Primary Health Net
Visit our Public Information Site
Go to my LOC site
Grafton Mainline's page personalities

Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, April to June 2017


Amplify your message with 100% as exhibitors.
Record numbers attend annual Heidelberg Engineering Academy Masterclass.
Looking to offer patients a long term solution to Dry Eye?
Profession’s best sought for AOP Awards 2018.
College of Optometrists announces new accreditation of Professional Diploma in Glaucoma.
New Training Company to offer the Optical Sector experienced professionals in all learning types.
BCLA invites entries for Diane Gould Photography Competition 2017
100% Announces new coach service for 2018 from London Terminals
David Hewlett travels into the future and gains a bonus insight from a screening demo.
Amélie Morel elected President of Silmo
Social Networking arena provides medium for Optical Conference debate.
OPTRAFAIR report by FMO after the Show

Amplify your message with 100% as exhibitors.

June 2017

100% Marketing100% Optical,whose bookings are gaining at an unprecedented pace for its 5th anniversary show next January 2108, show its year round commitment to delivering the message through many routes to its visitors.

Through its own media and marketing tools, using print magazines, and PHNs online resource and Facebook and Twitter accounts provides an audience of:

7500 readership as well as through 100%'s own marketing adding up to 35000 subscribers and 56000 users on its online company profile.

As co-media partners PHN and Opchat News provide year-round PR and stories of interest for exhibitors. The earlier you book your space the sooner your market will be reached. Opchat thanks Media 10 for its sponsorship. Read the 2018 100% pages here.

Record numbers attend annual Heidelberg Engineering Academy Masterclass.

June 2017

Heidelberg Over 100 eye care professionals attended the 6th Annual Heidelberg Engineering Academy Masterclass, making it the company’s biggest Masterclass yet.

The popular event, which took place at the historic Royal Liver Building in Liverpool, showcased the latest innovations in non-invasive vascular imaging of the retina.

Dr Pearse Keane from Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, chaired the evening whilst Professor Usha Chakravarthy from Queens University Belfast, and Dr Roberto Gallego-Pinazo from Oftalvist Valencia, Spain, presented the latest research on MultiColor imaging and OCT Angiography.

A highlight of the Masterclass was the OCT LIVE segment, where two real patients from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital were scanned live on the big screen in front of the audience using the SPECTRALIS Imaging Platform. The audience and speaker panel were invited to discuss their thoughts on the patient’s diagnosis and a lively debate ensued.

“OCT, MultiColor, autofluorescence and OCT angiography imaging were all performed live in front of the audience and compared to baseline scans”, explains Christopher Mody, Director of Clinical Services. “Doctors called out requests for additional imaging on the patients, including customised OCT scan placement and autofluorescence, which we were able to perform on the spot for them. It was a unique experience and it was clear that the multimodal imaging approach increased the clinician’s certainty in the diagnosis.”

It was concluded that the first patient had proliferative diabetic retinopathy and ischemic maculopathy and the second patient has dry and neovascular AMD. The patient volunteers stated that they found the event fascinating and they both independently made the decision to selflessly donate their honorariums to sight care charities.

The next OCT LIVE event from Heidelberg Engineering will be on the subject of glaucoma and optic neuropathies and will take place on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th July at Plymouth University. Contact Paul Artes to register: email here

Heidelberg Engineering are sponsors of your FREE Opchat News and we thank them for their support for the professions only independent news service.

See their page now with links to their own site, here.

Looking to offer patients a long term solution to Dry Eye?

June 2017

Visit Grafton Optical on the ESW Vision stand at BCLA from 9-11 June to demo the revolutionary E-Eye.

100% Coach transportE-Eye – the long lasting solution for Dry Eye management using patented IRPL® technology. See it in action on the ESW Vision Stand 7-8 at BCLA from 9-11 June.

Exclusively available in the UK through Grafton Optical, E-Eye is the first and only medical device in the world using IRPL® (Intense Regulated Pulsed Light) that has been specifically designed for the treatment of Dry Eye due to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).

E-Eye uses a unique patented Intense Regulated Pulsed Light (IRPL®) technology to regenerate the function of the Meibomian glands and improve the quality of their secretions. This new type of polychromatic pulsed light produces perfected calibrated and homogenously sequenced light pulses which stimulate the parasympathetic nerves. This in turn encourages the Meibomian glands to restore their natural lipid flow, reducing tear evaporation and preventing the eyes from becoming dry.

In most cases, Dry Eye symptoms will significantly improve after 3 sessions, carried out over 45 days (Day 0/ Day 15/ Day 45). For 60% of patients results can last up to 3 years.

• Painless, non-invasive and affordable

• Fast results – sessions are completed in a matter of minutes

• Clinical studies with a 90% satisfaction rate on the first 2 sessions

• 95.7% of patients recommend the treatment

• 55% of patients don’t use eye drops anymore

• 82.6% of patients have symptom improvements

Brian Bowles, Managing Director of Grafton Optical says “We have seen huge interest and success with the E-Eye since its launch in the UK last year. It offers huge benefits not only to patients suffering from MGD related Dry Eye but also to practices wishing to increase their income.”

The E-Eye is 100% developed and made in France by ESW Vision, the world’s largest IPL device manufacturer.

For a quote or to arrange a demo of the E-Eye please contact

Grafton Optical are sponsors of Opchat News allowing us to provide independent news to the Optical Sector. Visit their page on PHN.

Profession’s best sought for AOP Awards 2018.

May 2017

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has opened nominations for the AOP Awards 2018. From today (26 May) patients and practitioners will be able to nominate individuals and organisations in 12 categories – including the new category, Health and Wellbeing Practice of the Year.

Taking place at 100% Optical 2018, the AOP Awards celebrates the highest level of achievement in UK optics. In addition to the 12 categories opening today will be the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is selected by an AOP judging panel. There are also two members’ choice awards; Product of the Year and Frame of the Year which are nominated within the sector and voted for exclusively by AOP members.

Frame of the Year, along with the Health and Wellbeing Practice of the Year, is a newcomer to the 2018 event. Introduced after the success of Product of the Year, the category will celebrate the impact of good design, both aesthetically and practically, for practitioner and patient.

Commenting on the new categories, AOP Chief Executive, Henrietta Alderman, said: “One of the best aspects of the AOP Awards is the opportunity it gives to celebrate diversity and passion in optics. In keeping with this, Frame of the Year will highlight innovation in the sector, as chosen by those who work within it.

“The Awards this year will also recognise the importance of a positive working environment with the introduction of Health and Wellbeing Practice of the Year. The event has always looked to celebrate those organisations and individuals who promote wellness among their colleagues and we’re delighted that this new award will shine a spotlight on that important work.”

Ms Alderman continued: “The AOP Awards are about recognising practitioners who contribute so much to the public and profession – with 12 categories opening today do have a look and consider putting yourself forward or nominating a colleague.”

The AOP Awards 2018 will build on the success of the 2017 event, in which over 20,000 votes were cast. Commenting on her win, 2017’s Optometrist of the Year, Prabhjit Boparai, said that receiving the accolade had been overwhelming: “I am elated. Winning means my years of hard work and passion have been recognised.”

Individuals wishing to nominate should click here .

College of Optometrists announces new accreditation of Professional Diploma in Glaucoma.

May 2017

Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have been accredited as a provider of the Professional Diploma in Glaucoma by the College of Optometrists. The Diploma is designed to prepare optometrists to participate in community or hospital-based schemes for the management of patients with established chronic open-angle glaucoma (COAG) and other cases of glaucoma deemed suitable for management by optometrists.

The course will consist of a combination of online learning and face-to-face teaching and students will be required to complete a clinical placement as a part of the qualification. The first course will begin on 8 November 2017 and applications for the course are currently being accepted. Before enrolling on the course, optometrists should have completed the Professional Certificate and Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma.

Jackie Martin, Director of Education at the College of Optometrists, said: “We know there is a demand for this course from optometrists who have already completed the Professional Higher Certificate and are keen to complete the suite of qualifications, so we’re very pleased to be able to accredit the final level qualification at Moorfields. This course will be of particular interest to optometrists who work full-time or part-time in a glaucoma clinic in a hospital. The College’s higher qualifications allow optometrists to take full advantage of opportunities to deliver community services and they are proving very popular. We are working closely with existing and potential new providers to continue to meet the demand for these courses.”

Jay Varia, Principal Optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital said: “We are delighted to have had our course accredited for the College of Optometrists Diploma in Glaucoma. Optometry is changing rapidly. As the needs of our patients and the demands on our healthcare system increase, the profession is ideally placed to extend its traditional role into more direct clinical care. The College of Optometrists suite of glaucoma higher qualifications that we deliver allows optometrists to gain the skills that clinical care roles require. With the knowledge gained, optometrists can work safely and confidently to manage stable glaucoma patients in the community or co-manage complex glaucoma in hospital clinics. These qualifications allow optometrists to demonstrate an ability to provide the best patient care in their chosen area and level of qualification.”

The Professional Diploma in Glaucoma 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 contact lens practice, paediatrics, low vision and medical retina. Courses are undertaken on a part-time basis and are designed to fit with life in a busy practice or hospital department.

In addition to the Professional Diploma in Glaucoma, Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology also offer the College’s Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma and the Professional Higher Certificate in Contact Lens Practice.


May 2017

100% nominated for Excellence Award.

Now entering it's 5th year, 100% Optical has established itself as the platform to generate new leads and orders, launch new products and build brand awareness.

The 2017 marketing campaign has been nominated for the 'Marketing campaign of the year - trade' by the AEO Excellence Awards due to our commitment to supporting exhibitors achieve their business goals and objectives.

New and returning optical suppliers are confirming their stand space at 100% Optical 2018 quicker than any previous year to take advantage of our marketing campaign.

New Training Company to offer the Optical Sector experienced professionals for all learning types.

May 2017

100% Coach transport

Insight Optical Training: Focusing on your Future

A new training provider has entered the optical sector.

Insight Optical Training is offering the full suite of nationally accredited WCSM courses at Levels 2, 3 & 4.

In the near future, our provision will increase to include a range of short courses, certificates, one-day workshops and CET.

Insight can also produce bespoke training packages for optical practices, manufactures and suppliers of any size.

Although the company is new, the team of tutors, trainers and course writers have many years of experience in optical training, creating a modern learning experience with up-to-date resources.

How are we different?

Learners on our courses get more than just access to a website or a paper manual. They have access to an experienced team of experts who provide a range of learning resources to suit different types of learners.

Our courses have flexible start dates, so you can start when you want, along with the added benefit of no constraints of a weekly timetable; you work at your own pace and at a time that suits you.

There are also plenty of revision tools to properly prepare learners before taking any exams.

Insight have become PHN Opchat News Sponsors, for which we thank them, go to their new page to discover the courses provided and links to their website.

BCLA invites entries for Diane Gould Photography Competition 2017

April 2017

The BCLA are now accepting entries for the BCLA Diane Gould Photography Competition for 2017.

A keen supporter of the BCLA, Diane sadly passed away in June 2013.  Diane attended 20 BCLA Conferences during her career, and the Annual BCLA Photographic Award is named in her honour.

Entries for the competition can be made online. The closing date for entries is Friday 5 May 2017.  All entries received will be entered into the competition and the winner plus runners up announced at the BCLA Clinical Conference on Sunday 11 June.

The winner will receive a commemorative plaque plus a £150 Amazon voucher.
2nd and 3rd places will each receive a £50 Amazon voucher.

100% Announces new coach service for 2018 from London Terminals to reach Excel.

April 2017

100% Coach transport100%’s research on this years show where over 8000 practice managers, optometrists and dispensing opticians attended showed that 37% of them travelled from the North and the Midlands.

For those that have not as yet attended this vibrant and important show at the Excel, they would be surprised how easy it is to reach and to aid this further 100% have added free coach links from all the major terminals.

Next years show for your diary is on 27th -29th January


Primary Health Net are proud to once again have been engaged as co-media partners for 2018 and Media 10's support among other industry players allows us to provide Opchat News 24/7 to the professions.

David Hewlett travels into the future and gains a bonus insight from a screening demo.

April 2017

David HewlettI have been to the future - and it works! So says FODO CEO David Hewlett following his three days recently at Optrafair.

So much new equipment is becoming available. Not only improvements on existing equipment but genuine leaps forward in technology - in ophthalmics, optometry and dispensing. It takes the breath away.

Technologies such as OCT and SLO, which seemed futuristic when I first came into the sector, are now becoming routine. There are also some fantastic new treatments for dry eye where, with the ageing population, traditional therapies may prove challenging for people with cognitive impairment and memory loss. And technology is becoming ever more accurate and automated removing much that is routine from clinical optical practice and freeing up clinicians to move up the skills chain.

This is the only way we can meet the growing eye health needs of the four UK and Irish nations, and the future clearly is bright for eye care in the community.

Like all systems in a squeezed economy, health care systems are substituting lower for higher cost skills and technology for human capacity. Optics is no different. This is the only way to free up our professions to meet the new clinical demands being placed upon them, and to enable them to move up the skills ladder and expand services.

This was reflected in the exceptionally high standard of education and training on offer, not only in the plenary sessions but also on the stands. The hunger for knowledge amongst practitioners about new and better ways of practising, was almost palpable.

It was also great to see so many FODO leaders speaking out with confidence about the way forward and how they were developing clinical practice and their own businesses to meet changing demands. The Foresight Project Report in action.

Everywhere there was something new to discover and some new method of refining clinical practice, improving patient care and more accurately identifying eye problems earlier.

Fashion and style were in no shortage either and good business was being done.

On a personal level, thanks to an astounding piece of SLO kit, we were able to pick up a problem with blood flow to the retina in my right eye which would not have been possible with a traditional retinal photograph – itself the height of technology just a few years ago. I am delighted to say I am now under treatment to deal with the problem at this early stage.

This is a very concrete example of what we, as a profession, can achieve and I for one am extremely grateful that I have been to the future where much more eye care like this will be available to everyone from their community optical and ophthalmic practice team. That day cannot come too soon for the whole everyone.


Amélie Morel elected President of Silmo

April 2017

The Board of Directors of the Silmo Association, the founding proprietor of the Silmo Paris Exhibition, has unanimously elected Amélie Morel as the new Silmo Paris president.

Amélie MorelCommunications Director for the Morel company which has embodied the know-how of the French eyewear industry for more than 130 years, Amélie Morel will take the helm of this major optics and eyewear event which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The 4th generation to manage the family business alongside her brothers Jérôme and Francis, Amélie Morel received a resounding vote of confidence from the association’s Board to continue the work of promoting both the Silmo Exhibition and the industry, previously carried out by Philippe Lafont who passed away suddenly in March.

For the past 50 years, Silmo Paris has been carving out a niche as THE flagship trade fair for all optics and eyewear professionals. Under the impetus of successive presidents, Silmo has developed tools and promotional platforms to support the profession: Silmo d’Or awards, Silmo Academy, Trends Forum etc. True to its dynamic and innovative DNA, the blueprint for serving the needs of the profession, Silmo Paris will continue this momentum. At its head will be an ambassador for the French eyewear sector who combines a fresh approach with an extensive knowledge of both communications and the French and international eyewear markets.

Backed by a committed, close-knit team, Silmo Paris will work hard to complete all the projects initiated, in particular:
- celebrating the 50th anniversary of the world’s leading optics and eyewear exhibition;
- delivering constructive innovations to ensure the exhibition remains at the cutting edge of market developments;
- meeting the expectations of exhibitors and visitors even more effectively in terms of business, socialising, creativity, training and innovation.

At the close of the Board meeting, Amélie Morel gave a statement: “This nomination represents an honour for the Morel family, and for me in particular. It is a demanding task, one that Philippe fulfilled with outstanding devotion and professionalism. The confidence and support expressed by all Board members will enable me to continue on the path initiated by Guy Charlot and ensure that Silmo Paris maintains its position at the forefront of the major international optics and eyewear exhibitions.”

Social Networking arena provides medium for Optical Conference debate.

April 2017

Over 50 participants read and commented on a blog posted by Liam Franklin, consultant for Orta and optical recruitment and training agency following Optrafair. (LinkedIn)

The gist of his blog was after attending both shows this year was his question that even adding the two shows attendance together why do so few of those providing the optical service to the public attend?

He writes, consumers have more and more access to discover the developments in technology, fashion and service. Many will question the value of their retailer of choice if they are not up to date with inevitable change.

The threat of low attendances threatens the very existence of any of the shows and some companies may decide that selling B2C direct is a better use of their tight budgets.

At PHN supporters of both 100% and Optrafair as co-media partners we try to keep a balance and even handedness, which is relatively easy given the balance of attendees with 7122 attending Optrafair and just over 8000 attending 100% earlier this year.

That figure is of course a lot more successful for the London show when you think 100% is only in its 4th year.

Some will favour one location over another and some will appreciate the equipment bias at Optrafair although at this year’s London show that was beginning to equalize.

100% CatwalkWhat everyone contributing to the blog agreed was that the “theatre” and sparkle was still missing from Optrafair despite the efforts and promises of the organisers.

That might be caused as one person blogged, to do with the tired attitudes of the NEC and their old shell scheme design.

But the buzz of the catwalk. The evening party and the always on the go “happy hours” achieve a more open and friendly atmosphere down at Excel.

With the huge number of frame brands many never seen before in the UK shows represented at 100% which bring along all the glitzy posters and fashionistas 100% will always have the edge on theatre. Difficult to make equipment and IT stands sexy!

How many of Optrafair attendees went this year to 100% is a question begging to be answered because these are the diehards that are wishing to keep up to date and enjoy meeting up with peers and colleagues. We can’t deny these 15000 people the opportunity to visit either of these shows.

If we lived in the perfect world though………100%, Optrafair, BCLA, Optometry Tomorrow over 4 days under one roof. No, wake up and smell the coffee!

OPTRAFAIR report by FMO after the Show

April 2017

Bryoni and Andy A completely 'revolutionised' Optrafair opened its doors on Saturday 1 April. FMO's Chair, Andy Yorke, and Chief Executive, Bryony Pawinska, cut the ribbon to open the show, and there were long queues waiting for the doors to open on Sunday.

7,122 visitors came from all over the UK to participate in an exceptional range of education provision, from CET for registrants, to business sessions for practice staff, as well as an unprecedented level of on-stand CET.

Exhibitors covered the whole spectrum of optical manufacturing, distribution and supply, including all of the latest equipment and instruments, lenses and contact lenses, glazing and finishing labs, and providers of business services for optical practices.

The show has been running since 1978, owned by FMO, the trade body for the optical industry, and managed since 2016 by Mark Allen Exhibitions. This year's show saw a buzzing bar celebrating FMO's centenary, and plenty of new features including trend forecasting, window dressing, a boutique frames area, and a business theatre.

An incredible 76 per cent of exhibitors have already rebooked for next year's show. Said Bryony Pawinska “this was the first Optrafair show for which Mark Allen Exhibitions had a full year's planning cycle, having taken on the event management mid-way through planning for the 2016 show, and I am delighted at the vibrancy of the new show format. The centenary bar area worked particularly well as a busy central focus and comments from exhibitors and visitors alike have been overwhelmingly positive, with huge loyalty to Optrafair as the sector's own show and praise for the professionalism of the Mark Allen team. The exceptional rebooking numbers reflect exhibitors' satisfaction with the revolutionised Optrafair."

Malcolm Polley
The show also marked the retirement of 'Mr Optrafair' himself, former FMO Chair and CEO Malcolm Polley, who has provided invaluable advice to the FMO and Mark Allen planning team and the occasion was marked with a special cake presented to Malcolm at the centenary bar on Saturday. FMO Director Barry Dibble and Andy Yorke both paid tribute to Malcolm's skill at developing Optrafair over the years and to his passion for showcasing all that is best in the UK optical industry.

Image Cutting Tape are FMO Chair, Andy Yorke and CEO, Bryony Pawinska

PHN was a co-media Partner for the FMO and the Mark Allen Group.


Send news
Internet Inks
Primary Health Net