Health Minister Alistair Burt has been confirmed as the headline speaker for this year’s National Optical Conference (NOC), which takes place in Birmingham in November.
As the Minister for Community and Social Care, Mr Burt is responsible for all primary care, including ophthalmic services. In February this year, he attended 100% Optical to address an exclusively optical audience for the first time.
During the talk, he expressed support for the optical sector, and stressed that patients should not see GPs for every medical ailment, adding that clinical commissioning groups should utilise the skills of a whole range of health professionals to innovate the delivery of healthcare.
Confirming his attendance, managing director of the LOC Support Unit (LOCSU), Katrina Venerus, said: “Mr Burt outlined his intention to work more closely with the Optical Confederation and LOCSU following our first meeting at the Department of Health in December.
“It reflects a sustained effort by LOCSU and others to show what optics can do to reduce ophthalmology pressures and deliver reformed healthcare for the benefit of patients, the NHS and the taxpayer.”
She continued: “We hope that the Minister’s attendance at the NOC also signals a growing recognition through our Breakthrough Strategy that the optical sector has its sleeves rolled up and is ready to deliver on behalf of the NHS in primary care, which Mr Burt is responsible for.”
Booking is now open for the NOC, which will be held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on 10–11 November. Each local optical committee is entitled to one free space.
For more information and to book, visit the AOP website.