The Association of Optometrists’ (AOP’s) Annual Report 2016 highlights another record year of growth for the organisation. Described as a period of challenge, change and transformation, the report highlights the AOP’s 6% rise in membership and 32% increase in legal and regulatory enquiries from 2014.
In 2015 the AOP’s in-house legal and regulatory team received more than 3,800 member enquiries, reflecting the ongoing demand for this valued service. Employment issues were the single most common enquiry, followed by queries related to General Ophthalmic Services and patient complaints.
The Association delivered on its communications strategy in 2015 introducing a refreshed brand identity and fully integrated mobile-responsive website. The new-look and frequency Optometry Today (OT) was also launched, along with a consolidated and more engaging social media presence.
2015 also saw key developments in AOP policy work to represent members and shape the profession. A new, streamlined, and more representative Council was elected, and a Policy Committee set up to oversee government consultations and develop position statements on key issues.
Building on the commitment to raise awareness of eye health and optometry with the public, the AOP launched a new For patients section in 2015. This included leaflets to help members with patient queries, an animated video to help inform the public about the importance of regular sight tests and new eye care blogs on topical patient issues.
AOP Chief Executive, Henrietta Alderman, said: “The AOP has a responsibility to deliver on the trust given to us by our membership and provide value for money. In 2015 we continued to grow our membership and develop highly-valued services. Membership fees were frozen for the sixth consecutive year, while outstanding defence and legal support remained central to our tailored membership package.”
Commenting on the AOP’s commitment to members, Ms Alderman added: “In 2015 we deliberately budgeted for a surplus to assist us in achieving our recommended reserves policy. This allowed us to defend two performer members in the High Court which could have been a considerable cost. Once our reserves are secure we will be able to consider how best to further support and represent our members”. This comment follows news of the AOP’s recent success in an unprecedented legal case to protect the profession.
You can read our Annual Report 2016 for the full accounts and more information.
High res images are available via this link. For more information, please contact Anne Grenyer, PR and Media Manager at the Association of Optometrists, at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7549 2063.
Notes to Editors
Association of Optometrists
The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is the leading professional membership organisation for optometrists and other optical professionals in the UK. We support our community of 16,000 plus members to fulfil their professional roles to protect the nation’s eye health. As a founding member of the Optical Confederation we work with others to improve eye health for the public good.
AOP in-house legal and regulatory support
The AOP is the leading provider of medical malpractice insurance for optometrists in the UK. Our in-house legal team vigorously defends the reputation and livelihood of our members. We support our members in all four nations on a wide range of issues, including the defence of insurance claims, representation before the GOC and at NHS panel meetings and employment issues. Find out more about our legal department.