (Monday Sept. 28) the SILMO exhibitors have excelled in yet again bringing an exciting event to an exciting Capital.

UK Dunhill


Waving the banner for the UK were 26 companies based in the UK and showing at SILMO.
(Left Dunhelm)

Many have over the years become good friends of PHN and many of those are regular returners.

Oliver Goldsmith, a long serving member of the UK Frame fraternity. (right)

Hilton EyewearHere’s just some of the UK stands we visited and left our good wishes for a successful show:


Booth & BruceLeft: Hiltons stand.

Right Booth & Bruce




Blackfin stand

Of course these days we live and work in a global market and many of the new start up international companies are now after initial success in their own territory are now engaging distributors in the UK to bring new innovations and designs with new materials.

Blackfin who PHN has featured in the past won a SILMOD’OR award for their new hinge technology and as usual showed off their eyewear in the same stand (left) that one the stand award last year at the same show. Their distributors Marma from London carry some of their range along with their other brand Aston Martin.



OKO by OKO is another talented frame company with exceptionally thin light acetate frames allowing almost translucent colorations in their frames. Jeremy Thomas is their direct supplier in the UK at OKO Eyewear and we look forward to hearing of further new designs in the pipeline.


Carmela Ariano for Carina Eyewear


OGI eyewear already have a presence in the UK with Carina Eyewear in Bedford. Carina is managed by Carmela Ariano who was busy on the stand showing the latest designs and checking out the new products she will be importing for her customers. (pictured in centre)


Fusioon 1 day presbyo


Not everything was centred around frames though and one company making waves at the show and who had an entry in the awards judging was Safilens whose contact lenses are distributed by Safelens in the UK where many companies, chains and independents are surprised by the successful fitting characteristics of the A-Focal presbyo fusion 1 Day lens.

We also heard on the grapevine that the very avante garde “Vinyl Eyewear” is soon to be available In the UK, but not there even more esoteric brand “Freak Show”!

Unusual Skull display attracted great attraction


The 2 Halls were busy from Friday onwards and PHN carried out 12 interviews in the first day alone, so not quite a “corporate jolly" but there was plenty of buzz around with the unusual in: stand design, live rock music and some dazzling fashion models on Fashion TVs stand.



Fashion TVs great modelsExciting fashion orientated exhibitions that aim to make a statement in our business sector will always be welcomed and given that we saw a team from 100% Optical reviewing the show I suspect we will see a repeat of another exciting show produced by them in February next year at 100% Optical.


The Winners of the SILMO D'OR Awards



On Friday evening SILMO 2015 through a huge party at Radio France opposite the Eiffel Tour and newly refurbished. The party goers were entertained by a wonderful orchestral sextet and the awards following judging were then announced.

Why not join the PHN team next year in visiting SILMO 2016 and enjoy a weekend of fun and knowledge, as well as good food.

100% Optical have published their quarterly colour magazine for their February 2016 Show

September 2015

100% Optical magazine





The magazine is packed with great images and quotes from the brand leaders that will be at Excel next year. If you haven’t received your copy in the post then you can flick through on line and take a peek right away.

There’s also a great Q&A session from head of International Company De Rigo.

Also read about the extensive education planning by Dr. Ian Beasley from the AOP.

The ABDO arms will be open again for business and for the second year running Fight for Sight are the chosen named charity.

Get ahead by reading up about the merchandising competition.

There’s even more than last year with the show providing one to one hosted buyer events and special attractions for “agents meet distributors”.
OT and PHN are once again Media Partners of the show.

PHN will again provide a rolling review of show exhibitors from now through to the event, on the dedicated 100% pages soon to be launched.
And the parties are good as well!!!

Click here to read the flick-through Online magazine now

HEIDELBERG ENGINEERING gears up for Glaucoma


September 2015

Atenio in ValenciaHeidelberg Engineering hits the road with a series of educational events which enable both dispensing opticians and optometrists to learn more about OCT in practice with hands-on operation, interpretation of images and comprehensive glaucoma management.


They provide a fantastic opportunity to learn from professionals and to share knowledge with colleagues – not least at the prestigious International SPECTRALIS Symposium (ISS) which is to be held in Valencia, Spain, from 16-17 October.

Now in its 13th year, the ISS is a favourite for international retinal specialists and High Street optometrists alike, whose sole motivation is unparalleled patient care.

Click here for the many diary dates on our Free Diary app.

Ed: available for all meetings and training sessions. (Just register on our site and add all your forthcoming events).


TxCell to present its cellular immunotherapy developments at leading cell and ophthalmology conferences

September 2015

TxCell SA, a biotechnology company developing innovative, personalized T cell immunotherapies using antigen specific regulatory T-cells (Ag-Tregs) for severe chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, announces today that Dr. Miguel Forte, chief operating officer, and Dr. Arnaud Foussat, chief scientific officer of TxCell, will present at three forthcoming leading cell and gene therapy and ophthalmology conferences.

These three conferences are the International Society of Cellular Therapy Europe 2015 Regional Meeting, the Phacilitate Cell & Gene Therapy Europe conference and the European Association for Vision and Eye Research EVER 2015 Congress.

ISCT is a global association driving the translation of scientific research to deliver innovative cellular therapies to patients. ISCT is the only group focused on pre-clinical and translational aspects of developing cell therapy products. As such, ISCT helps academic, government and biotech/pharma sectors transform research into practice and product.

Both Dr. Forte and Dr. Foussat, in addition to Christelle Boniface, Regulatory Affairs Manager, TxCell, will present at the International Society of Cellular Therapy (ISCT) Europe 2015 Regional Meeting, September 24-26 2015, Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento Hotel, Seville, Spain.

The purpose of ISCT Europe is to drive the translation of cellular therapies for the benefit of patients. Specifically, the meeting will focus on challenges and critical success factors for the development of cellular therapies. Dr. Miguel Forte will also chair meetings of the ISCT Commercialisation Committee at the conference.

At the meeting, Dr. Forte will chair the ISCT lead workshop session entitled ‘Clinical to Commercial Translation of Cellular Therapies for the Benefit of Patients’. In the workshop, he will also deliver a presentation entitled ‘What companies need to do to navigate the translation process’.

This will be on September 24, 14.15 - 15.45 at Room Seville 1. Dr. Foussat will be a speaker in the Plenary Session 2 – ‘New Frontiers in the Treatment of Ophthalmological Disorders with Cell-Based Therapies’, September 25, 8.00 - 9.30, Room Seville 1-2. He will deliver a presentation entitled ‘Autologous Treg cell therapy for non-infectious uveitis’. Christelle Boniface, Regulatory Affairs Manager, TxCell will present at the technical session 3 – ‘Patient materials to be used for the pharmaceutical development of autologous ATMPs - ethical and other implications’, September 25, 12.30 – 13.30. Her presentation is entitled ‘Materials from both patients and healthy donors are required to validate manufacturing process of autologous cell therapies in inflammatory diseases: challenges and regulatory pathway’.

Dr. Forte will also speak at the Phacilitate Cell & Gene Therapy Europe conference, September 29 – 30, Barcelona, Spain. He will participate in the roundtable on ‘What’s the future for Hospital Exemption in the EU?’ on September 30, 12.00 to 12.30 and deliver a presentation on clinical trials with ATMP (Advanced-Therapy Medicinal Products) in Europe, September 30, 15.00 to 15.50.

Lastly, Dr. Foussat will present at the European Association for Vision and Eye Research EVER 2015 Congress, Nice, France, October 7-10, 2015. The presentation will be entitled ‘Treg-based immunotherapy of non-infectious uveitis (NIU)’ and is scheduled in the ‘Mechanisms in inflammatory disease to outcomes of novel therapies’ session, part 1, Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 16.00, presentation number 2571.

“TxCell is contributing to a growing body of scientific evidence establishing a critical role for T regulatory cells in autoimmunity and chronic inflammation. This is illustrated by the level of attention TxCell programs have been getting at global conferences this year,” said Stéphane Boissel, CEO of TxCell. “In addition, updating the market about our most recent technological developments presents an opportunity to discuss potential business partnerships with key players in the field.”

College’s monocle exhibition for Open House London 2015

September 2015

College opens doors for Monocle Event

As part of the annual Open House London festival of architecture, the College of Optometrists will be opening its doors to the public from 1-5pm on Sunday 20 September 2015. Visitors will also be the first to view Monocles! - the latest exhibition at the British Optical Association Museum, which is housed in the College.

The exhibition, which also marks the centenary of the museum opening to the public, takes a decidedly one-eyed look at monocular correction and the accessory of choice of Hollywood starlets, German generals, eccentric aristocrats and the bearded hipsters of today. Exhibits include the latest models, as well as more historic specimens, along with images of famous and not-so-famous monocle wearers through the ages.

Actors dressed as infamous monocle wearers Percy Toplis (a.k.a ‘The Monocled Mutineer’) and Dorothea Therbusch, the 18th century Polish artist with the distinctive headgear who loved painting herself, as well as College Fellows and staff, will be on hand to answer questions about the College and its historic headquarters during the afternoon.

The College is at 42 Craven Street, London, WC2N 5NG - just behind Charing Cross Railway Station. Entry is free of charge and there is no need to book in advance.

Silhouette hosts free CET Workshops for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians in Belfast and Dublin

September 2015

Chris Bangle at Silhoette WorkshopsSilhouette is offering opticians and optometrists in the both Cities the chance to earn 8 CET points at an exclusive Rimless Workshop day.

The CET sessions for Belfast will take place on MONDAY 28TH SEPTEMBER at The Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick Belfast Paradise Walk, Castle Upton Estate, Templepatrick, Antrim BT39 0DD.

There will be 3 separate sessions held at 2pm, 5pm and 7pm and will last for roughly two hours.

8 CET Points are earned through a Rimless Discussion, Rimless Skills Workshop and a Visual Recognition Test with ABDO president, Peter Black.

In Dublin Silhouette, together with the Irish Association of Dispensing Opticians, is offering optometrists and dispensing opticians in the Dublin area the chance to earn 8+ CET points at an exclusive Rimless Workshop day.

The CET workshops will take place on SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 9am – 4pm at the Ballsbridge Hotel Dublin, Pembroke Road, Dublin 4.

This is a great opportunity for opticians to earn their CET points before the end of the year and Silhouette's CET sessions are completely FREE to attend.

8 CET points are earned through a Rimless Discussion, Rimless Skills Workshop and a Visual Recognition Test with ABDO president, Peter Black. Further CET points and courses will be available from the IADO on the day.

Spaces are limited so book your place at your desired venue now by emailing or call 0208 987 8899

For any questions please contact your Silhouette Area Sales Manager, Clive Young: or call 00353 8732 88229

Gartry to present lecture on femtosecond laser cataract surgery

September 2015

Professor David Gartry HonFCOptom, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, will present his lecture ‘Femtosecond laser cataract surgery - the latest ‘quantum leap’!’ at Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize, the College of Optometrists’ one day conference at the Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel on Sunday 27 September.

He said: “Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery is the next big step forward in this field, offering patients a safer and more precise surgery. This lecture will help delegates to develop their understanding of this exciting advancement and its application in ophthalmic surgery, while also equipping them with the skills necessary to use this understanding in their interactions with patients.”

As well as this session, the event will bring together some of the most well-received lectures, peer discussions and workshops from the College’s annual conference Optometry Tomorrow 2015, which was held in Brighton in March.

Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize also offers College members the chance to earn up to nine interactive CET points, including peer discussion for both optometrist and therapeutic competencies.

College President, David Parkins said: “We are delighted to once again be offering professionals the opportunity to experience some of the highlights of Optometry Tomorrow, one of the UK’s leading Optometric events. This year’s Bitesize will allow attendees to continue their professional development through lectures, workshops and peer discussions, all on a variety of topics.”

Tickets are just £60 for College members (£40 for those who qualified from July 2012) and includes peer discussion sessions. Workshop sessions are available for £30 each, and a non-member rate is also available.


September 2015


This summer, 100% have been pulling out all the stops to bring you our best show to date, with an abundance of fantastic brands, business advice, education, fashion shows, money saving offers and of course, parties.

100% images100% images

100% have made some changes for the 2016 event that will make it even more worthwhile to spend your time with us with more international brands and more UK premieres than any other event.

Working in close partnership with our official UK partner, the AOP, we will have some of the world’s most respected optometrists and eye surgeons speaking in our programme.

100% Optical hot spots include:

• The popular ABDO Arms Bar with local beers and quality food
• The Frame Workshop with hands on sessions for Dispensing Opticians
• The Equipment Hub allowing you to get close up to the latest technology
• A new dedicated Contact Lens workshop
• New Central Bar for better networking
• New fashion shows showcasing the latest trends

100% images

100% Optical has become the must attend annual event for all your business needs, whether it is seeing new brands, product launches, CET learning and/or networking.

Register for YOUR FREE TICKET at today.


September 2015

Thousands of trade visitors are being promised a knock-out experience at Europe’s fastest growing optical trade event, 100% Optical, as big names De Rigo Vision, Hoya, Charmant and Specsavers exhibit for the first time.

Organiser Media 10 is promising visitors a “bigger and better” event – with new exhibitors, a brand new Contact Lens hub, new and exciting fashion shows, a new-look central bar for easier and more enjoyable networking and Europe’s best education and speaker programme. William Morris, Zeiss and Heidelberg are just some of the names returning to the show, solidifying its popularity.

The free to attend education programme will focus on next generation science, technology breakthroughs and new business practices in what promises to be an inspiring weekend.

“If you are looking to source something different for your practice…100% Optical is the place to visit, said Optometrist Iveta Celherte who came all the way from Latvia to attend in 2015. Independent Optometrist Francesca Marchetti was also inspired by the “excellent event, fun, frames, friends, fellows and CET the perfect combination”.

The must-attend show, organised by Media 10, attracts global brands from across the optical industry and is expected to welcome 8,000 UK and international visitors to London on 6-8 February 2016.

“We’re really excited for the third year of 100% Optical,” said event director, Nathan Garnett. “The vibe last year was incredible and we’re going bigger and better in 2016 so visitors can make the most of the weekend’s education and business opportunities whilst also having a great time.

Work has started earlier than ever on an inspiring speaker and education programme with our partners at the AOP. We’re also working with new partners at ABDO, LOCSU, WCSM and BIRA to offer more CET points to visitors. We’re particularly proud of our education offering and look forward to unveiling our programme from 4 November 2015.

“It’s amazing to think how 100% Optical has gone from a standing start to become Europe’s fastest growing optical event in just three short years. We’ve seen 20% growth in exhibitors and visitors each year, making it the must-attend event for the industry. We could not have achieved that without the support of the manufacturers and suppliers and of course the AOP and its members. 100% Optical is very much designed for the profession, and that strategy has worked a treat.”

Visitors can tailor their experience at 100% Optical’s four business areas (equipment, lenses, eyewear and business services) and make the most of their time at the show.

Old favourites including the ABDO Arms, The Frame Workshop and the Equipment Hub are also returning.

Fight for Sight joins the show as its charity partner for the second year and will be looking to raise awareness and funds for pioneering research with an updated #BlinkWinkThink campaign.

“There’s simply no other show like 100% Optical. Guests get access to unrivalled expert advice, a hosted buyer programme, an exciting line-up of interactive seminars with CET points available, a visual merchandising competition, ultimate networking opportunities and, of course, happy hour,” said Nathan. “It’s the place to be seen in 2016!”

Visitors can register for free online now at

Deals with London hotels and restaurants will be available for all visitors and exhibitors. 

Come and meet the Guide Dogs at the ABDO conference

September 2015


Guide Dog at ABDO conference


Most of us take our daily journeys for granted in the comfort of knowing we can walk safely along a pavement and cross roads without the constant fear of accidents. This is a luxury that people with sight loss do not have.

For the first time ever at the ABDO conference there will be a Guide Dog demonstration highlighting the difficulties of sight loss, the emotional impact this can have on the individual and the dangers that a blind person faces each time they leave their home.

There will be rolling demonstrations throughout both days of the conference, so visit the Guide Dogs and go through the sensory tunnel without the benefit of your sight to aid interpretation and learn some simple sighted guiding techniques to benefit your patients.

The 2015 ABDO Conference and Exhibition will be held on 20 & 21 September at Manchester Central, visit to book online.

BCLA and NCC Issue Call for Papers for NCC 2016

September 2015

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and The Netherlands Contact Lens Congress (NCC) have issued a call for papers for the BCLA’s research symposium which is being run as part of NCC 2016 in Veldhoven, the Netherlands on 13-14 March 2016. 

The symposium is designed to showcase world class clinically relevant research, it also aims to nurture new researchers and young academics to present at this level. All abstracts will be published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye (CLAE).

Submissions for the symposium should be in the form of abstracts and can be a paper or poster (to be allocated by the Academic Committee) with case reports also encourage.

The acceptance criteria is outlined on the The online submission form can be found at: The deadline for submissions is midnight (GMT) Tuesday 1 December 2015.

The BCLA is offering a pre‐screening service for entries submitted by 31 October 2015.

All entries that ask for pre-screening, will be reviewed by a member of the BCLA Academic committee, who will provide comments to the first author.  This is not a guarantee of acceptance and authors are responsible for submitting their final abstract by the deadline.

Further information can be found on and

Additional Sponsors announced for AIO Conference

September 2015

Optos and Grafton Optical join impressive sponsors list

The Association for Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians (AIO) announced today that Optos and Grafton Optical have joined 15 other high profiles companies, including Rodenstock, the eyewear company and Essilor in sponsoring the AIO Conference in Nottingham in October.

The Conference runs over the weekend of 9th to 12th October and is unique in being a Conference organised by Independents for Independents by AIO, the professional body that only represents Independents.

The Conference will bring together stakeholders in a roundtable discussion which is likely to be the highlight of the event with representatives from The Optical Confederation, AOP, ABDO, The College, FODO and of course AIO discussing key issues such as ‘free’ eye tests and the recently announced derisory increase in GOS fees.

Peter Warren, the Chairman of AIO said ‘I am delighted that Optos and Grafton Optical have joined the impressive list of sponsors for the AIO Conference in October. AIO is increasingly regarded as an influential and important stakeholder in the world of Optics and is making sure that the voice of Independents is being heard.

A strong Independent sector is clearly very important to the companies that serve and supply the Optometric and Dispensing profession across the UK.’

Andreas Rust, European Marketing Manager for Optos said ‘we are very pleased to become a Gold Sponsor of the AIO Conference and have the opportunity to exhibit our unique Ultra-Widefield (UWFTM) imaging technology in Nottingham in October. We believe that our clinical offering is of particular interest to the Independent Practitioner.’

David Thickens for Grafton Optical, who are to be Silver Sponsors said ‘we are really looking forward to exhibiting our wide range of optical products at the AIO Conference and to have the opportunity to join the very impressive list of sponsors and exhibitors supporting this important event for Independent practices.’

Other sponsors for the AIO event reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ in optics and include Topcon, No7, Norville, A+E+L, Performance Finance, Hoya, eyeplan, clearlab, Lindberg, Optisoft My-iClinic and Positive Impact.

For more information about the AIO Conference please contact, call 0800 1300 486 or visit and click on AIO Conference 2015.

Read our previous news story on the event

Shropshire LOC provide top rate CET day with 20 CET points available

September 2015

Shropshire LOC we have organised a day of interactive CET training including peer discussion for Optometrists, Dispensing Opticians and Contact Lens Opticians.

It is to be held later this month on Sunday 27th September at Telford Hotel & Golf Resort Madeley, Telford, Shropshire TF7 4DT and has been offered FREE of charge to encourage as many delegates as possible from Multiples, Independents and Locum Opticians to attend.

Theie secretary has advertised it amongst nearby LOCs in the West Midlands wants a greater distribution of the prgramme to our readership so that they might reach a wider audience.

You can download the programme here.

Any body interested will need to email the secretary Alan Barker

ABDO College publish new WCSM courses prospectus

September 2015

WCSM Courses cover bookletABDO College has published a new prospectus which outlines the full range of training courses it now provides leading to the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) qualifications.

WCSM qualifications lay a solid foundation for the development of essential optical skills and open up a clearly defined career pathway.

Commenting on the courses, Debbie Gigg, Course Coordinator - Optical Support Programmes for ABDO College, said: “The WCSM courses available from ABDO College range from Level 2 Optical Support to Level 4 Optical Technicians and a new Level 4 Optical Assistant a will be available in early in the New Year.

“The courses at Level 2 and 3 consist of three mandatory units plus a range of optional units. Learners can build up credits rather than having to do a qualification in one hit, thereby there’s an element of flexibility.

“For an information pack with details of the next intakes, fees, deadlines and an application forms those interested just need contact ABDO College.”

To obtain a copy of the 2015/16 WCSM Courses Prospectus, please contact the Courses Team at ABDO College on 01227 738 829 (Option 1), or email

As Optician passes over to MA Group so does the 2 year contract with the FMO for Optrafair.

September 2015

Trevor Goodman confirmed today that depite RBI's sale of the Optician Magazine the contract agreed for the next two years will continue with the Mark Allen Group, purchasors of the title.

Trevor informed us that Optrafair will continue with the joint partnership of the FMO and the Mark Allen Group with the agreement of the FMO who have been in talks during this period.

This should answer a number of queries we have received since we released the news of the sale.

SILMO 2015 provides an interesting series of lectures amongst the razzle dazzle of the event

September 2015

SILMO, the Optical Fair, is marking a new milestone by highlighting its uniqueness (creativity, elegance, innovation) and asserting its influence around its symbolic theme namely, the world’s largest optics store.

SILMO 2015In the meantime, as we await the grand opening on 25 September 2015 and the developments that will accompany this year’s new fair, SILMO invites you to come and experience the SILMO ACADEMY programme.

A scientific conference which, for 5 years now, has been bringing together highly qualified specialists and delivering scientific insights and advances on vision. It helps opticians and all professionals who so wish to gain an understanding of current research and thereby enrich their medical knowledge and initial training.

This years theme is VISUAL EFFICIENCY, the optimisation of all available means to improve eyesight.

It will be developed around three keynote lectures, two practical workshops and a poster exhibition.



Sunday 27 September from 10:00 am to 12:45 pm

What is efficiency? Which cognitive processes and parameters characterise it? What are its requirements for everyday practice and some specific activities?

Sunday 27 September from 15:00 pm to 18:00 pm

Experts, contactologists and retinal or anterior segment surgeons will discuss the innovative techniques of visual efficiency optimisation for children and long-sighted or visually impaired adults.

Monday 28 September from 10:00 am to 13:00 pm

The specific problems of long-sighted people made explicit by a number of case studies in order to propose a support methodology for your daily life.

The Association of Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians (AIO) announce this year’s conference.

September 2015

AIO ConferenceThis year’s AIO conference and exhibition will be a great event for Independents.

The AIO Conference Weekend - Sunday 11th October and Monday 12th October will be held at Eastwood Hall, Nottingham. It will have greate appeal with:

· Fantastic Agenda

· CET Points

· Unbelievable Value

The AIO says that this is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about optometry, ophthalmology, dispensing and improving profits from independent practice.

20 CET points are available over the event.

The conference is ideal for independent eye care practitioners as well as those thinking about independent practice. Unique roundtable event with representatives from the Optical Confederation, AOP, ABDO, FODO, The College and of course AIO!

There will be a Gala Dinner with Dancing to Fred’s House!

Day Delegates: £35.00. Accommodation options are available.

Premier Sponsors: Rodenstock, The Eyewear Company and Essilor

Gold Sponsors: No 7 Contact Lenses, Optos, Topcon and Norville Group.

Silver Sponsors: A+E+L, Performance Finance, Hoya, Eyeplan, Clearlab, Lindberg, Optisoft, Positive Impact, My-iClinic, Grafton Optical

Don't miss this one! email:

[See AIO's open letter in "Professional Matters" pages on what they call was a derisory GOS fee increase!]

Introducing the Eye Health Conference 2015

August 2015

Following on from the success of The Dry Eye Project which accredited over 400 Dry Eye Specialists across the UK and Ireland, eye care specialists Thea Pharmaceuticals are holding their first ever Eye Health Conference on the 28th of September 2015 at the Royal College of Physicians in London to coincide with the end of National Eye Health Week.

The one day conference includes a multitude of lectures, peer discussions and workshop streams on topics including Dry Eye, Glaucoma, Nutritionals and Red Eye from leading specialists in the respective fields.

Delegates can pick and choose which sessions they attend allowing them to create a bespoke training programme relevant to their individual needs and interests. There are up to 16 CET points available from just a one day event.

“The Dry Eye project was a very successful event held every year around the country to educate professionals on the syndrome and how they can help patients to best manage symptoms. As Thea Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to education in all eye conditions, we have taken the feedback and comments from the Dry Eye Project into account and created a one day Eye Health conference that covers a wide spectrum of eye health related issues.

This new development allows us to create an event that gives delegates the ability to obtain CET accreditations for multiple topics.” Helen Owens, National Optometry Sales Manager at Thea Pharmaceuticals

Prof. M Rolando Key Note Speaker- Professor Maurizio Rolando

The key note speaker for the day has been announced as Professor Maurizio Rolando who is the Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Department of Neurosciences, Ophthalmology and Genetics of the University of Genoa, Director of ISPRE Oftalmica Institute, Genoa, Italy.

On the day, he will be summarising his insight into how research over several years has shown that managing dry eye symptoms is really about managing the condition of the ocular surface, and not simply a disorder of the tear film. He will also discuss the importance of prescribing management regimes that patients follow just like they would the treatment of any other chronic condition.

On the night before the conference, Thea Pharmaceuticals will be hosting a complementary Eye Nutritionals cocktail evening for delegates on Sunday 27th September 2015, at the Melia Whitehouse from 7pm onwards.

The event will comprise of a selection of cocktails and mocktails along with a buffet all created with ingredients that help support eye nutrition.

There are up to 300 spaces available and delegates are encouraged to book now to guarantee their place at this interactive and educational event brought to you by Thea Pharmaceuticals. For more information and to book tickets visit

100% provides for New Year, with a New Look

August 2015

1--% New YearLaunched in 2014, 100% Optical immediately established itself as the largest optical event in the UK. The success of the opening year continued into the 2015 event and we can now proudly claim to be the fastest growing optical event in Europe… one that is here to stay.

With a new year comes a new look and we are proud to show off our heritage and embrace the incredible city of London.

100% Optical 2016 will be bigger and better with new content, new exhibitors, fantastic networking opportunities and so much more.

What’s more, we’ll have special deals on local hotels, travel and attractions allowing you to have a fantastic weekend city break whilst you visit the show.

Heidelberg Engineering academy raises the bar in October

August 2015

Heidelberg Engineering’s commitment to integrate the advanced eye scanning technology used by astronauts on the International Space Station into High Street practices is strengthened with several recent promotions of in-house experts.

Ken Emily and Chris from HeidelbergThe Heidelberg Engineering Academy is actively working to ensure seamless integration of the SPECTRALIS technology into a wide range of ophthalmic practices. Interpretation of results, building links with hospital eye departments, financial advice, patient communication and designing the patient journey are all part of the comprehensive offering.

Leading the team is Christopher Mody, (pictured right) recently promoted to Director of Clinical Services, who has more than 30 years’ of retinal imaging experience.

“The Heidelberg Engineering Academy provides access to knowledge and experience built up over 25 years of providing visionary diagnostic solutions. Our customers can draw upon this great wealth of experience via our clinical programme,” said Christopher.

Phil Ennion and Ken Binns (left) have been appointed to the new roles of Clinical Implementation Managers, applying their SPECTRALIS experience to the Academy team, as Ken said -
“The new role will raise the bar on customer satisfaction from the initial site survey through to user training and workflow management. We ensure that there is consistency of care, with the same contact to facilitate all of their requirements.”

Emily Malbon, (centre) promoted to Marketing Communications Manager, is now in her third year with the company and praised the commitment to customer support –
“We have a highly motivated team who take great pride in an excellent product. Part of my role is to help our SPECTRALIS owners to promote the technology to their patients and to grow their businesses through the enhancement of clinical services,” she said

BCLA and ABDO announce collaboration for September conference

July 2015

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) and the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has announced that the BCLA will be collaborating with ABDO to feature a special contact lens and anterior eye symposium at this year’s ABDO conference in Manchester. The symposium will take place on Sunday 20 September and offer 11 CET points.

The symposium will cover topics including new advances in contact lens comfort; the management of Demodex mites in high street practice; a spectacle lens update for CLOs; the delivery of specialist contact lens services focusing on patients with early keratoconus; and risk factors for contact lens complications. Dr Nicola Logan, senior lecturer in optometry at Aston University, a convenor of the Myopia Consortium UK and a global authority on myopia management will present the keynote lecture ‘Myopia control’.

“We are delighted to be working with the BCLA to include a symposium specifically focusing on contact lens practise”, said Elaine Grisdale, head of professional services and international development, ABDO. “This will provide an opportunity for CLOs and trainee CLOs to broaden their knowledge and will be a great addition to the wider programme on offer at the conference.”

“The BCLA is thrilled to be working with ABDO to deliver its contact lens and anterior eye conference stream in Manchester,” said BCLA CEO Cheryl Donnelly. “The programme we have developed is focused, clinical, practical and relevant to all and we hope to see as many people as possible there this September, enjoying all the programme has to offer!”

The programme will include practical advice on enhancing every day clinical skills and providing greater confidence in contact lens prescribing.

Pharma Company announces their first ever Eye Health Conference

July 2015

Thea Pharmaceuticals are holding their first ever Eye Health Conference on the 28th of September 2015 at the Royal College of Physicians in London to coincide with the end of National Eye Health Week.

The one day conference includes a multitude of lectures, peer discussions and workshop streams on topics including Dry Eye, Glaucoma, Nutritionals and Red Eye from leading specialists in the respective fields.

Delegates can pick and choose which sessions they attend allowing them to create a bespoke training programme relevant to their individual needs and interests. There are up to 16 CET points available from just a one day event.

100% On a roll as Hoya become 3rd International Supllier to sign up within a week for 100% Optical 2016

July 2015

Hoya at 100%

HOYA has had a presence in the UK for over 35 years and in that time has become renowned for innovative products and services.

Their global presence and continuous investment in R&D and the latest manufacturing methods has enabled them to introduce to the UK market the best quality lens materials, the most advanced lens designs and superior treatments; all suited to the evolving needs of consumers.

"We are delighted to be at 100% Optical 2016 and look forward to showcasing our HOYA DF Avantek – the complete eyewear solution that enables patients to have the lightweight, minimal look associated with rimless frames, as well as completely unobstructed vision thanks to the patented Avantek Mounting System."


July 2015

Specsavers at 100%100% Optical are delighted to announce that Specsavers will be exhibiting at the next show to discuss store, domiciliary and partnership opportunities.

They are currently recruiting across the UK and globally for optical and retail professionals to help support their continued growth as Joint Venture Partners and employees.
Store, domiciliary and partner experts will be on hand to talk visitors through what their future could look like with Specsavers. Established for over 30 years, they look forward to sharing the family-led vision and values which remain at their core.

“With fantastic opportunities worldwide, the 100% Optical event is an exciting opportunity for us to meet more people who are interested in careers with Specsavers - both in stores and in partnership locally and across the globe.” Said Victoria Taylor, Head of professional recruitment Specsavers

De Rigo returns to UK trade fair circuit partnering with 100% Optical 2016

July 2015

go new stylesDe Rigo UK are pleased to announce its plans for 100% Optical 2016; securing a fantastic space at the event to showcase its stunning portfolio of sought-after brands.

“As a global leader in the design, production and distribution of quality eyewear; De Rigo plan to launch a completely new brand at the fair; as well as presenting fresh sunglass and optical collections for Police, Carolina Herrera, Chopard, Lanvin and more" commented Abigail Gavin, Trade Marketing Manager, De Rigo

National Optical Conference 2015 Poster Competition

July 2015

Call for Poster Abstracts from Local Optical Committees, LOC Companies and LEHNs

The National Optical Conference is a key event in the calendar for Local Optical Committee officers.

NOC Crowd 2014

Following on from the successful launch of the Poster Exhibition and Competition at last year’s conference we are once again offering LOCs, LOC Companies and LEHNs the opportunity to share learning and best practice at the NOC which we know delegates value enormously.

This year we are looking for posters that tell the story of your LOC, LOC Company or LEHN achievements. We are not looking for academic posters.

The poster exhibition will be in the Warwick Suite and will showcase a shortlist of projects under 4 key themes.

Who can submit a Poster Abstract?
Submissions are welcome from any Local Optical Committee, LOC Company or LEHN

Poster Categories

There are four categories designed to showcase the excellent work being undertaken by LOCs, LOC Companies and LEHNs across England:
1. Engagement Strategy
2. Service Redesign Initiative
3. Collaborative Working
4. Public Health

Submission Guidelines

• Complete the poster abstract form
• Abstracts must not exceed 400 words
• Include any images or diagrams that you would like to use to illustrate your work

Submitting your Poster Abstract

Please email your completed abstract form to no later than
18th September 2014.

Selection of Poster Abstracts for the NOC Poster Exhibition and Competition

All poster abstracts will be reviewed by the LOCSU team.

You will be notified by email to let you know whether your abstract has been shortlisted by Friday 2nd October. LOCSU will produce the posters for the exhibition at the NOC on behalf of shortlisted LOCs/LOC Companies/LEHNs

A maximum of 3 posters in each category will be shortlisted.

Poster Judging

All posters exhibited at the NOC will be judged externally and an overall winner selected. The winner will be announced at the conference. The judge’s decision is final.

Key Dates

• June 2015 Call for poster abstracts opens
• 18th September Poster abstract forms to be submitted
• 21st September - 2nd October Shortlisting
• 2nd October Shortlisted poster abstracts announced
• 5th October – 30th October Posters produced by LOCSU
• 6th November Winner announced

Poster Categories

1. Engagement Strategy
A case study to show: how you have improved engagement with the optical community

2. Service Redesign Initiative
A case study to show: how you identified and acted upon an opportunity to redesign a community service. The service in the case study should offer one or more of the following: improved choice and access to patients, free up capacity in secondary care, the better utilisation of skills and capacity of community optical practices, ease of administration and robust governance, other improvements for patients, commissioners and contractors and performers.

3. Collaborative Working
A case study to show: how you use collaborative working across the health system to benefit patients and commissioners. Include examples of one or more of the following: where shared, distributive and/or collaborative leadership approaches have overcome historical differences between groups, improved understanding of the role of community optometrists and opticians, and put the patient at the centre of work delivered.

4. Public Health
A case study to show: how you have raised awareness of Eye Health amongst one or more of the following: the public, Health & Well Being Boards, commissioners, others.

Haag-Streit UK announced as second headline sponsor of Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize 2015

July 2015

Haag-Streit UK are set to share their latest innovations, products and news with optometrists from the length and breadth of the UK after being announced as joint headline sponsor of Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize 2015 alongside Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.

Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize 2015, the College of Optometrists’ one-day conference that brings together the best sessions from the College’s annual conference, will take place at the Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel on Sunday 27 September, and will offer cutting-edge lectures, peer discussion, therapeutics peer discussion and hands-on clinical and discussion workshops.

Sharon Mills, UK Marketing Manager at Haag-Streit UK said: “Haag-Streit UK is a regular sponsor of the Optometry Tomorrow annual conference, which is an extremely important event in the optometric calendar. This is the first time that we have been associated with the Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize event and we are very proud to be a headline sponsor.”

Haag Streit will be running a workshop in the Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize programme titled ‘Glaucoma and how to use OCT in modern progressive optometric practice’.

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care will also run a workshop on ‘Multifocal contact lens fitting made easy’.

The headline sponsors will have stands at the trade exhibition, where they will have the opportunity to engage with the 250 College members that the conference is set to attract.

Marcella McParland, Director of Professional Affairs UK & Ireland at Johnson and Johnson Vision Care said: “At Johnson & Johnson Vision Care we have a passion for delivering high quality education and that is why we are delighted to be a headline sponsor at Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize.”

The full programme includes sessions on myopia; AMD; glaucoma; binocular vision; dry eye; OCT; contact lenses and intraocular tumours. The full programme is available at

100% Optical Returns to ExCeL in February 2016

July 2015

100% Optical will return to London ExCeL on 6,7,8 February 2016 with an increased floor plan and featuring even more international brands across Eyewear, Equipment & Machinery, Lenses and Business Services. The 2016 campaign thus far has seen an array of top optical brands sign up to exhibit including Bausch & Lomb, Specsavers, Carl Zeiss, Silhouette, Tom Davies, Linda Farrow and Rodenstock to name a few.

The third edition of the show will see the launch of a hosted buyer programme which will offer exhibitors and visitors high quality one-on-one interaction with active international purchasing decision makers, providing a unique opportunity for suppliers and vendors to hold effective face-to-face meetings with buyers working on live projects.

100% Optical 2016 will continue to deliver a comprehensive and world-leading educational programme produced in partnership with the Association of Optometrists. With increased keynote lectures each day from leading international experts, pivotal panel debates around key issues in the industry and interactive discussions surrounding the latest trends and innovations.

In addition to the unrivalled educational programme, 100% Optical 2016 will offer even more valuable help and advice throughout the day in the ask an expert feature and increased networking opportunities both onsite and offsite, to allow industry peers to continue the conversation.

We are working closely with our event partners the AOP, ABDO, FFS, LOCSU and WCSM to deliver a truly international optical event for the UK profession.


SILHOUETTE EYEWEAR celebrate the success of their first Scottish CET rimless workshop day

July 2015

Silhouette UK hosted their first CET rimless training day in Scotland on Tuesday 16th June, welcoming over 40 customers to The Hilton Strathclyde Hotel in North Lanarkshire.

Peter Black, ABDO President, delivered 4 CET Rimless Workshops and other activities including a Rimless discussion and a Visual Recognition Test earning each guest a whopping 8 CET points.

Participants travelled from all areas of Scotland to attend the 4 workshops, a program that included training from specialist Silhouette frame technicians along with an exclusive preview of new adidas and Silhouette 2015/16 collections.

Guests were treated with Silhouette and adidas goodie bags as they left, along with a renewed confidence in working with rimless frames.
Silhouette’s Sales Manager for Scotland, Elaine Henderson comments, “It was a fabulous day and a great opportunity to engage with new and long standing business partners.”

Following on from their success, Silhouette plan to run further CET rimless training days later in the year.

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