Department of Health Minister to present at 100% Optical

Organisers of 100% Optical have confirmed State Minister, Alistair Burt, as guest invitational speaker

29 Jan 2016 by John White

Alistair Burt MP (centre) and Optical Confederation staffAlistair Burt MP, the Minister of State for Community and Social Care, will be presenting at 100% Optical next month (ExCeL London, 6–8 February), it has been announced.

The Minister (pictured centre), who has responsibility for ophthalmic services, is attending the event following an invitation from the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) and the Optical Confederation (OC).

The announcement comes after a meeting between the Minister, LOCSU and OC leaders last month. During the meeting, Mr Burt highlighted that High Street optical practices could help the NHS reforms set out in the Five Year Forward View and said that both optometrists and dispensing opticians are well positioned to play a wider role in transforming health delivery with other primary care professionals.

Welcoming the Minister’s attendance at 100% Optical, chairman of the OC, Chris Hunt, said: “It was only last month, during our meeting with Alistair Burt, that he expressed a desire to engage more closely with the sector. It is therefore a great compliment to the sector that he has so generously and speedily sought to make good on that commitment by accepting the confederation’s invitation to 100% Optical.”

Chief executive of the AOP, Henrietta Alderman, added: “The AOP is delighted that Alistair Burt MP has accepted the OC invitation to address delegates at 100% Optical.

“Delegates attending the OC session will hear first-hand the Minister’s views on the role optometrists and dispensing opticians can play in primary care to assist the government in delivering a sustainable NHS. As the session is part of the AOP education programme, all those attending will also gain a CET point.”

The Minister’s address will take place on Saturday, 6 February at 12pm on the main stage as part of a session entitled Unleashing local energies – the future of primary care.

The session will be hosted by managing director of LOCSU, Katrina Venerus, who commented: “I would urge delegates to come to the session to hear the minister’s views on how optics can play a part in the future NHS.”

Mr Burt was appointed Minister of State for Community and Social Care at the Department of Health in May 2015, and his ministerial responsibilities in primary care include dentistry and ophthalmic services, GP contracts, out of hours care, pharmacy, and primary care commissioning policy.

For more information and to register for 100% Optical, visit the show’s website.

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