Three insights from AOP Council

The latest AOP Council meeting saw discussions on sustainability and a project exploring eye care over the whole life course

AOP gavel

Sustainability, strategy and eye care across the whole life course were among topics discussed latest AOP Council meeting (2 November, London). OT shares a snapshot of discussions from the day.

1 The AOP has published its five-year strategy

AOP chief executive, Adam Sampson, highlighted that the AOP has published its five-year strategy.

The strategy has a greater emphasis on the external facing work of the association and re-engaging with the political landscape, Sampson shared.

He highlighted increasing engagement with policymakers through partnerships, such as The Eyes Have It.

“We have to be clear that once we have influence, it is what we do with it that matters,” Sampson observed.

2 Sustainability in the spotlight

AOP Council considered a series of recommendations by the policy committee regarding sustainability.

Recommendations include researching the environmental impact of the optical sector, gaining an understanding of green credentials, and exploring how many optical practices have an environmental policy.

AOP Councillor Angela Henderson suggested the production of a ‘how to guide’ for practices – detailing straightforward ways to make a practice more sustainable.

Fellow Councillor Francesca Marchetti emphasised the importance of patient education – for example, by instructing patients not to put contact lenses down the toilet and encouraging them to make use of recycling schemes.

Nizz Sabir highlighted the value of incorporating energy efficient design into practices and considering the patient journey, while Will Holmes wondered what role obsolescence plays in optical products.

3 Eye care for all ages

AOP policy adviser, Kathy Jones, introduced the Whole Life Course initiative – a three-year project that the AOP is working on to illustrate the role of optometrists in supporting patients throughout their lives.

This ranges from eye care in pregnancy and during the early years of development, through to school age children, young adults, those of working age and older people.

Jones highlighted that the AOP is keen to hear from optometrists who are interested in in championing a stage of care within their area.