45th Hospital Optometrists Annual Conference - FULLY BOOKED

When: -


Where: Crowne Plaza Belfast, 117 Milltown Rd, Shaws Bridge, Belfast BT8 7XP

Interactive CPD points: 12

A well-established clinical conference which all optometrists are welcome to attend. This event is organised by the AOP’s Hospital Optometrists Committee. The conference focuses on challenges faced and managed in the hospital service, while providing extensively for the education needs of all practitioners.

Delegates can participate in:

  • Short paper presentations
  • Keynote lectures
  • Peer discussion groups
  • Clinical workshops
  • Poster competition
  • Trade exhibition
  • Gala dinner

Peer discussion groups

Delegates are able to attend one peer discussion during the conference. Please select the peer discussion that you wish to attend during the booking process. If the session is fully booked, you will be able to join a waiting list at the event.

Ticket availability

The conference is now fully booked. If you would like to be added to a waiting list, please email [email protected].


Alternative accommodation can be booked at the Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre.  For further details, please go to the Event Information tab.

08:30 - 08:45

  • Delegate registration (non-residential)


08:45 - 09:00

  • Welcome Address

    Opening/Closing Session | Jonathan Jackson

09:00 - 10:00

  • Session 1 - The management of Myopia in children

    Lecture | Kathryn Saunders

10:00 - 11:00

  • Session 2A - Peer Discussion 1 - Optometrist (General)

    Peer discussion | Samara Hodi

  • Session 2B - Peer Discussion 2 - Therapeutic Optometrist (IP)

    Peer discussion | Deirdre Burns

  • Session 2C - Poster session & exhibition

    Networking Meeting

11:00 - 12:00

  • Session 3 - The ophthalmic management of complex childhood disability

    Lecture | Sonia George

12:00 - 12:30

  • Session 4 & 5 - Hospital Optometrist's Business Session & Election of AOP Hospital Optometrist Committee members

    Lecture | Andrew Tompkin

12:30 - 13:30

  • Lunch (Exhibition and poster session available all afternoon until 5.30pm)

    Networking Meeting

13:30 - 14:30

  • Session 6 A-D - Optional workshops (see Information tab)


  • Session 6 E - Peer Discussion 3 - Therapeutic Optometrist (IP)

    Peer discussion | Maura Bailie

14:35 - 15:20

  • Session 7 A-E - Exhibitor presentations (see Information tab)


15:20 - 15:30

  • Refreshment break

    Session Breaks

15:30 - 16:30

  • Session 8 A-D - Optional Workshops (see Information tab)


  • Session 8E - Peer Discussion 4 - Optometrist (General)

    Peer discussion | Natasha Healey

16:35 - 17:35

  • Session 9 A-E - Optional Workshops (see Information tab)


19:00 - 23:55

  • Conference Dinner and Dance

    Networking Meeting

09:00 - 10:00

  • Session 10 - Rapid fire short paper presentations (see information tab)


10:00 - 11:00

  • Session 11 - The Geoff Woodward Lecture: Why does corneal infection remain a problem for contact lens wearers?

    Lecture | Fiona Stapleton

11:00 - 12:00

  • Session 12 - Pre-registration survival guide, poster session & exhibition

    Networking Meeting

12:00 - 13:00

  • Session 13 - Optimising visual potential in retinal disease

    Lecture | Giuliana Sylvestri

13:00 - 14:00

  • Session 14 - The Janet Silver Memorial Lecture: The journey of visual acuity: Are we nearly there yet?

    Lecture | Roger Anderson

14:00 - 14:15

  • Poster prize presentation & closing remarks

    Opening/Closing Session

Professor Roger Anderson

Professor Roger Anderson

Roger Anderson trained at Cardiff University, Moorfields Eye Hospital and Indiana University.
Following a period as a Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, he joined Ulster University in 1995 where he is currently Professor of Optometry and Vision Science.

From 2007-2014 he was Principal Optometrist (Research) and Professor of Visual Neuroscience at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, positions he now holds in an Honorary capacity.

In 2015 he was awarded Life Fellowship by the College of Optometrists and in 2016 he earned a DSc from Cardiff University.

He is a co-inventor of the Moorfields Acuity Chart, a novel high-pass logMAR letter chart for use in the early detection and monitoring of conditions such as AMD. He also currently holds positions as a Member of Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and Visual Disorders at the DVLA, the Editorial Board of Current Eye Research and is an Expert Witness for the General Optical Council.
Sonia George

Sonia George

Having trained in Belfast, Sonia George undertook her paediatric ophthalmology fellowship at the  Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and took up her post as Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist at the Royal Victoria Hospital in 2011. Her primary interests include general paediatric ophthalmology and paediatric ophthalmic surgery, including childhood cataract surgery, squint surgery and ROP. 

Her area of special interest is paediatric neuro-ophthalmology and the focus of this presentation will be the multi-disciplinary collaboration NOVIC – Neuro-Ophthalmic Visual Impairment in Children. NOVIC is a multi-award winning service for children with visual impairment and complex needs, the strength of which is the combined expertise of professionals with skills spanning the paediatric, visual, neuro-developmental and psycho-social spheres.

Scott Hau

Scott Hau

Scott Hau is a principal optometrist and research optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital.  He works in numerous external role clinics including external disease, glaucoma, laser, A&E, adnexal and medical retina/uveitis. He is also the optometric lead for A&E, lasers and independent prescribing at Moorfields.

His main research interest is microbial keratitis especially in acanthamoeba and fungal keratitis, and also anterior segment imaging including in vivo confocal microscopy and anterior segment OCT. He has published and lectured widely in these fields.

Professor Tunde Peto

Professor Tunde Peto

Tunde Peto is Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at Queen's University Belfast where she is responsible for teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Her remit also covers the development of international image analysis, training and educating in countries throughout the world.

In addition to her academic work, Professor Peto is also responsible for the Belfast Ophthalmic Image Reading Centre and a wide research portfolio. Her main interest has always been common blinding retinal diseases, with special emphasis on characterisation of diabetic retinopathy and its imaging modalities.

Professor Peto has been involved in UK National Diabetic Retinopathy Screening programmes since 2002. She was clinical lead for the London programmes and is currently the clinical lead for the Northern Irish programme.

Professor Tunde Peto trained in Hungary and Australia and spent 15 years at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London before taking up her current position in Belfast.

Professor Fiona Stapleton

Professor Fiona Stapleton

Fiona graduated from the University of Wales, conducted her pre-registration training and subsequently worked as senior optometrist at the Contact Lens Department at Moorfields Eye Hospital.  She was awarded her PhD from City University and Moorfields Eye Hospital for her research on contact lens-related disease. Fiona is a clinical scientist with expertise in epidemiology and clinical research in the fields of corneal infection, ocular microbiology, dry eye and contact lens related disease.

She is currently based at the University of New South Wales in Sydney and is President-Elect of the International Society for Contact Lens Research, an international advisor to the Asia Cornea Society Infectious Keratitis study and the 2015 recipient of the BCLA medal. She is a regular reviewer for a range of journals, belongs to the international editorial board of four journals, has more than 240 peer-reviewed publications, 20 book chapters and has published one book.
Chris Steele

Chris Steele

Chris Steele graduated from City University, London in 1988 and was a prize winner in ocular disease and abnormalities in his final year at both City University and the London Refraction Hospital, now the Institute of Optometry. He qualified in July 1989 after his pre-registration year at The Royal East Sussex Hospital, Hastings. The following two and a half years were spent working at the Institute of Ophthalmology, London and City University as a Clinical Research Assistant. He was then appointed Head of Optometry Services at Eastbourne District General Hospital, in 1991 until 1994. He twice travelled to Kenya, working firstly with Sight By Wings, then Vision Aid Overseas, providing eye care in rural areas.

He is Consultant Optometrist, Head of Optometry at Sunderland Eye Infirmary, which is one of the leading ophthalmic units in the UK. Over the past 25 years, he has instigated and developed a wide range of advanced extended clinical roles within his optometry teams, involving mainly medical retina, but also cataract, glaucoma, anterior segment and therapeutic medical contact lens practice.

He has authored over seventy publications re: medical retina, glaucoma, anterior segment and ocular therapeutics, specialist medical contact lenses, refractive surgery co-management, and clinical risk management. He has authored two books. These are Eye Essentials: Diabetes and the eye, Butterworth Heinemann 2007 and more recently an ebook entitled “Systemic and Ophthalmic Management of Diabetes Mellitus” published by Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers in 2018 (

Chris has twice been a member of the Hospital Optometrists Committee, firstly between 1995 and 2004, then more recently between 2013 and 2017. He was HOC Chairman from 1999-2001. He has served as a College Examiner for Pre-registration Final Exit Examinations and Post Graduate Higher Qualifications in Diabetes, Glaucoma and Ocular therapeutics over the past 20 years. Latterly he has been a questions writer and editor for The College of Optometrists Therapeutics Central Final Assessments for Independent Prescribing. 

Chris was a member of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Glaucoma Guideline Development Group from 2007 that produced the first UK NICE Glaucoma Guidelines (CG85) published in 2009. He is still an appointed member of a panel of experts advising NICE on future clinical guideline development. In the past 5 years he was a key member of the College of Optometrists Medical Retina Development Group that produced and published the new syllabi for the Medical Retina Higher Qualifications for optometrists and other allied healthcare professionals in the UK. Chris has most recently been involved as an external examiner for the establishment of a new MSc course in Advanced Clinical Optometry and Ophthalmology offered by Moorfields Eye Hospital and University College London.

Andrew Tompkin

Andrew Tompkin

Andrew is a Consultant Optometrist in Liverpool, has 40 years NHS experience and is an advisor to AOP on hospital optometry issues. 

After graduating from Bradford University he completed his pre-registration training at Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital, moving to Liverpool in 1984 to take up a head of department role at the age of 27.  He has worked for 35 years as a head of department and senior manager and has recent experience working as General Manager of a major ophthalmology unit.  Andrew is currently studying in the fourth Semester of an MBA programme with Liverpool Business School.   

This presentation will consider the role of individual and corporate leadership structure in the context of NHS governance and performance in developing high performing teams. 

Crowne Plaza Belfast, 117 Milltown Road, Shaw's Bridge, Belfast BT8 7XP

Information including: Pricing | Optional workshops | Submit a poster


   Rate (including VAT)
 AOP Members - residential* Sold out
 AOP Members - non residential Sold out
 Non-members - residential* Sold out
 Non-members - non-residential Sold out
 Observer - residential** Sold out
 Observer - non-residential** Sold out

* Residential rates include accommodation on the Friday and Saturday night.

** Observer places at a special reduced rate are available for those who will be bona fide full time hospital employed pre-reg or post-graduate optometry students at the time of the conference. Written confirmation of status from your supervisor is needed with the booking (please email to [email protected]). Please note that observers' places are limited.

Please note that all bookings for AOP events are subject to our terms and conditions, which include our cancellation policy.

Accommodation - Please note that these rates are only available until Friday 11 October.

Due to the residential tickets being sold out at the Crown Plaza Belfast, we have secured a discounted rate at the Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre.  The rate is inclusive of VAT, WIFI & Full Breakfast and is approximately a 10 minute drive from the Crown Plaza Belfast.  Please quote the ‘Association of Optometrists’ in order to receive the discounted rate.  They can be contacted on the following telephone number. +44 2890 242494

Date Price
Friday 8 November 
Saturday 9 November

If you are interested in booking accommodation at the Crowne Plaza Belfast for the night before, or the night after the conference, please call the reservations team at the hotel on 028 9092 3500 and let them know you are attending the conference.

The rates for single occupancy, bed and breakfast, are:

Date Price
Thursday 7 November £115
Sunday 10 November £95

Please note that contact information and debit/credit card details will be taken in order to secure the booking.

Optional workshops

13.30 - 14.30 15.30 - 16.30
  • 6A - Dynamic ret and assessment of accommodation (Prof K Saunders)
  • 6B - Low vision service provision (M McClure)
  • 6C - Understanding OCT (G Mahon)
  • 6D - Keratoconus and CXL (V Anand)
  • 6E - Peer discussion #3 - Therapeutic Optometrist (M Bailie)
  • 8A - Diabetic screening (Prof T Peto)
  • 8B - Management of microbial keratitis (S Hau)
  • 8C - The ABC of OCT Angiography (C Steele)
  • 8D - Introduction to leadership and NHS performance (A Tompkin)
  • 8E - Peer discussion #4 - Optometrist (N Healey)
14.35 - 15.20 16.35 - 17.35
  • 7A - Be in TOTAL CONTROL of Your Scleral Lens Fits (S Byrnes, No. 7 CL)
  • 7B - Sutureless in clinic Transplantation of Omnigen Procedure (A Hamblin, Menicon)
  • 7C - Bausch + Lomb Presentation (I May, Bausch & Lomb)
  • 9A - Managing CL complications (Prof F Stapleton)
  • 9B - Bionocular vision and orthoptics (P Anketell and J Hanley)
  • 9C - Elementary statistics for optometrists (R Hogg and D Wright)
  • 9D - The occupational and ergonomic perils of hospital optometry (Clarke, Rush and Wilson)
  • 9E - Pre-reg period survival guide (H Higgins)

Rapid fire presentations

  • OCT vs Scheimflug in Corneal Topography: Repeatability Analysis of Pentacam & MS39.  Marcello Leucci, Moorfields Eye Hospital
  • Mid-Vitreous Opacities In Posterior Vitreous Detachment. Amritpal Chaggar, University Hospital Coventry
  • Treatment Decisions of UK Hospital Optometrists & Ophthalmologists in Patients with nAMD.  Rosalind Creer, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
  • Service Improvements for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in CHI at Temple St. Dublin.  Tania Constable, Children’s Health Ireland
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures in Ophthalmology – How Readable Are They For Patients?  Laura Edwards, Moorfields Eye Hospital

Submit a poster

Proposals for conference quick fire presentations are also invited to arrive no later than 2 September for consideration by the sub-committee.

An abstract of the short paper proposal should be emailed to [email protected] with subject line: HOAC45 quick fire presentation proposal  [Author Name].

Download the poster guidelines.

Associated Optical

Associated Optical logoSince 1983 Associated Optical, Eschenbach’s UK partner, has sought to provide eye-care professionals with innovative magnification devices to further enhance their patient care. Working closely with all of our key manufacturers and education team, our aim is to inspire our customers to further improve people’s lives using patient centred optical solutions.

Our key brands include Eschenbach Optik, Ocutech, LiveEyewear LV Shields & COIL.


Bausch + Lomb logo

Bausch + Lomb

B+L invite you to their stand to discuss their full portfolio of Speciality Lenses for the irregular cornea such as Zenlens™ mini scleral, Quantum K, Maxim CV and Innovative Scleral range of lenses providing options for a wide variety of indications.


Cantor & Nissel logo

Cantor & Nissel Ltd

Cantor & Nissel Ltd is the largest independent specialised contact lens laboratory in Europe. The company concentrates on the production of Custom Hand Painted & Printed soft and RGP lenses for prosthetic application and for special effects, of artificial eyes and sclera shells, and of complex lenses for Toric, Presbyopic and Keratoconic application. And also producing the Chromagen range of coloured lenses and spectacle lenses for the management of colour vision deficiency and ASD (dyslexia).


College of Optometrists logo

The College of Optometrists

The College is the professional body for optometry. It qualifies the profession and delivers the guidance and development to ensure optometrists provide the best possible care. We promote excellence through the College’s affixes, by building the evidence base for optometry, and raising awareness of the profession with the public, commissioners, and health care professionals.


Glaukos logo


Glaukos is an ophthalmic medical technology company dedicated solely to the transformation of the treatment of glaucoma.

Glaukos has a portfolio of cutting edge products including the revolutionary iStent inject®.  Implanted during cataract surgery or as a separate procedure, iStent inject® is the first available ab interno, micro bypass system designed to restore natural physiological outflow through two openings in the trabecular meshwork.


Instinctive logo


Instinctive is a leading, independent supplier of specialised ophthalmic equipment. We offer cross-linking, corneal imaging, keratoconic contact lenses and corneal lasers. At this meeting we introduce new products for rapid, vision testing (objective refraction in 3 seconds) and objective perimetry (80 seconds to 6 minutes). Come and say 'hello'!


Jack Allen logo

jack allen contact lenses

Bill , Kim & Ash Wilson will be in attendance on the stand to discuss the Jack Allen Contact Lenses range of products.

The Company offers a wide range of Gas Permeable Lenses to system or Prescription including a range of special lenses

The PROFILE system for keratoconus and the irregular cornea has been augmented to offer a vast range lenses at 14.00, 16,00, 16.50, and 18.0mm diameter.

Also the PROFILE VERSATILE SYSTEM ( PVS ) will be available for demonstration.

All details available at the stand.


Menicon logo 200

Menicon Ltd

With over 40 years’ experience, Menicon Ltd. is one of the UK’s leading lens manufacturers.  The company combines traditional values of quality, expertise and service with exciting new lenses and accessories.

Menicon is renowned for its high quality lenses, especially the Rose K2 range which is the most widely prescribed brand of irregular cornea lenses worldwide.


Moorfields logo

Moorfields Eye Hospital

Moorfields Optometry Education is a leading provider of specialist clinical courses in optometry. In addition, Moorfields and The Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London (UCL) have partnered to deliver the College of Optometrists Higher Qualifications. These are all delivered by leading ophthalmologists and specialist optometrists in their respective fields.

Contact details:

Short courses: [email protected]

Higher qualifications: [email protected]

Phone: 0207 566 2484

Visit: and


No7 Contact_Lenses logo

No 7 contact lenses

No7 Contact lenses has one of the largest specialist lens portfolios, however with such diversity it is important to ensure that these products are supported.

The Professional and Technical Services team at No7 have over 100 years of collective experience and are renowned for providing assistance that practitioners can rely on. 

Further support with “In clinic, hands on fitting” is also available through our “Masterclass” education program.


Nothern Lenses logo

Northern Lenses   Est: 1993

Supplier of RGP Contact Lenses, including the NLS 14 mm Diam, OCT 16mm Diam, as well as the globally tried and tested NLK keratoconus Design, (which can be supplied with Hydra-Peg coating as a no cost option).

We now offer the Tangible Hydra-Peg Coating system available on all Optimum Comfort-Extra and Extreme materials.

This breakthrough polymer coating, is advantageous for dry eye patients, also aids comfort, wettability and lubricity.

Drop by the stand – we have samples for you to “feel the difference”. You will be amazed.


nu vision logo

Nu vision

NuVision Biotherapies Ltd is a regenerative medicine company focused on high quality, affordable sight saving and wound care therapies. 

Omnigen, is an innovative, dehydrated human amniotic membrane, produced through the patented, non-freezing Tereo® manufacturing process, stored at room temperature and applied in clinic in combination with Nuvision’s bespoke lens, Omnilenz.


Optelec logo


Optelec is known to many hospital low vision professionals as the UK and Irish distributor of the Schweizer range of optical magnifiers and other products.

The company is part of the Vispero group of companies which include brands such as Freedom Scientific, Enhanced Vision as well as Optelec and others. Together these companies form the largest provider of adaptive technology for the visually impaired and blindness communities worldwide. 

Please talk to our team about the latest product and training initiatives available to help deliver timely and professional service in your department.


Optima Logo


Optima Low Vision Services Ltd. is a leading UK supplier of low vision equipment. Optima provides NHS funded low vision services, working with approximately 2,000 new patients a year. We are in a unique position to offer a comprehensive product range, expect advice as practitioners and training to those working in the low vision sector.



Positive Impact

Positive Impact is an innovative ophthalmic sales company with a range of unique and exclusive products, widely regarded as the best in their class. Its Dry Eye Zone includes a range of patented diagnostics and treatments for ocular surface disease including TearLab®, InflammaDry®, Parasol punctum-plugs, HydraMed dry eye drops, DemEx lid care and Dry Omega supplements.


RNIB logo


RNIB offers practical support, advice and information to people with sight loss and those who work with them. We are committed to helping health professionals understand more about the impact that eye conditions and sight loss have on their patients. 

For more information about how we can help, visit


Scope logo

Scope Ophthalmics

Scope is a family-run company with a heritage of bringing evidence-based, premium products to healthcare professionals and end-consumers alike. Scope offers innovative products for ocular surface diseases such as Dry Eye Disease. Operating in both the United Kingdom and Ireland, we have a well-established portfolio which includes; The HYCOSAN® range, OPTASE® and Omega Eye


Scotlens logo


Scotlens continue to lead the way with contact lenses for irregular corneas. Our irregular corneal range that includes; K-Contour 2- a variable diameter corneal lens for mild to moderate keratoconus, Corneoscleral lens - a 14.5mm lens for keratoconus, astigmatism and EasyScleral - 16 or 18mm diameter scleral lenses perfect for pellucid and post-surgical eyes.


Ultravision logo


UltraVision, a Member of the SEED Group, is a world class specialist in developing leading edge technology for contact lenses. Producing an extensive range of products from monthly disposables to bespoke custom contact lenses, UltraVision offer an option for all your patients.



VISUfarma logoVISUfarma is pan-European ophthalmic specialty pharmaceutical company with a clear mission; to bring global innovation to European eye health. We are an ambitious and fast growing ophthalmology player, commercialising a wide portfolio of products and devices across Europe. Our promise is to offer high quality products and to spread eye health innovation and knowledge, from across the globe, throughout Europe. 



The new Crowne Plaza Belfast is located on Milltown Road, Shaw's Bridge, in south Belfast. Situated within Lagan Valley Regional Park, just moments' drive from the renowned Malone Road, the hotel is surrounded by picturesque parkland, walking and cycling trails, and is a 10-minute drive from Belfast city centre. There is ample free parking in the hotel's car park. The hotel is located with close proximity to key attractions in Belfast, including the SSE Arena, where many of the city's concerts are held, which is just over a 13-minute drive away; Belfast Waterfront, which hosts many of Belfast's events and concerts, which is only a 12-minute drive away; whilst Titanic Belfast is just 15 minutes from the hotel.


By car

From the Belfast city centre head to the University Road and continue onto the Malone Road; then continue onto the Milltown Road. The hotel is on the left hand side.

By air

The conference is located near two major airports:

Belfast International Airport
(approx 30 mins drive from the hotel)
George Best Belfast City Airport
(approx 15 mins drive from the hotel)

Virgin Atlantic
Thomas Cook

British Airways

By boat

The Crowne Plaza Belfast is a short 15-minute drive to the ferry terminals. Visit Tourism Ireland for more information on the possible ferry routes.

Whilst you are in Belfast

For delegates who are unable to attend the evening activities, have guests that they need to entertain whilst they are at the conference, or are adding a couple of days on to their visit, then there is lots to do in the local area. Visit Belfast has collaborated with a range of businesses to offer conference delegates discounts on various activities and services - see Visit Belfast's exclusive delegate offers.