Primary Health Net
Visit our Public Information Site
Go to my LOC site
OCUCO Heidelberg Treatment Finance

Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, October to December 2017


Optrafair confirms that the Catwalk is back for the 40th Anniversary show.
100% Publish latest Industry News.
Shamir provides a New Year wish and guarantees a great fun time at 100% Optical.
Dedicated lounge will give independents the chance to share innovative ideas at Optrafair.
100% Support for Blind Walk.
Bigger, better, best is promised for the 5th 100% Optical Show in January.
"Education for all" promised at 100% Optical.
Patient Safety Conference announced for 2017 to rectify "blind spots" in NHS providers.
BCLA’s Visionaries Conference to major on Dry Eye.
PHN confirmed as Media Partners for World Congress Event in Montreal.
Optrafair returns for its 40th anniversary at the Birmingham NEC on 14 - 16 April 2018.
100% Optical publish Issue 11 of their Industry News.
Comedian and health campaigner Dr Phil Hammond to host AOP Awards.
Grafton Optical provide 3 CET Dry Eye Skills Workshops taking place at the Scottish Optical Conference 2017
Grafton Optical announces attendence at the Epidemics in Eye Care CET Roadshow
American Academy of Optometry Provides Financial Assistance to Meeting Attendees from Puerto Rico.
College of Optometrists announces new accreditation of Professional Certificate in Glaucoma.
Eyecare Health 2018 Conference details announced for February.
Things we liked at SILMO 2017.
SILMO closes its doors for 2017 and can look back on a highly successful year.
Yet another SILMO d’OR for Blackfin.
100% Optical announces addition of Audiology Section for 2018 show.
SILMO 2017 opens for business in Paris today.

Optrafair confirms that the Catwalk is back for the 40th Anniversary show.

December 2017

Optrafair CatwalkSpectacle wearers with an eye for fashion can enjoy their very own catwalk show as part of an exclusive preview of the latest frame trends.

The Fashion Catwalk is a new addition to Optrafair 2018. Showcasing the latest eyewear trends, a programme of professionally choreographed catwalk shows will run over the three days of the show featuring the hottest brands and frames from leading suppliers.

Not only a visual spectacle, this unmissable feature will create a buzz at the heart of the show and educate attendees in trend forecasting, purchasing advice and how to tailor the correct style to their customers’ own tastes.

With fashion an ever-growing sector within the profession, the catwalk will sit alongside the latest technological advances and state-of-the-art tools to provide an all-encompassing preview of what we can expect to see in practices up and down the country in 2018 and beyond.

Andrew Yorke, chairman of the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians, said: “We have to remember that from a customer viewpoint we are a fashion industry too. That blend of science and fashion appeals to me and I enjoy discovering new looks and seeing what’s trending.

“The frames and the lenses are unquestionably the shop window of our industry and the instruments and machines are what keeps it all ticking along behind the scenes.”

The catwalk will sit alongside a host of other features at Optrafair 2018. Back by popular demand are the CET Theatre, ABDO CET Theatre, Window Dressing, and after their successful inauguration at this year’s show, the Business Theatre and FMO Networking Bar.

Meanwhile, other new features for 2018 include the dedicated BCLA Contact Lens Hub and the Independents’ Lounge– a networking space dedicated to independents offering one-to-one access to guest speakers.

Optrafair organisers the FMO and MA Group are joint media partners with PHN and as the show nears we will be opening Optrafair Preview Pages in the first week of February. So all signed up exhibitors are welcome to send stories about their plans to us for publication along with images!

100% Publish latest Industry News.

December 2017

100% Optical recently published the 14th edition of Industry News which highlights future advancement in product generation to assist in better living.

Including the use of AR (Augmented Reality) to improve Ocular Dominance.

Reducing glare for drivers

Training the brain with Neurofeedback Glasses!

Click here to read the edition.

Shamir provides a New Year wish and guarantees a great fun time at 100% Optical.

December 2017

Shamir StandWishing customers good luck with the year ahead, Shamir have a few announcements to ensure 100% Optical is fun, educational and above all, worthwhile.

Prize draws, new campaign launches, both teamed with some of the best technology in the industry. L110 is the stand to visit in January 2018.

100% Optical will see our big reveal of our 2018 national campaign: Indulge with 2! We’re saving the explaining for the show but the campaign will allow customers to gain more margin, business growth whilst offering your patients some of the best lenses on the market.

As always, we will also be hosting demonstrations of our award-winning SPARK Mi™. Customers can witness an efficient, accurate measuring device that will do all the hard work whilst patient’s leave impressed with the technology and service they received.

Secondly, we are excited to announce the return of our F1 Simulator, named one of the best experiences of 100% Optical 2017. Giving away 3 prizes each day of the event, we will call back the 5 fastest drivers for the ultimate Race Off at 4pm. First place will be awarded a real track day experience, second place, a pair of Julbo sunglasses of their choosing whilst third place win VIP tickets to Grand Design, accompanied with a bottle of Champagne. Ensure you’re ready to channel your inner Jeremy Clarkson and we’ll see you at the start line!

Shamir StandFinally, as well as the race off, we will be hosting 2 prize draws every day at the London ExCeL. The past has proved worthy give-aways so entering is a definite must! This year, take the opportunity to win an iPad amongst other prizes. Ensure you have filled in an entry form and hand it to a Shamir representative remembering you must be present at the time of the draw to take the prize home!

With nothing to lose and everything to gain, make sure you visit stand L110 for some of the best lenses, technology and competitions at 100% Optical.

What’s on and when?

Join us as we celebrate the launch of our national 2018 campaign Indulge with 2! Get the when, how and what at stand L110.

The ultimate race off is at 4pm every day. The 5 fastest laps on our Formula 1 simulator will race again and be awarded 1st 2nd and 3rd place.

Take your chance to win an iPad! Our two prize draws will be at 1pm and 3:30pm on stand L110 every day. Make sure you have filled in an entry form and handed to a Shamir representative. Remember – you need to be on the stand to win!

Our Area Lens Consultant Andrew Copley, who has 20 years of optical experience, will be giving a CET workshop on Progressive lens non-tols – real or no real? Ensure your place at 3:30 on Monday 29th January as Andrew discusses the lens attributes as well as non-tol rates within the industry.

Read more about Shamir who are Opchat News sponsors on their Supplier's Guide page entry.

Dedicated lounge will give independents the chance to share innovative ideas at Optrafair

December 2017

A new lounge set up exclusively for independents will give eye care professionals attending Optrafair the chance to share best practice and get one-to-one sessions with industry experts.

Phil Mullins NEGThe hub, sponsored by the National Eyecare Group, will be dedicated to helping visitors improve their independent practice across all areas of the business.

Independents will be invited to use the lounge to network and exchange knowledge with peers while suppliers will be on hand to answer questions. Visitors will also be able to take advantage of exclusive content and offers specifically tailored for them.

Phil Mullins, director of business development at National Eyecare Group, said: “Independents are the life and soul of the profession and this is a chance for us and Optrafair to show how much they are valued by giving them a dedicated space to call their own.

“We want it be somewhere they can spend time and really feel they are getting something valuable from Optrafair. We want it to be an event, not just an exhibition – so that people go back to their practices armed with new ideas to help improve their practice.”

The event marks the 40th anniversary of the very first Optrafair, held in 1978. It will feature an array of top speakers and demonstrations from leading suppliers.

The independents lounge will host exclusive sessions from a number of speakers and exhibitors.

Mr Mullins added: “I’ve been involved in the industry since 1988. Back then, 80 or 90 per cent of the market was independents, now it’s around 20 per cent. We need to do more to help them thrive.

“Independents offer something different. Whether it’s different designs, unusual prescriptions or innovative thinking, independents provide an alternative and the lounge is a place where they can come together to share ideas.

“There isn’t a rivalry between independents, they want to work together. The lounge allows them to do that.”

You can read more about Optrafair 2017 (14th-16th April) on the PHN Optrafair page where you can register online. Click here for the co-media pages.

100% Support for Blind Walk.

December 2017

National eye research CentreVision Bridge

The UK’s largest optical event, 100% Optical, has pledged its support for the Big Blind Walk 2018, in collaboration with VisionBridge, to help stop sight loss in its tracks.

Promising a bumper gathering for its “fabulous fifth anniversary” at London Excel on January 27-29, 2018, the show will help raise awareness of life changing eye research.

Founder of VisionBridge, Julian Jackson said: “Sadly, eye research is one of the best kept secrets in the UK, despite all the impressive breakthroughs and developments over the last 50 years but with the help of 100% Optical, we hope to change this.

“100% Optical is the place where eye health innovation begins. It pulls the optical profession together and represents the very best in education for optometry and ophthalmology.”

Sponsored by 100% Optical and Second Sight and supported by official partner National Eye Research Centre and a range of organisations with an interest in sight loss and eye health, the 1,000 mile walk from Land's End to John O'Groats commences on 29 April for seven weeks and aims to raise awareness and understanding of sight loss, promote eye research and create a new fund for translational research. Visit to join the walk through your home town or make a donation.

100% Optical event director, Nathan Garnett said, “We want to support and enhance the optical sector and this is the perfect cause for us to champion this year. The show is more than just an industry event, it has always aimed to provide a thought leadership platform and influential “voice” for eye health innovation.
Nathan Garnett and Julian Jackson
“It’s really shaping up to be our best year yet, which is bound to have a great impact on the awareness of VisionBridge and boost support for the Big Blind Walk. We’re really looking forward to donning our walking shoes to join in next April too.”

100% Optical works in partnership with the Association of Optometrists and is Europe's fastest growing optical event, set to attract over 8,000 UK and international visitors.

Renowned for its buzzing atmosphere, 100% Optical offers a positive visitor experience, created by the bustling exhibition floor, fashion shows, interactive workshops, world class education programme, learning hubs, design competitions and the central bar.

As part of PHNs co-media partnership, exhibitors can market their presence at 100% on the PHN 100% Preview pages and all can register on line here.

Bigger, better, best is promised for the 5th 100% Optical Show in January.

November 2017

Latest Exhibition News for 100% Optical

100 % Fabulous FifthThe UK’s largest optical event, 100% Optical, is promising a bumper gathering for its “fabulous fifth anniversary” at London Excel on January 27-29, 2018.

With a brand new 100% Audiology section, 20/20 catwalk, optical academy, future practice hub and a special fifth anniversary party, this is not a year to miss for 100% fans and followers, and the event is on track again to attract over 8,000 UK and international visitors.

It offers the chance to see thousands of new products from over 200 global eyewear, equipment and contact lens brands, reinforcing its position as the leading UK event for eyewear in the UK, hosting more eyewear brands than any other UK show.

Read about new and exciting products and services on display for the first time at this bigger than ever “Fabulous Fifth” conference on PHN’s 100% pages here.

You can also register on the PHN dedicated 100% pages.

PHN and Media 10 are Co-media partners for the "Fabulous Fifth".

"Education for all" promised at 100% Optical.

November 2017

BCLA Visionairies

The UK’s leading optical event, 100% Optical, is promising “world class education for all” at London Excel on January 27-29, 2018.

Designed and delivered by the Association of Optometrists, the programme offers the entire practice team a choice of over a hundred sessions, providing invaluable CET points, across various learning hubs, through keynote speakers and discussion-based sessions.

For the first time this year, optical assistants can identify sessions on the programme specifically designed for them by looking for a unique logo.

The event will host keynote speakers from optometry, academia and ophthalmology discussing a range of topics including myopia, binocular vision, keratoconus, glaucoma, vitreoretinal disease, OCT, as well as future direction of the profession.

Commenting on the education programme, Dr Ian Beasley, AOP Head of Education, said, “The event will have two new education hubs for 2018 including the Future Practice hub which takes a prospective look at innovation, commissioning of enhanced services, research, and debate how to adapt independent practice to survive in the 21st century.

“Highlights from the programme include a chaired debate by representatives from optometry and ophthalmology on the mainstage, looking at the future of the profession. A session by Professor David Crabb on Dry AMD and a seminar on keratoconus lens fitting by Drew Thompson who is an optometrist with a broad spectrum of professional experience.”

Also new for 2018 is the Optical Academy which provides CET education and workshops for the whole practice including optical assistants, where every member of the team can benefit from the latest education and guidance.

Event Director Nathan Garnett said, “The programme is definitely bigger and better for our fabulous fifth anniversary. It offers more education with a greater diversity in its approach from a core offering of CET complemented by CPD sessions to support the whole practice.

“It also boasts dedicated streams of education to support all optical professionals with bespoke sessions on performance appraisals, recruitment tips, and frame fitting. Plus, communication skills for front of house staff, through to more clinical content on topics such as such as dry eye and OCT.”

Space for the world class educational programme is limited so advance booking is recommended REGISTER HERE

Education programme highlights:

Who will do what, where?

Led by Chairman of the Association of Optometrists, Mike George, with president of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Michael Burdon and other representatives from optometry and ophthalmology. Takes place at 10.30, Saturday on the Main Stage.

The session will air views on where eye health care will/should be taking place in the future and which professionals will be carrying it out. The session will take the form of a chaired debate.

Will you be one of the Visionaries of the future playing your part in Team Vision UK?

On the Main Stage at 1.00pm on Sunday the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers Educational Trust has brought together some key vision players who will discuss their role in the improvement of sight both in the UK and globally and how improved interaction between professions and cohesive strategies can achieve better results in the Vision Care of the future.

Among those speaking will be Lisa Donaldson, Optometrist and Head of Eye Health at Seeability and representing Orthoptists, Veronica Greenwood President of BIOS. They will be joined by representatives from ophthalmology and the contact lens sectors to share their stories about what drives them on in their own professional work, how they have expanded their competencies and interests in providing a broader service to the public. And how they see themselves working with the primary care professions providing a joined up working relationship with other professionals. All on Sunday centre stage for this annual WCSM event.

Dry AMD - through the eyes of the patient

By VisionBridge speaker, David Crabb who is a Professor of Statistics and Vision Research in the School of Health Science at City, University of London. Takes place at 16.00, Sunday on the Main Stage.
The benchmark for a new treatment success in a clinical trial in dry AMD should really be aligned to measureable changes that affect patient’s everyday life rather than imperceptible changes on a clinical chart. Yet little is known about how dry AMD affects patient’s abilities to perform everyday visual tasks. This talk will spotlight our attempts to relate measurements taken in the clinic to at least an estimate of what patients visually ‘can’ and ‘cannot do’.

Vision and driving: do I really need to tell the DVLA?

By Professional Advisor to the Association of Optometrists, Henry Leonard and Dr Julie-Anne Little who is a researcher with specialist experience working in hospital with children with visual impairment and special needs and an AOP Councillor for Northern Ireland. Takes place 15.15, Saturday in the AOP Lounge.

Optometrists are well placed to advise patients on vision and driving, but what should you do if a patient doesn’t meet the required standard, but tells you they have no intention of informing the DVLA?

Putting DEWs 2 into action

By Niall O’Kane who runs his own dry eye clinic. Takes place on Saturday at 10.30 in the Optical Academy.
Ten years ago, the first Dry Eye Workshop (DEW) Report was published. It led the way, being the first publication to definitively describe dry eye as the disease it is known as today. A decade later, and after much anticipation DEWs II has been released. Attend this lecture to find out how to apply the findings practically in your practice.

Artificial intelligence in ophthalmology and optometry - will we still have a job in five years?

By John Bolger, an Independent Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and founder and owner of My iClinic, and independent eye hospital. Takes place on Sunday, Optical Academy at 14.00
Artificial intelligence is coming and ophthalmology and optometry will not be spared. We must know what it is and it capabilities and potentials. We must make sure that it works for us and not the other way around.

Keratoconus lens fitting - what do I do now?

By Drew Thompson who is an Optometrist with a broad spectrum of professional experience. Takes place on Monday at 14.30 in the Future Practice hub.
Fitting keratoconic eyes is a difficult and sometimes traumatic process for both the practitioner and patient, but what happens when things aren’t going to plan? When an RGP lens becomes intolerable or just isn’t achieving the desired results what are the options? In a lot of cases these patients can end up on a corneal surgeon’s transplant list but have ALL the alternatives been explored? This talk will highlight alternative fitting strategies for corneal ectasia and other irregularities to improve both the patient comfort and the practitioner success rate, thus improving both the patients and the practitioner’s quality of life, with less chair time and better “functional VA”.

And much more so register for the show and start planning your weekend in London and at Excel. REGISTER NOW

Patient Safety Conference announced for 2017 to rectify "blind spots" in NHS providers.

November 2017

In May 2017, the CQC published The State of Care in NHS Acute Hospitals.

While the regulator noted overall improvement in patient safety across the health services the report found that “some trusts have blind spots about the quality of care they are delivering… even in some trusts rated good overall”. By reducing avoidable incidents such as falls and infections, NHS trusts can improve the patient experience and free up valuable resources.

In line with this, the University of Salford is running The Patient Safety Conference 2017 on 14th December where expert speakers from across the NHS will explain how you can eliminate your organisation’s “safety blind spots”.

See how new technology can improve patient safety, learn techniques for developing a safety culture and understand how to develop a patient centred approach to safety.

Keynote Speaker, Denise Chaffer, Director of Safety and Learning, NHS Resolution will be leading.

Denise Chaffer is a registered nurse and midwife and currently holds the post of director of safety and learning for the NHS Resolution (formerly known as NHS Litigation Authority).

She holds a master’s degree in management and social care, a first degree, plus a higher education teaching qualification and is currently in her fourth year studying for a PhD in healthcare leadership.

Discussion Points:

• What improvements are needed in order to make progress;

• Duty of Candour and accountability;

• Changing the culture to improve safety, reduce harm, and reduce claims.

There are a number of allocated part funded places offered to Primary Health Net and to secure your place through PHN.

If you do wish to attend, please give Daisy Clarke a call on 0161 295 0113 ASAP or email her at


BCLA’s Visionaries Conference to major on Dry Eye.

November 2017

BCLA Visionairies

at The Wellcome Collection in London from 1pm to 8pm on Wednesday, December 13.


The debate over how best to manage dry eye disease within the community starts at BCLA’s Visionaries 2017

A multi-disciplinary discussion will take place at the BCLA’s Visionaries Conference as part of a drive to bring together the optometry profession and formulate a strategy to better manage dry eye disease.

Consultant ophthalmologist and BCLA council member Professor Teifi James will chair the debate, exploring how health care professionals can best work together to optimise patient quality of life by improving the management of Dry Eye.

Professor James said: “I’m excited to be involved with this unique collaborative debate and look forward to a wide-ranging and informative conversation which should provide us with an overview of opinions and attitudes from diverse health professionals and help us understand how to develop a better patient pathway for the future management of Dry Eye Disease.

“The past 10 years have seen a considerable rise in awareness of DED across the UK and the rest of the world, with clinical care provided by a wide range of health professionals.

“While greater awareness is to be welcomed, it brings with it a new set of potential problems, with many individuals now in a position to self-diagnose and use supermarkets, pharmacies, opticians and online outlets to purchase products with little or no clinical guidance.

“As eye-care health professionals, we all need to understand the different mechanisms and treatment options for this common disease. We need to provide evidence-based definitions and a contemporary classification for DED. We are getting there and I am confident this debate will be a milestone on our journey.”

Panellists will include academic optometrist Professor James Wolffsohn, Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor at Aston University Birmingham, consultant rheumatologist Professor David D’Cruz, director of the Lupus unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’s London, consultant ophthalmologist and BCLA President Elect Professor Sunil Shah, corneal specialist from Birmingham, dry eye specialist and independent optometrist Nick Rumney and General Practitioner and RCGP ophthalmology champion Dr Waqaar Shah together with representatives from the College of Optometrists, LOCSU and ABDO.

A packed programme will also see consultant ophthalmologist and eye surgeon at Temple St Children’s Hospital, Dr Ian Flitcroft, deliver the 2017 Pioneers Lecture on the subject of epidemiology of myopia and the public health time bomb.

The event will ask if DED is intrinsically linked to contact lens wearer success and will examine the management of ocular surface health prior to and during contact lens wear.

Past president of the BCLA Anna Sulley will discuss contact lens retention success while Professor James Wolffsohn will look at in detail at the TFOS DEWSII report and the Impact this will have in practice for the diagnosis, management and treatment of dry eye disease.

The event, being held in conjunction with partners Alcon and CooperVision and sponsors Johnson & Johnson Vision, Menicon, Mark’ennovy, Supermax Vision UK Aveo, Thea Pharmaceuticals, Topcon and UltraVision, will be held at The Wellcome Collection in London from 1pm to 8pm on Wednesday, December 13.

A copy of the full programme is available online at the BCLA website now, click here

PHN confirmed as Media Partners for World Congress Event in Montreal.

November 2017

World Congress

It was recently confirmed that an Agreement has been made with the organisers of the World Congress for Optometry and Vision Science allowing PHN tol promote the congress to be held in September 2018 next year.

Opchat News will bring you regular updates throughout the preview stages and links for registration both for visitors and exhibitors.

The joint relationship continues to bring PHN's Opchat News to the forefront of the World Optical Community assisting us in providing a marketing platform now read globally.

The newly published information page can be found here on our Exhibition pages of the suppliers guide.

Optrafair returns for its 40th anniversary at the Birmingham NEC on 14 - 16 April 2018.

November 2017

Optrafair new exhibitorsThe organisers say they will be marking the occasion with a very special show.

You'll find brand new features, industry awards and the latest from industry leaders and newcomers across all sectors.

Optrafair's legacy is built on support from the industry's core representatives. If the FMO and Optician Magazine serve as the eyes, ears and mouth of the optical industry, Optrafair is its beating heart says the co-organisers Mark Allen Group (publishers of the Optician) and the FMO.

Registration opens very soon We look forward to seeing you there.

PHN will bring you news of when registration begins.

By being co-media partners with the MAGroup and the FMO their support helps us publish Opchat News for the Optical Sector. Go to Optrafair pages here.

100% Optical publish Issue 11 of their Industry News, The Insider.

November 2017

100 % Optical Insider

What you should keep an eye on at 100% Optical, that's the theme of the latest Optical Insider.

Here are some of the key topics addressed:

Eyewear has always been at the heart of 100% Optical and the 2018 show will be no different.

European optics market reaches almost €9 Billion

During the first half of 2017, the European optics market turned over €8.9 billion (£7.9 billion), according to the market research company GfK. This is showing that the optics market is substantially stable, even though the overall value is down 0.3% compared to last year.

Electric sunglasses have solar cells for lenses

Having to charge your mobile phone through a solar power bank could be a thing of the past. As researchers from germany's Karlsruhe Institute of technology have created a pair of sunglasses that generate electricity via solar cells that double as their lenses.

Are consumers ready for AR eyewear?

Augmented Reality is marking a major milestone this year with two of the largest technology companies bringing AR eyewear to the consumer market. However, time will tell if eyewear consumers are ready for the explosion of the AR market in the coming years.

Click here to read all the stories in the Insider.

You can now REGISTER on line for the event.

PHN and Media 10 are co-media partners for the event which mutually helps promote both event and the publication of your free Opchat News. 100% Optical pages here

Comedian and health campaigner Dr Phil Hammond to host AOP Awards.

November 2017

Dr Phil HammondThe Association of Optometrists (AOP) has announced that Dr Phil Hammond will host the AOP Awards 2018. The journalist, broadcaster, campaigner and comedian will take to the stage as part of a night of celebration of optics, on Sunday, 28 January 2018.

A regular on shows such as Have I Got News for You, The News Quiz, The One Show and Countdown, Dr Hammond will be presenting 15 awards, including, for the first time, Health and Wellbeing Practice of the Year.

Commenting on the AOP Awards 2018, which are sponsored by CooperVision, Dr Hammond said: “I am very excited to be involved with the 2018 AOP Awards. Last year’s entries showed just how much ambition and passion there is within the profession, and I’m looking forward to meeting those making an important difference in this vital sector.”

Qualifying as a GP in 1991, Dr Hammond currently works in a specialist NHS centre for children and adolescents with the chronic fatigue syndrome, ME. Previous roles include lecturing in medical communication at the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham, and presenting on BBC Radio Bristol. Dr Hammond has been Private Eye’s medical correspondent for 25 years’ and has presented five series of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor on BBC2.

AOP Chief Executive, Henrietta Alderman, said that Dr Hammond was a fitting host for the 2018 ceremony, commenting; “Wellbeing in the profession is a key strand of work for the AOP and with this year’s Awards recognising the importance of wellbeing at work, Phil Hammond, who’s dedicated so much of his time to improving the quality of life for others, feels like the ideal choice.”

Following a public vote, which closes on 12 December, winners will be announced at a black-tie ceremony taking place at ExCeL London as part of leading education event 100% Optical. Members of the profession are invited to join industry leaders and finalists for a night of entertainment, with both individual tickets and table bookings available.

Grafton Optical provide 3 CET Dry Eye Skills Workshops taking place at the Scottish Optical Conference 2017

November 2017

Grafton at Scottish Optical Show
Grafton Optical to participate in the CET Dry Eye Skills Workshop taking place at the Scottish Optical Conference on 26 November. The workshop will be led by BCLA Dry Eye Practitioner of the Year 2017, Nick Dash.

The hour long workshop sessions will take place at 14:40, 16:00 and 17:00 and attendees will gain 3 CET points for their participation.

The session will shine a light on Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and will highlight the new methods of treatment available.

Until recently, the main stay of dry eye treatment has been frequent tear supplementation, hot compresses to liquefy blocked glands, omega-3 fatty acid supplements, and use of prescription medications such as cyclosporine drops, steroid drops, and/or tetracycline oral antibiotics.

Many patients still remain symptomatic despite these treatments. IPL (intense pulsed light) is a relatively new therapy for evaporative dry eye and the session will look at the history of IPL in dermatology, and mechanisms of action and efficacy of IPL for dry eye.

Attendees at the Scottish Optical Conference will get the chance to learn about and see the E-Eye in action. E-Eye's Intense Regulated Pulsed Light (IRPL®) technology regenerates the function of the Meibomian glands and improves the quality of their secretions.

Treatment is fast, non-invasive, affordable and a substantial revenue stream builder for practices.

To book your place at the workshop, please click here., please support them whenever you can.

To arrange a demo of the E-Eye please contact or go to their page here.

Grafton Optical help us provide the profession's free Opchat News by being sponsors, please support them whenever you can.

Grafton Optical announces attendence at the Epidemics in Eye Care CET Roadshow

November 2017

Grafton at BCLA Road showThe Epidemics in Eye Care CET Roadshow is being led by the BCLA Dry Eye Practitioner of the Year 2017, Nick Dash.

Epidemics in Eye Care will discuss two of the most prevalent conditions facing us today; Dry Eye and Myopia control. The lectures will detail how to adapt clinical practice to treat the epidemic of

Dry Eye that is increasing due to changes in work and lifestyle. Likewise lifestyle and education have caused a doubling in childhood myopia. Information provided will highlight research and practical steps to detail Myopia Management and how to get started in practice.

Attendees will get the chance to learn about and see the E-Eye in action. E-Eye's Intense Regulated Pulsed Light (IRPL®) technology regenerates the function of the Meibomian glands and improves the quality of their secretions. Treatment is fast, non-invasive, affordable and a substantial revenue stream builder for practices.

The Epidemics in Eye Care event will carry 2 CET points for attendees.

To book your place at one of the Epidemics in Eye Care CET events, please click here.

To arrange a demo of the E-Eye please contact or go to their page here.

You can find all the road show dates on the PHN free diary pages here.

American Academy of Optometry Provides Financial Assistance to Meeting Attendees from Puerto Rico.

October 2017

The devastation in Puerto Rico caused by the recent Hurricanes Irma and Maria have led to the closure of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry until damage can be repaired.

In response to the disaster, the American Academy of Optometry has secured funding to provide financial assistance to optometrists, students and others from Puerto Rico who attended Academy 2017 Chicago.

Through the generosity of Cooper Vision and National Vision, as well as individual donors, the Academy will provide student travel fellowships in the amount of $750 to each student from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry (IAUPR) who was able to attend the meeting.

In addition, individuals residing in Puerto Rico who were registered for Academy 2017 Chicago received refunds on registration fees paid regardless of if the person was or was not able to attend the meeting.

“Given the destruction and ongoing reconstruction taking place in Puerto Rico after the recent hurricanes, the Academy was pleased to be able to organize financial assistance to help the IAUPR optometry students to attend our recent meeting in Chicago. We sincerely thank our sponsors for their quick and generous response to the crisis. It allowed 52 students to continue their educational endeavors while their school is currently closed,” said Dr. Joseph P. Shovlin, President of the American Academy of Optometry.

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

October 2017

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have been accredited as a provider of the Professional Certificate in Glaucoma by the College of Optometrists. The course is designed to prepare optometrists to participate in formal referral refinement and ocular hypertension (OHT)/suspect chronic open-angle glaucoma (COAG) monitoring schemes and provides the core knowledge and practical skills required in the detection of glaucoma within a primary setting.

The course will mainly consist of online learning, with participants completing 14 online lessons. There will also be an induction day, a full day of face-to-face teaching, and an option to observe patients in a glaucoma clinic. It will begin on 18 March 2018 and lasts a total of twelve weeks. Enrolment began on 1st October 2017.

Jackie Martin, Director of Education at the College of Optometrists, said: “It’s great to see a third glaucoma course becoming available at Moorfields, enabling more optometrists to develop skills in this area and complete the full range of glaucoma higher qualifications. The College’s higher qualifications allow optometrists to take full advantage of opportunities to deliver community services and they are proving very popular, this is the ninth higher qualification in glaucoma that is available across the UK. The courses are all designed to fit in with the lives of busy professionals, with the aim that they enable optometrists to develop professionally and progress in their careers.”

Jay Varia, Principal Optometrist, Education Lead at Moorfields Eye Hospital said: “We are delighted to have had our Professional Certificate in Glaucoma course accredited by the College of Optometrists. 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’ complete suite of glaucoma higher qualifications that we now 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. We are also very happy to announce that we are now able to provide clinical placements for students completing the Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma qualification at Moorfields.”

The Professional Certificate in Glaucoma is part of a growing collection of higher qualifications developed by the College 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 Certificate in Glaucoma, Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology also offer the College’s Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma, the Professional Diploma in Glaucoma, The Professional Medical Retina and the Professional Higher Certificate in Contact Lens Practice qualifications.

Eyecare Health 2018 Conference details announced for February.

October 2017

Eye Health Conference

Thea Pharmaceuticals are thrilled to give advance notice that booking is now open for the 2018 Eye Health Conference!

For 2018 we're taking the conference to another stunning and unique venue - The Principal Hotel in Manchester on Sunday 4th February 2018.

Eye hEalth

The 2018 Eye Health Conference has a fantastic programme with two tracks of educational topics for you to choose from, broadly split into Anterior Eye and Posterior Eye.

Book now to take advantage of our Early Bird offer – saving you 50% - tickets just £100 for a limited time only! To discover more about our exciting programme and to book your place, please visit our registration site


Extra Activities:

• Saturday afternoon:Escape Room activity…can you follow the clues and escape the room? This activity costs an additional £30pp – book this when you book your conference place

• Saturday evening: FREE drinks & canapes reception at the prestigious Refuge Lounge Bar within the hotel from 20:00hr . Please register via the online booking form.

If you would like overnight accommodation on the night of Saturday 3rd February 2018, please book direct with the hotel, where we have negotiated a special delegate rate - £129 B&B, Tel 0161 288 1111 and quote reference ‘EHC’

Things we liked at SILMO 2017.

October 2017

The buzz, the fashion and the people.

Pop Up frame dispaly


For the buzz the Pop Up frame tunnel certainly attracted many people to walk the walk through a narrow tunnel whose centre was filled with a long “Toblerone bar” shaped frame display with chosen examples from all the major designers at the show.

The three most fashionable designers must be the young collective of trainee designers from Turin mentioned later on PHN in the Kolor Me project by Essilor Sun.

Winners of Essilor projest

People? too many to mention but the Vinyl Factory and Blackfin for great stands, Moscot and Acuitis, both who have practices in London, as well as Tom Davies ebullient about his new upcoming factory opening, all attracting attention in SILMO.


All contributing to more stories for Opchat News in the future.



SILMO closes its doors for 2017 and can look back on a highly successful year.

October 2017

Vinyl Factory

More stands, greater visibility and plenty of visitors, yes that was very apparent as one spent 3 days out of the 4 open for business marching up and down the many aisles of the 2 large halls.

We await SILMOs audited figures but the show itself deserved its likely successes.

Even in the furthest outreaches of the hall one found a dynamic attitude on the stands of even the smallest exhibitor.


What was missing was the UK representation within the visitors we observed. We saw under 8 UK sole visitors unconnected to the UK stands representing UK goods.
There are some obvious reasons for this being that half of the UK’s dispensing outlets are run from a very small number of head offices or put another way a handful of frame purchasers. Given that the largest store retailers in the UK have a remit to sell mainly own brand or a limited number of international brands with special deals that explains the missing numbers.

But the independent half of our dispensing community was also missing. Surely it is an opportunity for independent retailing to go to SILMO and research the opportunities of highly successful and renowned brands. Quality brands abound at SILMO backed with beautiful merchandising and PR, that together would make a small independent’s practice stand out from the rest of the dross.

Euro styleMore interaction would work mutually for both suppliers and purchasers. For the lack of UK interest in international fairs does not encourage International manufacturers to invest in distribution within the UK.

The lack of commitment from UK buyers is therefore having a large effect on that of the designers. This will end as a race to the bottom if we are not careful. The independent sector has a huge opportunity to offer exciting and unusual brands providing a different experience for their customers.

This needs a determined effort to sell off the merchandise that’s been sitting on the same frame bar for years and making space for the new.

PHN is working on plans to bring more of these international brands with either small or no distribution salesforces in the UK. Not only will we showcase the excellent goods we located at

SILMO to the profession but providing coverage to the 1000+ members of the public that visit mylocaloptician each day.
Let’s work together in bringing quality fashion to the UK market place.

By working closely with these designers we hope to encourage them to attend our shows in the UK to which we are dedicated co-media partners of both.

Yet another SILMO d’OR for Blackfin.

October 2017

Blackfin SILMO award

After success in 2015 and nomination in 2016, Blackfin, the brand of titanium eyewear 100% made in Italy has once again won a Silmo d’Or award.

The brand has been awarded the Special Jury Prize for the model ARC BF822.

“We are overjoyed to have won this award on the fiftieth anniversary of Silmo, against the magnificent backdrop of the Grand Palais! This prize is a recognition of all the amazing work of a team whose members have been giving their all over the years, with love, passion and enthusiasm, to bring to the world not just our product but also our unique way of being Italian”, so said Nicola Del Din, Blackfin CEO.


Blackfin won a Silmo d’Or in 2015 in the Technological Innovation category with Sharklock, a company patent enabling the lenses to be locked into the frame inside the thin rim. Last year the model SLOT BF801 was nominated in the Sunglass category and went on to become a best seller.


October 2017

E Sun 1st prizeE-SUN™ KOLOR UP™PROJECT winners announced at SILMO 2017.

The three best proposals selected from the many presented by the thirteen students in their final year of studies at IED – Istituto Europeo di Design on the Jewelry and Accessories Design BA course (which also includes curriculum on eyewear design) were revealed today during an award ceremony at Silmo.

E Sun 2nd prize



The project was promoted by Essilor® Sun Solution™, the Essilor Group division dedicated to sun plano lenses, along with the Istituto Europeo di Design in Turin and the brief was to develop a “concept frame”, communication campaign and marketing tools based on E-SUN™ KOLOR UP™, an Essilor® Sun Solution™ brand and sun lens technology which guarantees a clear perception of colours and improved vision.





E Sun 3rd prize


These are the three winning projects left and above:



E Sun 1st prizeFirst prize goes to Denise Tatiana D’Orazio for the project Cycle (right)


For the innovative design: go outside to ride and enjoy the colors! E-SUN™ KOLOR UP™lenses help to see the beauty of colors, as you experience them like never before. At the same time the sunglass design has also been viewed differently, like a jewel.

This project has been renamed bloom by students in Advertising Communication: just as a flower blooms, the emotions of the world will open up for the first time to the wearer of KOLOR UP lenses and he will see its colors. The graphic design of the name “bloom” reflects the double use of this eyewear : lower case b for closed glasses and the two oo for open glasses.

E Sun 1st prize


Second prize goes to Juliana Vergara Rodriguez for the project Bulle Magnetique (right)


For its very modern concept: just as in nature magnetosphere protects us from being bombarded with electromagnetic radiation from solar wind, sunglasses with KOLOR UP™ lenses protect your eyes and also allow you to see the world.


E Sun 3rd prize

Third prize goes to Arianna Gambino for the project Fragmenta (left)

For the modern innovative design which perfectly translates the concept: fragments, with its metal frame, is presented in various styles that combine the assorted colors of the KOLOR UP™ lenses in order to let their best qualities shine and allow an individual, one of a kind style to be created.

Due to the high quality of the work presented, a further five projects were chosen to receive a special mention.

A special mention for Modern Fashion Design goes to Beatrice Picca Piccon for Urban Foliage
A special mention for Modern Lifestyle Design goes to Carola Nomden for Snapback
A special mention for Modern Design goes to Elena De Bastiani for See the Skyline
A special mention for RX frame with Kolor Up Lenses goes to Denise Tatiana d’Orazio for Clack
A special mention for Innovative Concept goes to Giorgia Donalisio for Prisma

Furthermore, Denise Tatiana d’Orazio with her project Light also won the Digital Media Mention: of all the students, she was the one who received the most votes in the online contest which was launched by the Essilor® Sun Solution™ web page during the summer.

The three best proposals were featured in an additional project involving BA students in Graphic Design and Advertising Communication who carried out the campaign images used in the booth.

"E-SUN KOLOR UP lenses enhance the beauty of colors and help to see the world better. The work of the students can definitely be defined No ordinary, showing that a strong sun lenses concept can be the source of inspiration for innovative designs. We thank IED and the students for this No ordinary partnership." – said Christophe Mayet, VP Marketing at Essilor® Sun Solution™ Division.


100% Audiology

100% Optical announces addition of Audiology Section for 2018 show.

October 2017


Constantly innovating, 100% Optical are excited to be bringing the new 100% Audiology section.

The new section will be featuring a wide range of exhibitors designed to cover every aspect of incorporating hearing services into your practice. 


Come along in January (27th-29th) to discuss with professionals how you could add another dimension and payment stream to your business.

The audiology village will contain many famous audiology street brands along with professional help in advising what best suits your customer within your practices.


100% Optical are co-media partners with us at Primary Health Net publishers of Opchat News and Mylocaloptician.

See the 100% pages on PHN here.



SILMO 2017 opens for business in Paris today.

October 2017

SILMO 50 At a start of a 4 day event that will welcome over 30,000 visitors the mood is very optimistic. A dramatic change to some previous years. Although we have no information as yet on day one, theres seems to be many more stands taking up all the space in 2 large halls.

Let's hope that the tide of optimism will flow over to the UK's 2 International shows in 2018.

SILMO this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

There's some new innovations here at SILMO, not least the pop up stand that allows top range designers and manufacturers to exhibit one frame each to be viewed by filing through a tunnel. Honestly its more effective than its sounds!

PHN will continue to report on the show in the coming days both on line and in social media.


Office Giant
Primary Health Net