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Professional Matters Ophthalmology News, April to June 2017

For Optometry Section Click Here

Reception held to raise awareness of dementia issues highlighted in PrOVIDe report
College of Optometry produces report on Vision Impairment in those with dementia.
New Ophthalmology Insider on line provided by Mark Kontos MD.
Developing a Refractive Surgery Dataset.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists publishes refractive surgery standards guidance for ophthalmologists.

Parliamentary Reception held to raise awareness of dementia issues highlighted in PrOVIDe report.

April 2017

Debbie Abrahams MPThe College of Optometrists has held a parliamentary reception on dementia and visual impairment (VI). The event, which was hosted by Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth and Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, discussed the issues highlighted in the Prevalence of Visual Impairment in People with Dementia (PrOVIDe) report published by the College and the Alzheimer’s Society and funded by the Department of Health.

The event was attended by several Members of Parliament, key government bodies, patient groups and researchers. Event host, Debbie Abrahams, said; “850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK. As the UK’s population ages, we will find this number of people will rise since the risk of living with visual impairment and dementia both increase with age. The effect of having both sight loss and dementia are much more severe than those resulting from either dementia or sight loss alone.

I know from personal experience of caring for my mother, who had Alzheimer’s, the effects of dealing with multiple health conditions on her, her carers and family. This is a really important issue to tackle and we want those with dementia and their carers to know that sight tests are possible for a huge number of people living with dementia.”

College @ parliamentSpeaking at the event, Michael Bowen, Director of Research at the College of Optometrists and chief investigator for the PrOVIDe study said; “PrOVIDe represents a milestone for research into vision and eye health among people living with dementia in the UK.

The data from the project gives us evidence that people living with dementia can engage with most of the key elements of an eye examination.

The College is beginning to take forward the key outcomes from the project in ways that will lead to changes in the way we work and improvements to the information that we give to eye health professionals and people living with dementia.

Full report on Opchat News pages


College of Optometry produces report on Vision Impairment in those with dementia.

April 2017

Prevalence of visual impairment in those with dementia generally higher than the overall population according to research from College of Optometrists

Nearly three quarters of visual impairment in those with dementia addressed through spectacles or cataract operation

Research led by The College of Optometrists found that prevalence of visual impairment (VI) in those with dementia is generally higher than for the overall population, highlighting the importance of sight tests in this group of people.

The College’s research also found that almost 50 per cent of those living with dementia and VI were no longer classified as visually impaired when wearing their up-to-date spectacle prescription and that VI was approximately 2-2.5 times more common for those people with dementia living in care homes than for those living at home.

The research, entitled the Prevalence of Visual Impairment in People with Dementia (PrOVIDe), was led by the College of Optometrists in collaboration with City, University of London, University of Birmingham, Thomas Pocklington Trust, Alzheimer’s Society, University of Newcastle, Trinity College Dublin and University College London and was funded and published by the National Institute for Health Research.

Read the full report here on the Optometry/Dispensing Section of Professional Matters.

New Ophthalmology Insider on line provided by Mark Kontos MD.

April 2017

It is said that the new Ophthalmology Insider provides a new opportunity to openly discuss topics relating to health care, changes in the ophthalmology landscape, and debates within the field—all in an uncensored environment.

The site is aimed at top ophthalmologists from around the world and can be reached here on the eye tube. to register after a short preview.

This discussion revolves around The future of Healthcare in the new USA administration.

Developing a Refractive Surgery Dataset.

April 2017

David Hewlett from the Optical Confederation and Katrina Venerus from LOCSU represented non-hospital ophthalmology providers, optometrists and dispensing opticians at a working group on 23 March to agree a minimum data set for refractive surgery.

The working group was convened by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists but recognises that this is a growing area of clinical practice for optometrists and opticians as well as other health professionals.

Katrina Venerus said: “We are close to agreeing a minimum data set which will collect, before and after surgery, uncorrected near, intermediate and distance visual acuities as well as outcome at discharge, or at one year and discharge. The overriding principle is to err on the side of simplicity and to collect only essential information and data as part of routine practice. We also agreed that patients when consenting to surgery should also be asked whether their data can be confidentially shared for audit purpose and to improve patient outcomes.”

David added: “Developing an agreed refractive surgery dataset is a key part of our proposals for providers and clinical teams to benefit patients. Excellent progress is being made, although in many ways agreeing a dataset is the easy part. We now have to carry providers and clinicians with us to collect the data and persuade all parties to agree to submit them to a central independent analytical resource or repository. To do this we need to be clear about the purpose and uses of the data, and the independence of the analysis. There is still a significant amount of work to be done here but the signs are positive.”

David Hewlett said: “What we are doing here may well become the model for other areas of shared ophthalmic practice in years to come. So we are actively seeking the views of all optometrists, opticians and optical practices, whether or not they refer to or offer refractive surgery, cataract or other services.”

The Federation of (Ophthalmic and Dispensing) Opticians is an influential national association both in the UK and Republic of Ireland for community eye health providers, optometrists and opticians. Member benefits include bespoke advice and support in all areas of practice and business and first-class professional liability and legal defence insurance.

Their aims are to achieve eye health for all, delivered through world-class services, provided by regulated community-based professionals operating in a competitive environment.

FODO's members account for over 80 per cent of market activity in the UK, 55 per cent in the Republic of Ireland and deliver the majority of eye care in both countries.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists publishes refractive surgery standards guidance for ophthalmologists.

April 2017

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO) have published guidance on refractive surgery standards for surgeons. The new standards are expected to be implemented by 1 June 2017.

The RCO states in its publication that surgery to correct refractive errors, using lasers or implants, to provide freedom from glasses or contact lenses is increasingly popular.

Over 100,000 refractive surgery procedures (laser vision correction surgery) are undertaken every year in the UK and implant based alternatives are now widely available. Results are generally very good, but concerns have been raised by patient and consumer groups regarding inconsistent patient information and quality of care.

Recognising these concerns, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists brought together experienced refractive surgeons and ophthalmologists from across the public and private sectors. The Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group (RSSWG) have developed new patient information leaflets and professional standards for refractive surgeons to improve patient safety and quality of care. The RSSWG collaborated and consulted widely with patients and those organisations working in the sector.

The RCO says "The Professional Standards for Refractive Surgery April 2017, aimed at surgeons and other medical professionals, provide clear guidance on the level of experience and knowledge refractive surgeons should have, as well as the environment for performing surgery safely, good communication and teamwork, continuity of care, and maintaining trust. The new standards are expected to be implemented by 1 June 2017."

Click here to read the complete guidance standards.


David Hewlett, Chief Executive of FODO and Optical Confederation member said:

“Having commented substantively on earlier drafts, we look forward to studying this guidance and any new evidence with interest. In the meantime we are consulting on guidance for providers and wider multi-disciplinary teams which is where the majority of safe and high-quality refractive surgery now takes place. Multi-disciplinary working is also the way of the future and we are looking to fill this current gap in support for providers and other professions engaged in surgery.”

David Hewlett continues: “We are very supportive of an agreed refractive surgery dataset and an agreed, independent data and analysis repository so that we can continuously learn, improve and become more patient-focussed across the refractive surgery sector as a whole. We are also consulting on further patient protection measures for the rare occasions when trust breaks down, which we would expect all providers and regulators to support, to make refractive surgery across the board as safe and successful as it can be.”

Membership of the Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group
Mr Bruce Allan FRCOphth Chair
Mr James Ball FRCOphth
Dr Susan Blakeney, Clinical Adviser, College of Optometrists
Mr Michael Burdon FRCOphth, Vice President and Chair of the Scientific Committee
Mr Bernard Chang FRCOphth, Vice President and Chair of the Professional Standards Committee
Dr Kieren Darcy, Ophthalmologists in Training Group
Mr Sheraz Daya, FRCOphth
Professor John Marshall FRCOphth (Hon)
Ms Rea Mattocks, Lay Advisory Group
Mr William Newman FRCOphth, Honorary Secretary
Dr David Teenan FRCOphth

This is the first news piece to be published on PHNs new Ophthalmology Section Page under the Professional Matters Tab on the Home Page. News that is in anyway connected to Ophthalmology/Vision in the community, will be gratefully received and published here. Send your PR and images on news, products and services affecting the community and its service providors to .

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