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It's important to look forwards as well as backwards, both in politics and in optics

17 Nov 2016 by John White

There is a saying that is referred to repeatedly on a Radio 4 ‪6.30pm‬‬ comedy show, entitled The unbelievable truth, which I like to listen to: "Only in the United States."

It is a phrase that seems particularly pertinent this week as the world adjusts to the reality that a political outsider called Donald has found a way to shock the establishment and win the White House. 

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Political leaders across the world are now trying to “make nice” – unless you're Nigel Farage who has already appeared in a back-patting photocall opportunity – but the proverbial dust is going to take months, if not years, to settle. What the result of the election means for world trade, for Nato, for climate change negotiations, only time will tell.

In preparation for the December edition of OT, we have been speaking to optometrists in the AOP for their key moment of the year, as well as the trends to watch in 2017. Brexit, of course, gets a look in, as does the future regulation of the profession.

The health and wellbeing agenda is another key theme for the Association in the year ahead. With that in mind, AOP members will be aware of the Health and wellbeing survey, which asks members for their views on practice today. The survey is open until the beginning of December, so please take the opportunity to make your voice heard. If you have not received your bespoke email, please remember to check your spam folder.

The ongoing saga surrounding Capita payment issues and Performers List difficulties remains a key, and troubling, milestone of 2016. It was an issue tackled head-on at last week’s National Optical Conference (NOC). One session featured Capita’s new Primary Care Support England managing director, the appropriately named Simon England, who apologised for service issues to NOC conference attendees, stating: “The current service being provided is not what you deserved and should expect.” No one would argue with that.

Mr England added that: “We are on the journey to sorting that out. That is my job.” With issues dating back to the beginning of the year, is this too little, too late? To share your thoughts on this, visit our Community forum.

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