Locum clinical skills conference



Where: ABDO National Resource Centre, 4th Floor, Aqueous II Building, Aston Cross Business Village (off Rocky Lane), Chester Street, Birmingham, B6 5RQ

Interactive CPD points: 15

The AOP in partnership with Johnson & Johnson Vision and supported by Boots Opticians are pleased deliver our first Locum Clinical Skills Conference.

The Locum Clinical Skills Conference provides an opportunity for practitioners to consolidate and expand their knowledge alongside their peers on a range of key clinical topics. The face-to-face event consists of a series of clinical circuits alongside a peer review session, providing a total of 15 interactive CPD points across the day.

Delegates will also benefit from networking opportunities with our exhibitors and other locum optometrists.


8.30am - 9.00am Registration 
9.00am - 9.10am Welcome
9.10am - 10.10am Workshop Circuit 1 
10.15am - 11.15am Workshop Circuit 2
11.15am - 11.35am Refreshment Break 
11.35am - 12.35pm Workshop Circuit 3
12.45pm -1.45pm
  Group 1 - Peer review
  Group 2 - Lunch break 
1.55pm - 2.55pm
  Group 2 - Peer review
  Group 1 - Lunch break 
3.05pm - 4.05pm Workshop Circuit 4
4.10pm End

Delegates will be assigned to one of four groups at the start of the day. Each group will take part in all four workshops and the peer review over the course of the conference. AOP staff members will be on hand to support with any questions on the day. 

An example agenda along with session overviews and learning outcomes for the workshops and peer review can be found on the tabs below

Ticket availability and prices

Early bird tickets will be available until 17:00 on Monday 2 October 2023.

There are a limited number of tickets for this event. Your booking is only confirmed once all booking details and payment has been received. We are unable to reserve tickets.

Early Bird ticket:  £49.95+VAT
Standard ticket:  £75.00 +VAT


Contact us

If you have any questions about this event or the booking process, please email the AOP events team at [email protected] or call us on 0207 549 2008. 

8.30AM - 9.00AM

  • Registration

9.00AM - 9.10AM

  • Welcome

9.10AM - 10.10AM

  • 3 points

    Discussion workshop: The comfort quest

    Discussion workshop

    CPD ref no: C-106076


    Practitioner type:


10.15AM - 11.15AM

  • 3 points

    Discussion workshop: Everyday binocular vision anomalies

    Discussion workshop

    CPD ref no: C-106074


    Practitioner type:


11.15AM - 11.35AM

  • Refreshment break

11.35AM - 12.35PM

  • 3 points

    Discussion workshop: Death, taxes and myopia

    Discussion workshop

    CPD ref no: C-106514


    Practitioner type:


12.45PM - 1.45PM

  • Lunch

1.55PM - 2.55PM

  • 3 points

    Peer review: Evolving expectations

    Peer review

    CPD ref no: C-106077


    Practitioner type:


3.05PM - 4.05PM

  • 3 points

    Discussion workshop: The detection and management of glaucoma with OCT

    Discussion workshop

    CPD ref no: C-106539


    Practitioner type:


4.10PM - 4.10PM

  • Close

James Hall


James Hall qualified as a dispensing optician in 1992 and has held varied roles in practice management, as a contact lens optician and a franchise director. He currently works in a busy practice in Newcastle-under-Lyme while working as a professional affairs consultant with Johnson & Johnson Vision where he is engaged in delivering a variety of education and training programmes to fellow eye care professionals.

Marie-Therese Hall


Marie-Therese Hall qualified as an optometrist in 2009 and has worked in both multiples and independents in the North East of England in a variety of different practices. Alongside her work in practice, Marie-Therese works with Johnson & Johnson Vision as a professional affairs consultant, where she enjoys both developing and delivering a variety of education and training programmes to fellow eye care professionals.

Neelam Patel


Neelam Patel has 20 years’ experience as an optometrist in practice and field-based roles working for a large multiple. Working part time as a professional affairs consultant and faculty team member with Johnson & Johnson Vision, allows her to fulfil her passion for facilitating learning through coaching to provide excellence in patient care. Neelam also works closely with the professional education team to develop learning materials and co-author CPD.

Robyn Marsden


Robyn Marsden qualified as an optometrist in 2001 and in addition to working in both multiple and independent practices, she is also a College of Optometrists assessor. Robyn works with Johnson & Johnson Vision as a professional affairs consultant, where she fulfils her career long passion for contact lens work, education and improving practitioner to patient communication in both the UK and Nordics.

Sarah Marsden


Sarah is a MECS qualified Contact Lens Optician with a passion for meeting patient needs and exceeding their expectations. She has over 35yrs experience within the optical industry mainly within multiple sector.  In 2011 she joined Johnson & Johnson Vision Care as the Acuvue Presbyopia Specialist for the Midlands, South West England and Wales. In this role she was involved with helping select independent practices and multiples grow their Multifocal Contact Lens business through consultative selling techniques. In 2014 she became a Professional Affairs Consultant and joined the Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Faculty Education team in 2015 where she is involved in delivering and developing education in contact lenses, dry eye and communication skills. Sarah is also a Contact Lens and Dispensing Optician Tutor for ABDO. She is passionate in supporting her peers to provide the best outcome for their patients through both education and coaching.

Professor Bruce Evans


Professor Bruce Evans is visiting professor to City, University of London and to London South Bank University. He holds the College of Optometrists Diploma in Contact Lens Practice and Diploma in Orthoptics. He is a fellow of the College of Optometrists, American Academy of Optometry, European Academy of Optometry, and British Contact Lens Association. His main areas of research are myopia control, binocular vision, children’s vision, dyslexia, contact lenses, computer vision syndrome, and headaches including migraine. He has authored over 260 scientific and professional papers, nine editions of optometric textbooks, and has given more than 250 invited lectures. In 2021, he was listed in the top 100 of the Global Optometrist Research Ranking.

Dr Ian Beasley


Dr Ian Beasley is an optometrist and clinical editor of Optometry Today (OT) where he is responsible for commissioning the clinical content for the journal. In addition to his role for OT, he is head of education for the AOP, overseeing the content delivery for the Association's events portfolio. He is also a visiting lecturer at Aston University where he completed a professional doctorate and a PhD.

Matt Roney


Matt Roney is a specialist optometrist at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital within the Liverpool University Hospital Foundation Trust. His specialisation is primarily focused on glaucoma and acute ophthalmology and holds a diploma in glaucoma, along with advanced qualifications in therapeutics and independent prescribing. Matt is an honorary clinical fellow in ophthalmology at the University of Liverpool and also holds a position at the University of Hertfordshire, offering guidance and assessments in glaucoma and independent prescribing to graduate optometrists. He has recently embarked on a PhD with the University of Liverpool where his research focuses on novel imaging modalities to enhance the success of various glaucoma filtration surgeries.

Workshop A 

Discussion workshop: The comfort quest

Can the presence of contact lens comfort simply be assumed when discomfort is not reported? Or are there other factors practitioners should seek out in order to understand a contact lens wearer’s experience? Using practical demonstrations, this three-station session will encourage practitioners to explore how visual comfort, physical comfort, and optimum contact lens design all play a role in patient satisfaction, helping to identify and address those patients who want improved comfort and visual clarity from their contact lenses.

Learning outcomes

  • Practitioners will appreciate the importance of a complete investigation of patients’ lifestyle and personal requirements in order to provide a personalised recommendation (s.1)
  • Practitioners will update their knowledge on soft contact lens material properties and their influence on both physical and visual comfort (s.5)
  • Practitioners will appreciate how to conduct a thorough assessment of the tear film and understand its impact on successful contact lens wear (s.7).

Speakers: James Hall, Marie-Therese Hall, Neelam Patel, Robyn Marsden, Sarah Long


Workshop B

Discussion workshop: Everyday binocular vision anomalies

This interactive workshop will use case studies based on real patients seen in a community optometric practice. The cases span a range of ages and demonstrate a variety of binocular vision anomalies. The session will highlight challenges that all optometrists will encounter, including: incomitancy, divergence excess, convergence excess, latent hyperopia and amblyopia. In each case, delegates will discuss key considerations such as: 

  • What test would you do next? 
  • What is the diagnosis? 
  • What are the management options? 
  • Would you refer? 

A frank discussion will be encouraged of the challenges encountered in clinical practice, for example, time pressures and availability of NHS services.

Learning outcome

•Practitioners will consolidate their skills in the diagnosis and management of common binocular vision anomalies

Speaker: Professor Bruce Evans



Workshop C

Discussion workshop: Death, taxes and myopia

This discussion workshop will consider the contemporary management of myopia, outlining risk factors, ocular comorbidities, evidence-based interventions and professional guidance. The session will present a range of clinical scenarios for delegates to discuss and digest with their locum colleagues.

Learning outcomes

  • Practitioners will recognise different approaches for managing myopia in children
  • Practitioners will recognise the importance of maintaining good records when advising patients on myopia management options.

Speaker : Ian Beasley


Workshop D 

Discussion workshop: The detection and management of glaucoma with OCT 

This discussion workshop will review cases that encompass the following aspects in the specialism of glaucoma:

  • Risk factors 
  • Detection and stratification 
  • The use of OCT specifically in the detection and management of glaucoma 
  • Differential diagnoses 
  • Surgical and non-surgical management
  • Communication skills
  • The role of the locum optometrist in the detection and management.

Learning outcomes

  • Practitioners will be able to identify glaucoma risk factors through clinical history and outline the implications of glaucoma to patients
  • Practitioners will recognise the key features of glaucoma using OCT and manage patients relative to their scope of practice.

Speaker: Matt Roney 


Peer review

Peer review: Evolving expectations

How do patients’ needs change through time, and how can practitioners keep up? By following a patient through time, this peer review will consider how the same patient's ocular needs and lifestyle demands change over their lifetime and discuss the most effective ways to select and recommend alternative options to ensure patients are provided with the best contact lens wearing experience for their current lifestyle.

Learning outcomes

  • Practitioners will appreciate the importance of a obtaining a full patient history in order to recommend the most appropriate contact lens to meet the patient’s current lifestyle and visual needs 
  • Practitioners will consider effective ways to recommend a visual solution to patients, ensuring the patient is fully involved in the decisions made about their care
  • Practitioners will reflect on their current soft contact lens knowledge and understand the importance of keeping their knowledge and skills up to date.

Speakers: James Hall, Marie-Therese Hall, Neelam Patel, Robyn Marsden, Sarah Long




ABDO National Resource Centre 
4th Floor 
Aqueous II Building 
Aston Cross Business Village (off Rocky Lane) 
Chester Street 
B6 5RQ 


The ABDO National Resource Centre is located 2.5 miles (4 kilometres) from Birmingham City Centre within the Aston Cross Business Village. Once you arrive, please make your way to the Aqueous II Building.   

See a site map of the Aston Cross Business Village. Please locate “Block 8” for the Aqueous II Building.  


By train – Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Moor Street and Aston are the nearest train stations.  

By taxi – Taxis are often available from outside of the station. It is approximately a 15-minute drive from Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Moor Street stations. From Aston train station it is a 17-minute walk or 3-minute drive. The postcode to enter into the Sat Nav is B6 5RH. 

By bus – The 65 and 67 buses can be taken towards the venue. It is 5-minute walk from the bus stop to the venue.  

By car – The postcode to use with your Sat Nav is B6 5RH, please use this when planning your route. It is within 5 mins of junction 6 of the M6 motorway (Spaghetti junction). More driving directions can be found here. 


There is a free car park onsite for up to 40 cars. Spaces are allocated on a first come first served basis. These parking spaces can be found opposite and adjacent to the National Resource Centre building. Spaces have an NRC plague on them to ensure delegates park in the correct bays. 
On-street parking can also be found opposite the entrance to the building on Chester Street. Other options would be parking in Birmingham City Centre and taking a taxi to the venue. 


We have secured a rate at a nearby hotel on Sunday 26 November for any delegates planning on travelling to Birmingham the evening before the conference. Please see details on how to book a hotel room below as well as details of other local hotels.  All rates are subject to availability

Hotel Campanile Birmingham Rooms can be booked for £85 per night including breakfast or £80 per night room only (single occupancy).  Email [email protected] and quote ASTON AOP 2023.

Premier Inn Birmingham City - Aston

Conference Aston



When do I select my CPD workshops?

There’s no need to select workshops before attending as delegates will have the opportunity to rotate between all sessions. 


I’m no longer able to attend, how can I cancel my booking?  

Please email [email protected] if you need to cancel your booking. The team will be able to ensure your cancellation and refund is processed. Please note our event terms and conditions apply to all bookings. Please refer to the ‘transfers & cancellations’ section for more information. 


The event is sold out, can I join a waiting list? 

Yes, please email [email protected] to be added to the waiting list. If a place becomes available, a member of the AOP events team will get in touch to notify you. Please note, if you do not claim your spot within 5 working days of being notified, your place will be offered to the next person on the waiting list.