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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, April to June 2016

100% Optical is officially declared the biggest show for eyewear in the UK.

Expert panel at annual Masterclass explore the benefits and pitfalls of OCT angiography.

School’s out, and Specsavers is the place to be this summer for optom students.

College of Optometrists congratulates Cardiff University on accreditation of Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care.

FMO announces plans for OPTRAFAIR Through to 2020.

American Optometric Foundation announces “The 2016 Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care Programme Recipients


European Academy of Optometry and Optics produces most successful conference to date.

Health minister will meet optics ‘with its sleeves rolled up’ at NOC 2016.


Academy 2016 Anaheim Registration and Housing Now Open.

‘Early bird’ ticket deadline looms for BCLA Asia.

Royal Society of Medicine cancels Sensory Loss Lecture day.

FODO Launches ‘RISK-BASED’ CET AND CPD Training Packs in the UK and Ireland.

Call for Abstracts - Academy 2016 Anaheim Scientific Program in November 2016

Crowds flock to Optrafair and a record number of exhibitors re-book for the 2017 show after a successful 3 days at the UK’s flagship optical event

Optrafair gives Shamir a large measured success!

Dunelm Optical have their best Optrafair to date.

Silhouette Celebrates Record Sales at Optrafair.

AOP Awards expansion at 100% Optical.

100% Announce that 50% of 2017 show is already booked.

Clocks ticking for community optometry, Doug Perkins warns at Optrafair (Saturday)

OPTRAFAIR: 20/20 plans are afoot for this auspicious year

100% Optical is officially declared the biggest show for eyewear in the UK and has become a permanent player in what is its provision of a £440 million optical market place

June 2016

100% Market placeIt’s time to make sure you are part of the £440m optical marketplace

100% eyewear
100% Optical is officially the biggest show for eyewear in the UK, hosting hundreds of brands. It provides the ideal platform to meet buyers from across the optical industry, including Harvey Nichols, ASOS, David Clulow, Scrivens and Vision Express.

Total visitor budget: £122m

100% lenses

Dispensing opticians will be attending 100% Optical to source cutting-edge ophthalmic and contact lens solutions from Shamir, Abatron and Scope Ophthalmics next year. Can you afford not to be there?

Total visitor budget: £210m

100% equipment

Exhibit at 100% Optical and compete with the biggest manufacturers from the market in the growing equipment section, including ZEISS, Birmingham Optical, Heidelberg Engineering. Eastern Optical and Optos.

Brands SuccessTotal visitor budget: £64m

100% Business services

Connect with senior decision makers seeking to invest in their practice. Be seen as an industry leader alongside Performance Finance, Thomson Software Solutions and SIGMA, who have already signed up.

Total visitor budget: £42m

Media Ten providers of 100% Optical are co media partners with your Opchat News on PHN which helps us provide our free independent news service to over 7000 optical professionals.

Click here for their 100% Optical Pages.

Expert panel at annual Masterclass explore the benefits and pitfalls of OCT angiography.

June 2016

An impressive line-up of speakers discussed the unique attributes of hybrid angiography at Heidelberg Engineering’s 5th Annual Masterclass in May.

Heidelberg annual master classThe presentations included a thoughtful and rational look at the role of OCT angiography* in the clinical decision making process as part of a multimodality imaging approach to patient investigation and diagnosis.

Following their presentations, Professor Giovanni Staurenghi, from the University of Milan, alongside new Retina Faculty Chairman, Pearse Keane, NIHR Clinician Scientist at the Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London and Catherine Egan, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital took questions from the audience as part of an expert panel discussion.

“OCT angiography is a new imaging tool and we are still in the learning curve” explained Professor Staurenghi. “I think discussing its advantages and pitfalls in a forum such as this is a very honest way to approach this new angiography and we have shown that it is important to exercise caution when using new technology that we do not necessarily fully understand yet. We know that using multimodal imaging provides a better diagnosis than using single imaging modes alone and it seems OCT angiography will play an important role in multimodal imaging in the future”.

The panel agreed that OCT angiography is an exciting new technology with specific clinical applications. However, it was highlighted that there are challenges with image artefact and segmentation that have yet to be overcome by any commercially available device.

A webinar of the Masterclass will be available later in the year.

Take a look at PHN’s Events and Diary page for more future courses provided by Heidel berg.

Heidelberg sponsor your Opchat News on PHN allowing us to provide the service free to over 7000 professionals every day. Click here to visit Heidelberg's PHN page.

School’s out, and Specsavers is the place to be this summer for optom students.

June 2016

Around 550 of the estimated 700 second-year optometry students across the UK will be learning the ropes through a four to six week placement in a Specsavers practice this summer.

Kamilia at Specsavers Cardiff University student Kamila Owsianik, 20, has just started her placement with Specsavers in Tiverton. She says:
‘I was really happy to get the offer of a student placement with Specsavers. I met Sam (Corrie) from the Tiverton and Taunton stores at the assessment centre in Cardiff and was incredibly impressed with her enthusiasm as well as with how the placement works.

‘The programme is so well organised and structured. I get a workbook and USB stick which provides a huge amount of information. The workbook allows me to keep detailed notes of what I have learned and I can see myself referring to it throughout the rest of my studies and beyond.

‘Everyone in the store is so committed to my development. I’m supervised by optometrist Jenny Shepherd, and I’m encouraged to get involved whenever there is an interesting case to see in the test room. On my first day alone, I was able to observe the case of a young boy who had lost half his visual field in one eye, and had to be referred to hospital.

‘I’m also getting great experience on the shop floor and have carried out several dispenses under supervision.’

Of the seven optometrists who work across the Taunton and Tiverton practices, five of them were originally summer placement students.

shadow training at SpecsaversSam Corrie, HR regional manager for the practices, says, ‘It is not easy to recruit optoms in this part of the world, and the summer placement and pre-reg schemes are ideal for attracting talented professionals to come and work with us. The summer placement is like an extended interview on both sides – we get to know the student, and the student gets to know the team and to experience our culture and our commitment to development.

‘Finding a place to live during the placement can also be a challenge for students when they are away from home, and we are very grateful for the financial and practical support provided by Specsavers’ graduate team.’

This is the fifth year of the Specsavers summer placement scheme. Louise Iredale, Head of Graduate Recruitment and Development, says, ‘The scheme has an excellent reputation among university students. From the feedback we get, it’s not just that it is well-structured, it is also because of the personal nature of the relationship between the student and the store team. Students tell us that they feel they are treated as individuals – and this makes a real difference to them.

‘The selected students all attend a two-hour development session at their university before they start and we focus on team development and communication skills to give them the best possible start to their placement and to their career in optometry as a whole.’

So does Kamila see herself coming back to Specsavers?

She says, ‘I’m very keen to go on to do my pre-reg and develop my career with Specsavers – I have definitely put all my eggs in that basket!’

Specsavers is a Partnership of almost 2,000 locally-run businesses throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, all committed to delivering high quality, affordable optical and hearing care in the communities they serve

College of Optometrists congratulates Cardiff University on accreditation of Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care.

June 2016

Cardiff University has been accredited as the first provider of the College’s Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care.

The course 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. Cardiff University is the first higher education institution to offer this qualification, designed to enable optometrists to progress in their careers and offer patients enhanced services.

The Certificate will provide optometrists with knowledge to support evidence-based eye care for infants and children of all ages.

It will span two semesters and will cover areas such as vision screening pathways and will support development, communication and delivery of a management plan for infants and children. The first course will run from September 2016. Following completion of the course, candidates will have the opportunity to advance to the Professional Higher Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care.

Jackie Martin, Director of Education at the College said: “We’re delighted to be able to accredit the Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care for the first time. We know from a recent survey of successful higher qualifications candidates that there is demand for qualifications and training in paediatric eye care so it’s great to be in a position to offer this to those interested. As well as increasing knowledge in specific areas, the
College’s higher qualifications allow optometrists to deliver more community services.”

Dr Margaret Woodhouse, Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University and Course Leader at Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre (WOPEC) said: “This new course is an opportunity to update and expand on our current Paediatric Optometry one semester course. The Professional Certificate will have much greater emphasis on practical elements such as communication and clinical management and the students will have something concrete to show for their studies. In delivering the course, I will be joined by experts in all fields of paediatric optometry; this is a very exciting prospect!”

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

In addition to the new certificate, Cardiff University also offers all three levels of qualifications in Glaucoma, the Professional Certificate and Professional Higher Certificate in Low Vision and the Professional Certificate in Medical Retina. In March of this year, Cardiff University was accredited as the first provider of the Professional Diploma in Glaucoma.

Applications for the course close on 14 August, 2016

FMO announces plans for OPTRAFAIR Through to 2020.

June 2016

FMO is delighted to announce that it has contracted with the Mark Allen Group to manage Optrafair to 2020.

Optrafair 2017 onwardsSince taking on ownership of Optician magazine, FMO's media partner, in October 2015, MAG have ensured the delivery of a successful show at the NEC last April.

MAG were already contracted to manage FMO's Optrafair 2017 which will incorporate its centenary celebrations.

Said FMO Chief Executive Bryony Pawinska 'we have been very impressed with the fresh approach that MAG have brought to Optrafair, and want to build on our successful relationship not just next year, but in the years ahead when we believe that the sector's own trade show will go from strength to strength.'

The decision was made at FMO's Board meeting held on 4 May at the offices of FMO member Heidelberg Engineering in Hemel Hempstead, chaired by Vice Chairman Andy Yorke. Said Andy 'this was not a difficult decision to make in the light of the really excellent pre-show sales that MAG have already secured for Optrafair 2017. As an exhibitor as well as a Director of FMO, I see this commitment as a real advantage for the whole sector.'

MAG's Chief Executive, Ben Allen, emphasised his company's commitment to the FMO and Optrafair: 'MAG's Exhibitions Division, headed by Ed Tranter, works internationally on many trade fairs in a wide range of industry sectors, but Optrafair is a very special event, with FMO's members and other stakeholders passionate about a very British show that is run by the sector, for the sector. We share that passion and are proud to have our association with FMO consolidated for the next four years, which will enable us to work with FMO on their plans for 2018 and 2019, leading to a sector-wide event to celebrate the turn of the decade in 2020.'

American Optometric Foundation announces “The 2016 Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care Programme Recipients

June 2016

The AOF announce the 2016 Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care program recipients.

This award recognizes outstanding fourth-year student clinicians who have demonstrated excellent overall knowledge of the contact lens field plus skillful, considerate and professional care of contact lens patients during their optometric education.

Each winner receives a $500 educational award and a personalized plaque commemorating their accomplishment.

2016 Recipients and Institutions attended:

Stephanie Lynn LaLiberte
Illinois College of Optometry

Sandra M. Huenink Indiana University at Bloomington School of Optometry

Samantha Halvorsen Inter-American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry

Michelle Sandler Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Optometry

Trevor Fosso Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University

Sarah Huff Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry

Maria Denietolis New England College of Optometry

Sarah Cook Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry

Jonathan Akle Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry

Kate Alexandra McClure The Ohio State University, College of Optometry

Kellen Robertson Pacific University College of Optometry

Emily Rose Carr Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University

Justin Burgerson Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University

Chalise Maybee Southern College of Optometry

Alison Emiko Noritake State University of New York College of Optometry

Kacey C. Cilimberg University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

Peter Tien University of California Berkeley School of Optometry

Delaram Shirazian University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry

Paul Lamothe University of Montreal School of Optometry

Alexis Keeling University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science

Edward Hsieh Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry

AOF is thankful for the professional relationship between the foundation and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. Their outstanding support to raise the bar of optometric education to a new level is a remarkable reminder of their ongoing commitment to industry high standards.


June 2016

The American Optometric Foundation announces the nine recipients for the 2016 William C. Ezell Fellowship program.

The Ezell Fellowship program is named after the founding President of the AOF, William C. Ezell, OD. It was established to provide talented post-doctoral students who are pursuing an advanced degree in optometric research and education recognition and support.

To date, over 300 William C. Ezell Fellowships have been awarded since the inception of the program in 1949.

Funding for these Fellowships is provided by leading optometric companies, private endowments, and other generous business organizations that represent most sectors of the industry.

The AOF congratulates the following students who have been selected as 2016 - 2017 Ezell Fellows:

The Alcon Foundation Ezell Fellow

Jessica Wei, BS -University of California Berkeley School of Optometry

American Academy of Optometry Ezell Fellow

Kristen Bowles, OD, MS -University of Houston College of Optometry

AAO Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies Ezell Fellow

Cameron K. Postnikoff, MASc -University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

Irvin M. Borish –Essilor Ezell Fellow

Aiswaryah Radhakrishnan, BS Optom, M.Phil. Optom -Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Mike Daley – Essilor Ezell Fellow

Wenlin Zhang, MD -Indiana University School of Optometry

Merton C. Flom Leadership Ezell Fellow

Anna F. Ablamowicz, OD, FAAO -University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

Michael G. Harris Ezell Fellow

Alexandra E. Boehm, BS -University of California Berkeley School of Optometry

Optometric Glaucoma Society Ezell Fellow

Jack Phu, B. Optom, MPH, FAAO -University of New South Wales School of Optometry

Vision Impact Institute Ezell Fellow

Preeji S. Mandathara, BSc, MSc -University of New South Wales School of Optometry

This year’s Ezell Fellows will be honoured at the AOF’s Annual Celebration Luncheon on November 12th, during the American Academy of Optometry’s Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California.

The American Optometric Foundation (AOF) is a 501 (c) (3) philanthropic organization which develops and provides financial support for optometric research and education in vision and eye health to improve clinical patient care. The AOF is also an affiliate of the American Academy of Optometry.

European Academy of Optometry and Optics produces most successful conference to date.

June 2016

The eighth annual European Academy of Optometry and Optics’ conference, Berlin 2016, attracted 370 delegates over the weekend – a record number. The conference has been hailed the most successful yet and was hosted by Beuth University of Applied Sciences on the 19-22 May 2016. The three day conference and European Council of Optometry and Optics’ (ECOO) spring meeting, was held in a campus setting, and provided a change of scenery for those who have attended previous conferences in Budapest, Warsaw, and Malaga.

The conference program included 13 clinical workshops, (more workshops than ever before) held at Beuth Optometry School, and keynote lectures by Professor James Wolffsohn (Deputy Executive Dean for Life and Health Sciences at Aston University, UK) on recent developments in contact lens and surgical presbyopia correction, and Dr Pearse Keane (Honorary Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, UK) who outlined the latest developments in the treatment of myopia. Topics presented at Berlin 2016 ranged from ‘Engaging with glaucoma’ and ‘Winning European research funding’ to ‘Pediatrics and dispensing’, there were also 59 research posters on display with dedicated sessions to ‘Meet the poster presenters’ throughout the three days.

At the closing address 14 new Academy Fellowships were awarded to: Ralf Bachmann (Germany), Nicholas Black, Professor Bruce Evans, Dr Fabrizio Zeri, Dr Julie-Anne Little, and Dr Dorothy Thompson (all UK), Dr Ana Hernandez Trillo (Spain/UK), Ignacio De Costa-González and Juan Carlos Martínez-Moral (Spain), Dr Daniela Nosch, Simone Huber and Armin Duddek (all Switzerland), Raúl Alberto Correia de Sousa (Portugal), and Dinah Paritzky (Israel).

Two Poster Presentation Prizes, provided by the College of Optometrists, were also awarded at the closing address. The New Poster Presenter Prize was given to Yasna Glauser (Switzerland) and Julia Löwen (Italy) claimed the Poster Presentation Prize.

Daniela Nosch FEAOO, who was awarded Fellowship at the conference, commented: “I decided to become a Fellow, because I wanted to be an ambassador for the European Academy of Optometry and Optics. This association brings together great clinical expertise and new research from all over Europe in various interesting fields. We get to meet in great different European cities and this is an excellent opportunity for cultural exchange and networking.”

Academy President, Dr Mireia Pacheco-Cutillas FEAOO, added: “The Academy conference goes from strength to strength each year and I am delighted that Berlin 2016 has been our most successful turnout yet. We have been able to offer more clinical workshops, new discussion sessions and a more established exhibition this year and I want to thank our hosts, presenters, facilitators, exhibitors, and staff who have worked so hard to contribute to this success. I look forward to Barcelona 2017 and the Academy hosting another fantastic conference in my home city.”

Next year’s conference will be held in Barcelona: Please save the date, 12–14 May 2017. More information will be released soon.

New Fellows

New Fellows pictured L-R: Professor Bruce Evans, Dr Dorothy Thompson, Raúl Alberto Correia de Sousa, Ignacio De Costa-González, Juan Carlos Martínez-Moral, Ana Hernandez Trillo, Ralf Bachmann, Academy President - Mireia Pacheco-Cutillas, Dr Daniela Nosch, Dr Julie-Anne Little, Armin Duddek, Simone Huber, Nicholas Black, Dr Fabrizio Zeri, and Dinah Paritzky.

Health minister will meet optics ‘with its sleeves rolled up’ at NOC 2016.

May 2016

Health minister, Alistair Burt, is to attend this year’s National Optical Conference as a headline speaker.

The Minister for Community and Social Care who is responsible for all primary care, including ophthalmic services – will be speaking at the flagship optical event, taking place 10-11 November 2016.

Announcing the news, LOCSU MD, Katrina Venerus, said: “Mr Burt outlined his intention to work more closely with the Optical Confederation and LOCSU following our first meeting at the Department of Health in December.

“It reflects a sustained effort by LOCSU and others to show what optics can do to reduce ophthalmology pressures and deliver reformed health care for the benefit of patients, the NHS and the taxpayer.”

“We hope that the Minister’s attendance at NOC also signals a growing recognition through our Breakthrough Strategy that the optical sector has its sleeves rolled up and ready to deliver on behalf of the NHS in primary care, which Mr Burt is responsible for.

“We are delighted that the health minister has agreed to come and speak directly to LOCs at the NOC. Since his first meeting with sector leaders, Mr Burt has been true to his word and engaged more closely with the optical sector.”

Bookings are now open for the NOC click here

LOCs receive one free place.

In addition to an address by the Minister of State, the Conference will include leading speakers from the NHS, ophthalmology and the optical sector.

The NOC takes place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole from 10-11 November 2015. One free delegate place available for every LOC.


May 2016

After the success of their online user group meetings, Practice Management Software (PMS) provider, Ocuco, have now scheduled a series of monthly advanced training webinars for their Acuitas and Focus PMS users.

Ocuco Webinars“Our user group meetings are always well attended and very productive, both for our users and ourselves, however taking days out of the practice to attend these meetings is not always possible. This is why we have launched a series of online user group sessions allowing practice owners and staff to learn more, in less time,” reported Alice Austin, Ocuco’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.

The webinars run on the first Tuesday of each month for Acuitas users and on the second Tuesday of each month for Focus users.

Practice owners and their staff can learn more about their software, receive training and give feedback from the comfort of their own practices, taking part with a PC, smart phone or tablet.

The sessions are open to all members of the practice team and are free to attend.

For a complete schedule of the upcoming webinars click here for Focus Webinars and for Acuitas Webinars Timetable. To register your attendance, email or call 0800 912 1004.

Visit Ocuco's pages in PHN Suppliers Guide.

Academy 2016 Anaheim Registration and Housing Now Open.

May 2016

The American Academy of Optometry’s 95th annual meeting, Academy 2016 Anaheim, will take place November 9-12, 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. Registration and housing are now open and early bird registration ends September 7, 2016.

The American Academy of Optometry’s annual meeting offers a wide array of clinically relevant CE courses and cutting-edge research in the clinical and vision sciences. Attendees can choose from over 250 hours of lectures and workshops, 16 Section and Special Interest Group (SIG) symposia, hundreds of scientific papers and posters, and excellent social events.

This year the Academy will welcome world-renowned author and extraordinary speaker Malcolm Gladwell to present the Plenary Session, “Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Practice®: Current State of Health Care and Research.” Mr. Gladwell’s presentation is pending one hour of CE credit and the Academy is very pleased to thank Essilor for their support of this educational program. The session will be held on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 from 1 to 2 PM.

From 2 to 3 PM, Mr. Gladwell will host a separate panel discussion with members of senior management from Alcon, Allergan, and Essilor. The panel discussion is sure to be a dynamic exchange with Mr. Gladwell that addresses issues such as the value of ongoing research and introduction of new products for the future. No CE credit will be given for the panel presentation. The Academy is grateful to Alcon, Essilor, and Allergan for sponsoring this portion of the 2016 program.

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers — The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. He has been named one of the 100 most influential people by TIME Magazine and one of the Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996, has won a national magazine award and been honored by the American Psychological Society and the American Sociological Society. He was previously a science and medicine reporter for The Washington Post.

The Monroe J. Hirsch Symposium, “The Distressed Eye: Ocular Pain,” will focus on several key aspects of ocular pain. Discussions surrounding sensory transduction and signaling in the eye, the psychophysical measurement of ocular surface pain and thermal sensing, and innovative treatment strategies will be presented. Speakers include Carlos Belmonte, MD, PhD, Trefford Simpson, DipOptom, MS, PhD, and Nancy McNamara, OD, PhD, FAAO.

The topic of the second Joint American Academy of Optometry and American Academy of Ophthalmology Symposium will be keratitis in contact lens care. As medical devices, contact lenses have the potential to cause significant corneal morbidity. Several corneal responses will be examined ranging from corneal inflammatory events to rare non-bacterial corneal infections. Current literature will be shared to help aid in the important differentials and a discussion will highlight strategies to avoid serious sight threatening complications. This symposium is a continuation of the effort by the two Academy organizations to work together to better prepare and support their members in delivering the highest quality eye care.

Ezell Fellows Present 2016 will be titled, “The Future of Optical Interventions is Now.” Three investigators at different stages of their careers, supported early in their careers by receiving AOF Ezell Fellowships, will focus on how contact lenses can provide value-added benefits beyond vision correction. The exciting topics will include the current state of wavefront-guided scleral contact lenses for minimizing visual problems in the highly aberrated eye, and the latest developments in lens designs for myopia control and presbyopia. Speakers include Ray Applegate of the University of Houston, Jeffrey Walline of the Ohio State University, and Ravi Bakaraju of the Brien Holden Vision Institute.

The Academy’s Sections and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) will present symposia on an array of topics from “Myopia Control Utilizing Contact Lenses” to “The Gut-Brain Axis: A Paradigm Shift in Health Care.” In addition, over 250 hours of lectures and workshops have been scheduled, offering attendees up to 34 hours of COPE-approved CE. Attendees can also choose to attend hundreds of Scientific Program papers and posters, as well as several exciting social events.

The Academy 2016 Anaheim Program Preview provides an overview of the exciting events and CE that will be offered. This year’s exhibit hall will be world class with more than 200 booths displaying the latest products and technology. The Academy has contracted with several hotels, only steps away from the Anaheim Convention Center and a short distance to Anaheim signature attractions. Check them out here.

‘Early bird’ ticket deadline looms for BCLA Asia.

May 2016

Myopia management, presbyopia and dry eye will come under the microscope during the first ever BCLA conference in Asia.

Leading names from across the sector will look at some of the biggest issues and challenges currently facing the industry, with delegates given the chance to take part in a range of hands-on workshops and discover the latest research and technological advances.

Taking place on 13-14 September 2016 at the Cordis Langham Place Hotel in Hong Kong, BCLA Asia will include sessions for up to 400 people detailing clinical guidance on topics such as corneal topography and digital eye strain. ‘Early bird’ tickets are available to book now, with savings of £100 available up until May 31.

BCLA president Brian Tompkins, said: “The conference is a perfect opportunity to hear the latest research including new papers from some extremely talented professionals in Asia.

“Asia is an emerging market, with huge growth in contact lenses, and I’m looking forward to meeting the delegates. We have put together a programme which everyone should find informative, helpful and fun.”

The event, titled “Correction for the Future”, is a partnership between the BCLA and the Hong Kong Cornea and Contact Lens Society.

It will offer expert advice on business, research and presentation skills as well as an exhibition enabling delegates to try out the latest products and future strategies and innovations from both local and global companies.

Delegates at BCLA Asia will be able to apply for and complete a BCLA Fellowship, an indicator of esteem in the field held by over 150 top professionals across the globe.

Royal Society of Medicine cancels Sensory Loss Lecture day.

May 2016

The RSM has had to cancel a very full day of lectures on sight and hearing, the patient journey and the desire for better commissioning, detection and management of sensory loss.
A dazzling array of speakers had accepted the invitation to speak on the full days extensive programme on June 15th but despite heavy marketing to both communities of GPs and Optics the required breakeven for delegate numbers was not reached.

Bob Hutchinson, RSM Council Member and Course Organiser. “Regretted that it was necessary to cancel the event. The agreement of the speakers to take part in what would truly have been an important day for Sensory Loss in the community was much appreciated. I hope that this was just a blip caused by our June date and that we can recommission this important lecture date in our 2017 calendar. Vision and Hearing are key areas where primary care can make a difference to the community and to the over-burdened outpatient departments.”

He also thanked Associated Optical and Grafton Optical who respectively would have provided great workshops on LVAs and demonstrations of sensory loss as well as showcasing from Grafton the Reichert CR7 NCT providing results that outrank Goldman. As he says it was an opportunity to show some of the delegates already registered for the event from the ophthalmology world how NICE guidelines on Glaucoma need to be updated to encompass modern technology.

FODO Launches ‘RISK-BASED’ CET AND CPD Training Packs in the UK and Ireland.

May 2016

FODO has launched the first in a series of peer discussion training resources focussed on the highest areas of risk in front-line clinical practice.

The first pack, Flashes, Floaters and Retinal Detachment, was published today at the FODO AGM in London.

FODO chair Lynda Oliver said, “FODO is all about meeting needs, whether it be for patients or practitioners. Here we are doing both in response to requests from members in both the UK countries and in Ireland.

“There is plenty of CET and CPD around which is already very good and we have no desire to replicate that. Our aim is to innovate and to enhance learning. The FODO training packs will be focussed on the areas of highest risk in front-line clinical practice - especially ‘never-events’ - which we have identified through insurance claims and fitness to practise cases.

“We already feed back claims data to FODO members in general and to individual companies on their own track record. This new development takes this process to the next level, supporting universal ‘step change’ improvement across the sector.”

Prof Stephen Taylor FODOFODO professional advisor Professor Steve Taylor, who is designing the packs, said, “Although actual incidents are few, a small number of missed retinal detachments is unfortunately a recurring theme in front-line practice. Our aim is to prevent this from happening across the board building on the excellent materials already developed by DOCET.”

FODO will provide in each pack a briefing sheet, with a list of references to go to, an instruction sheet on how to use DOCET material and a Gidance sheet on notes for discussion at peer review.

Those using the packs will need to be registered providers but FODO will initially gain CET approval for each pack and users use the FODO approval.

Taylor reminded the audience that peer review must include between 4 to 10 participants.

“Future packs in this series will focus on, for example, issues such as glaucoma risks and such perennials as avoiding hydrogen peroxide-based incidents in contact lens practice.”

Ann Blackmore, FODO’s Head of Policy and Strategy added, “The CET packs developed by Steve are produced under the guidance of a senior clinical Steering Committee, trialled with facilitators and, as the programme becomes established will be tested in practice before being rolled out to members. They are also ‘living resources’ in that all and any feedback from members is extremely helpful in helping us fine-tune our products to member needs.”

Call for Abstracts - Academy 2016 Anaheim Scientific Program in November 2016

May 2016

The Scientific Program Committee of the American Academy of Optometry invites the submission of abstracts for Academy 2016 Anaheim, to be held Wednesday, November 9 through Saturday, November 12, 2016.

The Academy's Scientific Program offers scientists, educators, and clinicians the opportunity to exchange the latest information in optometry and vision science in two formats, research paper presentations and scientific posters.

“The Academy would like to encourage investigators, vision science students, established practitioners, and clinical trainees to submit their work to be presented at the annual meeting in Anaheim.

The Scientific Program Committee continually strives to make the meeting the ideal location to showcase the best basic science and clinical research optometry has to offer to one of the profession’s widest audiences,” remarked Andrew B. Mick, OD, FAAO, Chair of the Scientific Program Committee.

The abstract submission window will be open from May 2 through May 31, 2016.

This year, the Scientific Program Committee will present focused sessions on special topics that will include extended discussion, integration of clinical topics, and debate on current controversies.

The Scientific Program Committee will consider all presentations including those from students and residents.

Abstracts will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Adherence to submission guidelines
  • Scientific or clinical novelty
  • Methodologically sound
  • Quantitative description of the results
  • Conclusions that are substantiated by the results
  • Submissions of previously published copyrighted material (e.g. ARVO abstracts or journal articles) will not be accepted.


First authors (excluding students and residents) of accepted papers/posters are also eligible to register for Academy 2016 Anaheim at reduced rates.

To read more about the submission guidelines or to submit an abstract, visit here.


Crowds flock to Optrafair and a record number of exhibitors re-book for the 2017 show after a successful 3 days at the UK’s flagship optical event

April 2016

Optrafair 2016 enjoyed a hugely positive three days at the NEC in Birmingham as nearly 6,000 attended the optical market’s longest standing and premium exhibition, which took place from 9th – 11th April. Thousands of practitioners gathered to gain CET points, place orders for new products and network with their peers.
Optrafair 2016
The look and feel of the 2016 event proved to have been executed with a more professional approach with an emphasis on its success in the future. Essilor’s Commercial Director, Randeep Gill was thrilled with how the show came together. “The event has been very well-organised, and from an exhibitor’s point of view it’s good marketing. I’ve seen good communications out in trade journals as well as online and email communication. This is well received because it’s all about having as many of our optical professionals here at the exhibitions like this.  Manufacturers like ourselves can talk about innovation, products and partnerships.”

The Birmingham NEC exhibition hall featured the latest frame designs, lenses, contact lenses, equipment and services, together with an area dedicated to children’s eyewear. The UK’s leading optical exhibition attracted buyers from all over the UK, as well as worldwide.

Zeiss Group, business development manager, Claire Martin commented on the organisation, location and visitors of the show, saying: “I think Optrafair is very well organised. Birmingham is always a great location because it’s easy for everyone to get to. Optrafair is probably a favourite tradeshow for many of the optometrists who come to visit.”
Optrafair 2016Robert William Morris, founder and creator of William Morris, said, “It’s been a good day, we had some good customers coming. The timing of the show is very good because we just launched our new spring/summer collection.

A lot of customers have not had a chance to see this, so the timing of the fair is perfect to showcase our spring/summer collection, which were all on show at our stall complete with a double decker London bus. The response to the new collection has been very good, there is always a big pressure when you launch a new collection because you’re never quite sure of the reaction from customers.”

Andrew Saunders, Hoya professional services manager said: “It’s been a good show. There’s been a lot of interest here in our augmented reality device and our iPad measuring system. It’s been a great show to talk to potential customers and existing customers on some of our new products, particularly our new sports lenses which are set to be launched in May as well.”

Optrafair deliver another high-quality programme of authoritative, targeted and engaging seminars – with over 100 interactive CET points available under one roof. Speakers at the event included Specsavers co-founder Doug Perkins and former optometrist Julia Manning, who opened up further discussion on the future of optics following the much-anticipated release of last month’s Foresight report.

Doug Perkins, in an exclusive statement said, “Optrafair is a good show. I’d say it’s above the level of last year. There’s a lot of momentum, a lot of excitement. I think the professional equipment side is very occupied with people and that’s favourable technology that suits the profession which is the more, the better”.

Birmingham Optical performed Live OCT at Optrafair, Zoe Smith, Head of Marketing remarked, “Its great having a trade show in Birmingham, we get lots of customers coming to visit our stall from all over the country, so it’s fantastic. Optrafair is great, we’ve got the full range of practices with lots of different people coming to show. 

CET at OptrafairThere are lots of different requirements, we’ve got all the portfolios to introduce different technologies to different customers”.

Kirit Patel Optometrist at Radlett, Hertfordshire spoke on Sunday, he was ecstatic about the show and said, “The amount of people there are around is incredible, the CET lectures going on are brilliant. I think all sounds appeared to be full of people mingling around and buying or looking at technologies, software, lenses and frames”.

FMO past chairman Barry Dibble also spoke enthusiastically about the event, “There is no doubt that Optrafair was elevated to a whole new level this year and the expert attention to detail by our show partners resulted in an event that was simply stunning.

Planning has already started on Optrafair 2017 where we shall be celebrating the FMO’s Centenary in style and in good company within the greatest and best supported optical event of the year”.

It was the first time Optrafair owners the FMO had combined with MA Exhibitions, the event arm of new Optician parent company Mark Allen Group. Managing Director of Exhibitions, Ed Tranter stated, “It’s been a fantastic show here at Optrafair 2016. We are delighted with the performance of the show and the effort from all those involved, the stands are fantastic and the quality of attendees was fantastic”.

The MA Group say the show closed with over 60% of the floor space already sold for Optrafair 2017.

Optrafair will be back at the NEC from April 1st to the 3rd.

Optrafair gives Shamir a large measured success!

April 2016

Optrafair 2016 was a fantastic show for Shamir, there was a great atmosphere on the stand with lots of people wanting to see the new Shamir Spark Mi measuring device in action.

Shamir at Optrafair 2016The crowds were also pulled in by our Shamir Transitions prize draw competitions.

Congratulations to the winners who walked away with digital cameras, Xbox ones, Apple watches and even £250 Shamir lens vouchers.

The exhibition gave Shamir the perfect opportunity to demonstrate our new and unique measuring device that will be available to our customers.

The Spark Mi redefines the measuring experience, through infrared technology it can also take measurements through dark, tinted and even mirror lenses. Whilst having a very small foot print and looking like an ordinary table top mirror, the Spark Mi offers patients an entirely new and advanced experience when visiting an independent optician.

Don’t forget, Shamir are offering scratch card rewards with any purchase of Shamir Transitions products from now until October, you can build points towards vouchers such as Itunes, Amazon and Love2Shop.

Read more about Shamir on their PHN page with links to their site. We thank all our sponsors who help us provide a free optical news and knowledge site to our 7000 readers

Dunelm Optical have their best Optrafair to date.

April 2016

Comments from Peter Beaumont, Managing Director, Dunelm Optical. “This year’s Optrafair was by far our best to date – and we’ve been exhibiting at the show for over 30 years. It was an incredibly successful show for us, the busiest we’ve ever been. We did exceptional levels of business and demand was so high that we found significant crowds queueing to speak to our team”

Dunelms stand at optrafairDunelms on-stand cocktail bar and live DJ were real focal points, creating a full party atmosphere throughout and ensuring that everyone visiting Dunelm over the course of the show was treated to a stand-out experience.

In addition to unveiling our full 2016 collections featuring more than 130 new frames, we exclusively launched our latest brand, Ascari, at Optrafair.

The show was also the first time that the whole UK market was able to see our teen range OMG! on display, and both new brands were extremely well received.

We welcomed lots of new faces over the three days, as well as high numbers of existing and returning customers, all excited by our latest designs right across the collections.

Silhouette Celebrates Record Sales at Optrafair.

April 2015

Silhouette In store standElegant new Shop-In-Shop display and Silhouette’s new brand, ‘neubau eyewear’, boosts sales.

Silhouette UK is celebrating record sales at Optrafair this year with sales figures from 2015 almost doubled.

Increased orders were largely attributed to Silhouette’s stunning, new ‘Shop-In-Shop’ display units and Silhouette’s new brand, ‘neubau eyewear’; a youthful, cutting edge design orientated brand with inspiration drawn from the hip ‘neubau’ district in Vienna, Austria.

On stand CET rimless workshops and training led by Silhouette technicians, Austrian chocolates and sparkling wine also attracted a busy flow of delegates and sales. (As published on PHN “Sweetens the Show)

The Silhouette workshops were fully booked for all three days and, in total, Silhouette gave out CET points to over 150 delegates.
Silhouette’s sports brand, Adidas sports eyewear, saw lots of interest in the return of their refreshed and updated ski goggle range, as well as their new technology in the ‘Vario lens’; a light sensitive lens which can go from crystal clear to grey in under 10 seconds.

Perfect for outdoor sport. Managing Director of Silhouette UK, David Chalmers, commented, “We are delighted with the success of our participation at Optrafair. We love seeing friendly faces and we were especially proud to be showcasing our beautiful new ‘Shop-In-Shop’ units which were being snapped up like hot cakes by our customers!”.

As a mark of appreciation to their customers, and for those who were unable to attend the show, Silhouette is extended their special show deals until the end of the month.

AOP Awards expansion at 100% Optical

April 2016

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has announced the expansion of its annual AOP Awards ceremony to run alongside 100% Optical in February 2017.

Following a record attendance of more than 7,000 professionals at this year’s 100% Optical show, the move brings together the two successful events under one roof in London.

AOP Awards 2015A highlight in the optical calendar, the AOP Awards celebrates the extraordinary achievements of individuals and organisations in optics and has grown in popularity since its launch in 2011.

Now in its third year, 100% Optical has become London’s biggest trade event in the profession, with a comprehensive CET programme showcasing education, innovation and product development.

The alignment of the AOP Awards at 100% Optical enables the Association to showcase excellence in the profession on a larger scale, with benefits for members, guests and delegates.

Henrietta Alderman, AOP Chief Executive, said: “Since its launch three years ago, 100% Optical has enabled us to deliver a world-class education programme, with exclusive access to seminars, workshops and one-to-one advice for AOP members. The alignment of the AOP Awards at 100% Optical further cements our ongoing partnership with Media 10.

Our members can look forward to an even bigger show next year, which combines both educational excellence and a celebration of the leading lights in the profession.”

Nathan Garnett, Event Director for 100% Optical, said: “We are delighted to add the prestigious AOP Awards to the already popular evening event schedule during 100% Optical.

This is yet another reason for optical professionals from across the country to book their trip to ExCeL next February. Not only is 100% Optical the largest gathering of optical professionals in the year, it also now has the most important annual awards recognising excellence taking place alongside it. There are many benefits in the alignment of the AOP Awards and 100% Optical and we are excited about the new opportunities it brings us to develop both events.”

Over the coming months, the Association will be reviewing the AOP Awards with plans for expansion at 100% Optical, with further announcements to follow.

The AOP Awards will take place on Sunday 5 February 2017 in the Capital Suite at ExCeL London, enabling guests the opportunity to experience 100% Optical on both Sunday and Monday.

This announcement follows the long-term commitment made in February 2016 by the AOP and Media 10 to continue their partnership on the annual London-based 100% Optical event.

100% Announce that 50% of 2017 show is already booked.

April 2016

In just 8 weeks since the close of 100% Optical’s February London Show over 50% of allotted space has already been booked by exhibitors.

Nathan Garnett reported that this is the fastest rebooking of any of the 3 shows so far that have gained traction in the industry. Its proof he said that the Optical Profession has very much taken the London Venue and the ambience that Media 10 to heart.

Clocks ticking for community optometry, Doug Perkins warns at Optrafair (Saturday)

April 2016

The clocks are ticking, and the optometry profession has just a couple of years to get its act together on enhanced optical services, or it risks being swept away, Doug Perkins told delegates at Optrafair this weekend.


doud perkinsIn his keynote speech, The future of optics, the co-founder of Specsavers, an optometrist for almost 50 years, spoke about the disruptive change facing optometry today – a potent cocktail of technological advances, demographic change and changes in consumer behaviour, and financial pressures in the NHS.

He said, ‘As an optical profession, we need to find a sustainable way through all these disruptive forces - forces that we have never previously faced with our very stable business model.

‘My vision is that as optometrists we need to take on the full scope of primary care – enhanced optical services - which will be more accessible for patients and also offer them better continuity of care.

‘If we are not prepared to change our model there is a danger of us being categorised as just retail optical shops.’

He said that he was surprised by the complacency of many in the profession in the face of these challenges and warned, ‘Loyalty is a great thing but we know that when it comes to convenience, technology and price, if you are on the old model you will not keep your customers; they will migrate. Don’t bank on loyalty as your only card.’

He highlighted that if the optical profession did not step up to the challenge, ophthalmologists and medical groups were standing by ready to take on community eyecare, and they would be looked upon favourably by the medically-oriented CCGs (clinical commissioning groups).

‘We have a commissioning model based on 211 separate groups in England. That is clearly not a win-win situation. It is much too inconsistent, covers much too small an area, and the contracts are much too short. I believe that to avoid this postcode lottery, the devolution model in Greater Manchester is the way forward – an area that has 12 CCGs coming together, servicing the needs of 2.5 million people, which is about the population of Wales.

‘The Welsh and Scottish results for enhanced optical services are already impressive. In Scotland all our practices offer independent prescribing - it is an exciting journey that they are on. We need to keep collecting the evidence of the clinical and financial benefits of optometry-led primary care so that we can convince NHS England to act.’

Doug also pointed out that optometry education needed to change.

‘We need to get the GOC and the College (of Optometrists) working together to ensure graduates have EOS capability after four years – that should be their number one target. All graduates in Australia have full EOS capability after the same length of time and they are able to do prescribing as well. I can’t see why that should not happen in the UK.

‘The GOC and the College have to ensure universities are fit for purpose and that post grad units can regionally carry out accreditation.

‘I do think the GOS should be more proactive in saying that, after two years everyone in the profession should be MECS-qualified, able to deal with minor eye conditions. After three years they can then go on to glaucoma and cataract management.

‘Education is great, experience is even better, particularly hospital experience. If we don’t acquire experience that can satisfy NHS England we will never achieve credibility in the face of the medical challenge.’

Doug also called on the leaders of the optical profession and all optical groups to work together to make enhanced optical services their number one aspiration.

‘There are a lot of major bodies involved in optometry and there is a lot of money involved, there is a lot of faith and trust involved, but there is not a lot of working together. The Optical Confederation was formed for that function, but it is not doing that. It is probably not their fault: it is everybody’s fault. We need to say, the past is the past, draw a line, let’s find the right model and let’s go forward together. It is going to take time – but if we all make EOS the number one project on the horizon, we can make a difference.’

He ended by highlighting the GOC’s own evidence that the enhanced services vision is a long way from reality, with 54% of people in a recent survey saying they would visit a GP if they had an eye problem and only 19% saying they would visit an optician.

‘Most GPs have had minimum training on eyes and have no primary eyecare equipment and yet 54% of people would go to them first with an eye problem.

‘If we are still in this position in two years’ time, we really will be on a downward path.’

Primary Health Net