HSOC success

Over 220 optometrists attended this year’s Hospital and Speciality Optometrists Conference 

People gathering at an event
More than 220 optometrists attended the first in-person Hospital and Specialty Optometrists Conference (HSCO) since the pandemic last month.

The conference, which is organised by the AOP, brought together hospital and specialty optometrists for a range of CPD-accredited education and workshops across two days at the University of Warwick (4–5 November).

Speaking about the event, AOP Councillor, chair of the AOP Hospital Optometrists Committee (HOC) and deputy head of Moorfields, Dr Vijay Anand, told OT: “The return to a face-to-face meeting was very well received by all the delegates and their enthusiasm to learn and make connections with other like-minded practitioners shone through the various lectures, workshops and peer reviews.”

Anand emphasised: “The conference really highlighted all the amazing work that hospital optometrists and those in specialist practice are doing day-to-day, from I&C surgical procedures and glaucoma lasers to scleral lens and low vision work. We look forward to starting to plan the content for next year’s conference.”

Highlights from the education programme included optometrist, Jane McNaughton, who presented the Janet Silver Memorial Lecture on 30 years on from the urban low vision clinic, Professor Ron Douglas, who explored the impressive visual system of aquatic animals in See food cocktail, and Professor Jason Jedlicka, who discussed Four steps to improving scleral lens fitting efficiency. Delegates also had the opportunity to bespoke their education through a range of workshops and peer review sessions.

The event also hosted an exhibition to provide delegates with the opportunity to meet representatives from industry, including headline sponsor, Bausch & Lomb, as well as Associated Optical, Jack Allen Contact Lenses, Ultravision, Thea, Topcon, NuVision, Moorfields Education, Northern Lenses, Optelec, Menicon, and Cantor & Nissel, which also sponsored the event’s evening dinner.

Cantor and Nissel’s Teresa Cataldo, told OT: “We had a very positive experience at the HSOC. It was lovely to be back after so long and for the event to be in person – that has really been missing, and it was great to reconnect with those we already knew and meet new people. We were very proud to have been able to sponsor the gala dinner and are excited to be doing it again next year.”

HOC elections

During the conference, elections for two vacancies on the HOC were held, with AOP members, Lucy Andrews, lead optometrist at Arrowe Park Hospital, and Claire Melvin, deputy head optometrist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, appointed to the committee. Anand was also appointed as chair of the committee for another year.

The AOP’s HOC represents and supports the interests of optometrists employed in hospital services.

Following the appointments, chair of the AOP Board and Council, Emma Spofforth, said: “We are pleased to welcome our new members who will undoubtedly add value to the committee from their years of experience in a variety of hospital settings. Their contributions will support vital communications between hospital optometrists and other practitioners.

Andrews and Melvin are appointed to the HOC until the HSOC in 2026.

The date of the HSOC 2024 will be published in due course.