100% Optical will offer over 100 different sessions of education across multiple platforms on all three days of the trade show, which takes place from 27–29 January 2018 at London’s ExCeL.
The UK’s largest optical event “gives practitioners the opportunity to tailor the experience to their specific needs and preferences,” the AOP’s head of education, Dr Ian Beasley, told OT.
“The programme of education for 2018 truly offers something for all with a wealth of CET points for practitioners from all disciplines, alongside CPD sessions designed for the whole practice team, with a focus on the needs of optical assistants,” he explained.
Dr Beasley shared that a panel session, entitled Who will do what, where? will kick off the event on the Main Stage. “The panel will consider the changing role of optometrists and dispensing opticians as practitioners take on greater responsibilities within a primary care setting,” he added. The panel will include: the AOP’s chairman, Mike George; optometrist and Local Optical Committee Support Unit lead, Dharmesh Patel; and president of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Mike Burdon.
The Main Stage will then host the AOP’s legal team, who will consider some of the pitfalls that can arise when working in a modern practice environment, and how to avoid them.
On the record: team under pressure will open with a film that dramatises a common scenario in a busy practice. It will cover issues that practitioners may face in the course of their careers, including managing stress, a heavy workload, patient complaints and registration with the General Optical Council (GOC) and NHS England.
"The programme of education for 2018 truly offers something for all with a wealth of CET points for practitoners from all disciplines”
Ms Goldinger told OT: “Optometrists can learn the importance of being able to work under pressure and work well with colleagues in that situation. They can find out what they need to know and what you need to do to stay on the right side of the GOC.”
Over in the AOP lounge, optometrists Henry Leonard and Dr Julie-Anne Little will host Vision and driving: do I really need to tell the DVLA? The session will look at the current eyesight requirement for drivers in the UK with an emphasis on the role of optometrists.
Dr Little said: “We will discuss the measurement of visual functions during an eye examination, as well as the differences and problems comparing visual acuity and relating to the vision standard of the number plate test.”
Mr Leonard added that one of the most common queries received by the AOP legal and regulatory team is how to manage patients who refuse to stop driving. “This session will provide detailed advice on managing these kinds of situations, helping practitioners to act in accordance with the law and their professional responsibilities, whilst protecting their position as GOC registrants,” he explained.
Optos will be hosting 10 hours of CET education at 100% Optical, delivering 14 CET points across the three days. This includes Bradford-based optometrist, Simon Browning, who will look at how utilising optomap technology can lead to a better relationship with hospital eye clinics during To refer or not refer? That is the question.
Mr Browning explained to OT that the session will consider how to make appropriate decisions when thinking about referral, and how to best communicate with fellow professionals.
He said that the presentation will use real examples to offer “an understanding of the secondary sectors’ pressures and pinch points and how an optometrist can relieve rather than choke those pressure points.”
As well as its CET offering, Optos will host a session on how to make an investment in optomap technology a success. It offers independent optometrists the chance to review the challenges and opportunities that ultra-widefield presents by looking at why it matters, what optometrists, staff and patients need to know, as well as marketing and PR.
Specsavers will also have its own CET programme, which director of professional training and development at Specsavers, Gill Robinson, said has been developed for “practitioners who need to be at the forefront of the evolving optometric scope of practice.”
Opening the Main Stage on Sunday is Specsavers co-founder, Doug Perkins, and director of professional advancement at Specsavers, Paul Morris, who will offer an analysis of where progress has been made in the profession and where it needs to improve.
Mr Perkins told OT that Commissioning the future: What optometry needs to do next will offer “an insight into our plans and commitments for the year ahead.”
“We will also share some of the lessons learned from our partnership with community ophthalmology provider Newmedica, and our experience of and predictions for commissioning trends in the ophthalmology arena,” he added.
Mr Morris will also hold a peer discussion for optometrists and dispensing opticians on conditions, such as binocular vision, in under-16s.
The Specsavers CET programme also includes head of enhanced optical services, Adam Wannell, with a medical optometrist from Bristol Eye Hospital, who will lead a peer discussion on the investigation, management and referral of common oculoplastic conditions.