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Association News
16 September 2016
Issue 190
ABDO announce ‘Sandwich Generation’ survey results and embark on national radio campaigns
Members of the ABDO board will be speaking about the findings of ABDO’s latest consumer survey on local and national radio this month.

ABDO has commissioned media agency, the Relations Group, to interview around 2,000 members of the ‘Sandwich Generation’, asking them about how they look after their own health, that of their parents and their children. The ‘Sandwich Generation’ - originally coined by social worker Dorothy Miller in 1981 - describes those who are “sandwiched” between looking after young children and aging parents, as their primary caregiver. This is a growing group as families are having children later and seniors are living longer. This 40-60 age group is a cohort that is entering presbyopia and at increasing risk of sight-threatening eye disease, while still perceiving themselves too young for both glasses and eye disease.

The survey has unveiled that a quarter (25 per cent) of the ‘Sandwich Generation’ spend more time looking after the health of others than their own and 17 per cent admit that their own health suffers due to the demands of looking after others. What effect is this having on people in this bracket? The research found that a fifth (20 per cent) feel pressured by their growing responsibilities. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) place their child’s health above their own and around a quarter (24 per cent) prioritises their parents’ health over their own.

The research also highlights that looking after their eyes was a key area that was sacrificed due to lack of time, with 7 per cent having not been to the optician for a staggering nine years or more. As many as 1 in 6 (16 per cent)say they don’t have enough time to spend on their own health, while a quarter (24 per cent) are most likely to go to the optician for their child and 2 per cent for their parents, over themselves.

Alongside the survey results, during the radio campaign broadcasts ABDO media representatives will highlight the role of the dispensing optician, promoting messages such as, ‘Association of British Dispensing Opticians members provide professional eye care throughout the UK to prevent the potential loss of sight’ and ‘regular eye tests are readily available to everyone in the UK near their home’.

Together with a Radio Day on Friday 16 September, ABDO is also spreading the eye care message to parents and children via Fun Kids Radio, with a reprise of the series of audio programmes broadcast last year, which will be running from 19 September. On top of this, there will be an animated video series going live from 2 October. To find out more or download the podcast visit and search for ‘Hallux’s i-Guide’.

Click here to view an infographic that outlines the main survey results
RNIB and Specsavers report
State of the Nation Report: Eye Health 2016

Launched at a reception at the House of Lords on Wednesday 7th September, the report, which is part of a three year collaboration between Specsavers and the RNIB, contains the “data and insight that commissioners, policy makers, service providers and professionals working in the health, care and voluntary sectors need in order to make a difference.”

The full report can be viewed by clicking here
Good Morning Britain 'Eye Can See' campaign

On 6th September, Good Morning Britain launched their 'Eye Can See' campaign, to ensure every four/five-year-old child in England has a vision screening check at school, and to encourage parents to take children for sight tests.

For further information about the campaign click here
ABDO graduation ceremony - online booking now open

All graduands currently eligible to attend the 2016 ABDO graduation ceremony can now book gown hire, photography requirements, ceremony tickets and celebration reception tickets online via the Ede & Ravenscroft website.

The ceremony will be held at Canterbury Cathedral on Wednesday 23 November. The final deadline for booking is Monday 14 November 2016.

For information of how to book online click here
Become a professional member

Free professional membership

The Macular Society has over 6,000 professional members who are essential in helping them achieve their mission. The Society produces patient information that professionals can give to patients and carers. Professional members also receive the quarterly Sideview magazine, Digest annual research review and a quarterly eNewsletter.

To register as a professional member click here
Call for papers ahead of BCLA conference
Eye care professionals have been encouraged to submit proposals for a series of educational courses, lectures and workshops to be held at next year’s BCLA conference.

The conference, due to be held in Liverpool next May, is the biggest of its kind within the contact lens industry and offers delegates the chance to keep up to date with the latest research, trends and best practice.

BCLA leaders are now looking to put together a programme of workshops, science streams and case reports focusing on the key trends within modern contact lens practice. A call has now been issued for submissions on any topic related to contact lenses and the anterior eye.

Suggested topics for lectures and workshops include the fitting of contact lenses in children, cataract management and the challenges and opportunities offered by anterior eye practice in the future. Lecture and workshop submissions should be made by Friday, October 26.

For more information and details on submitting papers visit
BCLA meeting will tell practitioners ‘the future is in your hands’ Read More
Payment service rescue plan must deliver, insist optical leaders Read More
LOCSU News - September 2016 issue Read More
Progress, continuity and change at LOCSU Read More
Research demonstrates success of community eye care schemes Read More
The effect of coloured overlays and lenses on reading Read More
National Optical Conference 2016

10 & 11 November 2016, Hilton Birmingham Metropole NEC

The National Optical Conference (NOC), is organised by the AOP for the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) and the Optical Confederation. The conference offers an unrivalled two days to discover the latest in community eye services as well as to share experiences and knowledge with fellow practitioners. It is the must attend event for new and experienced LOC officers and committee members.

Delegates will experience:

  • The latest updates on NHS priorities and strategic outlook from Primary Care
  • Keynote presentations from leaders across eye health and public health
  • An overview of the commissioning landscape and community services
  • An excellent networking opportunity for LOC members

To view the agenda click here

To book online click here

ABDO College Low Vision Honours Course
An opportunity to develop your professional skills and help others

Due to changing demographics the demand for specialist low vision services is steadily increasing. By enhancing your low vision skills you can greatly help others, which is both valuable and extremely rewarding.

The ABDO College Low Vision Honours Course includes the theory and practical aspects of low vision consultation and fully prepares candidates for the ABDO Level 6 FBDO (Hons) LVA examinations.

Read More
Advanced Contact Lens Diploma Preparation Course

Do you hold the ABDO Level 6 Certificate in Contact Lens Practice and would you be interested in attaining the ABDO Level 7 Diploma in Advanced Contact Lens Practice?

ABDO College is to hold an Advanced Contact Lens Diploma Preparation Course in mid-November 2016 to provide guidance and support, followed by structured revision in the form of a series of distance learning projects, in readiness for the ABDO summer examinations in 2017.

For further details, contact the ABDO College Courses Team on 01227 738 829 (Option 1) or email

Request for dispensing optician case studies

AGCAS - the professional association for higher education careers professionals - is looking for case studies from recent graduates working as registered dispensing opticians to accompany their Dispensing Optician career profile. The aim of the case studies is to provide a personal insight into the profession and to give others interested in becoming a dispensing optician a flavour of what you do, what you enjoy about the role, the challenges and your career ambitions.

If you are interested in providing a case study, please contact Sarah Nichols, AGCAS publications officer - by email at - who will provide further information and a case study template to complete. It should only take a few minutes to complete and will provide a valuable insight into your role.

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