View this mailer in your browser
ABDO on Twitter
Association News
8 January 2015
Issue 172
Peter Black appears in Rip Off Britain sunglasses feature
ABDO President, Peter Black, recently participated in the popular BBC consumer programme Rip Off Britain. The programme Rip Off Britain: Holidays (Series 4: Episode 2) contains a feature on sunglasses.

The sunglasses feature commences at 18:40 minutes into the programme and runs for approximately nine minutes.

To view the programme click here
ABDO at 100% Optical


  • The ABDO Arms is a specially designated ‘pub’ bar area for ABDO where Association members will be able to network and socialise
  • ABDO board members and ABDO staff will be on hand to discuss ABDO’s strategies and for you to let us know your views


  • Find out more about the extensive range of ABDO College courses - which include WCSM courses and degree programmes run in conjunction with Canterbury Christ Church University


  • Find out more about ABDO’s professional journal and advertising & editorial opportunities


  • ABDO College's Debbie Gigg is providing Ask an Expert sessions


  • The workshops are free to attend and are all approved for 3 interactive CET points
  • Admission is strictly limited
  • Register online at


  • 12.00 - 13.00: Through the eyepiece - lens verification skills
    Paula Stevens, Kevin Gutsell, Andy Sanders
  • 14.00 - 15.00: Not just mini-me’s - paediatric fitting skills workshop
    Joanne Abbott, Geri Dynan, Fiona Anderson


  • 12.00 - 13.00: Not just mini-me’s - paediatric fitting skills workshop
    Joanne Abbott, Geri Dynan, Fiona Anderson
  • 14.00 - 15.00: Not just mini-me’s - paediatric fitting skills workshop
    Joanne Abbott, Geri Dynan, Fiona Anderson
  • 16.00 - 17.00: Through the eyepiece - lens verification skills
    Paula Stevens, Kevin Gutsell, Andy Sanders


  • 12.00 - 13.00: Through the eyepiece - lens verification skills
    Paula Stevens, Kevin Gutsell, Andy Sanders
  • 14.00 - 15.00: Not just mini-me’s - paediatric fitting skills workshop
    Joanne Abbott, Geri Dynan, Fiona Anderson
To register for the show click here
Optical practices can help deliver NHS reform says health minister

High Street optical practices can be a force for reform, health minister Alistair Burt said following a meeting with leaders from the optical sector.

Minister of State for Community and Social Care, Alistair Burt, had a positive meeting with the leaders from the optical sector last month and said that practices could help the NHS to deliver reforms set out in the Five Year Forward View.

Mr Burt said that optometrists and opticians were well positioned to play a wider role in transforming health delivery with other primary care professionals and could help reduce the pressure on GPs and hospital care, such as A&E.

“There is no doubt that some of the best examples I have seen so far from the Vanguards sites are where they are getting other professions involved in delivering care in the community to support general practice.

“I sincerely hope that eye care and ophthalmology will feature in the new model of care within some of the Vanguard sites.

“I recognise that optical practices could play a wider role in delivering care closer to patients and that they can take some of the pressure away from GPs.”

Mr Burt told leaders from the optical sector that he understood the importance of connecting optical practices to the rest of the NHS.

Optical leaders explained to the health minister that, in their view, the IT bid submitted by the sector to NHS England was critical to the secure sharing of patient records and that out-of-hospital care was dependent on this connectivity.

The Minister, who is responsible for primary care commissioning policy, along with ophthalmic and dentistry services and the GP contract, revealed he is looking forward to continuing to work with the optical profession.

Responding on behalf of the Optical Confederation and LOCSU, Tony Garrett said: “This was a very positive meeting. We were pleased to have had such a productive and encouraging meeting with the minister. We welcome his interest in the sector and look forward to working with him.”

Parliamentary reception on eye health

The Optical Confederation is joining with leading organisations from the sight loss sector and Lord Low of Dalston, CBE to host a parliamentary reception on Tuesday 12 January. The event aims to encourage MPs to support local NHS eye services and promote social inclusion for visually impaired people.

Almost two million adults and young people in the UK are living with a serious sight problem – on average 3,000 people in every parliamentary constituency. MPs and decision makers attending the reception will learn that this number could double by 2050 unless decisive action is taken now to modernise and integrate eye services across the NHS estate.

The cost of eye disease and sight loss in the UK is estimated at almost £22 billion a year. Failure to invest in early detection and treatment could lead to increased spending in health, education, social care and training.

Responding to recent comments by the Minister of State for Community and Social Care, Alistair Burt MP, the Optical Confederation will aim to show the role the optical sector can play in supporting NHS reform and delivering more care in the community to support patients and ease capacity challenges in GP and hospital services.

Click here to read more

Free Nights across hundreds of hotels in Europe plus save an additional 10% with SuperBreak Mini-Holidays

ABDO members have access to a 10% discount on hotel accommodation with optional rail travel including Eurostar, flights, concert & events, theatre & dining, group bookings and much more!*

View more information to book your next break or call 01904 436 002 and quote HB937

*Terms and conditions apply. See website for details. Offers subject to change without notice. This ABDO membership benefit is managed on behalf of ABDO by Parliament Hill Ltd.
98 per cent of registrants meet CET targets

The General Optical Council (GOC) has released figures showing that 98 per cent of all registrants met their Continuing Education and Training (CET) requirements for the 2013-15 cycle.

Just 412 registrants out of 21,158 face removal from the register for not meeting their requirements, including 255 optometrists and 157 dispensing opticians. 75 of those registrants had already told the GOC they intend to retire or come off the register.

In line with GOC rules some registrants may be able to demonstrate exceptional circumstances for not meeting their CET target, meaning the number of registrants removed is likely to be even lower than 412.

A further 12 contact lens opticians face losing their specialty registration, although they will be able to continue practising as dispensing opticians.

Click here to read more

New research reveals optometrists are seeing an increase in eye health problems

New research reveals 90 per cent of optometrists are seeing an increase in eye health problems compared to only five years ago. The research has also unveiled an alarming, self-acknowledged gap in GP’s skills when it comes to diagnosing and treating eye conditions.

The Vision of Britain report, commissioned by Optegra Eye Health Care, shows that more than a quarter of British adults (26 per cent) turn to their GP rather than an optometrist for help if they have an eye problem. However, more than three in 10 GPs (32 per cent) say they feel ‘de-skilled’ in diagnosing eye conditions, reflecting the immense pressures and workload on these doctors. In addition 44 per cent say that they feel less confident in identifying eye conditions than other parts of the body, such as ears, heart and lungs. Two in five GPs (40 per cent) surveyed for Vision of Britain say they need more, or refresher, training on all eye conditions. And a further 40 per cent say they would refer eye problems to a specialist more quickly than other parts of the body.

Click here to read more

Membership subcription renewal

ABDO membership subscription renewal notices were sent to members in December. If you haven't already done so, your membership subsription fee can now be paid online at by logging into the Members' Area.

If you have not received a renewal notice, please look online for the amount outstanding. If there are any problems or changes please email

ABDO College Trustees

ABDO College Trustees serve for a maximum of two four year terms (eight years in total). Two Trustees will be retiring over the coming months and therefore applications for consideration as a Trustee are invited for suitably qualified ABDO members.

Ideally applicants should have demonstrated an interest in optical education and have empathy with the Association and objectives of the Trust and desire to further increase the growth of the College.

Applications are particularly welcome from former students at Godmersham who have gone on to establish a successful career.

Applications containing a letter outlining your reason for applying, along with an up-to-date CV should be addressed to Sir Anthony Garrett at ABDO College, Godmersham Park, Godmersham, Canterbury, Kent CT4 7DT and marked confidential.

Interviews and appointment meetings will be held during the spring and applicants will be advised of the appropriate timetables.

The closing date for applications is 31 January 2016.
Degree or Diploma?

ABDO College offers a choice of two distance learning courses on the route to becoming a qualified dispensing optician

Degree option
A two-year Foundation Degree course followed by a third year BSc Degree course in ophthalmic dispensing – leading to BSc (Hons) and the ABDO Level 6 FBDO qualifications.

Diploma option
A three-year diploma course in ophthalmic dispensing – leading to the ABDO Level 6 FBDO qualification.

Did you know?

  • You can study for the degree course, instead of the diploma course, for an additional cost of less than £100 per month
  • In most cases, student finance is available to those undertaking the degree option
Read More
Dispensing optician survey

Catherine Viner MSc MCOptom FHEA and Professor Brendan Barrett Dip Optom BSc (Psychol) PhD would like to invite dispensing opticians to complete a survey which is gathering information to examine current thinking and practice in relation to the dispensing and management of anisometropic prescriptions. The survey is part of research being conducted at the University of Bradford, looking at amblyopia and its treatment, beyond the traditional critical period.

They would like you to provide detailed answers on the five cases presented, as well as telling them a little about your dispensing background and experience, and it's envisaged that the entire survey will take you no more than 10-15 mins.

All responses will be welcomed and will be anonymised before any results are disseminated. If you have any questions about the survey or the research, please do not hesitate to contact Catherine Viner via email:

Your help will be much appreciated.

Click here to view the survey
Unsubscribe       Disclaimer ©2016 ABDO. All rights reserved