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Contact Lens News, May - June 2015

BCLA and NCC Announce Collaboration for NCC 2016

BCLA full conference report

Tony Martin receives BCLA Industry Award

BCLA President welcomed alomg with the new council

New BCLA President takes office

A busy day at BCLA on Saturday

ACLM Contact Lens Year Book 2015 now available

BCLA's Cilia provides App Tips for the week

Educators worldwide are invited to tune in to the Third IACLE Worlod Congress

BCLA reports Key Highlights for 2014 - 2015

BCLA and NCC Announce Collaboration for NCC 2016

June 2015

The Netherlands Contact Lens Congress (NCC) and the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) today announced that the BCLA will be working with NCC to run a research symposium as part of NCC 2016 in Veldhoven, the Netherlands on 13-14 March 2016. This biennial conference will be themed GET IN CHARGE.

The BCLA’s academic team, led by Professor James Wolffsohn, of Aston University and BCLA Academic Chair, will develop and oversee the abstract submissions criteria and review in collaboration with Dr. Carolina Kunnen and Dr. Eef van der Worp from the NCC. The symposium is designed to maintain the high reputation developed by the BCLA for showcasing world class clinically relevant research, nurturing new researchers and young academics to present at this level. All abstracts will continue to be published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye (CLAE).

“We are delighted to be working with the BCLA to ensure the sixth NCC in 2016 features new research from rising stars within the contact lens field,” said Marco van Beusekom. “This conference will get a whole new dimension by adding this scientific symposium to our clinical tracks”

“The NCC has grown to become a respected congress within the contact lens community and provides an ideal opportunity to hear about new research,” said Professor James Wolffsohn. “Our younger researchers are carrying out interesting studies in this field and the BCLA sponsored symposium will allow them the opportunity to share their findings with the wider community.”

“With the BCLA conference becoming a biennial event, the NCC 2016 will provide an opportunity for researchers to publish the results of new studies, providing continuity in a non-conference year,” said Cheryl Donnelly, CEO, BCLA. “As the world of contact lenses continues to evolve the publication of new research allows practitioners to keep abreast of the latest thinking in this area.”

Global contact lens community ‘Comes Together’ The full BCLA report

June 2015

“An exceptional conference” with a “fantastic buzz” are just some of the words being used to describe the 39th British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) Clinical Conference & Exhibition, which saw the global contact lens community ‘Come Together’ in Liverpool for three days of clinical and scientific education, networking and business brainstorming.

Held at the ACC Liverpool from Friday 29 to Sunday 31 May, #BCLAComeTogether delivered a record 69 CET points, plus seven COPE-accredited sessions for North American delegates. Attendance figures exceeded all expectations with a record number of delegates arriving on the Friday to register onsite for the full conference.

BCLA ConferenceAt the BCLA AGM on the Sunday evening new Council members were announced: Jonathon Bench and Michael Kilpartrick (Optometric Representatives) and Nick Atkins and David Samuel (Contact Lens Optician Representatives). Also joining the Council as Medical Representative is Professor Sunil Shah (click here to see the full new BCLA Council line-up.

Speaking after the conference, Brian said: “BCLA 2015 really #CameTogether with knowledge sharing, interaction and fun. My job is to make sure that during the two-year gap between clinical conferences we #StayTogether. Having the chance to lead the best contact lens organisation in the world is something I cannot wait to begin as BCLA President. I hope to bring enthusiasm, passion and fun into every aspect of the contact lens world.”

Asked for his thoughts on the event, BCLA Clinical Conference Consultant, Professor James Wolffsohn, said: “The buzz at the conference was fantastic; around 1,000 people from across the globe hearing and debating the latest research and its implications for clinical practice today – and for the future – on topics such as myopia control, the correction of presbyopia, minimising complications, fitting complex corneas and managing dry eyes.

“In particular the retinal risks of even low levels of myopia became very evident, which will radically change the way we need to manage patients in the future; the ease of techniques such as orthokeratology were demonstrated live during the conference including the follow-up, but there are also a range of soft lens designs becoming available. The social programme was also not to be missed with the Awards Dinner in the stunning Liverpool Anglican Cathedral a real high-point,” James concluded.

Myopia Management Day

#BCLAComeTogether saw the inaugural BCLA Myopia Management Day take place on Friday 29 May, bringing together a global ‘who’s who’ of the field with delegates witnessing what BCLA CEO, Cheryl Donnelly, described as “the biggest and best BCLA panel discussion ever”. The day also saw a live ortho-k fitting facilitated by Shelly Bansal, ably assisted by BCLA President Elect, Keith Tempany, and BCLA Council member, Professor Christine Purslow.

From Ian Flitcroft discussing the epidemiology of myopia, to Dr Nicola Logan arguing the case for spectacles treatment, through to Professor Brien Holden presenting the case for multifocal contact lens treatment, the consensus was that myopia was not just an Asian problem but a global one, with myopic maculopathy a “public health time bomb” waiting in the wings.

Delegates were asked to decide whether to ‘treat’ or ‘correct’ (Ian Flitcroft), to consider the potential rebound effects of any treatment/s, and “to think about the future beyond what’s sitting in the chair (Kate Gifford) because by 2050 there would be close to 2.5 billion myopes on the planet, including 55 per cent of the UK population (Professor Holden).

Immediate Past BCLA President, Susan Bowers, said of the day: ”I thought that the speakers really were able to empower those practitioners attending to start fitting myopia control lenses by looking at the risks of myopia from an epidemiology base.”

So much to take home

The three-day programme also included a wide selection of specialist symposia, educational courses, a dedicated business track, rapid-fire sessions, sponsor showcases, product and technology exhibition and more CET workshops than ever before. Optometrist Drew Thompson commented: “The programme was, as always, at the forefront of contact lens practice and optometry. I took away lots of ideas on how to improve my clinical practice and maximise its business potential in several areas – not just contact lenses. I also received my BCLA Fellowship, which is a huge achievement for my practice.”

Contact lens optician, Suzanne Czerwinski, said: “I thought this year’s conference was exceptional. From the venue to the logistics, from the exhibitors to the lectures, I think the BCLA should be proud of such a world-class event. I attended some excellent lectures and workshops, one of the highlights being the Johnson & Johnson Vision Care 1-Day Acuvue Moist Brand Multiofcal presentation. A powerful message on the ease of multifocal fitting was demonstrated at the Acuvue stand later when my husband was fitted successfully with a brand new multifocal in less than 10 minutes!”

Optometrist Indie Grewal commented: “For me BCLA 2015 was about exploring new concepts and enhancing current thinking with friends and peers – all balanced with an excellent social agenda with an inspired venue for the Awards Dinner.”

Prizes and awards

As always, the BCLA took great pride in recognising and honouring the achievements of those practising, researching and working within the global contact lens community. Professor Fiona Stapleton was presented with the 2015 BCLA Medal, Benjamin Coldrick with the 2015 Da Vinci Award winner, and Dr Nicole Carnt and Dr Simon Kilvington with the 2015 Dallos Award.

Wolfgang Sickenberger of Ernst Abbe University, Germany, was the winner of the 2015 Photographic Competition, for his image of “Piggyback lens with air bubbles and mucus between soft and rigid contact lens in high magnification. Slit lamp technique – retro illumination with offset beam’.

The winner of the Poster Competition was Dorota H. Szczesna-Iskander with ‘Dry contact lens, poor wettability and visual performance’. In second place was Renee Reeder with ‘Abnormal rosacea as a differential diagnosis in corneal scarring’, and in third place was Maria J. Gonzalez-Garcia with, ‘Dry effect of the environmental conditions on tear inflammatory mediators concentration in contact lens wearers’. All prizewinners received a £100 Amazon voucher, courtesy of the Elsevier.

Beatles Mania at BCLAThis year’s Awards Dinner had a Swinging 60s Beatles theme and was held at the stunning Liverpool Anglican Cathedral with music provided by the Mersey Beatles. Many of the 21 new BCLA Fellows, who had taken and passed their viva voce examination on the Friday of the conference, were present to collect their certificates from the outgoing and incoming presidents.

During the course of the evening, which included the Presidential handover, Tony Martin, known as ‘The father of Acuvue’, was named as the winner of the 2015 BCLA Industry Award.

The night also saw Honorary Life Memberships of the BCLA awarded to Past Presidents, Dr Catharine Chisholm and Professor James Wolffsohn.

BCLA CEO Cheryl Donnelly, who was instrumental in evolving the BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition into a biennial, three-day event, reflected afterwards: “This year’s conference marked the start of a new era for the BCLA, showcasing what its members, partners and exhibitors can expect going forward. The new format, including the bite sized sessions integrating research and clinical practice papers, which ran throughout the conference, and the Specialist Symposium on Myopia Management, was very well received.

“We look forward to building on this year’s conference with more member focused activities during the remainder of 2015 and throughout 2016, culminating in the Clinical Conference in 2017,” Cheryl added.

Over the coming weeks, many of this year’s presentations will be available for members to view on the BCLA’s website.

The 40th BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition will take place in 2017. The dates and venue will be announced in due course. The next date in the BCLA Events diary is the 2015 Presidential Address to be delivered by Brian Tompkins on Wednesday 7 September at the Royal College of Physicians, London.

Tony Martin receives 2015 BCLA Industry Award

May 2015

Tony Martin – known as ‘The father of Acuvue’ – has been named as the 2015 recipient of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) Industry Award.

Launched in 2013 to honour and recognise the entrepreneurial work being carried out by individuals working in contact lens science, research and technology, the 2015 BCLA Industry Award was bestowed on Mr Martin during the BCLA’s Awards Dinner held at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on Saturday 30 May.

Tony Martin BCLA award winnerA contact lens innovator who has been at the forefront of Acuvue innovation for more than 30 years, Mr Martin was nominated by BCLA Partner, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and chosen as the overall winner by BCLA members from a shortlist of nominees.

Having recently retired from his role as Chief Technical Officer, Emerging Technologies, at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Mr Martin began his career with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care in 1984 as an integral member of the team that first brought Acuvue to market.

Since that time he has helped the company drive the evolution of the contact lens industry through a number of game-changing technologies and innovations including the first disposable and daily disposable contact lenses and the market’s leading silicone hydrogel lens, Acuvue Oasys.

BCLA President, Susan Bowers, said: “A true innovator across contact lens science and industry, Tony has made an outstanding contribution to the contact lens industry globally as well as in the UK. After a highly successful career, we are thrilled that our partners and members have formally acknowledged his contributions.”

The inaugural winner of the BCLA 2014 Industry Award was Dr Paul Rose, inventor of the Rose K contact lens for keratoconus.

BCLA President welcomed along with new Council members

May 2015

Keith TempanyThe British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has welcomed Brian Tompkins as its new President and Keith Tempany as President Elect.

Outgoing President, Susan Bowers, presented Brian with the BCLA Presidential Chain of Office at the Association’s Awards Dinner, held on the evening of Saturday 30 May at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

On taking office, Brian said: “The chance to lead the best contact lens organisation in the world is something I cannot wait to begin. I hope to bring enthusiasm, passion and fun into every aspect of the contact lens world.”

The BCLA membership has elected two new Optometric Representatives to the Council, Jonathon Bench and Michael Kilpartrick; and two new Contact Lens Optician Representatives, Nick Atkins and David Samuel. Dr Sunil Shah also joins the Council as Medical Representative, while Maxine Green remains as Industry Representative.

Completing their terms of office on the BCLA Council are: Dr Catharine Chisholm (Past President), Sheetal Patel (Optometric Representative), Iain May (Contact Lens Optician Representative); Katherine Reed (Lay Member), and Dr Siobhan Wren (Medical Representative).

Paying tribute to those members leaving the Council, BCLA CEO Cheryl Donnelly remarked: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank those members leaving us; their contribution has been invaluable and the legacy of all of their efforts, decisions and commitment will be visible in the Association’s activities for years to come. On behalf of the Executive and all of our members – a very, very big thank you.”

The composition of the BCLA Council is as follows:
• Brian Tompkins, President
• Susan Bowers, Immediate Past President
• Andy Yorke, Past President
• Keith Tempany, President Elect
• Karl Aberdeen, Technical Representative
• Maxine Green, Technical Representative
• Nick Atkins, Contact Lens Optician Representative
• David Samuel, Contact Lens Optician Representative
• Andrew Elder-Smith, Optometric Representative
• Dr Christine Purslow, Optometric Representative
• Michael Kilpartrick, Optometric Representative
• Dr Sunil Shah, Medical Representative
• Teifi James, Medical Representative

The BCLA Student Representatives are:
• Meera Lakhani (Aston University)
• Ramita Anand (Anglia Polytechnic University)
• Cemma Ramful (Bradford College)
• Amy Gatfield (Cardiff University)
• Niamh Burke (University of Dublin)
• Hannah Liles (University of Manchester)
• Katie Griffiths (University of Plymouth)

A Lay Member of the BCLA will be appointed shortly.

New BCLA President takes office

May 2015
Brian Tompkins BCAL PresidentLong-standing BCLA Council member, leading independent optometrist and self-confessed all-round ‘edutainer’, Brian Tompkins, has officially taken over as President of the BCLA.
Brian accepted the presidential medal of office from Susan Bowers at last night’s BCLA Awards Dinner. The new BCLA President Elect is Keith Tempany. Brian will be busy this morning chairing our Presbyopia Symposia in Hall 1A from 10am onwards, so please do join him for what will no doubt be a lively session.

A busy day at BCLA on Saturday

May 2015

Saturday morning at #BCLAComeTogether saw an early-morning ortho-k fitting follow-up with Shelly Bansal, with a final analysis of the patient taking place today at 3pm in Hall 3. The halls were packed out for our first keynote address by Dr Loretta Szczotka-Flynn, and our awards presentations by Professor Fiona Stapleton (Medal), Dr Michael Read (Irving Fatt, pictured), Dr Nicole Carnt (Dallos) and Benjamin Coldrick (Da Vinci).

BCLA’s programme of CET workshops kicked off and in one of her last duties as President, Susan Bowers presented the 2015 IACLE Awards. Delegates enjoyed a number of sponsor showcases and rapid-fire sessions, a thought-provoking Business Session chaired by Ross Grant, and delegates had the chance to meet with this year’s poster authors.

Congratulations to the 21 BCLA members who took – and passed – their viva voce BCLA Fellowship examinations. Many of this year’s new BCLA Fellows were present to receive their certificates from the outgoing President at last night’s Awards Dinner.

Three special presentations took place during the evening: Tony Martin, known as ‘The father of Acuvue’, received the 2015 BCLA Industry Award, and Dr Catharine Chisholm and Professor James Wolffsohn were awarded Honorary Life Memberships of the BCLA.

ACLM Contact Lens Year Book 2015 Now Available

May 2015

The 2015 edition of the product manual of the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers has now been published. It lists technical details for all the contact lenses, solutions and materials produced by ACLM member companies, and covers the overwhelming bulk of products available in the UK. It has become an essential product guide and handy reference for contact lens practitioners.

As is the case every year, there are plenty of new products (more than 100) and changes to parameters, and many older technology items have been removed. Products from new member companies No7 Contact Lenses and Sauflon (now CooperVision) are included, and the acquisitions of Prospect Lenses and Innovative Sclerals are reflected in the listings.

Readers can offer their patients the latest and most appropriate products available by obtaining a copy of the Year Book every year. Probably the best way to subscribe is by Direct Debit which secures a 35% discount every year, and also guarantees being among the first to receive the latest issue automatically. Practitioners can download the order form from the Home Page of the ACLM website at

Read the technical summary

BCLA’s Cilia's provides App tips of the week ready for 2015 Clinical Conference & Exhibition

May 2015

With just two weeks to go until the doors open to the 2015 Clinical Conference & Exhibition Cilia Launay, our Events Assistant, would like to share a few top tips on using the fantastic BCLA App.

Cilia Launay at BCLADid you know that the entire conference programme is available for you to view on the BCLA App, which is available to download for free for both Apple and Android devices from the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play.

The in-app programme stores all sessions and activities taking place at the conference so you can keep in the loop with everything that is going on for the duration of the weekend. This week, on the BCLA website, we show you how to view the in-app conference programme and provide you with useful tips on how to create your own personalised event schedule, allowing you to tailor the BCLA Conference to your individual needs.
Don’t miss out: #BCLAComeTogether your way and start planning your visit today.

Educators worldwide invited to tune in to the Third IACLE World Congress

May 2015

Contact lens educators around the globe will have the opportunity to participate in the Third IACLE World Congress when the International Association of Contact Lens Educators meets in the UK next week.

Lectures and discussion over the four days of the Congress will be broadcast live online by webcast for IACLE members worldwide to take part.
Hosted by The University of Manchester, the Congress runs from 24th to 28th May and is timed to precede the British Contact Lens Association’s 2015 Clinical Conference & Exhibition in Liverpool (29th to 31st May).

More than 100 educators and key opinion leaders from 30 countries are gathering to help shape the future of contact lens education by exploring new technologies and approaches that can be applied to teaching. Delegates are travelling from all three of IACLE’s global regions: Asia Pacific, Americas and Europe/Africa – Middle East. Nepal, Guatemala and South Africa will be among the countries represented.
Participation for IACLE members attending the congress has been facilitated by IACLE, thanks to the generous support of Platinum Sponsors Alcon, CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. Delegates will also attend from the Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators (AOCLE) and British Universities Committee of Contact Lens Educators (BUCCLE).

Among the sessions broadcast live will be a business symposium “How can educators grow contact lens penetration around the world?” With presentations from industry speakers.

IACLE Vice President and Congress Chair, Professor Philip Morgan, commented: ‘Delegates will be learning how we can harness the latest technology to advance contact lens teaching worldwide so it’s especially appropriate that we should use technology to extend a welcome to all our members. We look forward to their participation to help make the Congress a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone.’


BCLA publishes Annual Report 2014-15

May 2015

BCLA reports Key highlights for 2014-15 among which were:

BCLA Annual Report 2015• The launch of new biennial Clinical Conference and Exhibition
• 2014 BCLA research awards and inaugural Industry Award
• The Introduction of all-new Pioneers & Visionaries Conference
• First-ever overseas Fellowship examinations in India
• Refreshed website and new all-year-round mobile app
• CLAE Impact Factor rating elevated to 2.000

The BCLA invites members to join them at their 2015 AGM taking place at 4.15pm on Sunday 31 May at the ACC Liverpool, during which there will be a special motion to consider a change to the Memorandum & Articles of Association regarding the BCLA Presidential term of office.

Download the BCLA 2014-15 Annual Report to discover what's been happening at the Association over the past 12 months. Click here

Download the 2015 AGM agenda.

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