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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, October-December 2015

Orasis Practice Management Software announce presence at Optrafair 2016

100% Optical supports young British talent with its Eyewear Design Competition.

FIGHT FOR SIGHT re-launches #BLINKWINKTHINK for second year at 100% OPTICAL.

Sell out AOP Student Conference provides valuable career support.

Optrafair 2016 Unveils its Extensive Education Seminar Programme.

WESTGROUPE COLLECTIONS to show at OPTI Munich January 15-17 2016.


Popular Eye Opener conference prepares optometry students for the future.

New Exhibitors & Brands Sign Up for 100% Optical 2016.

STELLAR Speaker Line-Up at 100% OPTICAL 2016

College invites applications to offer new higher qualifications in Paediatric Eye Care and Low Vision

SILMO ISTANBUL The next Optical Fair

CooperVision awards 2015 Student of the Year

"Patients and customers - why they do what they do"

AIO Conference a resounding success

WCSM awards prestigious Bronze Medals at the Autumn Court Luncheon at Apothecaries’ Hall

DOCET’s new CET audio magazine focuses on latest advances in eyecare

Last chance to book Optometry Tomorrow with 50% discount

HOYA brings accurate 3D vision simulation to 100% Optical

ABDO Conference and Exhibition proved to be a lively and enjoyable event.

Orasis Practice Management Software announce presence at Optrafair 2016

December 2015

Orasis with new VOIP additionOrasis, a Midlands based company, supplies and supports practice management systems for Independent opticians all over the UK. Linus Mason, director of Orasis, said, “I’m really proud of how Orasis software has evolved and improved over the past 20 years,

I’ve had input from practitioners over the years that has enabled us to write the software to be user-friendly, quick and cater for all types of Independent practices, we are particularly pleased with our new clinical records form.”

David Francis, software developer for Orasis, said the recent upgrades ready to launch at Optrafair 2016 will improve the users experience and make Orasis more intuitive.

He believes the advancements to the system which include: improvements to the recall system, security features, low-cost text-messaging, taking multiple tenders on the same payment transaction and scanning is embedded for those who require a completely paperless system.

These enhancements will bring so many benefits to the practitioner’s business. Francis said: “We understand how busy it is in practice and we know our software will save you time and look more modern in the eyes of your patients. Orasis will help practices to grow sales, be more organised, stay competitive and spend more time with your patients.”

Orasis continues to promote its diary for colour-coded appointment scheduling: It can cater for any number of clinics and appointment times.

Orasis has also launched a complete management system for eyecare plans which runs alongside its existing Contact lens and DD scheme. This will ensure the practice manage their regular income stream.

Linus Mason concluded “From installation, set-up, training and on-going support we make sure you get the best out of Orasis, we want your business to succeed.”

The Orasis PMS was established in 1995 and has evolved over the years.

The original customers are still using Orasis and happily recommend new customers to the software. Orasis have also supported PHN by advertising on their Suppliers Guide.
They currently are supporting 35 practices and expect its presence at Optrafair will continue to encourage more enquiries.

The Managing Director, Linus Mason, is a software developer. He is married to a Dispensing Optician, Simone Mason who is assists in sales & marketing.
Orasis currently employs three software developers.

Independent practice owners who are looking at updating, switching or computerising for the first time are invited to contact Orasis for further information. See Orasis PHN page.

100% Optical supports young British talent with its Eyewear Design Competition.

December 2015

100 % Optical100% Optical has partnered with the world renowned Royal College of Art to showcase young British talent to an international audience, as part of the Eyewear Design Competition.

The Eyewear Design Competition has been organised in collaboration with the world-renowned Royal College of Art and involves students being invited to submit designs for eyewear under two main categories: Couture or Ready to Wear.

Three finalists will be selected for each competition category ahead of 100% Optical and their work will then go on show to several thousand eyewear industry professionals at the event in February. The winning designs in each category will be made up as prototypes.

The Eyewear Design Competition will have a hugely influential panel of judges, including designer, Emma Montague, Jason Kirk from Kirk & Kirk and Flora McLean who is a tutor at Royal College of Art.

Go to the PHN Preview Page for a sneak preview of what's to be seen at 100% Optical. Click here

FIGHT FOR SIGHT re-launches #BLINKWINKTHINK for second year at 100% OPTICAL.

December 2015

Following the success of last year’s #BLINKWINKTHINK campaign, Fight for Sight, the charity partner for 100% Optical 2016, has announced the campaign will return for a second year.

In the lead up to the show Fight for Sight, the UK’s main eye research charity, is encouraging the public to take a selfie, covering one eye, to help spread awareness of eye research by sharing their image on social media – using the #BLINKWINKTHINK hashtag. Last year saw the likes of MasterChef’s presenter Greg Wallace and Strictly Come Dancing’s Karen Hauer #BLINKWINKTHINK-ing.

A £3 text donation can be made by texting BWTC16 £3 to 70070, to donate to Fight for Sight to help create a future everyone can see.

As well as seminars from key members of the Fight for Sight speaker network, the charity will have a number of other fundraising events at the show, which takes place 6-8 February 2016 at ExCel, London.

These include ‘blind dates’ with Fight for Sight researchers, an ‘Eye Spy’ competition, the return of the #BLINKWINKTHINK photo booth and back by popular demand, the infamous Rock-e-oke will take place on the Sunday night.

Catherine Woodhead, Director of fundraising at Fight for Sight said: “We’re really excited to launch the #BLINKWINKTHINK campaign to coincide with 100% Optical 2016 and we are pleased to build on our awareness and fundraising activities to support our pioneering eye research.

“Following the success of the Fight for Sight education seminars last year, we’ve introduced a new element ‘blind-date’ to give visitors the chance to book in slots with our Fight for Sight researchers.”

Professor Harminder S Dua, Professor John Marshall, Professor Barbara Pierscionek, Professor Roger J Buckley, Professor Keith Meek and Dr. Christos Bergeles will be presenting as part of the Fight for Sight speaker network and will be available for ‘blind dates’ after their seminars.

The ‘blind dates’ are expected to be very popular at the show and will need to be booked in advanced. A booking fee will apply and funds raised will help the fight against sight loss.

Nathan Garnett, Event Director for 100% Optical said, “We’re delighted that Fight for Sight have chosen to return as our charity partner for a second year. Following the success of our partnership in 2015, we want to help the charity raise further awareness and funds with the new and improved #BLINKWINKTHINK campaign.

“100% Optical 2016 is set to be bigger than ever and we’re sure this will have a great impact on the awareness of the charity and its research,” Nathan continued.

More details on how to book a ‘blind date’ with the Fight for Sight speaker network will be released by 100% Optical closer to the date.

To book your place at a seminar with the Fight for Sight speaker network please visit

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.

Sell out AOP Student Conference provides valuable career support

December 2015

The Association of Optometrists’ (AOP’s) popular Student Conference has given attendees an insight into what to expect after graduation. The conference, which ran from 27 to 29 November, mixed practical legal and career advice as well as clinical learning to prepare undergraduates for entering employment.

Attendee Luke Summers, a student at Cardiff University, said the conference added an extra dimension to what is learned at university. He added: “You can actually see what happens in the real world rather than just... within the confines of your clinic.”

CV and interview advice was particularly popular, with attendees advised on how to tailor their applications to different types of employers, what to include on their CV and how to prepare for interviews. Josephine Evans, currently studying at Manchester University, said: “It was really valuable to learn about how to do CVs and cover letters and what they [employers] are looking for.” Tulsi Patel, from Bradford University, commented that the CV advice was a highlight and said: “Now I know how to finish my CV and how to gear it towards multiples and independents.”

As well as giving advice on how attendees could increase their chances while applying for roles, the conference also covered different career paths and enabled attendees to speak with a variety of employers one-to-one.

Benjamin Radivan, from Aston University, commented that the conference was“a really good opportunity to meet different employers and find out more about pre-reg [pre-registration] life.” He added he would leave the event knowing “just more about what our career will be like in the future as optometrists.”

The conference was also a chance for students to socialise and celebrate. The AOP Film and Television Awards (AFTA) prize giving was held on Saturday night with City University students taking home the award for their film The Optom Games, a parody of the Hunger Games franchise.

Abigail East, a student at Aston University, said that the conference’s social aspects were a draw and commented: “[I] really enjoyed meeting new people from other unis.”

The AOP has announced that due to the popularity of the event next year’s conference will be open to third year students from the outset. The 2016 Student Conference will take place on 26-27 November at Warwick University.

Optrafair 2016 Unveils its Extensive Education Seminar Programme.

December 2015

Hear from industry figure heads and earn CET points

Optrafair 2015 PanelThe Federation of Manufacturing Opticians in partnership with Mark Allen Healthcare today announced the speaker line-up for Optrafair 2016. The annual event, in association with Optician, is being held on 9-11 April at the NEC Birmingham and is now open for online registration.

Visitors to Optrafair 2016 will benefit from a full CET seminar programme designed to support their professional learning goals and understanding of the industry’s hot topics. Optrafair, now in its 38th year, continues to be the only UK event dedicated to the entire optical industry supply chain.

The opening keynote address will be delivered by Professor John Lawrenson MSc (Oxon) PhD FCOptom, who will discuss the impact of technology in optometric practice and present the findings of two new diagnostic accuracy studies.

Professor Lawrenson’s presentations are always popular and visitors are advised to register early to secure their place.

Returning to Optrafair again in 2016 will be Question Time, chaired by Radio 4’s Peter White.

This popular panel discussion will address the tough questions facing the optical industry in 2016. Answering and debating delegate’s questions will be a panel of high profile industry experts including, Joshua Silver, inventor of the fluid-adaptive spectacles, ophthalmologist Andrew Bastowrous and social entrepreneur and health campaigner Julia Manning.

New for 2016, the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) will be hosting a dedicated contact lens seminar stream. The contact lens stream will provide engaging, informative content and attendees will be eligible for contact lens CET points.

The UK’s most comprehensive trade exhibition runs alongside the education seminar programme representing the full optical supply chain. Experts will be on hand from instrument & equipment manufacturers, spectacle frame designers, lens suppliers and accessories suppliers as well as independent business advisors.


WESTGROUPE COLLECTIONS to show at OPTI Munich January 15-17 2016

December 2015

After the outstanding success registered at Silmo 2015, WestGroupe say they paln to amaze Opti visitors with its unique and superior quality eyewear for the fashion-conscious consumer.

Here below is a preview of what will be on stage during the eyewear exhibition, which will take place in Munich on January 15 - 17, 2016.


Evatik E 9120The lighter the glasses, the more comfortable they are to wear: that is the idea behind the design of Evatik’s new E-9120. Made entirely of ultra thin handmade acetate, this lightweight frame feels as light as air. The modified rectangular shape and matte finish are fall fashion musts, combining comfort and the latest trends all in one frame. Available in blonde tortoise, matte grey horn and matte black, style E-9120 is a must-have for the trendsetting man.

Looking for a modern sophisticated frame without sacrificing comfort or durability? The new E-9121 is a semi-rimless, stainless steel frame made for the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Its seemingly simple design has a modernized take on the hinge. The unique screwless spring hinge ensures that the frames remain intact and do not become loose or out of shape for a long time. E-9121 is available in classic color combinations khaki champagne, blue gun and black red.



The F-3547 is the perfect fusion of romance and modernity. The deep, modified rectangle shape on this stainless steel frame is both feminine and flattering, while the metallic accents add an extra funky touch. The temple design is the true star of the show; each side intricately designed with a raised trellis detailing to resemble ribbons flowing into one another. This frame is available in Purple Fuchsia, Masala Tangerine, Indigo Lime and Emerald Camel.



Klik designModel K 549 is a full rim acetate frame with a modified square shape. This fabulous find is made with translucent horn acetate giving it a glossy marble look. The temples are beautifully decorated with a metal N-cap hinge and two metal rivets for a distinctly KLiiK touch. Available in Brown Horn, Purple Horn, Red Horn and Black Horn.

In keeping with the acetate trend, K-550 is also a full rim acetate frame with a rectangular shape. The transparent acetate creates a crystalized effect in a beautiful color palette of Blue Grey, Black and Tortoise Black. Style K-550 features a keyhole bridge making it both comfortable and stylish.


November 2015


Professor Kovin Naidoo, CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute will open 100% Optical 2016.

Kovin Naidoo 100% Optical

Former student leader, political detainee, banned and house arrested during apartheid in South Africa, Professor Naidoo has continued his social consciousness through his academic career.

He is a National Research Foundation B-rated researcher, educator and internationally celebrated public health leader who has been revolutionising access to and delivery of eye care in Africa and for the disadvantaged throughout the world.

A powerful public health advocate, he has devoted his working life to reducing avoidable blindness and vision impairment, with special emphasis on refractive error.



Read the latest news from some of the confirmed exhibitors on the PHN preview page.

Popular Eye Opener conference prepares optometry students for the future.

November 2015

Interest in the Student Eye Opener Conference, run by the Association of Optometrists (AOP), has demonstrated a thirst for knowledge amongst young optometrists, with 190 of the 210 places now taken.

The event programme mixes practical career and legal advice to give attendees - predominately students in their penultimate year - the opportunity to speak to and hear from experts, with networking opportunities and social activities. This year’s lectures will cover further education, legal responsibilities and rights, and career paths. There will also be interactive workshops to help undergraduates plan for their future.

Last year’s event was endorsed by attendees with 86% saying they would recommend the conference and 83% rating it as good value for money.

The event aims to educate and inspire students about their career options and prepare them for going into practice.

Practical legal advice will be given by Ella Power, the AOP’s in-house Senior Solicitor, who will explain how to avoid legal pitfalls.

Commenting that new graduates should not be afraid to seek further help, she said: “All you need to remember at this stage is that if you are unsure about anything to do with your professional life - or even if a bit of your private life might impact on your professional life - we are here to help you find the answer.”

Students will also attend the popular AOP Film and Television Awards (AFTA) prize giving ceremony on Saturday evening where the best undergraduate short film, promoting optometry as a career in a fun and engaging way to 14–18 year olds, will be announced.

It’s not too late for entries for this year’s awards, with the closing date on Friday 20 November.

The Student Eye Opener Conference takes place from 27-29 November and is held at Centre Parks, Sherwood Forest. Bookings will close on 25 November, so there’s still time to attend this year’s event.

New Brands Sign Up for 100% Optical 2016.

November 2015

There’s less than 20% of floor space left at 100% next year and new exhibitors and brands are signing daily.

Some of the new exhibitors to be seen next year are:


Hook by Fabris Lane


Fabris Lane® began as an Anglo Italian eyewear company specialising in quality sunglasses for the UK market. By the late eighties, Fabris Lane had become Britain’s largest sunglasses business.

Optical brands include licenses such as Oliver Goldsmith®, Ben Sherman®, American Freshman, Animal®, Levis and Hook LDN.



Peeps by Parkside


Peeps™ is the all new, revolutionary cleaning product by LENSPEN™ –

a Canadian company that does one thing: Cleans fingerprints.


Peeps™ is designed specifically for cleaning eyeglasses, sunglasses and reading glasses.



Eyeplan is a business model not just a debit collection service. It is a planned and proven value exchange between practice and patient in which both parties benefit. Success comes from two key elements; managing the fee and then making it work, the supported fee generation.

And bringing new brands to the show are:



Gravity EyewearBringing space technology to optics the patented Temple Gripper System (TGS)


TGS uses a leverage mechanism to relieve bridge pressure and provide an anti-slipping effect.

Pressure is applied just above the ears which in turn generates lift to the front of the frame culminating in up to a 30% reduction in bridge pressure.

STELLAR Speaker Line-Up at 100% OPTICAL 2016

November 2015

Europe’s fastest growing optical trade show, 100% Optical, has announced the big-hitters in its stellar speaker line-up for 2016.

In partnership with the Association of Optometrists (AOP), programme attendees will have access to CET points at each seminar. Charity partner Fight for Sight has also opened up its impressive Speaker Network to the show where visitors can learn about advances in eye research.

The inspiring education programme features exceptional seminars from eminent professors, doctors and industry experts including Professor Harminder S Dua, Professor John Marshall, and Professor Barbara Pierscionek from the Fight for Sight speaker network on the main stage, as well as experts in their field Professor James Wolffsohn, Scott Brown and Dr Debbie Laughton.

Commenting on the education programme, Dr Ian Beasley, AOP Head of Education, said, “100% Optical in 2016 will build upon the success of previous years delivering engaging education across a broad range of competencies. Our comprehensive education programme is designed for practitioners from all modes of practice and will run throughout the three-day event.”

The exceptional seminar programme will be split into hubs, with leading international experts speaking on the main stage, lens hub (contact lens and ophthalmic) and equipment hub giving visitors a 100% experience of their industry like nowhere else. Alongside the main conference programme will be the return of the popular frame workshops including the ABDO Paediatric Fitting and the Focimetry workshops.

Speaking ahead of his own inspirational keynote lecture, ‘Re-surfacing the ocular surface’ in February, Professor Harminder S Dua said, "Education is a continuous process for all professionals. As knowledge is created and revised at considerable pace, keeping up with the latest presents a challenge. A synthesis of recent research and innovation in the context of what is known, provided by experts who have themselves created some of that knowledge, can be a helpful and rewarding exercise. 100% Optical 2016 will provide such an opportunity to all professionals working in the eye field."

Event Director Nathan Garnett said, “We are proud of the internationally renowned speakers and higher-level thinking we’ve attracted to the show in the past and 2016 is no different. With a new CET cycle starting in January, 100% Optical is the perfect place to start earning your required points for the year. As always there will be over 100 hours to bank with experts from across the industry so it’s a good idea to book early and secure your slot!”

Senior Advisor to Fight for Sight, Julian Jackson, said, “I am extremely grateful to the AOP and 100% Optical 2016 for again giving members of the Fight for Sight Speaker Network a platform to highlight the extraordinary contribution that eye research continues to make in the development of therapies and solutions to prevent the onset of sight loss, treat eye disease and ultimately restore sight. The financial support we are receiving from 100% Optical 2016 as charity partner will also make a significant contribution to our ongoing mission to create a future where everyone can see!”

Space for the world class educational programme is limited so advance booking is recommended. All visitors can register from 4 November online at

College invites applications to offer new higher qualifications in Paediatric Eye Care and Low Vision

October 2015
The College of Optometrists has added three new qualifications to its suite of specialist higher qualifications. The Professional Certificate and Professional Higher Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care, as well as a Diploma in Low Vision, are now ready for universities and training providers, including hospitals, to offer alongside their existing eye health qualifications.

The Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care has been produced for optometrists, particularly those working in primary care, who want to develop their skills and build their confidence when working with children. It will cover areas such as vision screening pathways and will support development, communication and delivery of a management plan for infants and children. Candidates will also have the opportunity to advance to the Professional Higher Certificate in Paediatrics.

In addition, a Diploma in Low Vision will complete the set of Low Vision higher qualifications. The Low Vision Professional Certificate is currently provided by Cardiff and City universities and the Higher Professional Certificate delivered by Cardiff University. These new awards join the growing range of College higher qualifications, including those focussing on glaucoma, medical retina and contact lenses, and are expected to be available to candidates next year.

Jackie Martin, Director of Education at the College says: “We’re delighted to announce these higher qualifications as the latest additions to the existing College accredited qualifications. They provide excellent professional development opportunities in a range of topic areas and at different levels. We know from our recent survey of successful higher qualifications candidates that there is demand for qualifications and training in paediatric eye care as well as for all the low vision levels.

“Providers can offer these qualifications as standalone courses or can adapt their existing modules or programmes to fit the College learning outcomes. The courses can be offered in partnership with other providers, including hospitals, enabling providers to reach a wider market.”

The College is now inviting applications from any providers for the Professional Certificate and Professional Higher Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care and the Diploma in Low Vision.

Anyone interested in applying for one of these higher qualifications should contact the education team at to have their details passed on to the provider.

SILMO ISTANBUL The next Optical Fair

October 2015

On 10-13 December 2015, a new edition of the SILMO ISTANBUL exhibition will create a link between Europe and the Balkans, Central Asia, the Near and Middle East and North Africa. This will be a large-scale optics and eyewear event occupying a 16,000 m2 exhibition area in Halls 9-10-12 and 14 of the Istanbul Expo Centre.

This major new exhibition welcomes professionals and manufacturers from the Turkish optics and eyewear industry and also, at a wider level, companies in both Europe and Asia involved in every aspect of the sector: frames, lenses, contact lenses, materials, services, etc.

With exhibitor numbers rising — currently more than a hundred, representing 500 brands —, SILMO ISTANBUL wishes to attract considerably higher visitor numbers (independent opticians, chains, manufacturers, distributors, institutions) from all the nations of the Central Asia-Middle East-North Africa region, building on the SILMO PARIS international network and leveraging the local expertise of its Turkish organisers 24 SATT AJANS.

However, the coordinators of SILMO ISTANBUL are mindful of the need to win the sector’s confidence and take the time to establish an event of this kind on a calendar already packed with international trade fairs. The challenge is therefore to ramp up communications, showcase Turkey’s attractiveness and position itself as the industry’s must-attend winter gathering.

CooperVision awards 2015 Student of the Year

October 2015

Romana KhaliqGlobal contact lens manufacturer CooperVision has announced that the 2015 CooperVision Student of the Year is Romana Khaliq, a final-year optometry student at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in Scotland.

The final of the competition took place during CooperVision’s National Student Summit, held at its European Headquarters in Segensworth, Hampshire from 14-16 September 2015. Finalists also toured the company’s manufacturing site in Hamble and its European Distribution Centre.

Students from five UK universities – Anglia Ruskin, Aston, Cardiff, Glasgow and Manchester – presented the results of their research projects. Each had received a Summer Research Scholarship from CooperVision to conduct a project on a contact lens topic of their choice. A panel of academics, chaired by Optician Clinical Editor Bill Harvey, and including the students’ project supervisors, judged the presentations for content, creativity and delivery style.

Romana Khaliq had investigated the effects of two contact lens materials (hydrogel and silicone hydrogel, single use lenses) on tear evaporation rate under different environmental conditions. Tear evaporation was measured at high and low relative humidity using two instruments: the ServoMed research evaporimeter and a new clinical evaporimeter, the Delfin VapoMeter.

The ServoMed device showed no significant difference between materials within 30 minutes of insertion. With the Delfin, hydrogel lenses did increase evaporation but the silicone hydrogel lenses showed no significant change in evaporation rate.

Topics for other projects were: lens centration in Biofinity multifocal soft contact lenses from Zaheera Bissessur and Lacey McCay, Anglia Ruskin University (supervised by Robert Conway, Dr Sheila Rae and Dr Marta Vianya-Estopa); early career support for eye care practitioners in contact lens practice by Fawzia Mohamad, Aston University (Professor James Wolffsohn); short-term effects of two lubricant drops on tear film properties measured with the Tearscope Plus and EasyTear View by Amy Gatfield, Cardiff University (Dr Katharine Evans and Dr Ashley Wood); bandage contact lenses and their clinical evaluation by Jessica Corrie, The University of Manchester (Dr Amit Jinabhai).
Conducting a project allows students to gain basic research skills such as literature search, participant recruitment, data collection and data analyses, as well as developing their presentation skills and teamwork.

Romana KhaliqRomana receives a full delegate package to attend the 2017 BCLA Clinical Conference & Exhibition and will go on to represent the UK at CooperVision’s European FORCE – Future Ocular Research Creativity Event – to be held at its Centre of Innovation in Budapest, Hungary in spring 2016. FORCE brings together students from across Europe to compete for the title CooperVision FORCE Student of the Year. The prize for the overall FORCE winner is a full delegate package, including travel and accommodation, to attend a major international contact lens meeting.

Romana’s project was supervised by Dr Ian Pearce, senior lecturer at GCU. Two of his students have gone on to be awarded CooperVision FORCE Student of the Year: the 2015 overall winner Fiona Buckmaster and Michelle Snowball in 2013.

Karl Aberdeen, CooperVision’s Professional Development Manager ACE Distributor Markets, established the Summer Research Scholarships and UK Student of the Year competition five years ago. He commented: ‘Each year the students raise the bar on the standard of research and presentation. All this year’s finalists show great promise. It’s wonderful to see this young talent and for CooperVision to play a part in nurturing that talent.’

Picture captions: CooperVision UK Student of Year Romana Khaliq pictured with Karl Aberdeen, Professional Development Manager ACE Distributor Markets (left), and her supervisor at Glasgow Caledonian University, senior lecturer Dr Ian Pearce (right).

Finalists in CooperVision’s 2015 UK Student of the Year competition pictured at CooperVision’s European headquarters

BCLA Visionaries 2015 Highlights "Patients and customers - why they do what they do"

October 2015

With just over a month to go until Visionaries 2015, we’re publishing the first in a series of highlights around this meeting. In her lecture “Patients and customers – why they do what they do”, Aston Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) associate, Neelam Patel dissects the traditional optometric business model and analyses purchase trends between key patient cohorts and how this contributes to the business as a whole.

Neelam PatelShe will outline how high street optometric practices are for-profit businesses that comprise of two key business activities – eye care services including sight tests, eye examinations and contact lens services and optical device related retail, mostly spectacles and contact lenses. This means that optometric practices are multifaceted businesses, which can appeal to a vast range of patients and customers.

It is a common strategy for practices to operate on a loss-leading strategy, where services are sold cheaply in order to attract patients and stimulate product sales. However, as the role of optometrists expands, Neelam will highlight how this traditional model may no longer be appropriate for the wide range of patient cohorts.

The programme will incorporate something for every interest with CET points on offer:

• Maintaining and growing contact lens patients.

• An update on dropout data will enable the audience to review how you manage this in your own practice with an insight on how to understand your patient's attitude to contact lenses.

• An insight into research which may affect the future of our profession.

• Managing keratoconus in both practice and hospital.

The Visionaries Conference & Pioneers Lecture is free for BCLA members, who may bring along a guest to the Pioneer's Lecture. Please note, advance registration is required for this event.
Non members can attend and the fee is £200.

Monday 9 November 2015
The Royal College of Physicians, London.
Visionaries Conference and Exhibition starts at 10.00am
Pioneers Lecture starts at 6.00pm

AIO Conference a resounding success

October 2015

Round Table opines that the future is very promising. AIO Code launched

AIO PanelThe AIO Conference at Eastwood Hall in Nottingham was the biggest and one of the best Conferences in long history of the Association for Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians (AIO). The clinical and ‘in-practice’ programmes received excellent feedback from delegates and the opportunity to network and discuss issues with fellow Independents was one of the highlights of the event.

The new AIO Code was also launched to the profession.

One of the features of the Conference was the roundtable discussion, which was facilitated by Conference Committee Chairman Nigel Burnett Hodd. This featured Chris Hunt, Chairman of the Optical Confederation, Lyndon Taylor, immediate past Chairman of AOP and current Chairman of the AOP IPC, Peter Black, President of ABDO, David Parkins, President of the College of Optometrists, David Hewlett, Chief Executive of FODO and the AIO’s own Chairman Peter Warren.

The majority of the roundtable panel of participants were very positive about the future for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians, but all agreed that the landscape would change. Technology, changes in local health care provision and expansion of the services offered by high streets independents to include therapeutic practice and supply were all amongst the subjects discussed.

There were some challenging questions from the floor and indeed, as would be expected, some different opinions from amongst those on the panel. However the session was conducted in a constructive and friendly manner and demonstrated that there are many common agendas amongst the professional bodies.

Nigel Burnett HoddNigel Burnett Hodd said ‘I was thrilled with the feedback from delegates about the Conference in general which featured speeches, workshops and lectures from a diverse range of exceptional presenters. In particular I was delighted with the Round Table session, which was a unique opportunity to hear the different perspectives of key leaders and opinion shapers in the disparate world of Optics. One of the important messages for me was the view that the profession must take responsibility for its own future, as leaving it up to Government is unlikely to be a viable option.’

Peter Warren commented ‘the Conference and round table session highlighted for me the very important role that AIO has to play in representing the interests of the Independent sector. The launch of our new Independents’ Patients Quality Code is a very visible and concrete step in helping the general public to understand the outstanding level of eye care that the Independent sector can offer and how very good Code subscribing firms are at offering it. The Conference once again proved a great opportunity to meet and discuss issues with fellow Independents as well as attend a series of excellent presentation and lectures.’

The AIO has already started planning for the 2016 Conference, which will be held on the weekend of the 8th to the 10th October at The Vale in Cardiff.

Association for Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians (AIO) is the professional body that represents independent optometric practitioners. It exists to serve the interests of its members working constructively with the AOP and General Optical Council as well as other stakeholders such as Government Departments, industry representative bodies, consumer organisations and the media; national, local and trade.

WCSM awards prestigious Bronze Medals at the Autumn Court Luncheon at Apothecaries’ Hall

October 2015

At a ceremony on Wednesday 7 October 2015, the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers awarded its prestigious Bronze Medals for research to this year’s winners.

Written submissions for the Bronze Medals are judged by a panel of professors from UK optical schools and competition this year was the strongest ever.

TheRuskell Bronze medal Ruskell Medal for 2015 was awarded to Professor James Bainbridge MA PhD FRCOphth, of UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, for his work on the long term effect of gene therapy on Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis.

Professor Bainbridge (left) is a surgeon-scientist whose aim is to help people with sight impairment by developing effective new therapies for retinal disease.


The Ruskell Medal is awarded to the first-named author of the best paper in the fields of ophthalmology or visual science for studies undertaken within the United Kingdom and published during the qualifying period (1 July 2014-30 June 2015).

Masters Bronze Mefal WCSM

The Master’s Medal for 2015 was awarded to Laura McKernan Ward MSc of Glasgow Caldedonian University. Mrs McKernan Ward is in the 3rd year of her PhD which aims to investigate the impact healthy ageing has on the visual cortex.

The Master’s Medal is intended for those making their initial “first author” published contribution to the advancement of optometry or physiological optics. Entries are encouraged from people who hold a first degree, diploma or other acceptable qualification obtained within the last three years and who are engaged in current research.

Images: show the presentation of medals by Edward Middleton FCA, Master Spectacle Maker, to Professor James Bainbridge and Laura McKernan Ward.

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers is a City Livery Company, founded by Royal Charter in 1629. The Company’s support for research through awarding medals is one example of its continuing fundamental purpose - the prevention and treatment of visual impairment.

Entries will be invited from January 2016 onwards for the Bronze Medal competitions for next year. Details will be distributed to universities and optical institutions and will also be available via the Company’s website

DOCET’s new CET audio magazine focuses on latest advances in eyecare

October 2015

DOCET new Audio programmeDOCET, the Directorate of Optometric Continuing Education and Training, has launched a brand new audio magazine that will keep optometrists up-to-date with the latest developments in research and practice and support their continuing education and training (CET).

Advances in Eyecare will provide expert opinion, information and advice on cutting edge issues in a flexible and engaging format, and after listening, optometrists can gain CET points by completing an online test.

In the first edition, guest presenter John Waite explores the issue of referrals in the UK, with the aim of helping practitioners reduce the number of unnecessary referrals whilst maintaining the highest standards of care.

Through case studies and interviews, the programme looks at examples of referral pathways for emergency, fast track and routine cases, with help from Dr Susan Blakeney, clinical adviser at the College of Optometrists, Geoff Roberson from the AOP and other expert practitioners from across the four nations.

There are three interactive CET points available.

Rob Hogan, DOCET chair, says: ‘Advances in Eyecare will help optometrists to get to the heart of the ‘hot’ topics that the profession is talking about today. By the end of each programme, we want our listeners to have a good understanding of the subject matter and how it impacts upon them, their profession and their patients. Our aim is to inspire optometrists with new ideas and offer valuable CET points along the way.'

Advances in Eyecare is currently available online at and as a free podcast. Optometrists can also ask for a CD version to be posted to them by emailing

Last chance to book Optometry Tomorrow with 50% discount

October 2015

There are only three weeks left for College of Optometrists’ members to save 50% off the full rate ticket for Optometry Tomorrow 2016.

Members who book before 31 October 2015 can purchase a two-day ticket, which includes one workshop, for only £165 (full rate £330), and a one-day ticket for £115 (full rate £230). Further discounts are available for students and members who qualified from July 2013 onwards.

The College’s annual two-day conference will take place at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole from 13-14 March 2016, and will offer cutting-edge lectures, seminars, peer discussion and hands-on clinical and discussion workshops.

Topics from the packed programme include glaucoma; AMD; dry eye; OCT; binocular vision; uveitis; OCT and a contact lens stream. A provisional programme is available at, and the full version will be announced mid-November.

College President, David Parkins, said: “Optometry Tomorrow has become the must-attend optometric event. We’ve always been very successful in offering clinical, research and practical content, as well as an opportunity for networking.

“For 2016, we’re offering brand new peer discussion case studies, a range workshops and practical experience, and a dedicated contact lens stream - each year the conference just gets bigger, better and more informative.”

HOYA brings accurate 3D vision simulation to 100% Optical

October 2015

Hoya at 100%


A leader in technology-based sales support tools, HOYA is proud to introduce its latest innovation: the HOYA Vision Simulator offers wearers the ability to experience their new lenses before they buy them, right in the store.

Using wearers’ actual prescription, the HOYA Vision Simulator provides a highly accurate, 3D vision experience, visualising the optical effects of the various lens designs and treatments.

HOYA erases the line between virtual reality and individual reality, giving wearers the opportunity to choose the lenses and treatments that work best for them.
Opticians are invited to be among the first to use the HOYA Vision Simulator in their stores.

Through the dedicated website,, opticians can register their interest. Ten will be selected as beta-testers. Their testimonials will be shared on the website, along with general information, updates and news about the device.

Read more about Hoya Products here

Great CET events, lively networking, awards and a film première at the ABDO conference

October 2015

ABDO 2015 Conference

The recent ABDO Conference and Exhibition, held at Manchester Central on 20-21 September, proved to be a lively and enjoyable event.


The extensive CET programme, which also included streams hosted by the AOP and the BCLA, received highly favourable comments from delegates and included keynote lectures delivered by Dr Nicola Lagan and Dr Maggie Woodhouse.

A pre-conference golf tournament sponsored by Oakley, held at the Whitefield Golf Club on Saturday 19 September, was a great success enriched by autumn sunshine and the pre-conference welcome reception that followed in the evening at Manchester Central Library ensured that the conference commenced in a relaxed and convivial spirit.

Chris Hunt at ABDOThe well-attended 2015 ABDO gala dinner sponsored Essilor, held at The Midland Hotel on Sunday 20 September, was lively and at times emotional during the special awards presentations.

James Russell Past President


Past ABDO President James Russell received The Hamblin Memorial Prize. (Rt)

The ABDO Area Prize went to Brenda Rennie.(Below left)

An Honorary Fellowship was presented Dispensing Optics’ Deanne Gray.(Bottom Right)

Life Membership was awarded to Optical Confederation Chairman Chris Hunt.(above left)

The gala dinner also featured a ‘trailer’ heralding première the 2015 ABDO INSIGHT programme produced by the Association in partnership with ITN Productions.

ABDO INSIGHT is a news style programme presented by Natasha Kaplinsky that reports on the latest innovations and best practice in eye care and looks at the ever-widening role of dispensing opticians in the health care system.

Brenda Rennie


Deanne Gray

Commenting on the event Michael Potter, ABDO’s head of marketing and communications, said “Based on comments received from those that attended, the 2015 ABDO conference is arguably the best we have hosted so far.

The CET sessions were of the highest standard and the networking events were outstanding and highly enjoyable. It’s also good to witness the very positive reaction to the 2015 ABDO INSIGHT programme, which can now be accessed via the ABDO website at”

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