Vision Now May 2024

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HOYA’s most advanced coating ever. Scan the QR code to learn more. Hi-Vision Meiryo Speak to your HOYA representative or call 0844 873 1110 to open an account.

The world’s only myopia management contact lens supported by a 7-year clinical trial2,3,4 worsening of a

child’s myopia (short-sightedness)1

Myopia can worsen rapidly particularly in younger children5

MiSight® 1 day cuts the worsening of myopia by half1†

MiSight® 1 day benefits are proven to last after treatment has ended4,6‡

†Using measured and modeled data, pooled across ages (8-17), MiSight® 1 day slowed myopia progression by an average of approximately 50%. ‡12 months post-treatment, evidence indicates that no accumulated myopia control benefits were lost following 3 or 6-years of MiSight® 1 day wear (on average, for children aged 8-15 at start of wear). Instead, eye growth reverted to expected, age-normal rates.

1. Arumugam B et al. Modelling Age Effects of Myopia Progression for the MiSight 1 day Clinical Trial. Invest. Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2021; 62(8): 2333. 2. Chamberlain P et al. A 3-year Randomized Clinical Trial of MiSight Lenses for Myopia Control. Optom Vis Sci. 2019; 96(8): 556-567. 3. Chamberlain P et al. Long-term Effect of Dual-focus Contact Lenses on Myopia Progression in Children: A 6-year Multicenter Clinical Trial. Optom Vis Sci. 2022; 99(3): 204-212. 4. Chamberlain P et al. Myopia progression on cessation of Dual-Focus contact lens wear: MiSight 1 day 7-year findings. Optom Vis Sci. 2021; 98(E-abstract): 210049. 5. Zadnik K et al. Factors Associated with Rapid Myopia Progression in School-aged Children. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004; 45(13): 2306. 6. Hammond D, Arumugam B, et al. Myopia Control Treatment Gains are Retained after Termination of Dual-focus Contact Lens Wear with no Evidence of a Rebound Effect. Optom Vis Sci. 2021; 98(E-abstract): 215130. © 2024 CooperVision. CooperVision® and MiSight® are registered trademarks of The Cooper Companies, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

Sight® 1 day

2 Vision Now May 2024
CVGY122291-1 Mi

Nicky Collinson BA (Hons)

Features Contributor: Joan Grady

Business Editor: Philip Mullins FBDO

Stacey Potter BA (Hons)

Editor’s comment

Given the ongoing challenges the independent sector faces – and the might of the multiples in attracting new recruits before they‘ve even thrown their graduation cap in the air – it’s no surprise there continues to be a shortage of optometrists and dispensing opticians entering independent practice.

This is despite the very clear freedoms and advantages that independent practice can bring to the practitioner, the team and, of course, the patient.

NEG was, therefore, delighted to come across a programme that enables optometry undergraduates to gain work experience with independent practices – enriching their understanding of the intricacies involved in running your own business. The provider of this is programme is Teesside University and in our feature on page 17, we hear about its benefits from optometry lecturer Sam Phillips.

NEG members will by now have let last month’s 39p ‘increase’ in the GOS sight test fee sink in. As the sector’s negotiating body pledges to gauge the impact of yet another ‘real terms cut’ in the fee, the AIO ponders in its column this month whether it’s time for a new approach. We’d be interested to hear members’ views on the AIO’s thinking – and whether it’s time to change the flight path on GOS sight test fee negotiations.

Elsewhere this month, we learn about a new contact lens care product range available from Positive Impact, what’s in store for delegates planning to attend this year’s Independents Day in July, and we continue our series by Dominic Watson on transforming your business (and yourself). Finally, we showcase a stunning selection of styles from ‘girl power’ designer, Ana Hickmann, for the spring/summer.

magazine is published by Peekay Publishing Ltd for The PK National Eyecare Group Ltd, the UK’s largest purchasing group for independent opticians. @PK_NEG VISION NOW is published by Peekay Publishing Ltd for The PK National Eyecare Group Limited, Clermont House, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3DN VISION NOW is printed by CFH Docmail Ltd. St Peter’s Park, Wells Road, Radstock BA3 3UP
that such opinions are those of The PK National Eyecare Group Ltd. Articles submitted for publication should be original, unpublished work and are accepted on the basis that they will not be published in any other journal. Acceptance of material for publication is not a guarantee that it will be included in any particular issue. Copyright © 2024 for Peekay Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying and recording, without the written permission of the publishers. Such written permission should also be obtained before any part of this publication is stored in a retrieval system of any nature.
Editor welcomes letters, articles and other contributions for publication in the magazine and reserves the right to amend them. Any such contribution, whether it bears the author’s name, initials or pseudonym, is accepted on the understanding that its author is responsible for the opinions expressed in it and that its publication does not imply
4 17 24 Vision Now May 2024 3 News 4 New MD for Menicon 7 Funding boost for finance firm 9 GOS sight test fee survey 11 iDay 24 line-up announced 13 Special honour for Italian style 15 ABDO sets conference dates Features 17 Optometric education A taste of independence 18 Product profile Introducing Cleadew Advanced Care Systems 20 Independents Day 2024 Unlocking your practice’s dry eye potential 22 Business matters Transforming your business and yourself Part 2a Regulars 15 An independent view 16 Developing thoughts 24 Style spotlight 26 Suppliers’ directory

De Rigo

All the charm and exclusivity of the Cannes Film Festival are encapsulated in the new jewel sunglasses created by De Rigo Vision for Chopard, dedicated to the 77th edition of the film festival, which will take place from 14-25 May. Since 1998, Chopard has been the event’s official partner. In addition to crafting the Palme d’Or and all the awards presented during the closing ceremony, every year the Maison creates a pair of exclusive women’s sunglasses.

This year’s limited edition model, named the Red Carpet, is inspired by the Peace and Love necklace created by the Maison for the Love Cinema Red Carpet collection. The Made in Italy eyewear piece features a cat-eye profile and a special floral decoration made with 140 high-quality zircons applied by hand – and is available in silver and gold.


EssilorLuxottica has launched a range of sun tints for its Stellest myopia management lenses – alongside a wider prescription range. The sun tinted lenses come in several vibrant colours with a Crizal Sun XProtect coating. The extended prescription range is for the clear spectacle lenses, catering for patients with a myopic spherical equivalent refractive error. Other lens features remain the same. “We are pleased to announce the launch of our new Essilor Stellest lenses with sun tints so that children and teenagers can continue to enjoy the benefits of outdoor time and protect their eyes from sunlight,” said Alan Pitcher, commercial director for wholesale lenses at EssilorLuxottica.

”The idea of encouraging children to spend time outdoors has already been widely accepted within the myopia community. So, with this new option, we hope that children will continue to wear their Essilor Stellest lenses outdoors, as it is necessary to safeguard their developing eyes, and help protect their vision for the future. In addition, our extended range will help equip and address a larger myopic population of children and teenagers,” Alan added.


Gaynor Williamson has taken over from Kevin Mitchell as managing director of Menicon. Gaynor joined the company last year as commercial director, and succeeds Kevin in a role he had occupied for the past 36 years. The company stated: “Kevin has been a cornerstone of Menicon since its days as David Thomas, before being acquired by Menicon in 2009. Throughout his tenure, Kevin has demonstrated unwavering dedication and exceptional leadership, fostering growth and steering the company through pivotal transformations.”

The company expressed its “sincere appreciation for his longstanding service” and “wished him well in his next chapter” – adding that “the appointment of Gaynor Williamson as the new managing director signifies a commitment to continued growth and success for Menicon”. Prior to joining Menicon, Gaynor spent 11 years with Johnson & Johnson Vision – latterly as commercial business manager – followed by three years at Alcon as head of key accounts.

4 Vision Now May 2024 News Want to feature in VN? Email the editor at: @PK_NEG @national-eyecare-group
Chopard Red Carpet sunglasses Gaynor Williamson
New sun tint option
ORDER YOUR LENSES NOW † UV-absorbing contact lenses are NOT substitutes for protective UV-absorbing eyewear such as UV-absorbing goggles or sunglasses, because they DO NOT completely cover the eye and surrounding area. You should continue to use UV-absorbing eyewear as directed. Please read the Instructions for Use (IFU) for important product use and safety information with Bausch & Lomb contact lenses. 1. Only Bausch + Lomb ULTRA® ONE DAY contact lenses offer a complete moisture + comfort system with Advanced MoistureSeal® and ComfortFeel Technologies plus a complete design of high Dk/t, low modulus, UV blocking and High Definition Optics. Bausch + Lomb ULTRA® ONE DAY contact lenses deliver health through its complete system working together to support a healthy ocular environment, the inclusion of eye health ingredients which are retained over 16 hours and the high allowance of oxygen permeability (Dk/t=134) [Applicable references 2,3,4,5]. 2. Rah M. Ocular surface homeostasis and contact lens design. February 2021. 3. 3.Product Performance Evaluation of a Novel Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lens: kalifilcon A Daily Disposable Contact Lenses. Bausch + Lomb Incorporated, Rochester, NY, 2021. 4. Schafer, J. Steen, R. Reindel, W; A clinical assessment of dehydration resistance for a novel silicone hydrogel lens and six silicone hydrogel daily disposable lenses. Poster presented at AAO; October 2020. 5. Competitive grid packaging solutions with sources. Bausch + Lomb ULTRA and MoistureSeal are trademarks of Bausch & Lomb Incorporated or its affiliates. ©2024 Bausch & Lomb Incorporated. UOD.0001.IE.24
(UK) Limited
For UK frame availability, please
STEPPER (UK) Limited
For UK frame availability,
consult website.
please consult website.


Futurism meets 1960s and 70s retro glamour with Titan Minimal Art (TMA) Cosmic, celebrating 25 years of Silhouette’s iconic ‘space age’ collection. Renowned for its comfort and minimal weight, this newest addition to the TMA family features ultra-thin wrap lenses in a high facial fit. The polyamide shield lens embraces the eye zone in soft, delicate curves affixed to a thicker top trim made from high-tech titanium in a matte finish.

Adjustable titanium temples have improved flex zones to adapt seamlessly to any lifestyle. Four models are available in the following colour combinations: blue lenses with a silver top trim for a sporty appeal that suits both genders; a purple and gold shade for a glamorous and feminine vibe; gold and brown to deliver a sophisticated unisex appeal; and bold and masculine grey and black.

Performance Finance

British Business Investments is providing a £15m facility to Performance Finance as a block discounting agreement, allowing the company to provide funding support to smaller businesses looking to acquire business-critical assets to accelerate their growth. Performance Finance offers a variety of funding options to professionals, including business loans, personal loans and asset finance, and works closely with the optical profession. Its direct lending facility has grown significantly since its inception in 2005, from financing just over £380k in its first-year to £55m during 2023.

Amanda Smith, the company’s finance director, said: “British Business Investments’ belief and investment in Performance Finance will help us continue to provide asset finance for essential optical, dental and veterinarian equipment.” Managing director, Stuart Burn, added: “I am absolutely delighted British Business Investments have supported Performance Finance with a £15m Block Discounting Facility. This will help us increase our funding to professionally qualified SMEs that are keen to grow and provide vital services within their communities.” Amanda (right) and Stuart are pictured with operations director, Stacey Wedge-Pywell.


From trend-led plastics to classic metal models, there is a design to suit every need in the refreshed cost-conscious Zips collection from Eyespace. “Easing the limitations of budget dispensing in the current climate – whether that’s the remits of an NHS dispense or practice buyers simply looking to maximise options and add greater value – we have put today’s requirements of the budget segment right at the centre of this refresh,” said Nicky Clement, Eyespace head of marketing.

There are 34 styles to choose from, catering for men, women and children. Model ZP4122 is a lightweight, feminine plastic D-shape design presented in a vibrant blue pattern or pink tortoiseshell. In line with its sustainability commitments, Eyespace supplies this model with biodegradable demo lenses. All Zips frames are sourced with superior base metals and reliable, tested hinges, as well as “the highest quality plating possible at the price point”.

Vision Now May 2024 7 News
Boost for professional SME funding TMA Cosmic: 25 years young New Zips model ZP4122 0800 585 115 Contact UltraVision for more information...

Positive Impact

Positive Impact (PI) has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Japanese contact lens care manufacturer, Ophtecs, to sell its range of Cleadew contact lens care products in the UK and Ireland. Ophtecs has pioneered harnessing the powerful disinfecting efficacy of Povidone-iodine for contact lens care, bringing a novel alternative for contact lens practitioners and their patients. The Cleadew range also includes unique multipurpose solution formulations and has products for all lens types, including scleral lenses.

PI managing director, Nick Atkins, pictured at the recent agreement signing with Ophtecs CEO Joe Yoneda, commented: “We are delighted to expand our contact lens portfolio with the addition of a contact lens care range. There has been little or no significant innovation in contact lens care for over a decade, with the UK market currently dominated by multipurpose solutions. To be able to bring such a wide range of novel products to the UK market is both an honour and a privilege.” Turn to page 18 to learn more about the Cleadew range.


Calvin Klein Eyewear has launched a new family of sunglasses and optical frames inspired by the natural world – Calvin Klein Naturals. Both sun and optical styles are made from bio-acetate featuring more than 60 per cent bio-based materials. The sunglass models also feature Tritan Renew lenses that use up to 50 per cent recycled content. Featuring a smooth brushed surface, these contemporary frames are available in neutral, earthy shades.

Model CK24511S (pictured) is characterised by a bold geometric front and solid Tritan Renew lenses. Crafted from bio-acetate, this statement style features wide temples fitted with firm seven-barrel hinges and the Calvin Klein logo. This model is available in Azure, Chalk, Black and Peach. Calvin Klein Eyewear is available from Marchon.


The Safilo Group and Marc Jacobs have announced the early renewal of their multi-year global licensing agreement for Marc Jacobs branded eyewear until December 2031. Angelo Trocchia, CEO of the Safilo Group, stated: “During these 20 years, the brand has grown to become one of the most emblematic brands of Safilo’s contemporary and premium offering, with a strong global appeal for both men and women, and with still many new opportunities for growth in its core US market as well as worldwide.”

Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee

Practitioners are to be canvassed on the impact of the 1.68 per cent rise in GOS sight test fee, which took effect on 1 April, says the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC). The GOS sight test fee rose by 39p to £23.53 last month, representing what the sector organisation describes as a “another real terms cut to

the NHS sight test fee”. There has been no increase in the domiciliary visiting fee, nor in the pre-registration training grant or the CPD grant for the second year running.

“This will have a massive demoralising effect on the sector at a time they are being asked to take on more NHS work to help

hospitals struggling with waiting lists and to meet needs. The OFNC will be writing to the sector to survey the impact of this latest real-terms cut to NHS eyecare,” the OFNC stated. Paul Carroll, OFNC chair said: “Despite effusive praise for the important role that primary eyecare plays in meeting the nation’s vision and eye health needs, once again we find ourselves at the back of the NHS queue.”

Vision Now May 2024 9 News
Bio-based Calvin Klein Naturals sunglasses PI signs new deal with Ophtecs Licence agreement renewed

Independents Day

The full programme for this year’s Independents Day (iDay) business symposium has been announced by the organiser. The conference is being held on Monday 8 July at its usual National Conference Centre venue in Birmingham. Themed ‘Unlocking your practice’s dry eye potential’, the keynote speakers are Dr Trusit Dave, Craig Wilcox, Nick Black and Andy Clark, who will also act as host and compère. The subjects they will tackle include the do’s and don’ts of running a dry eye service, as well as marketing and how to run the service profitably.

‘Strategies essential to the success of our dry eye practice’ will be discussed in a quick-fire session with dry eye practitioners Sharon Flora, Dermot Keogh, Craig McArthur, Beth Ralph and Purvi Thomson. iDay organiser, Nick Atkins, said: “Once again, we’ve assembled a stellar cast of speakers who have walked the talk. Enhancing dry eye services, or establishing a dry eye clinic, has long been on the ‘to do’ list of many independents. I think focusing specifically on the commercialisation of dry eye will, once again, strike a chord with our independent audience.” Turn to page 20 to find out more.

Childhood Eye Cancer Trust


Evil Eye by Silhouette has launched its first-ever capsule collection under the theme: ‘Elevate your game’. The highlight of the four-piece capsule collection is the use of an intense neon-orange colour scheme. Available in four of the brand’s most popular models, the new colour gives the Pathline Pro, with two different lens shapes, Roadsense and Traileye a striking, modern look.

“With this exceptional colour choice, we are meeting the strong market demand for neon colours and simultaneously making a statement in terms of brand visibility,” said Daniel Saurug, product director at Evil Eye. The use neon orange is said to reflect the latest trends in sportswear and give the models a distinctive appearance and visibility in any environment, whilst providing maximum performance and protection.

World Retinoblastoma Week takes place from 12-18 May and optometrists are being encouraged to get involved by sharing informational assets provided by the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) – and run through the charity’s Referral Protocol for Suspected Retinoblastoma at their next team meeting to ensure all staff know what to do if a parent contacts the practice mentioning any of the signs of Rb.

Rb mainly occurs in babies and young children up to the age in six. In 2023, a third of children later diagnosed with Rb were taken to their local optometrist by their parents in the first instance. Optometrists are consistently a vital route for referral, with 69 per cent over the past 10 years making appropriate onward referrals for children, says CHECT. However, parents have reported to the charity that they have been turned away from optical practices by front of house staff, because their children are too young to be seen. This led CHECT to develop its referral protocol.

Is your team up to speed on Rb signs?

Richard Ashton, chief executive of CHECT, said: “We know that when children are examined by an optometrist, they have an excellent chance of the signs of Rb being spotted and the correct referrals made. However, we do need to ensure these parents are not turned away and would encourage practices to make sure all their staff are aware of

One of the assets that can used on social media channels the need for children with symptoms of Rb being examined by the optometrist as soon as possible.”

The referral protocol, assets and further information can be found at www.chect. Email for Rb signs and symptoms leaflets for the practice reception area.

Vision Now May 2024 11 News
Evil Eye capsule collection



Historically, contact lenses were all about compromise; comfort or breathability

12 Vision Now May 2024
The Alcon® family of Water Surface lenses means NO MORE COMPROMISE as the water content increases from the core to the surface providing an outstanding lens-wearing experience1-14 Contact your Alcon® representative to find out more. Scan QR code for references Images for illustrative purposes only. See instructions for use, for wear, care, precautions, warnings, contraindications and adverse effects. 15478 © 2024 Alcon Inc. UKIE-DT1-2400001 Traditional Hydrogel contact lenses HEMA Silicone Hydrogel contact lenses Water Surface contact lenses + = COMFORT BREATHABILITY COMFORT & BREATHABILITY


Victoria Beckham has launched a new VB Chain collection for spring/summer 2024 in both ophthalmic frames and sunglasses. Featuring temples or core wires that nod to the iconic VB Chain pouch, the latest VB Chain styles are crafted from high-quality premium materials and combine the bold silhouettes and rich hues the brand is known for.

Our photograph shows ophthalmic model VB2662, exuding feminine elegance with its butterfly-like shape and the bold yet refined

De Rigo

The legendary Zilo style by Lozza, created in the 1940s, has been entered in Italy’s Special Register of Historical Trademarks of National Interest. Established by the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy, the register is designed to protect the ownership of historic Italian companies and national examples of excellence.

The first Zilo style was designed by De Rigo based on the combination of two new materials never used before: celluloid and metal. Millions of pieces were sold in the post-war period and it even took home

a Fashion Oscar in the 1960s. But it was in the 1970s that the Zilo became a cult eyewear style and the symbol of an era. The style has also been worn by famous figures in the arts and sports worlds across the decades, and has been continuously reinterpreted since then. In 2022, Lozza was awarded the prestigious title of historic trademark, further confirming the brand’s importance in the Italian eyewear scene.

“We are particularly proud of this acknowledgement, a special prize for the Zilo style that not only celebrates its design and excellent craftsmanship, but also its importance in the tradition of Italian eyewear,” said Barbara De Rigo, chief marketing officer of De Rigo. “It is a tribute to the creative vision and the work done by Lozza in keeping this part of the Italian cultural heritage alive and kicking, contributing to the prestige of the brand internationally.” Learn more about the story of Lozza at dal-1878

chain detail adorning the temples and inspired by the VB Chain pouch. Available in classic black, it also comes in three vibrant,

Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society

The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) will travel to Venice, Italy, this November for its 10th International Conference on the Tear Film and Ocular Surface: Basic Science and Clinical Relevance. The first in-person TFOS event since 2016, the conference will be held from 20 October to 2 November at the Hilton Molino Stucky.

“Although typically held every four years, the last TFOS conference had to be cancelled because of the global pandemic,” said TFOS founder, David A. Sullivan. “We look forward to bringing everyone together once again.” Yehia Hashad, executive vice president, research and development, and chief medical officer at title sponsor, Bausch + Lomb, added: “As we see the prevalence of dry eye continuing to increase, the TFOS conference plays a critical role in convening top experts and highlighting the latest advancements in ocular surface disease treatments.” Information and registration is available at

sophisticated hues: black havana, grey, and striped blonde havana.

Vision Now May 2024 13 News
The Lozza Zilo as worn in 1976 New VB Chain eyewear The Zilo in its current interpretation TFOS 2024 will take place in Venice

This year’s programme is focussed on successfully commercialising dry eye services for your patients.

Unlocking your Practices Dry Eye Potential - Andy Clark

The do’s and don’ts of specialising in dry eye - Dr. Trusit Dave

Providing dry eye services without business discomfort - Nick Black

Cosmetometry: The natural development of dry eye management? - Craig Wilcox

Strategies essential to the success of our dry eye practice - Various speakers

14 Vision Now May 2024 NEG MEMBERS USE CODE NEG30 NEG Price Full Price iDay Delegate Fee £129.00 £159.00 iDay Practice Team (min. 3 people) £99.00 £129.00 iDay + Specialist Club £149.00 £179.00 iDay + Specialist Club Practice Team (min. 3 people) £119.00 £149.00 NEG members SAVE £30! 8th July 2024 7th July 2024

Association of British Dispensing Opticians

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) has announced the dates for its second clinical conference, which will take a hybrid approach this year. The in-person event will take place on Sunday 6 and Monday 7 October at the ABDO National Resource Centre, Birmingham, providing two opportunities for members to attend. Running alongside the hands-on conference will be webinars, online peer reviews and journal club sessions. The conference themes are: paediatric dispensing; myopia management; and acute eyecare for dispensing opticians.

Last year’s sold-out myopia management conference was deemed a “huge success” with positive delegate feedback. Alex Webster, head of CPD at ABDO, said: “We are really excited to build on the success of last year’s conference and use a hybrid approach in 2024. This will enable even more ABDO members to benefit from the high quality and focused education that will be on offer to support their continuing professional development.” Booking for the conference will open to ABDO members on 1 July.

British Contact Lens Association


Is the OFNC past its ‘sell by’?

The recent increase in GOS fees, rejected by the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) and yet imposed by the NHS, is a joke.

Much has been written about the impotence of the OFNC and the lack of an effective lobby on behalf of the sector. So why doesn’t the world of optics do something about it? Well, in fairness, they did try with the Optical Confederation (which the AIO was excluded from) but it failed and now exists as a website only. So where do we go from here?

There is a strong argument for disbanding the OFNC, and bringing the organisations that truly represent registered individual professionals together as a single professional lobbying voice that is focused solely on clinical matters. This might comprise of the College of Optometrists, Association of Optometrists, Association of British Dispensing Opticians and the AIO.

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has appointed Dr Debarun Dutta, a tenured lecturer at Aston University’s School of Optometry, to lead its academic output. He will work alongside the current academic chair, Professor James Wolffsohn, before he steps down next year. Dr Dutta said: “This is a rare opportunity to make a valuable contribution within the optometric landscape and shape one of the most pre-eminent conference programmes in this space. Professor James Wolffsohn has made an incredible contribution to the BCLA over many years. I am relishing the opportunity to work closely with him and build on his stellar body of work.”

As part of the role, Dr Dutta will offer guidance and advice to the BCLA council about scientific and academic elements within contact lenses and anterior eye such as education and research. Dr Dutta became a Fellow of BCLA in 2019. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, the International Contact Lens Association and the Higher Education Academy. After completing his PhD at the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Australia, he worked as a research fellow and associate lecturer at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of NSW Australia. His research interests include contact lenses, dry eye, ocular infections and anti-microbial strategies.

The focus of this group would be to engage with ophthalmology, the government and the NHS on matters of eye health only, with a view to replacing the existing moribund GOS regime with a targeted and effective structure for delivering long-term eye health care. Such a group would not engage in conversations about retail and commerce, leaving that to the bodies that represent businesses rather than individual professionals.

There appears to have been a growing appreciation amongst politicians that there is a huge opportunity to remodel eye health care such that community optometrists (supported by dispensing opticians) take a prominent role in the delivery of primary eye health care to take pressure off a very stretched and underfunded NHS. Surely now is the time to abandon a failed commissioning model, and start with a blank canvas to design a model that is fit for purpose for both patients and the professions.

As has been previously evidenced, reducing avoidable sight loss brings enormous benefits, not just to those whose sight is saved –but to the wider economy. Any funding associated with embedding primary eye health care in community practice should be viewed as an investment for the future rather than a cost for today.

Perhaps any independents that agree with the foregoing and are not members of the AIO, should join. The more professionals the Association represents, the stronger its voice.

Vision Now May 2024 15
October conference slated
Dr Debarun Dutta

AI: being part of the future Developing thoughts

In November 2022, we ran an article introducing you to Action Against Agerelated Macular Degeneration (AAAMD), artificial intelligence (AI) and the Foresight Project. The article examined the potential impact that AI might have on eyecare and how the public, researchers and charities could combine to transform the optometry sector. It explained some of the advancements that had already been made.

For instance, in July 2016, Moorfields Eye Hospital announced a formal collaboration with one of the world’s leading AI companies, DeepMind (a Google company). This collaboration involved the sharing of >1,000,000 anonymised optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans with DeepMind to train algorithms capable of automated diagnosis of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.

In 2018, Moorfields reported that the resulting algorithm could diagnose more than 30 conditions – and as accurately as experienced optometrists and ophthalmologists – with the results published in Nature Medicine. Later that year, a research team from Google Health trained an algorithm using fundus images and clinical measurements from 284,000 subjects, which could predict several cardiovascular risks from a single fundus image, including the subject’s blood pressure, their body mass index (BMI) and smoking status. The results were published in Nature Biomedical Engineering

More recently, AlzEye was established as an unprecedented data linkage project linking >two million retinal photos and scans of >250,000 people, who attended Moorfields between 2008 and 2018 with nationally held data (NHS Digital) on people who develop Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. This unique resource provides a tailored unique dataset to explore patterns of retinal change associated with the development of dementia across a diverse population of varying ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

A common thread within these projects

is the availability of data to train AI algorithms. In fact, the UK has the world’s largest ophthalmic bioresource, called Insight Hub launched in 2019, which hosts data collected at Moorfields and University Hospitals Birmingham. The fully anonymised data is available for research under the strictest information governance and ethical access processes.


However, at the article went on to discuss, there is a data gap – in that the current data, although extensive, relates to patients with conditions discovered in hospital. This gap is at community level, i.e. data from people who are truly healthy to those who might be just below the referral threshold at a ‘sub-clinical’ state. An additional issue is that patients below referral threshold (thus ‘healthy’) might not see a clear reason why their data should be used for research.

This is where the charity AAAMD comes in. It works with community optometrists to gather data to fill this gap and enhance what AI algorithms have to offer. Since our 2022 article was published, AAAMD has been working to have protocols reviewed by the Research Ethics Committee of the UK Health Research Authority (HRA), allowing it to work with UK practices to gather OCT scans, upload them to a secure AAAMD database, and vet them for approved research use.

NEG has been keeping in touch with AAAMD as it implements this programme, championing for our members to be at the forefront of this work. NEG members have an important role to play in gathering this community data – so we were delighted to recently hold an online focus group with a small number of members, during which AAAMD shared the agreed protocols and workflow that would enable a practice to gain a patient’s permission and then take and upload the scan.

What was pleasing to see was the ease with which the scans could be uploaded to the database, thus not adding too much of a burden to the practice. Everyone who attended the focus group was very clear: they see this as working toward the future of optometry, and how important it is that independent community based practitioners should be involved – and at an early stage.


The next stage will be sharing contracts, the HRA-reviewed participant information sheet, consent forms, and workflow with the practices. Once this is finalised, we will move to agreeing a small number of practices for a trial period, before widening out to more NEG members and beyond.

If you would like more information about this programme, and to learn how you can be involved, please email ■

16 Vision Now May 2024
NEG is keen to be involved with OCT scan data gathering

A taster of independence

Specific to optometry in higher education, placement experience is often underutilised but is a valuable tool for a comprehensive education. We develop strong theoretical and practical skills in the higher education setting but the nuances of differing application of these skills is often missed.

At Teesside University, we have developed a course with placements designed into the programme from conception, placing a strong emphasis on providing students with diverse placement opportunities that enrich their learning journey and prepare them for the multifaceted landscape of optometry.

With upcoming changes to the way optometry degrees are being offered, universities across the country will be likely to start offering more placements throughout their courses in much the same way. At Teesside in particular, we look at a broad spectrum of placements: independent, hospital, multiple to name a few. This allows students to immerse themselves in various environments, each presenting unique challenges and learning opportunities.

This diversity not only broadens students' perspectives but it equips them with the adaptability and resilience necessary to thrive in any professional setting postqualification.


One of the most significant advantages of Teesside University's placement programme is showcasing independent practices. While larger institutions and corporate chains certainly offer valuable insights, independent practices often provide a more personalised and intimate learning experience. Here, students can witness first-hand the intricacies of running a practice, building patient relationships and navigating the business side of optometry. Such exposure fosters a deeper understanding of the profession and cultivates essential skills in communication, empathy and problem-solving.

Moreover, these placements serve as a prime opportunity for independent practices to attract future optometrists. By welcoming students into their clinics, practice owners can showcase their unique approach to patient care and highlight the professional growth opportunities available within their organisation. This relationship benefits both parties, as students gain valuable insights into potential career paths while practices gain access to a pool of talented and enthusiastic future optometrists.

It’s worth mentioning that the time required of practice owners is minimal and the approach is to act as a mentor and not a teacher. Students are given tasks that are presented as opportunities for them to see how their knowledge applies in the various settings. I would encourage any practice wishing to offer placements, to contact their local university to express an interest in

doing so.

This exciting programme of student placements is supported by NEG member, Andrew Morgan, who says: "I think it is important for independent practitioners to get involved if at all possible. A lot of students I have met think that working for a multiple is the most attractive – and possibly only – option after they graduate. Most of the multiples are very active in promoting their side of optics to students while they are at university. A lot of students think that the independents are doomed and there will none of us left in the future.

"We hope to show there is a different side to the corporate world where we have built up strong relationships with our patients/ customers of a number of years and often with several generations of the same family," continues Andrew. "There is, of course, the possibility of having a good standard of living from working for independent practices and the possibility of owning your own business – that means 100 per cent.

"It is also good to develop a closer relationship with your local university and meet the students who will be part of the profession in the future. We can also give pointers to our view of optics and how to deal with our patients. I have been impressed with our student, her level of knowledge and the sensible relevant questions she has asked," adds Andrew.

Sam Phillips BSc (Hons) Prof. Cert. Glauc., Prof. Cert. Med. Ret., Prof. Cert. Paed. Eye Care is a lecturer in optometry at Teesside University. ■

Sam Phillips highlights an optometry placement programme that showcases independent practice... Students can try all practice enviornments Sam Phillips

Introducing Cleadew Advanced Care Systems

F1 Strong disinfectant efficacy

or more than a decade, there has been little or no innovation in contact lens care. The UK market is currently dominated by multipurpose solutions, many using a single disinfectant formulation.

Cleadew is a unique new range of contact lens care products manufactured by Ophtecs in Japan, and exclusively available from Positive Impact. Ophtecs has pioneered harnessing the powerful disinfecting efficacy of povidone-iodine (PVP-I) for contact lens care – bringing a novel alternative for contact lens practitioners to support their patients in keeping their lenses safe and comfortable.

The Cleadew range also includes unique multipurpose solution formulations and has a product for all lens types, including scleral lenses. It is also worth noting that the entire Cleadew product range meets the forthcoming Medical Device Regulation (MDR) that replaces the current Medical Device Directive (MDD). MDR expands on the MDD by increasing scrutiny on device safety throughout the product lifecycle.


PVP-I is best known as a broad-spectrum antiseptic used for skin disinfection and is on the World Health Organisation's List of Essential Medicines. It exhibits microbiocidal activity against bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses. It has a broad application in medicine as a surgical scrub, pre- and postoperative skin cleansing, and is commonly used as a topical application in the treatment and prevention of wound infection.


The Cleadew PVP-I range has a product for all lens types: Cleadew Soft (Figure 1); Cleadew GP (Figure 2); and Cleadew SL (for scleral lenses) (Figure 3)

Strong disinfectant efficacy

As a broad-spectrum antibacterial disinfectant, PVP-I not only exhibits strong disinfectant efficacy against the standalone standard strains (as defined by ISO 14729), but also against clinical isolates and Acanthamoeba that are resistant to disinfectants1. Its disinfection mechanism is generated by oxidation of water by free iodine, which reacts with the membranous proteins of bacterial and viral surfaces.

Highly effective against Acanthamoeba PVP-I swiftly targets and eliminates the cytoplasmic membrane of micro-organisms, instantly rendering them inactive. This action extends to micro-organisms such as Acanthamoeba, with 99 per cent eradicated before they enter cyst formation.

Safe for the eyes

The concentration of PVP-I in Cleadew is carefully chosen to ensure safety for both the cornea and conjunctiva. Due to the high biological compatibility of PVP-I, and its automatic neutralisation, the disinfecting component does not directly enter the eyes; as such, it boasts excellent compatibility with all contact lenses, including silicone hydrogel materials, ensuring comfortable wear.


risk of corneal staining

In terms of corneal and conjunctival safety, Cleadew stands out compared to multipurpose disinfecting solutions (MPS). The incidence of solution-induced corneal staining (SICS) is notably lower (p ≥ 0.011) than with other solutions, including hydrogen peroxide formulations1. This underscores the exceptionally high level of safety for the cornea and conjunctiva when using Cleadew.

Figure 3 Option for scleral contact lens patients

Excellent cleaning efficacy

The sensation of dryness and discomfort experienced while wearing contact lenses is often attributed to the presence of protein material, particularly lipocalin, in the lacrimal fluid2. Cleadew efficiently breaks down and removes these protein deposits by utilising proteolytic enzymes in the neutralising tablet (Figure 4)

How to use Cleadew PVP-I systems

The Cleadew PVP-I care systems are straightforward to use, especially for patients familiar with one-step hydrogen peroxide systems that use a neutralisation tablet.

Figure 4 shows the structure of the Cleadew soft tablet. The solution is poured into the lens case and a tablet added. The case is then left to stand for four hours, after which the lenses can be worn following a light rinse. Due to the automatic disinfection, cleaning and neutralisation processes, the risk of forgetting neutralisation is eliminated. The liquid turns orange during disinfection before going clear, allowing visual confirmation of the care progress.


The Cleadew range also contains two multipurpose solutions – Cleadew MPS for soft lenses (Figure 5) and Cleadew GP Hydra One for rigid gas permeable lenses (Figure 6). Both incorporate a novel hyaluronic acid derivative that helps to keep the contact lens surface hydrated for a longer period of time. Cleadew MPS for soft lenses also introduces a unique dual disinfection system.

PRODUCT PROFILE 18 Vision Now May 2024
Figure Figure 2 Designed for gas permeable lenses

Dual disinfectant system

Cleadew MPS is the world’s first multipurpose disinfecting solution containing the two ingredients – polyhexamethylene biguanide hydrochloride and alexidine dihydrochloride. These two disinfectants act on the cell membrane of micro-organisms,

5 Incorporating a novel hyaluronic acid derivative

resulting in a higher disinfecting effect compared to conventional single disinfectant multipurpose solutions. Cleadew MPS meets the primary criteria of the ISO 14729 standalone test. It also exerts a high efficacy against Acanthamoeba and clinically isolated bacteria in only four hours1

Super-Moist Dew Technology

Cleadew introduces a new technology to its multipurpose solutions – Super-Moist Dew (SMD) – to keep the lens surface moisturised for longer. Figure 7 shows how Ophtecs has managed to modify hyaluronic acid to create a hydrophobic group that has an affinity for the silicone (Si) in silicone

6 Keeping the contact lens surface hydrated for a longer

hydrogel lenses. SMD helps improve lens wettability to a level not achieved with existing moisturising ingredients, such as sodium hyaluronate. SMD increases tear stability, leading to comfortable lens wear and improved vision until the day of lens replacement.


Cleadew SLi

Cleadew SLi (Figure 8) is a specially designed, preservative-free, rinsing and insertion saline solution for scleral contact lenses. Thanks to the addition of hypromellose, the lens is easier to insert with a reduced risk of air bubbles. Thanks to the addition of hypromellose and sodium hyaluronate, the lens is easier to insert with a reduced risk of air bubbles and wearing comfort is improved often extending wearing times.

Cleadew CareSolution

This solution is preserved with a low-level of hydrogen peroxide (0.004 per cent) that

is below the toxicity/sensitivity threshold of the ocular surface, ensuring optimal eye health.


The UK market is still having challenges with lens care availability. This, combined with the MDR threatening the future availability of some of the contact lens care systems currently available, means the introduction of the already MDR-approved Cleadew range should be a welcome alternative for contact lens practitioners and their patients.


1. Ophtecs data on file.

2. Omali NB, Zhah Z, Zhu H, Tilia D and Willcox MDP. Quantification of individual proteins in silicone hydrogel contact lens deposits. Molecular Vision 2013;19:390-399.

This article was provided by Positive Impact. ■

Vision Now May 2024 19 PRODUCT PROFILE
Figure 4 Structure of the Cleadew soft tablet Figure Figure Figure 7 Creating a hydrophobic group with an affinity for silicone Figure 8 Helps ease lens insertion and reduce bubbles

Unlocking your practice’s dry eye potential

presenter, Andy Clark, will also host the day

Following on from last year’s focus on making a profit from the professional services independent practices provide, this year’s Independents Day (iDay) on Monday 8 July will specifically look at the business opportunity provided by better management of dry eye in the practice’s patient base.

"By simply focusing on the commercialisation of dry eye services in practice this year, we’ll be able to dive deeper into the strategies and insights to strengthen a practice’s financial foundations, taking it to new heights,” explains Nick Atkins, the event’s organiser.

"We hope that as many NEG members as possible will join us for an engaging exploration of this lucrative business opportunity – and discover how to maximise its potential for their independent optical practice."


As always, iDay is all about the business of being in independent practice and as such, the event will feature the usual roster of thought-leaders and experienced A-list speakers. This year’s keynote speakers are Dr Trusit Dave, Craig Wilcox, Nick Black and Andy Clark; Andy will also act as host and compère for the day's programme.

"How would you describe Trusit Dave?" asks Nick. "An inventor? An entrepreneur? An independent prescribing optometrist?

Monday 8 July

Unlocking your practice's dry eye potential Andy Clark

The do’s and don’ts of specialising in dry eye Dr

Strategies essential to the success of our dry eye practice (rapid fire session)

Cosmetometry: the natural development of dry eye management?

Providing dry eye services without business discomfort

He is all these things and much more. Trusit will deliver an honest appraisal of the opportunities that providing dry eye services bring, and explore what to consider before taking the practice down this route."

Craig Wilcox

Fellow keynote speaker, Craig Wilcox, has been running a specialist dry eye practice for more than a decade. "Craig has long advocated a more holistic approach to dry eye practice," explains Nick, "looking beyond the eye and adnexa in order to best diagnose and manage the patient’s condition. Having coined the word ‘cosmetrometry’, Craig will describe what this means and propose that this might be the next level of care we provide our patients."

Can you make money from delivering dry eye services? This will be the focus of a keynote presentation by Nick Black, partner at BBR Optometry. Nick will share the realities of successfully commercialising dry eye practice – and making a profit for the business. The principles he will discuss will apply for any new clinical service a practice might want to introduce in the future.

In addition to acting as the event's host, Andy Clark will deliver a presentation on the do’s and don’ts of marketing dry eye services to your patients. "Having been central to the development of the Dry Eye Project some 10 years ago, as well as having supported numerous practices in maximising the dry eye opportunity, there is no-one better placed to talk about unlocking the dry eye potential of delegates practices," enthuses Nick.


Supporting iDay's keynote speakers will be a group of "exceptional practitioners" sharing

20 Vision Now May 2024 INDEPENDENTS DAY 2024
Keynote Dr Trusit Dave will give an honest appraisal of dry eye practice Looking “beyond the eye” will be Craig Wilcox Presentation Speaker Trusit Dave Sharon Flora, Dermot Keogh, Craig McArthur, Beth Ralph and Purvi Thompson
Table 1 Inspiring line-up of presentations on Monday 8 July
Nick Black
We hope that as many NEG members as possible will join us for an engaging exploration of this lucrative business opportunity – and discover how to maximise its potential for their independent optical practice. ‘‘ ‘‘


A review of the latest clinical data for myopia management with contact lenses CPD lecture: one point

Everything you want to know about ortho-k but were afraid to ask CPD discussion lecture: two points

Specialist Club (Pub) Quiz CPD discussion workshop: three points

Contact lens care: do we really care? CPD discussion lecture: two points

Lifting the lid on ocular surface disease CPD discussion lecture: two points


Dr Trusit Dave

iDay + Specialist Club practice team (min. three people)

some of the strategies they have adopted to make delivering dry eye care in their practice successful. The five speakers in this rapid fire session are: Sharon Flora, Dermot Keogh, Craig McArthur, Beth Ralph and Purvi Thompson. Table 1 lists the day’s presentations.


As iDay is (unapologetically) all about the business of optometry, iDay has joined forces with the Specialist Club for its annual CPD conference. This will be held on Sunday 7 July at the same venue. Table 2 outlines the Specialist Cub CPD sessions – which will include topics such as myopia management, ortho-k and ocular surface disease.

Whilst this is a stand-alone event, delegates attending iDay 24 can attend at a significantly discounted rate. The

programme is worth 10 CDP points, and more information can be found at


As much of the iDay programme is multidisciplinary, it is sure to inspire and motivate every member of the practice team. To enable members to bring their team, there is a special price for group bookings of three or more delegates.


This year’s event will, once again, utilise the excellent facilities of the National Conference Centre (next to the National Motorcycle Museum) near the NEC in Birmingham. The venue is just off junction six of the M42 and only 10 minutes from Birmingham International railway station.


As always, the iShow will be integral in bringing independent supporting suppliers together with their customer base. "We will have a vast array of contact lenses, spectacle lenses and equipment, plus a whole lot more all under one roof," says Nick.


As always, there is a special delegate rate for NEG members attending iDay, with all prices shown in Table 3

"We hope NEG members can join us once again this year to meet up with friends and colleagues and celebrate all that’s great about being independent," concludes Nick. Book your place at ■

Vision Now May 2024 21 INDEPENDENTS DAY 2024
Professor Nicola Logan Nick Howard Caroline Christie Craig McArthur Table 2 Specialist Club Annual CPD Conference being held on Sunday 7 July, the day before iDay 24 Nick Black covers making profit from dry eye practice Dermot Keogh will share the secrets of his success Purvi Thompson will join the rapid fire session
Presentation Price per person (excl. VAT) NEG price Full price iDay delegate fee £129.00 £159.00 iDay practice team (min.
people) £99.00 £129.00
£149.00 £188.00
iDay + Specialist Club
£119.00 £158.00
Table 3 NEG member discount to attend iDay and the Specialist Club

Transforming your business and yourself


I began part one of this series, published in the February issue, by talking about my running journey: a personal transformation that started when I was 39 and has continued to my current age of 51. For more than a decade of my middle-age life, I have managed to run faster each year.

Ishared my story not to boast, but to exemplify that successfully implementing and sustaining new habits – leading to permanent positive transformation – isn't easy. And because I believe the approach I used can be a driver for massive positive change in your life and your optical business. To recap, this approach advocates using the following four key steps to improve yourself and your business:

1. Set an overarching goal that carries emotional significance for you.

2. Become mindful of a broad range of metrics. Capture, review and act on them consistently to gain traction and momentum towards achievement of your goal.

3. Source and utilise the power of an accountability partner.

4. Apply the one per cent (Kaizen) rule to your life and your business to achieve continual marginal gains across a broad range of metrics and associated business skills and competencies.

In Part one, we looked at goal setting. Part two will focus on how to use measurement and metrics to help you drive through improvement effectively. Part 2a will focus on metrics, while part 2b will look at how to apply this learning in practice.


The majority of independent practice owners would have entered the profession via a vocational degree requiring top A-level grades in three subjects from a choice of chemistry, physics, biology and maths. Maths is maths – and the science subjects all include a significant degree of maths. Given this pre-requisite for numeracy aptitude, logic would dictate that when it comes to knowing their business numbers, optical practice owners should be outstanding. Yet the reality frequently flies in the face of this expectation. Common sense is not always common practice.

There are numerous explanations for this 'business numeracy conundrum' in optics:

■Owners can be hobbled by old, inherited or incumbent IT systems with limited reporting capabilities (or poorly written algorithms with unreliable data output).

■Owners and staff may have a perfectly good practice management system (PMS) but may not have invested the time to learn how to use it properly and/or are failing to input key data.

■Owners can be so busy working in the business that they fail to make the time to review and act on the data they are capturing.

■Owners often cave into resistance from staff to optimal usage of PMS functionality and, in particular, to tracking individual personal performance. This situation leaves the owner partially 'business blind' and the staff unaccountable.

■Sometimes a reluctance to get to grips with business numbers can come down to a personal cultural discomfort from the owner about being 'too commercial'. This is a mistake. It is perfectly possible to strike a fair balance between being commercial and ethical, and getting this right is key to achieving a great work/life balance and delivering the best possible products and services to customers over the long-term.

■Owners sometimes misunderstand the role of their accountant and abdicate responsibility for the numbers and finances to them. Those who make this mistake are effectively permanently looking in the rear-view mirror, rather than looking forwards; reading their current situation and reacting and influencing their outcomes proactively.

There are two key reasons you need to master your business numbers:

1. Having in-house clinical skills is a pre-

22 Vision Now May 2024 BUSINESS MATTERS
Drive your business through metrics

requisite to be able to offer ophthalmic services to the public. But the cold hard truth is that business competency is the defining factor for success in your practice – and in your work/life balance.

2. You need data to help you track progress with your goals and to monitor potential side-effects of improvement initiatives in other areas of your business.

Do you think you already know your numbers? Let me ask you a quick question: "What is the average dispensing value at your practice?" Take a moment to think about this any then write your answer down. Now let me ask you another question: "By definition, numbers are empirical... right?" So why is it that when I ask for their practice’s average dispensing value, so many owners give me an answer along the lines of: “Between £180 and £280”.

These figures have a variance of 36 per cent and they certainly do not represent an average by and definition. You would not permit this sloppiness within your practice sight test data: you, or the culprit, would risk being hauled in front of the regulator and being struck off. As a practice owner, you probably don’t have a business board to answer to, but woolly thinking like this may lead to poor financial and lifestyle outcomes further down the line.

It's time to get specific – and scientific...


Just like optometry, understanding your business numbers, and how to influence them, is a science. And just like optometry, the numbers – and the business skills to interpret and influence them – can be studied, practised and mastered. I don’t know your current level of business numbers ‘know how’, so let's start with brass tacks.

You may often hear the terms 'key performance indicators' (KPIs) and 'benchmarking' – but are not really sure what they mean or how to utilise them in practice.

Put simply, KPIs are the statistics that help you keep track of your business's performance. At a basic level, KPIs can include the number of sales over a month, the number of sight tests and contact lens consultations carried out, the number of Google reviews received from patients, and so on. As you become more experienced in using KPIs, they may include areas like clinic occupancy rate, statistics that monitor your practice's fastest and slowest moving frame stock, sources of new patients, and average spend per segmented age group or postcode.

In its simplest form, benchmarking is just comparing your business data against

relevant external data to provide context on how well it is performing. Think of it in the same way as measuring a patient's intraocular pressures and comparing it to the expected healthy range. It is entirely possible to measure different aspects of your business’s health against expected norms.

From a goal-setting perspective, KPIs allow you to measure your baseline starting position, measure your progress and, ultimately, tell you when you have reached your goal. Your starting point in deciding which KPIs to track will be determined by two key factors: the goal you have set yourself; and your current usage, understanding and access to business data.

When I first started running, I had very loose goals and metrics. My initial goal was simply to lose weight. Tracking my weight was easy enough: I simply stepped onto the bathroom scales first thing in the morning, wrote the number down and tracked my progress from the initial baseline figure. I also set myself the aspirational goal of being able to buy and comfortably wear a ‘slim fit’ shirt.

In theory, the activity of running is pretty simple: you put one foot in front of the other, eat, sleep repeat, get better and lose weight. But there's actually an awful lot more to it; to make sustained progress and to avoid injury requires increasing your knowledge and tracking more metrics.

The same goes for improving your practice. In theory, all you have to do is increase your revenue and keep costs in check to make more money, right? The reality is that if you limit yourself to simply tracking the high-level turnover and net profit, it is not going to cut the mustard. You need to set goals, and track and benchmark the relevant data.


In February's article, we focused on recognising your ‘why’ and setting out your goals – and it’s important that the KPIs you measure relate directly to that 'why'. The good news is that, whether you realise it or not, you are likely to already possess the numbers you need. What you need to do now is select them and put them to work. Before you make changes to move towards your business goal, think about where you are today. This will become your baseline. Different goals will need different measurements, but to get you started let’s imagine you want to improve the profitability of your practice. Some (hopefully) easy-toobtain, sensible metrics might focus on the number of appointments, the type of patient and how much they spend.

Create your own baseline to spot trends

In preparation for Part 2b, when we will look at using these metrics to drive change, look at your PMS and start to build your own baseline. Build a table in whatever way you feel comfortable, be that a spreadsheet, on a whiteboard, or with pen and paper. Look back over the past 12 months and add one data point per month for each of the following measurements:

■Total number of eye examinations that month

■Total number of new patients

■ Average dispense rate

You can then build these numbers into a simple line graph that you add to every month. As you move forwards, this will allow you to spot and react to any trends. Obviously, this is just a starting point, and you should choose the metrics that make most sense to use as the levers to your business.

Keep an eye out for Part 2b when we’ll develop this further and look at how you can use these measurements to plan, track and embed improvements.

Dominic Watson is a director of Myers La Roche. He has more than 20 years' experience in the optical and audiology sector as a management and marketing consultant, business analyst and specialist business broker. He is a published author, with his debut book being Rockstar Retirement Programme. How to Retire Like A Rockstar. ■

Vision Now May 2024 23

Step into style and empowerment

Renowned luxury eyewear brand – Ana Hickmann Eyewear – has unveiled its spring/summer 2024 collection, specifically designed to empower women...

This season, Ana Hickmann Eyewear – distributed in the UK by NEG preferred supplier Go Eyewear – is all about empowering women through fashion. The new collection of sunglasses and prescription styles exudes confidence, elegance and luxury – showcasing a stunning array of designs, each carefully crafted to enhance a woman's individuality and style.

From oversized frames that demand attention to sleek and sophisticated designs, the collection perfectly reflects the brand's commitment to empowering women through eyewear. Modern trends with classic elements offer a unique range of options for women of all ages and tastes.

"We believe that eyewear is not just a practical accessory but also a powerful statement of empowerment and selfexpression," says Teresa Faria, marketing and communications director at Go Eyewear. "Our spring/summer 2024 collection is designed to enhance the natural beauty of women and instill a sense of confidence and empowerment in every wearer."

The new collection embraces feminine aesthetics, showcasing delicate details, luxurious materials, and intricate designs. The frames are meticulously crafted to offer unparalleled comfort, durability and style, ensuring that women can feel confident and empowered in their eyewear.



The new ophthalmic frames not only reflect the brand's commitment to luxury and style – but also provide a solution to protect women's eyes from the sun with the inclusion of detachable clip-on sunglasses. This innovative feature offers versatility and convenience, allowing wearers to effortlessly switch between clear optical lenses and UVprotected tinted sunglasses.

"Our goal with this collection is to offer women eyewear that not only enhances their beauty and confidence but also provides added functionality and protection," explains Teresa. "We believe that women should have

the option to effortlessly transition between clear lenses for optimal vision and stylish sunglasses for sun protection, without compromising on style."

Crafted with the utmost precision and attention to detail, each ophthlamic frame in the spring/summer 2024 collection combines exceptional craftsmanship with luxurious materials, ensuring maximum comfort and durability. The inclusion of the detachable clip-on sunglasses guarantees that women can effortlessly shield their eyes from the sun's harmful rays while maintaining a chic and fashionable appearance.

The Ana Hickmann sun collection is a stylish and trendy line of sunglasses known for their strong acetates and fashionable designs. The latest designs feature beautiful colours such as peach fuzz, blues and greens that are in line with the latest palette trends. With more than 26 different sun

models to choose from, there is a wide variety of options available to engage with the end consumer.

Each pair of sunglasses in the sun collection is not only a practical accessory to protect eyes from the sun, but also a fashion statement that can elevate any outfit and add a touch of flair to the wearer's look. Whether it a preference for classic shapes or more bold and unique styles, the sun collection offers something for everyone looking to stay both stylish and protected from the sun's rays.


Classics with a modern twist

Designed for those who seek a blend of elegance and versatility, the AH3290 and AH3289 offer a modern twist on classic

24 Vision Now May 2024
The AH3290 featuring gradient lenses Focused on fashion: the AH1544 Ophthalmic styles exudes refinement: the AH6555

eyewear designs. A griffeinspired square-shaped frame, the AH3290 features threecolour gradient lenses. Available in four captivating colours – light and dark blue, grey and brown – these gradient lenses effortlessly transition from one shade to another, creating a captivating visual effect.

For those who prefer a rounder frame design, Ana Hickmann Eyewear introduces the AH3289. This style offers timeless appeal whilst embodying the brand's commitment to luxury and style. Like its square counterpart, the AH3289 is available in four stunning colours, enabling wearers to select from a range of options that best reflect their personal style. Both the AH3290 and AH3289 are available in a larger format, allowing individuals with different face shapes to find the perfect fit. The larger frames not only enhance the natural features of the wearer but also elevate the overall aesthetic, ensuring a perfect balance between fashion and functionality.

Big, bold and beautiful

The AH9420 is a stunning, large acetate square-shaped sunglass designed to make a bold statement and enhance any look. Crafted from high-quality acetate, ensuring durability and comfort, the AH9420 is available in seven different colours, suitable for a wide range of preferences and complementing various looks.

The block colour acetates, such as black, havana, nude and pink, offer a classic and timeless appeal. For those seeking a bolder and more vibrant option, the mix colour acetates in blue, green and brown provide a unique and eye-catching look.

What sets the AH9420 style apart is the inclusion of three-colour gradient sun lenses. This feature adds a charismatic and mysterious touch to the sunglasses,

elevating their overall design. The sun lenses blend three colours seamlessly, creating a captivating visual effect that enhances the wearer's style and confidence.

Bold, colourful gradients

The AH9427 is a stunning pair of bold acetate, oversized square-shaped sunglasses. Designed to make a statement, these sunglasses offer a unique blend of style and functionality. The AH9427 is available in five captivating colours, including black, green, havana, light blue and peach fuzz. Each colour option adds a touch of individuality and can effortlessly complement various outfits and personal preferences.

Equipped with sun lenses featuring three colour gradients, these sunglasses exude a sense of charm and allure. The beautiful gradient effect enhances the wearer's style and provides a visually captivating look.

One of the standout features of the AH9427 style is the well-developed acetate temple, which allows the wearer to see the metal temple on the inside. This design element adds a touch of sophistication and uniqueness to the sunglasses. Moreover, the metal temple showcases a beautiful pattern, further enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal.

Crafted with precision and attention to detail, the AH9427 sunglasses offer both comfort and durability. The oversized square shape provides excellent coverage and protection from the sun's rays, making them an ideal choice for any outdoor occasion.

Attention to detail

The AH9426 is a stunning pair of acetate sunglass with a hexagonal shape. With an elegant metal plate on the upper part of the bridge, these sunglasses offer a special and feminine detail to the frame. The temples follow the pyramidal shape trend that the brand started in the previous season, adding a touch of uniqueness and style. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, these sunglasses are designed to enhance any look and make a fashion statement.

The AH9426 is available in three captivating colours. The black variant features three gradient tones of black, creating a sleek and sophisticated look. For those looking for a bolder option, the black variant with blueish gradient tones on the lenses adds a touch of vibrancy and flair.

For a more elegant and feminine look, the nude-coloured acetate variant with three different tones on the sunglass lenses is the perfect choice. This combination creates a subtle and eye-catching design that beautifully complements any outfit.

With its hexagonal shape and elegant metal plate, the AH9426 sunglasses from Ana Hickmann Eyewear are both fashionable and functional. The high-quality materials used in the construction of these sunglasses ensure durability and comfort, making them a perfect accessory for any occasion.

AH9420: designed to make a bold statement
The AH9427 features a metal temple inlay Copy provided by Go Eyewear ■ The AH3289 is a rounder design Stunning hexagonal sunglasses: the AH9426


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26 Vision Now May 2024 Preferred Suppliers’ directory tel: 01580 713698 | web: T: 02920 857 122 T: 02920 883 009 E: T: 01279 653785 E: T: 01132 883094 E: SUPPLIER – OPTICIAN – PATIENT OUR PARTNERSHIP The future of practice management software is here.

Preferred Suppliers are suppliers who, by prior arrangement, offer members of the PK National Eyecare Group preferential terms. For full details and terms offered to the membership, please call 01580 713698.


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When you prescribe contact lenses, you prescribe freedom. We’re stepping up to do more, supporting you to Prescribe Freedom for more people than ever

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Vision Now May 2024 27
Suppliers’ directory
STEPPER (UK) Limited 11 Tannery Road, Tonbridge Kent - TN9 1RF 01732 375975
Putting cloud-based control at your fingertips wherever you are, on any device, Nova is the future of practice management software. With intuitive dashboards and intelligent reporting, it keeps your optometry business at the cutting edge. BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE • PATIENT MANAGER • STOCK • ORDERING • TILL • DIARY • eGOS • EMAIL • CLINICAL The future of practice management software is here. Contact us today to book a no-obligation, in-practice demo. • 0800 310 2400

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