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Association News
24 March 2016
Issue 178
Foresight Project Report
Launch of Foresight Project sparks debate on the transformation of eye health and future eye care services in the community

A project designed to look at the impact of technology on the entire optical sector has been launched by the Optical Confederation and the College of Optometrists and with joint funding from the Central (LOC) Fund. 

Alan Tinger, Chairman of the Foresight Project said, “The foresight project is part of everything we are doing. It is about starting to make space for the transformation of eye health and eye care services in the community to meet future need. This report is only the start. It can only move from being a document of interest to be of serious benefit if it is widely read and debated by all parts of the sector including educators, regulators and beyond with a view to the future. What it will lead to is for readers and debaters to work on - knowledge is power.

"Notwithstanding the case to remain in or to leave the European Union in the forthcoming referendum we operate in a global economy where:

  • The largest retailer in the world has no shops and holds no stock – Alibaba
  • The largest marketing company in the world makes none of its own content – Facebook
  • The largest taxi company in the world has no vehicles – Uber
  • The largest hotel company in the world has no hotels – Airbnb

“Will we be able to say in the future that the largest opticians in the world has no practices? We don’t know but what we can say for certain is that the practices of the future will be far different from today’s models.

“It naturally follows that the roles for practitioners in the future will not be the same as today. That goes to the heart of the Foresight Project which is to inform the debate on what optical education should be about going forward. We will seriously fail both patients and recruits into the sector if we are training for jobs that will simply not exist in the same way in the future.

“One piece of kit alone being developed has the potential to revolutionise care. It is hand held binocular optical coherence tomography (OCT) that in only a fraction of a second undertakes whole eye imaging, refraction and all aspects of an eye examination. Coupled with detailed analysis via artificial intelligence, it will lead to pin point diagnosis and without the need for an operator or the space required for current style refraction. This imaging is much greater resolution than CT or MRI scanning. Technology of this type can either frighten the horses or inspire the practitioners of the future to upskill and become true doctors of the eye. The Foresight Project is definitely for inspiring.”

Click here to download the Foresight Project Report
Raising concerns with the GOC (Whistleblowing)

The GOC raising concerns policy provides guidance for registrants and others in the optical sector on raising concerns about risks to patient safety, including where to go for advice and what protection is offered.

It sets out the steps that registrants or others working in the sector should take if they believe that patient safety or care is being compromised by colleagues or the organisations in which they work or study.

The policy is clear that the first step should usually be to raise the concern at a local level, such as with their employer. However if this is not a viable option, if raising the concern locally fails to bring a resolution, or the problem raises an imminent risk of serious harm, then it may be appropriate to bring it to the GOC to investigate.

The policy will help registrants to comply with the new GOC Standards, which place a duty on registrants to protect and safeguard patients, colleagues and others from harm.

Click here to view the policy

More high-street eye services needed to reduce hospital pressures

CCGs are being urged to introduce more high-street eye health services following revelations that hospital ophthalmology services are at bursting point.

The call follows the announcement by the UK’s leading ophthalmologist that patients are at risk of irreversible sight loss because NHS eye clinics can’t cope. Professor Carrie MacEwan, President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, said follow-up appointments can be “delayed by years”, meaning patients don’t get treated on time.

Now, LOCSU and the Optical Confederation are calling on the 200-plus CCGs to end the eye care “postcode lottery” by commissioning community services.

Click here to read more

Safe Practice: Eye testing - Optical Confederation guidance Read More
Contact lens optician appointed to the GOC Investigation Committee Read More
Budget 2016 Read More
LOCSU News – Commissioning Special Read More
Help shape the future of your profession - apply to become an ABDO National Clinical Committee Member, Regional Lead or Sub Regional Lead Read More
ABDO board – Election of directors 2016 Read More
BCLA UK - ‘Big Weekend’ will help practitioners get confident with contact lenses and dry eye Read More
A message for Easter

Here's an image with a message for ABDO members to share with their patients at Easter.

Click here to access the embedded code
ABDO gala dinner


ABDO will hold it's 2016 Gala Dinner, during Optrafair, on Sunday 10 April at the Westminster Room, Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

The event will commence at 7.15pm with a drinks reception, followed by the gala dinner at 8.00pm, which will feature the presidential handover and awards.

Tickets are £80.00 per person and include pre-dinner drinks, a three course meal, wine with the meal and dancing to a live band.

Click here to book your tickets online
Consultation Day with the Areas

The next Consultation Day with the ABDO Areas will be held on Tuesday 10 May 2016 at The Medical Society of London, Lettsom House, 11 Chandos Street, London W1G 9EB. All ABDO members are invited and welcome to attend.

Registration and coffee will be from 10.00am – 10.30am and the Consultation Day will finish at 3.30pm.

To confirm your attendance email Jane Burnand at


ABDO College is now taking applications for its popular dispensing and contact lens revision courses, to be held at the College in Godmersham.

The courses will be held on 31st May and 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 6th June 2016.

Click here to view the courses available and for more information
Foundation Degree/BSc (Hons) in Ophthalmic Dispensing Read More
Fast Track Technician Training for FBDOs Read More
Distance learning tutors required Read More
Re:View - the ABDO College newsletter

Featured in the April 2016 issue of Re:View there's valuable tips for both students and their supervisors and we find out how DOs can benefit from the Fast Track Technician Training for FBDOs course, that leads to the SMC(Tech) qualification.

There’s also a profile feature on Charlotte Hough and her research into macular damage associated with long-term Tamoxifen use, as well as interviews with the two College technicians, Mark Turner and Emma Pynn.

Click here to view this latest issue
WCSM Level 5 & Level 7 Certificate in Optical Care

Enrolling now

A limited number of places are still available on the NES (NHS Education for Scotland) part funded optical care courses. This highly successful programme has been run over the past five years and has now seen over 100 learners in Scotland achieve one or two of these qualifications. Only a few more places are left, with the first workshops taking place on the 5th & 6th April at Stirling Court Hotel (previously Stirling Management Centre).

These courses cover an insight into the key areas of optical care and include optical screening, communication and spectacles. There are workshops to support these programmes, full details on application.

Please contact the ABDO College Courses Team for further information or an application pack on 01227 738 829 Option 1, or email

Click here for more detail
ABDO at Optrafair 2016
As an official event partner ABDO will have a prominent presence at Optrafair 2016
Click here to find out more about ABDO at Optrafair 2016
There's some great deals to be had if you travel to the NEC by train and book in advance!

The NEC is right next to Birmingham International rail station, so you can get to Optrafair quickly and conveniently, without having to step outside!

  • 25% discount off Virgin Trains Advance fares*

Click here for more information about travelling to the NEC

*Terms and conditions apply
FINAL REMINDER - ABDO membership subcription renewal

If you haven't already done so, there's now only a few days left to renew your annual ABDO membership subcription. If your subscription remains unpaid at 1 April 2016 your membership will lapse.

In the event of lapsed membership the use of any ABDO suffixes is not permitted and students are not permitted to sit ABDO examinations.

Non-payment of Profession Indemnity Insurance will result in a loss of cover, ceasing with effect from 1 January of the current year.

Your ABDO membership subsription fee can be paid online at by logging into the Members' Area and any outstanding balance will be displayed.

There's also still time to set up a monthly set up a direct debit by calling ABDO Membership Services on 01227 733 902, 01227 733 912 or 01227 733 922.

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