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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, July to September 2016


Leading international glaucoma specialist confirmed to present at 100% Optical 2017.

Optrafair 2017 Registration is now open!

University of Salford is the setting for this year’s Annual Hospital Conference.

PHN visits College's Bitesize event at Wembley and BCLA Meeting in Central London.

Fourth successful Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize event delivered with highest attendance yet.

Learn more about using your SPECTRALIS on YouTube.

JCL Consulting Announces Latest Emergency First Aid at Work Course

Optometry Tomorrow 2017 tickets on sale now!

Silhouette host free exclusive rimless workshop.

It's September and SILMO 2016 is around the corner.

No7 Promotes Topography at Regional Events.

SVUK 16 announce conference titled “Into the Future”, with help from Shamir.

PHN Welcomes ABDO College as a new sponsor on Opchat Site

Optrafair organisers promise Revolution for 2017

AIO Announces Full Conference Programme.

OPTRAFAIR given new lease of life through vibrant theme and new website.

Heidelberg Engineering to host Christmas imaging symposium.

College of Optometrists welcomes Ulster University accreditation for two new higher qualifications.

Sunglasses advice in 60 seconds, a new video from AOP.

AOF announces 2016 Travel Grants

ABDO appoints Nick Walsh as Sector Skills Development Officer.

Optegra Eye Healthcare announced as headline sponsor of Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize 2016.

100% Optical proclaims Brexit as being a neutral issue on the sector.

American Academy of Optometry Announces 2016 Award Recipients.

Primary Health Net confirmed again as Co-Media Partners for Optrafair 2017.

OCT training to suit your needs.

Leading international glaucoma specialist confirmed to present at 100% Optical 2017.

September 2016

Sanjay AsraniHighlighting the world-class connections that Heidelberg Engineering engenders, their guest speaker at 100% Optical 2017 has been confirmed as Sanjay Asrani, Professor of Ophthalmology and Clinical Director of the Duke Eye Centre, North Carolina, USA.

The CET-accredited lecture he will deliver at the show will reflect his position as a leading international glaucoma specialist and American Academy of Ophthalmology Award winner.

“Heidelberg Engineering are delighted to be welcoming Professor Asrani back to the UK to speak at 100% Optical once again”, explains Christopher Mody, Director of Clinical Services. “His show-stopping presentation on the main stage in 2015 ‘Multicolor + OCT: The Interface of Retina and Glaucoma‘ was extremely well received and his next instalment at the 2017 meeting will showcase the latest multimodal imaging techniques for the diagnosis and management of glaucoma in practice”.

Professor Asrani’s lecture will take place at 12.00pm on Sunday 5th February and registration for the lecture will open on the 100% Optical website soon.

Visit www. to register your interest in attending next year’s show.

100% Optical and Heidelberg are both supporters of your free Opchat News and knowledge resource. Vist their pages at 100% and Heidelberg.

Optrafair 2017 Registration is now open!

September 2016

Optrafair is back at the Birmingham NEC next year for an even bigger and better show. Don't miss out on booking your FREE ticket for the original optical exhibition.

Optrafair returns to its former glory with revitalised imagery, central location, strong transport links to the whole of the UK, show timing that lends itself to complement buying cycles and exclusive and interactive content and features, attracting thousands of visitors – you can’t afford not to be a part of this valuable opportunity.

Click here to register to attend and join thousands of the UK's eye care professionals at the only show by the sector, for the sector.

University of Salford is the setting for this year’s Annual Hospital Conference.

September 2016

The Second Annual Hospitals Conference 2016 boasts a variety of outstanding speakers from across public, private and charity sectors.

Each one has been handpicked based on their expertise and achievements, ensuring that delegates enjoy only the highest quality presentations. A wide number of topics will be covered on the day, and delegates can expect speakers to discuss challenges, successes and case studies around the interest areas below:

Understanding the multiple drivers of change in hospital care
Making the most of the IT revolution
Using information to improve healthcare
Implementing new medical and communication technologies
Achieving clinical and financial excellence in a healthcare setting through technology
Successfully managing patient and public expectation
Ensuring quality and safety remains at the forefront of all care
Delivering against a backdrop of constrained resources and new payment systems
Ageing patient base with multi morbidity
Developing new models of provision
Addressing the challenges facing acute trusts
Building a financially, socially and environmentally sustainable hospital
Integrating research and healthcare in the future hospital
Using technology to streamline telecommunications in a healthcare setting
Improving patient safety in the future hospital
Utilising hospital-based expertise to deliver excellence in care in the community

Delegates will hear a number of different perspectives and best practice case studies as all those involved in the future of hospitals attempt to rise to the current challenges that mean hospitals have to be flexible and responsive, working in new and innovative ways to improve quality of care while also becoming more efficient.

PHN visits College's Bitesize event at Wembley and BCLA Meeting in Central London.

September 2016

210 delegates and their enthusiasm came as a real breath of fresh air to the observer of many conferences before. The Holiday Inn buzzed with expectation of attendees, so many delegates many of a younger age too.

The College under its new leadership of Ian Humphreys certainly seems to have judged this conference offer accurately. Back to back exceptional lectures provided in a one-day process away from the practice on a Sunday is obviously a winner.

The conference was sponsored by Optegra as lead sponsors and also had a small number of trade stalls in attendance. This was to their advantage with a large and receptive audience finding time to chat with the exhibitors in break time.

At over 200 attendees, a record, the College will be delighted and according to Humphreys, the CEO, this is a continuing trend with the regional events becoming very successful in the College Year. In years gone past 200 delegates would have been a level expected at the annual 2 day AGM!

In comparison the writer enjoyed a lecture which followed the “closed, members only” AGM on the following evening at the Royal College of Nursing.

The excellent and frothy lecture was given by Brian Tomkins, BCLA President and Sarah Morgan in their normal enigmatic style.

Named “The Future is in your hands”, the lecture aimed to promote a new upbeat view of the future of contact lens provision in the UK. A sort of “post BREXIT” theme insisting that we have the potential to provide so much more to patients than online sales marketers, great products, great expertise and a comforting experience for patients. The bottom line is we just need to tell people how good we are, or as Brian would say….. start bragging.

Maybe the fronting of the meeting with an AGM changed the dynamic of the evening but there were certainly a lot more in the audience with bus passes than at the College Event. Which as Tompkins noted, “we’ve done our bit as contact lens older statesmen, we must rely on the next generation to carry forward the most exciting period of contact lens growth.”

Where are all the young and up and coming new fitters? This is the next and needed mission of the BCLA.

Maybe take a look at the College marketing, PR and ethos and you get a real family feel, maybe that’s what we all enjoy.

Fourth successful Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize event delivered with highest attendance yet

September 2016

The fourth Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize was delivered in Wembley, London, yesterday attracting the highest number of attendees at the event to date. Over 210 people attended Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize which featured some of the best received sessions from Optometry Tomorrow 2016, including Latest in glaucoma treatment, surgery and service delivery by Leon Au; The examination and management of dry eye by Dr Michael Johnson; The world of diabetic fundus in 10 cases by Wendy Newsom and The NICER study: childhood refractive error in the 21st Century by Dr. Lisa O’Donoghue.

The Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize programme consisted of lectures, workshops and peer discussion sessions, including three sessions on integrating OCT into glaucoma assessment. Optometrist and therapeutic competencies were covered during the day, with delegates earning an average of eight interactive CET points each.

Mary-Ann Sherratt, President of the College of Optometrists, said: "We're very proud to have run Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize for the fourth consecutive year and especially since this year's conference has the highest number of delegates to date. It's great to be able to provide a whole package in a convenient one day event for our members. This year we had a variety of peer discussions, workshops and lectures, all of which provide very valuable content for members to bring back to their practice setting."

Dr Michael Johnson MCOptom presented a lecture at the event and said: ”The College events are always well run and as a speaker it was great to talk to an audience that were keen to learn and so, do better for their patients.”

Learn more about using your SPECTRALIS on YouTube

September 2016

Heidelberg on You TubeHeidelberg Engineering has added an extensive range of videos to their YouTube channel to assist users to get the most out of their SPECTRALIS Imaging Platform.

A range of ‘how-to’ videos are featured, which provide guidance on acquiring images using the Ultra Widefield Module, as well as the MultiColor, BluePeak Autofluorescence and Anterior Segment Modules.

The “Basic image acquisition with SPECTRALIS” video provides a simple scanning protocol for the macula and retinal nerve fibre layer.

There are also a number of videos providing instruction on interpreting OCT images, which give clear guidance on how to make valued judgements while scanning, where to place the OCT cross section, how to identify structural changes and pathology and link visual symptoms and history to OCT appearance.

View the YouTube videos by visiting the site and entering Heidelberg Engineering UK in the search bar.

JCL Consulting Announces Latest Emergency First Aid at Work Course.

September 2016

Did you know that Employers have a legal duty regarding First Aid?

The HSE expects businesses to carry out a risk assessment to see what level of risk their business has. Your business is probably fairly low risk, but the health and safety of the general public should also be taken into account.

Some small businesses can manage with just an ‘Appointed Person’ who is responsible for keeping the first aid kit up to date, calling an ambulance and keeping records. However, as you have members of the public visiting your premises, it is advised that you always have a member of staff with ‘Emergency First Aid at Work’ training, available at all times. Please remember that your First Aiders will have holidays and sickness, so you will need to provide cover

To help practices with this, JCL Consulting will be running an 'Emergency First Aid at Work' Training Course at the Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley on 12th October. The cost will be £150.00 plus VAT per delegate including lunch and refreshments.

The course will run from 9.30am - 4.00pm with registration from 9.15am.

Course content covered: First aid at work rules and regulations, fears of first aid, barriers, initial assessment, unconscious and breathing, recovery position, the heart, sudden cardiac arrest, heart attacks and CPR, One rescuer CPR, chest only compressions, CPR handover to a second rescuer, adult choking - conscious and unconscious, serious bleeding management and wounds, shock, spinal injury management, burns and scalds, anaphylactic shock and allergies, seizures and epilepsy.

You will receive a nationally recognised first aid qualification that is HSE compliant and your certificate is valid for 3 years.

The course will be delivered by professional first aid instructors.

For further information please visit here, or call 020 8663 9014.

Optometry Tomorrow 2017 tickets on sale now!

September 2016

Tickets for Optometry Tomorrow 2017 are now on sale, with a 50% saving available for College of Optometrists members for a limited period.

The College’s annual two-day conference will take place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel from 19-20 March 2017 and will offer cutting-edge lectures, seminars, peer discussion and hands-on clinical and discussion workshops.

For the fourth year running, College members who book by 31 October can purchase a two-day ticket for £165 (full rate £330), or a one-day ticket for £115 (full rate £230). Further discounts are available for students and members who qualified from July 2013 onwards.

The programme will cover a range of practice-based topics including OCT, dry eye, myopia, AMD, contact lenses and paediatrics. Up to 15 CET points are available over the two days.

Silhouette host free exclusive rimless workshop.

September 2016

Silhouette, the world’s leading lite eyewear brand, will be hosting an exclusive free CET training event on Thursday 22nd September at its head offices in Chiswick, London.

Silhouette will be delivering Rimless Workshops, Discussions and a Poster Quiz in each session, worth seven CET points to participants. Sessions will be held at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and 7pm.

In addition to the training Silhouette will be providing refreshments as well as a full update and preview of their new frames and marketing support packages for 2017.

To book your place on a CET session, please contact Silhouette, stating which time slot you would like to attend.

It's September and SILMO 2016 is around the corner.

September 2016

Silmo LogoSILMO 2016, experience optics in focus

After the success of the 2015 edition, SILMO 2016 keeps more than ever its goal to combine business and creativity, constantly seeking to provide meaningful services for attending professionals.

After a 2015 event characterised by an extremely positive business climate and a rise in visitor numbers, the “OPTICS INDUSTRY’S LARGEST FLAGSHIP STORE” announces that continuity will be the Silmo 2016’s theme.

Organised even more effectively around four complementary categories – fashion, health, innovation and training –, the key will be to ensure synergy with optics and eyewear industry requirements.

The goal is to combine business and creativity, constantly seeking to provide meaningful services for attending professionals, visitors and exhibitors alike.

The various exhibition areas represent the entire industry (optical frames, sunglasses, lenses, contact lenses, low vision, equipment, optical instruments, store layout etc.). They bring together 900 exhibitors from across the globe along with 1,350 designer brands divided into twelve clearly identified segments, enhanced by an updated setting.

Highlights of the 2016 exhibition:

Trends Pop-Up Store
Secret Store or Commerce 3.0
Silmo TV
Trends Mag by Silmo
Low Vision stand
Ab Fab Lab stand dedicated to new technologies
Silmo Academy on the theme of “READING”
Silmo D’Or Awards

From 23 to 26 September 2016, the entire optics and eyewear world will be gathered in Paris, a unique experience for the development and international standing of the entire industry.

Go to our SILMO preview pages which start today.

Read More about the show here.

SILMO Symposium

Visit the Symposium on Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings.

SILMO 2016 Scientific symposium programme

The general topic of the SILMO Academy 2016 symposium: Reading

The Silmo academy conferences
(Translation French / English)

Session 1 - Saturday September 24th 2016 - 10am - 1pm


1. Symposium introduced by Pr. Yves Pouliquen, Member of the Académie Française

2. The ophthalmologist’s role by Pr. Christian Corbé, ophthalmologist

3. The neurological processes involved in reading by Pr. Olivier Martinaud, neurologist

Coffee break

4. How visual performance supports reading, the orthoptist’s point of view by Brigitte Ekpe, orthoptist

5. Reading from the optician’s perspective by Bruno Delhoste, optician

6. Measuring reading performance on digital devices by Dr Jean Luc Perrin (PhD), researcher

7. The Comédie Française (French National Theatre Company) and reading by Michel Favory, member of the Comédie Française

Session 2 - Sunday September 25th 2016 - 10am - 1pm


1. Uncorrected refractive errors and their influence on educational success by Laurie A. Fitz, researcher at MUAS Munich

2. Orthoptics/speech therapy, complementary treatments for children with learning difficulties at school by Chantal Savina Pernes, orthoptist and Annick David-Millot, speech therapist.

3. Visual skills and reading: saccadic ocular movements evaluated through DEM test by Dr Alessio Fachin (PhD) and Silvio Maffioletti

4. Why are postural prisms used in the treatment of dyslexia? by N. Quercia, ophtalmologist

5. How are postural prisms used in the treatment of dyslexia? by N. Midol-Monnet, optician

Coffee break


1. Reading, visual problems and working life by Caroline Kovarski, (PhD) lecturer

2. Asthenopia and fixation disparity; their impact on near vision / reading by Olga Prenat, optician

3. How to identify the correction cylinder for near vision by Pr. Mo Jalie, lecturer

4. Corneal lenses and binocular vision: an aid to reading by Pr. Langis Michaud, lecturer

Session 3 - Monday September 26th 2016 - 10am - 1pm


1. When reading vision deteriorates at the age of 45, what corneal lens options are available by Pr. Langis Michaud, lecturer

2. Off-axis performance of spectacle lenses in near vision by Pr. Mo Jalie, lecturer

3. Reading and visual impairments; a daily concern for orthoptists by Martine Routon, orthoptist

4. Significance of reading speed in low vision assessment and management by Prema Chande, lecturer

5. Sight impairment and the pleasure of reading by Dominique Martin, orthoptist and Charlotte Gaillard, optician

Coffee break


1. Overcoming the challenges facing a public health project by means of optical correction treatments by Pr. Serge Resnikoff, ophthalmologist

2. The effects of tablets, screens and smartphones on reading and their role in the development of myopia by Pr. Langis Michaud, lecturer

3. The history of progressive lenses, a French success, by Jean Charles Leroux


No7 Promotes Topography at Regional Events.

August 2016

No 7 Topography

Promoting the use of topography for all contact lens fitting, and particularly Ortho-k, is the key message from No7 at its forthcoming events –

AIO Conference, Cardiff 9-10 October

Hospital Optometrists’ Conference, with mini-scleral lens workshop, Stratford 8-9 October

National Eyecare Group, Birmingham 6-7 November

The autumn events are an opportunity to find out just how rewarding Ortho-k can be as a practice builder, attracting a loyal following of patients, says the company. Specialist lens fitting for dry eye patients, kerataconics and complex prescriptions are all aspects of care for which No7 offers an extensive choice of specialist lenses, fitted via topography.

Reflex Colours, the new bespoke lenses for therapeutic use, will be displayed via trial sets which provide a limitless choice of bespoke colour options for every patient’s needs.

SVUK 16 announce conference titled “Into the Future”, with help from Shamir.

August 2016

SVUK Sportvision and Schoolvision announce their annual conference “Into the Future“ on Sunday, 9 October at the Hilton East Midlands airport hotel.

This will be a free to attend event and is already attracting great interest from Sponsors and we’re very pleased that Shamir has continued to play a pivotal role in the conference organisation.

Provisional programme includes:
• Marketing - myth or magic
• De-mystifying Fixation Disparity
• Trends in contact lens dispensing
• Sports lens update
• Sportvision case studies
• Sport safety for adults & children
• Ocular trauma in Rugby

There will also be a special report on groundbreaking research in Somerset in school vision screening by the Association of Sport and Schoolvision practitioners (ASvP). The results show dramatic results in terms of the need for optometric intervention and the positive effect it can have on reading speed and academic achievement

This grant aided research carried out at a Hemyock primary school indicates a growing interest in this field amongst teachers, parents and the profession.

There have been five visits so far. The first two to undertake the preliminary screening to see which of the 69 children were at risk of visually related learning difficulties. Each child was given a score based on the tests. Every child that had five or more deficiencies in the diagnostic elements of visual performance was refracted and issued with spectacles.
Hemyock School is only one of 12 satellite Schools in this academy group. It is already clear there will be an increasing demand for the services of (ASvP) provided by qualified local independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians.

A further study is being proposed in London in an even bigger academy group. SVUK will be appealing to all diploma holders to bring their skills up-to-date by becoming ASvP members and if necessary completing a Schoolvision diploma course. The Association has already become international with a nucleus of dedicated members in New Zealand and recent delegates coming from South Africa and Australia to add to the many countries who have already been represented on the diploma courses

You can review the conference details and register here.

Shamir are leading sponsors of he event, and sponsor your free Opchat News Resource. Read more about Shamir here.

PHN Welcomes ABDO College as a new sponsor on Opchat Site

August 2016

ABDO College

ABDO College this week joins our sponsors in supporting our free news resource by publishing in the Supplier's Guide under the Training and Education heading.

Readers can find out about the ethos of the ABDO College and gain excess to the ABDO College site from specefic links from the many courses promoted on the page.

This is an excellent guide that can be promoted to students and staff considering taking further steps in their Optical Careers.

Optrafair organisers promise Revolution for 2017

August 2016

Optrafair Revolution

Optrafair returns to its former glory with revitalised imagery, central location, strong transport links to the whole of the UK, show timing that lends itself to complement buying cycles and exclusive and interactive content and features, attracting thousands of visitors – you can’t afford not to be a part of this valuable opportunity.

Optrafair has added a new page on the PHN site under its Supplier's Guide Entry. Click here to review. You can register your interest from this page.

Optrafair have chosen Primary Health Net publishers of Opchat as Co-Media Partners and in doing so help PHN provide your free news resource.

AIO Announces Full Conference Programme.

August 2016

• Vaughan Gething AM, Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport to address the Conference

• Over 20 CET points available

The AIO has now published the full programme for its 2016 Conference to be held at The Vale Resort in Cardiff on 9th and 10th October.

The main lecture programme includes Dr Chris Purslow speaking about Nutrition and the Eye, Prof James Loughman on Paediatrics and Myopia and Prof Andrew Quantock talking about Cornea Transparency and Structure. Dr Colin Chu will lecture on Ocular Gene Therapy and to round out the programme Ian Sexton F.B.D.O. CL will present on the ‘Exciting New World of Mini Sclerals’

There will be a special feature event at this year’s Conference that is specifically aimed at those who aspire to own their own Independent Practice. There will be a range of speakers talking about all the aspects of buying into a practice or setting one up from scratch, and one-to-one sessions available to speak to a number of experts on the subject. Three Independents who recently set up their own practices will recount their experiences and identify some of their learning points for delegates.

Students from the local Cardiff School of Optometry are also invited for a special Sunday afternoon session with speakers from The College of Optometrists explaining about work based assessment programs and the all-important OSCEs. Newly qualified AIO members will be there to answer any student questions about pre reg in Independent practice and a College representative will discuss any queries about supervising pre reg students. AIO certainly hopes to give the students a taste for future Independent Practice.

The Conference session on Monday will be opened by Vaughan Gething AM, the Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport who will present on Health and Eye care service provision policy for Wales. This will be followed by lectures on Electronic marketing and social media and Behavioural Optometry and a presentation on IC (the Independents Code).

With a range of workshops and break-out sessions offering over 20 CET points for both Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians, the 2016 Conference is a very wide ranging event. Add in the usual excellent AIO social programme, an extensive 2 day Sponsors exhibition and the excellent facilities of The Vale and there really is something for everybody this year.

Peter Warren, AIO Chairman said ‘I am really looking forward to this year’s Conference which will be the first time that we have ventured into Wales. I am delighted that Vaughan Gething has agreed to address the Conference to provide some insight into eye care provision in Wales. I would encourage all Independents throughout the UK to make a point of coming to the AIOs annual flagship event.’

OPTRAFAIR given new lease of life through vibrant theme and new website.

August 2016

Optrafair FashionOptrafair, the UK’s leading optical event since 1978, is delighted to unveil its new theme and website (

Optrafair is the only show to cover the whole optical industry 100%. Therefore, it is important the show represents the sector in the most visual and engaging way possible. The new theme brings powerful colours to the show to recognise the vibrancy and innovation of the sector.

Four key ‘revolution’ areas are brought to life through the fresh imagery; Technology, Vision, Fashion and Business, all of which will feature heavily at Optrafair 2017 through a diverse range of exhibitors, features and education provision. ‘Revolution’ represents the revival of Optrafair, and the dynamism of the optical industry which is seeing rapid changes across the sector.

Optrafair Tec


An exciting promotional campaign is being rolled out as Optrafair picks up momentum over the next few months. Across a wide range of media, partners and associations, the bright new theme and imagery will reach all corners of the optical sector to remind the profession that Optrafair’s heritage and standing in the sector makes it the show you cannot afford to miss.


Optrafair VisionThe new website is bright and features an uncluttered design. The website has been completely redesigned to make it faster, easier to navigate, and more user-friendly. As a premium event in the sector, Optrafair now has a website that ‘shouts from the rooftops’ about the show – clearly showing what the show has to offer for everyone in the optical industry.

Optrafair BusinessVisitors and exhibitors can now access all the information they need in a clear and logical way. They can read the latest news from the organisers, exhibitors and the FMO, read about the new features and keep up to date with the education programme as it develops.

For the first time, users will be able to plan their stay, with a plethora of information about how to spend your time outside show open hours, including the Optician Awards ( and the excellent facilities available at Resorts World Birmingham.

MA Exhibitions and the FMO have worked in partnership with members and partners to put together the new theme and website. Visually engaging, and rich in information, these two elements form just two of the many reasons Optrafair 2017 will be the biggest and best for many years.

Heidelberg Engineering to host Christmas imaging symposium.

August 2016

Heidelberg symposiumHeidelberg Engineering will host a special Christmas edition of the annual International SPECTRALIS Symposium (ISS) on the 25th and 26th November 2016 in Vienna, Austria.

The scientific programme will include a broad spectrum of presentations and interactive sessions from experienced users on the latest advances in OCT and fundus imaging. To foster scientific exchange, participants are also encouraged to contribute to the programme with their own study reports and case presentations.

“Over the years, Heidelberg Engineering Academy events have become known for their atmosphere of vibrant scientific exchange”, explains Christopher Mody, Director of Clinical Services. “Participants interested in the latest developments in ophthalmic imaging will be able to take home new ideas and concepts for clinical practice”.

The scientific lectures will take place next to Vienna’s Christmas market at the Gartenpalais Liechtenstein, a unique palace steeped in history with magnificent gardens.

Find out more and register for the meeting by visiting here

Heidelberg Engineering are one of the sponsors of your free Opchat News Pages, please visit their newly revamped PHN page which links to their main websight.

College of Optometrists welcomes Ulster University accreditation for two new higher qualifications.

August 2016

Ulster University has been accredited to provide two of the College of Optometrists’ higher qualifications: the Professional Certificate in Low Vision and the Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care.

The Professional Certificate in Low Vision has been developed to provide optometrists with up-to-date knowledge in holistic low vision care and provide a high standard of low vision care in either hospital or community optometry for non-complex cases. It will be delivered mainly through a virtual learning environment but students will need to attend the University for a practical clinical skills session for low vision assessment.

The first Professional Certificate in Low Vision Ulster course will start in January 2017 and will last 16 weeks.

The Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care provides optometrists with the knowledge to support evidence-based eye care for infants and children of all ages.

The course has been specially designed so that it can be undertaken entirely through distance-learning, thus providing busy practitioners from all over the UK and beyond an opportunity to gain this higher qualification utilising modern web-based learning tools, including online tutorials. A face-to-face tutorial at the University is also available for those wishing to attend.

The course will begin in January 2017 and will be 14 weeks long.

Both courses are designed as equivalent to a 20 credit level 7 QAA module, involving approximately 200 hours of learning.

Jackie Martin, Director of Education at the College said: “We’re pleased that Ulster University has been successful in gaining accreditation from the College to provide these courses to optometrists and to widen the availability of our higher qualifications, because we know that optometrists want to develop skills in these areas. These courses are an important undertaking as they are designed to enable optometrists to progress in their careers and ultimately to offer patients enhanced services.”

Prof. Kathryn Saunders, Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Ulster said: I’m really excited that Ulster University is extending the range of higher qualifications offered in collaboration with the College. Both these new higher qualifications are strongly linked to Ulster University Optometry and Vision Science’s clinical and research expertise and build on the experience Ulster has in delivering high quality Masters level professional education through distance-learning.”

These courses are a part of a growing offer of higher qualifications developed by the College of Optometrists in order to enable optometrists to provide extended services in key areas such as children’s eye care, low vision, glaucoma, 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.

Optometrists who have achieved a College-accredited higher qualification can use an affix, or letters, after their name. For the Professional Certificate in Low Vision, this will be; Prof Cert LV. For the Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care, it will be; Prof Cert Paed Eye Care. These affixes will be displayed on the GOC register for all those qualified.

In addition to the new certificate, Ulster University also offers the Professional Certificate in Glaucoma and a Professional Certificate in Medical Retina.

Sunglasses advice in 60 seconds, a new video from AOP.

July 2016

A new video from the Association of Optometrists (AOP) is helping the public protect their eyes this summer, advising on the damage caused by the sun and what steps to take to protect them.

The impact of UV light can be wide reaching, from changing the appearance of the eye to causing serious diseases and conditions. Ceri Smith-Jaynes, optometrist and AOP spokesperson, explains: “Over time, damage can cause growths on the eyelid, it can make the eye less white and less smooth, and more lumpy and yellovideo form AOPw, or cause tumours on the eyelid. UV damage can also lead to cataracts, impairing vision.”

The easiest way to protect eyes from UV light is to wear a good quality pair of sunglasses, Ms Smith-Jaynes continued, elaborating that: “When choosing sunglasses, always go for a pair with the CE mark. This indicates that they have full UV protection. Glasses that sit closer to the eye and wrap-around, blocking out more light, are usually better but wear a hat to reduce light coming over the top as well.”

Addressing UV filters in contact lenses, she added: “Some contact lenses will have UV protection, some won’t, so check the packaging or speak to your optometrist to be sure. However, don’t forget that, even if your contact lenses have a UV block, they will only cover a certain area of your eye – the area outside this, usually the white of the eye and the eyelids, are still vulnerable to UV damage. So you should also wear sunglasses.”
Ms Smith-Jaynes finished by reminding the public that they should never look directly at the sun, saying: “Even if you are wearing sunglasses looking at the sun is just not safe, the damage can happen in seconds and is not repairable”.

The AOP advises on three steps for protecting your eyes against sun damage:

  1. Wear CE marked sunglasses, even if you are using contact lenses with a UV filter
  2. Add extra protection with a wide brimmed sun hat
  3. Never look at the sun directly – even if it’s just for a few seconds

Association of Optometrist 60 second advice: sunglasses is the first in a series of short advice videos designed for patients.    


AOF announces 2016 Travel Grants

July 2016

American Optometric Foundation announces 2016 AOF Student Giving Matching Travel Grant Recipients

The American Optometric Foundation (AOF) would like to announce the recipients of the 2016 AOF Student Giving Matching Travel Grant Program.

The program was created in 2014 to increase participation in the American Academy of Optometry student chapters and create a climate of giving to the AOF.

Students are encouraged to raise $750 and the AOF will match it in order to support travel for students to attend the Academy annual meeting.

The 2016 Recipients and the Participating Institutions are:

Jennifer M. Sitko Indiana University School of Optometry

Sara Marie Siebert Indiana University School of Optometry

Thomas B. Lambert University of Missouri -St. Louis College of Optometry

Taylor Dahms University of Missouri -St. Louis College of Optometry

Jacqueline Duong Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry

Amy Field Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry

Catherine D'Ardenne State University of New York College of Optometry

Ryan Nguyen State University of New York College of Optometry

Katharine Funari Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University

Samantha Myers Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University

ABDO appoints Nick Walsh as Sector Skills Development Officer.

July 2016

Nick WalshThe Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) has announced the appointment of Nick Walsh in the newly created position of Sector Skills Development Officer (SSDO).

In the new SSDO position, Nick Walsh will have responsibility for promoting all qualifications offered by both ABDO and the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM).

Nick Walsh, a qualified dispensing optician, is currently head of ophthalmic lenses and dispensing (UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain) at Specsavers and will commence his new role at ABDO in November.

Commenting on the appointment Tony Garrett, ABDO general secretary, said: “I’m delighted that Nick will be joining the ABDO team, he has extensive experience in delivering learning and development, as well researching technological advances for dispensing practices.


“In the new promotional role for ABDO and WCSM qualifications and courses run by ABDO College, Nick will engage directly with employers, promoting the very high standards offered by ABDO College and encouraging more people to train and gain nationally recognised optical qualifications.”

Upon the announcement of his appointment Nick Walsh said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to help employers discover the options open to them and their teams to build a career in optics, achieving this through the extensive range of courses provided by ABDO College and qualifications from both ABDO and WCSM. I’m looking forward to the new role and working with the College and industry employers in the near future.”

Optegra Eye Healthcare announced as headline sponsor of Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize 2016.

July 2016

The College of Optometrists has announced today that Optegra Eye Healthcare will be the headline sponsor of Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize 2016.

Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize 2016, the College of Optometrists’ one-day conference that brings together some of the most popular sessions from the College’s annual conference, will take place at the Holiday Inn Wembley, London on Sunday 18 September. It will offer lectures, skills workshops, discussion workshops and peer discussion sessions, and will cover a range of optometrist and therapeutic competencies. As headline sponsor, Optegra Eye Healthcare will have a stand at the trade exhibition, where they will have the opportunity to engage with the 200 College members the conference is set to attract.

Nicola Saunders, Marketing Executive at Optegra Eye Healthcare said: “At Optegra Eye Healthcare we are very pleased to be the headline sponsor for Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize 2016. We operate seven eye hospitals across the country and as such it’s very important to us to have the opportunity to share our latest news with optometrists from the length and breadth of the UK which Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize will allow us to do.”

The College’s Director of Member Services and Communications, Catherine Bithell, said: “Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize is often very popular with those who couldn’t make it to the full Optometry Tomorrow conference in March. It provides a good chance to access much of the great content and highlights from the larger conference in a condensed way and offers great value for members at just £60 for the day with up to nine CET points on offer.”

Geoffrey Wayte MCOptom, optometrist at Peebles and Wayte and a delegate at Optometry Tomorrow 2016 said “I really enjoyed Optometry Tomorrow; I always find it increases my knowledge of how to treat various eye conditions. As an independent prescriber, I’m always interested in attending OT to help keep up to date with what’s going on, and this year the content was particularly good.” Stephanie Bentley MCOptom, optometrist for Specsavers added; “This year’s Optometry Tomorrow has been the best conference I have been to in a long time. The quality and content of the lectures has been fantastic.”

The programme at Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize includes sessions on glaucoma; dry eye; the NICER study; keratoconus; OCT; diabetic retinopathy and gonioscopy. The full programme is available to view here.

100% Optical proclaims Brexit as being a neutral issue on the sector.

July 2016

Exhibitors are reminded that there is no better place to showcase their products on an international platform.

This year the February London Major Show reported:

• 1,437 international attendees in 2016

• 22 out of 28 countries of the EU represented in 2016

• 43% of 2017 exhibitors are international

100% Optical Event “Remains at the heart of Europe” says Event Director.

“We see Brexit as a neutral issue for both the sector and our show, and it even presents an opportunity. The fact that London is both a major fashion capital and a truly European city, makes it so appealing. The UK optical market loves international brands, which is why we embraced London for this growing trade show.” Nathan Garnett, Event Director, 100% Optical

Heidelberg Courses

American Academy of Optometry Announces 2016 Award Recipients.

July 2016

Each year the American Academy of Optometry recognizes distinguished individuals who have made countless contributions to advancing the profession of optometry. This year, the Academy is pleased to recognize six international awardees from Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, United Kingdom and South Africa.

“The individuals nominated for awards this year were all exceptional individuals, which made it a difficult but rewarding task to come up with leading candidates. I am indebted to those who performed the nominations, and those who served on the awards committee. The high quality of candidates is an indication of the success, improvement and influence of the American Academy of Optometry, the American Optometric Foundation, and its members,” remarked Chris A. Johnson, PhD, DSc, FAAO, Awards Committee Chair.

The Academy is pleased to announce the 2016 award recipients:

Martin S. Banks, MA, PhD
Charles F. Prentice Medal and Lecture Award

Erica Fletcher, OD, PhD, FAAO
Glenn A. Fry Award and Lecture
(American Optometric Foundation Award)

Nimesh Patel, OD, PhD, FAAO
Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish Award

Wolfgang Cagnolati, MS, DSc, FAAO
AAO-Essilor Award for Outstanding
International Contributions to Optometry

Rachel “Stacey” Coulter, OD, FAAO
William Feinbloom Award

Kelly Moore, OD, MS
Julius F. Neumueller Award in Optics
(American Optometric Foundation Award)

Richard London, MA, OD, FAAO
Vincent Ellerbrock Clinician Educator Award

Anthony J. Adams, OD, PhD, FAAO
Thomas L. Lewis, OD, PhD, FAAO
Life Fellow Award

Ying Hon, BSc(Hons)Optom, and Andrew K. C. Lam, PhD, MPhil, FAAO
Garland W. Clay Award

Timothy B. Edrington, OD, MS, FAAO
Michael G. Harris Award for Excellence in Optometric Education
(American Optometric Foundation Award)

Awards of the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies

Perry Rosenthal, MD
Max Schapero Memorial Lecture Award

Alan Tomlinson, MSc, PhD, DSc
Founders’ Award

Award of the Public Health & Environmental Vision Section

Kovin Naidoo, OD, PhD, FAAO
Henry B. Peters Memorial Award
in Public Health and Environmental Vision

Award winners will be recognized at the Academy 2016 Anaheim Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 11, 8:00-10:00 AM, in Ballroom E of the Anaheim Convention Center. Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies award recipients will be honored at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, November 9 in Room 207 A-D. The Henry B. Peters Memorial Award will be given on Thursday, November 10 at 4:30 PM in Room 205 AB.

The American Academy of Optometry’s annual meeting, Academy 2016 Anaheim, will take place November 9-12, 2016, at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

Primary Health Net confirmed again as Co-Media Partners for Optrafair 2017.

July 2016

Heidelberg Courses

The Organisers of next year's Optrafair 2017, FMO/Mark Allen Group, this week confirmed that PHN through its Opchat news pages and LOC websites will be Co-Media partners through to the post show analysis next April.

This means that the messages from the exhibitors and the show Organiser will be widely disseminated across our 7000+ readership each week.

Additional pages have already been added concerning the show and its educational programme, and further banners and information will be added throughout the year.

Bob Hutchinson, PHN’s Director, was very enthusiastic about the role that PHN has been given in the promotion of the exhibitors to future and returning visitors. "We have gained over the last few years much experience as co-media partners to many of the International Shows. It means we can dedicate extra space for marketing for signed-up exhibitors in our free preview pages near show time and our flexibility in on-line production allows for regular updates. We are grateful to the organizers as we are all our sponsors in helping provide some financial support that allows the free distribution and publication of your Opchat News."

OCT training to suit your needs.

July 2016

Heidelberg Courses

An extensive educational programme of events covering OCT and fundus image acquisition and interpretation are being offered by Heidelberg Engineering. A large number of educational seminars and training days are run frequently nationwide and also at the dedicated training facility in Hemel Hempstead. Delegate numbers at these events are capped to allow the trainers to tailor the course content to the specific requirements of those in attendance and hosting such a large number of events nationwide allows as many eye care professionals as possible the chance to attend.

Heidelberg Engineering has already held a large number of training days at their offices in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire in addition to several CET accredited OCT LIVE events nationwide.

“The OCT LIVE events offer the unique experience of guiding the delegate through the patient journey, from scanning the patient live in HD on the big screen to interpreting the images and making a decision on patient management”, explains Christopher Mody, Director of Clinical Services. “They are exciting, interactive sessions which challenge the classic case study book format and demonstrate how a multimodal imaging approach can be used in real life to assess a patient’s eye.”

Over the course of 2016 alone, more than 50 CET points have been offered at Heidelberg Engineering courses already and the company is set to add to its CET calendar over the next few weeks.

Heidelberg Engineering are sponsors of your Free Opchat News, please visit their pages on the PHN Site.


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