Vision Now October 2020

Page 1



Vision Now magazine

SEED 1dayPure EDOF allows lens users to perceive images to be continuously in focus over a wide range of visual distances, from near to far.

Contact UltraVision to order your free trials or to find out more...


0800 585 115

BUILD YOUR NEW NORMAL WITH VIPx There’s never been a better time, to build a better business.

VIPx is available to NEG Business Club members as an upgrade. For more information go to




Vision Now magazine is published by Peekay Publishing Ltd for The PK National Eyecare Group Ltd, the UK’s largest purchasing group for independent opticians.




News 4 7 9 11 13 15

New solutions from mark’ennovy Go Eyewear launches eco collection LOCSU refreshes low vision pathway Landmark report from eye research charity Colleges agree joint vision for future of eyecare Autumn/winter Elle styles from Charmant

17 Developing thoughts Adapt and succeed

19 NEG Business Club Build your new normal

22 Product profile EDOF: the future of contact lens design

24 AIO virtual conference Nine days, one event

26 Education and training Why staff training is key

28 Style spotlight Creative colours: subtle and spirited

30 Suppliers’ directory

Editor’s comment Five million people missed an eye exam during lockdown, according to the charity Eye Health UK as it launched last month’s National Eye Health Week. Unfortunately, as the pandemic rumbles on – so too do the delays in diagnosing and treating sightthreatening eye conditions. Reduced capacity, longer exam times and a general fear of close contact all compound the problem. Fight for Sight was also in the headlines last month as it released its Time to Focus report highlighting the billions of pounds that sight loss costs the UK economy each year. The charity has created a new costing tool that demonstrates how – by reducing the prevalence of eye conditions by just one per cent annually – the UK economy could save up to £3.1bn by 2030 and £9.5bn by 2050, including £1.5bn in savings for NHS and social care services. The eye research charity calculates that for every 100 people aged 50 to 54 with probable glaucoma who are treated up to a year late, five more people will progress earlier than anticipated to moderate visual impairment, adding an additional cost to society of up to £28,098 a year. The charity says that investment in “woefully underfunded” eye research would transform lives and take pressure off our stretched healthcare system. As you catch up with patients who are due (or overdue) for their eye exams, why not consider a fundraising challenge to keep the practice team motivated. The Get Involved section of the Fight for Sight website details the different ways in which to support vital eye research. We’d love to hear about any challenges you sign up to, and will happily share your venture if you tag us on Twitter or LinkedIn. Nicky Collinson Editor


Nicky Collinson BA (Hons)

Editorial PA

Sally Spicer

Fashion Editor

Joan Grady

Business Editor Phillip Mullins FBDO Design and Production

Rosslyn Argent BA (Hons)


Michael C Wheeler FCOptom DipCLP FSMC FAAO

The 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 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 © 2020 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.

@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 P&P Litho Ltd, Ashford, Middlesex TW15 1AB

Vision Now OCTOBER 2020






Rock Star Corey in green

Model Corey is one of the latest styles in the Eyespace Rock Star collection, designed for youngsters aged from four to 15 years. A high quality acetate frame, Corey has a rectangular eyefront in blue (C1) and green (C2) with a fashionable double pin detail. A bold coloured strip extends along the top edge of the sides ending at the customised tips, which feature the collection’s distinctive star brandmark. The undersides feature a striated crystal, giving the frame a modern lightweight feel. With a superior-quality flex hinge and ergonomic bridge, this 47-16-130 size frame is designed to be durable and comfortable for young wearers. New solutions for patients

This month sees the launch of mark’ennovy’s new one-step peroxide system and multipurpose solution. The onestep peroxide system features a vitamin B2 yellow colour indicator and disinfects and neutralises in one hour, providing a rapid and comprehensive clean for all types of soft and rigid contact lenses, including soft silicone hydrogel lenses. Its neutralising tablet’s coating dissolves during a 12-minute disinfectant stage on its way to transforming into a preservative-free saline solution at the end of the neutralisation process. The company’s new multipurpose solution contains hyaluronic acid, which lubricates and protects the contact lens from the adhesion of lipids, providing maximum comfort throughout the day. It is suitable for all types of soft contact lenses, including silicone hydrogel lenses, and comes with an antimicrobial lens case.





Nevil Trotter has been appointed as the new general manager of Norville, which was acquired from the administrators by the Inspecs Group on 14 July. Nevil joins Inspecs from Specsavers, where he was a partner and director of group manufacturing and distribution technologies. He said: “I am thrilled to be joining the Inspecs Group to help Robin and the team develop and grow the Norville offering.” Robin Totterman, Inspecs chief executive, added: “I am delighted that Nev has agreed to join Inspecs to run Norville. He brings a significant array of experience, expertise and knowledge of the optical industry and we look forward to leveraging this to build on Norville’s heritage and transform its future.”

Nevil Trotter

Positive Impact

Positive Impact (PI) has become the exclusive distributor for the Eye Doctor range of moist heat, antibacterial, hot compresses as well as the other products in the range.

numerous hot compresses from manufacturers around the world, but nothing we considered better than the Eye Doctor Premium Moist Compress.”

PI managing director, Maxine Green, said: “We have been developing what we believe is a ‘best in class’ dry eye product portfolio over the last few years that includes patented lubricants, lid care and unique nutraceuticals. However, there was one obvious omission – a hot compress. Over the years we have been offered

Eye Doctor founder and managing director, Sue Grant, said: “We’ve targeted expansion in this sector and could see that, with their experienced field sales team, PI could help us to quickly increase our distribution. I’m delighted that we’ve managed to reach an agreement whereby PI is now our exclusive independent optical distributor.”

Vision Now OCTOBER 2020

Dry eye portfolio expands


Manage your patients online and 24/7 with Bausch + Lomb Direct online ordering and direct-to-patient delivery service, powered by Adaro. UK Next-Day Delivery

Building Patient Loyalty

when ordered before 2pm patients receive their lenses and solutions next day, direct to their home/work*

through a subscription model with direct debit capability and enabling ease of patient management

Bundle Price Discounts

Practice-branded Deliveries

when combining monthly contact lenses with lens care solutions

packaging printed with your practice name and logo

To register visit: For more information: contact our Customer Service team: w 0845 602 2350

*Subject to availability. UK mainland only.


®/™ are trademarks of Bausch & Lomb Incorporated or its affiliates. ©2020 Bausch & Lomb Incorporated or its affiliates.





British Contact Lens Association

‘How to grow your contact lens business’ is the subject of the next British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) webinar on 15 October, to be presented by Dr Neelam Patel and Shelly Bansal. Neelam said: “This webinar will present the findings of practice-based research around monthly payment care plans, and discuss how to successfully implement, customise and evolve them in community practice.

Dry eye clinic tool

Essilor has taken on the sole distribution of IDRA by SBM Sistemi. IDRA performs a full assessment of the ocular surface via a series of quick tear film tests, including the quality of tears and analysis of the meibomian glands, to classify the type of dry eye disease. A 3D image is produced to help practitioners analyse and understand the eyelid structure. The image can also be shared with the patient to explain the cause of their discomfort and aid treatment recommendations.

“This is particularly relevant in an increasingly competitive market but also during the recent Covid-19 lockdown period,” added Neelam, who currently shares her working week between independent practice and hospital optometry. Shelly’s independent practice has a base of more than 16,000 patients,


Presenter, Shelly Bansal

where 40 per cent of the overall turnover is both contact lens and fee-based related. To register and to find out more, visit

Go Eyewear

While IDRA confirms whether the cause is meiboimian gland dysfunction, TearStim uses intense regulated pulsed light technology (IRPL) to stimulate the meibomian gland into functioning properly again. A special package price is available to practitioners who purchase both pieces of equipment. Tim Precious, managing director at Essilor, commented: “Market data indicates people suffering from dry eye are increasingly seeking treatment. It’s a clear growth area and practices looking to broaden their services should consider offering a dry eye clinic to help existing patients and attract new customers through the doors.”


Eco ingredient in new capsule line

T-charge Eyewear, available from Go Eyewear, has made a major breakthrough with a capsule collection made of 100 per cent galalite. Galalite is a synthetic plastic material that’s usually manufactured by the interaction of casein (milk protein) and formaldehyde acid. The difference here is that instead of formaldehyde, eco-friendly carbossilic acid from geranium glandiflorum is used. The capsule collection has been developed and produced in Italy, and consists of six unisex styles. In addition, the cases are 100 per cent compostable.


The CooperCompanies along with, its CooperVision and CooperSurgical divisions, has been named one of Fortune’s Best Large Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production. “[This] is a testament to our outstanding employees,” said president and CEO, Albert White. “For both CooperVision and CooperSurgical, our manufacturing and

production teams are the backbone of the businesses, ensuring we produce, maintain and deliver our products around the globe.” According to Albert, being on this list is indicative of the emphasis the company puts on cooperation. He said: “Partnership is a key element of our DNA – not just with

our customers but also with our employees. During these difficult times we have heard from so many of our customers that they feel like we are an integral part of their team. For example, over the past months we had customers calling desperate for product and our teams worked night and day to get them what they needed.” Vision Now OCTOBER 2020




It’s time to start the comfort conversation. When it comes to lens comfort, your patients may not be telling you everything. 2-4 In fact, up to ½ of patients experience lens discomfort. 2 By opening up a comfort conversation with your lens wearers, you can increase patient retention and help them ditch discomfort. Trial you patients with DAILIES TOTAL1® today.


References: * Percentage of wearers agreeing with the statement “With these lenses, I sometimes forget I have them on.” 1. Perez-Gomez I, Giles T. European survey of contact lens wearers and eye care professionals on satisfaction with a new water gradient daily disposable contact lens. Clinical Optometry. 2014;6:17-23. 2. Nichols JJ, Wilcox MOP, Bron AJ, et al. TFOS International Workshop on Contact Lens Discomfort: Executive Summary. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013;54:TFOS7-TFOS13. 3. Dumbleton K, Woods CA, Jones LW, Fonn D. The impact of contemporary contact lenses on contact lens discontinuation. Eye & Contact Lens. 2013;39(1):93-99. 4. Alcon data on file, 2006. 5. Perez-Gomez I, Giles T. European survey of contact lens wearers and eye care professionals on satisfaction with a new water gradient disposable contact lens. Clin Optom. 2014;6:17-23. 6. Angelini TE, Nixon RM, Dunn AC, et al. Viscoelasticity and mesh-size at the surface of hydrogels characterized with microrheology. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013;54:E-abstract 500.

See instructions for use for complete wear, care, and safety information. © 2020 Alcon 09/20 IE-DT1-2000035


11 Silhouette

Positive Impact

Barrie Bell has joined Positive Impact (PI) as national category manager for dry eye and wholesale. He joins the company from Altacor, where he was national sales manager. PI Barrie Bell managing director, Maxine Green, commented: “Covid has been tough on a lot of good people who have found their position being made redundant and Barrie is no exception. As such Nick [Atkins] and I are delighted to be able to give him an immediate opportunity to ‘get back on the horse’.”

Also joining the company as national account manager is Adrian James, who has previously worked with Transitions and Alcon. He will help further develop the company’s contact lens Adrian James business. Adrian said: “I’ve known Maxine and Nick since my time at Transitions and admire the way they have established PI in a competitive marketplace. I’m extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with them both and help them further expand their business.”

10 ABDO, FODO, FMO The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), the Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO) and the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO) are to sell their joint London headquarters. Tony Garrett, ABDO general secretary, said: “199 [Gloucester Terrace] has been a great joint venture between the sector’s leading optical bodies, but the Covid pandemic means we are bringing forward our plans to work differently. We will all continue to work closely together as we move to new ways of working through and beyond the pandemic.” Harjit Sandhu, managing director of FODO, said: “We have had longstanding plans to work in a more agile way while representing providers across the UK and Ireland. This new operating model will allow us maximum flexibility to meet the needs of members in the years ahead, including remote working and using office space across the UK and Ireland.”

Silhouette Infinity View model 1594

The year 2020 has seen Silhouette develop its full-rim eyewear collection with four new styles – Infinity View, Lite Spirit, Momentum full-rim and SPX Illusion. has become a leader in premium rimless eyewear. There are now 30 variations in the company’s fulll-rim offering, the wheels for which were set in motion a number of years ago spearheaded by the success of its SPX Illusion collection. Optical bodies’ joint HQ to be sold

Stuart Burn, chair FMO chair, added: “With all our organisations shifting to remote working and making use of locations outside London, now is the right time to rethink the London HQ model. We will continue to work closely with ABDO and FODO and use the ABDO National Resource Centre in Birmingham, which is available for the profession to use for bigger occasions.”

Perry Moore, managing director of Silhouette UK, commented: “Since 2018, our best-selling SPX Illusion collection has evolved and now occupies a remarkable 15 per cent share of total frame sales within the UK and Ireland. Silhouette’s dedication to creating exceptional eyewear delivers exactly what the wearer needs and is an integral part of the brand’s iconic minimalism. You only have to pick up a pair of Silhouette’s glasses to experience the difference.”

12 LOCSU The Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) has published its refreshed pathway for people with learning disabilities. Developed in partnership with SeeAbility, Mencap, the Association of British Dispensing Opticians and the Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre, the pathway is intended to provide individualised care for patients with

moderate to severe learning disabilities. Those with mild learning disabilities may access GOS sight tests in the usual way, with minor reasonably adjusted support. Zoe Richmond, LOCSU interim clinical director, said: “By improving access for this population to regular and routine eyecare, there is the potential to prevent loss of

sight, help people make the best use of the vision they have and for carers and supporters to understand what the person can see. This, in turn, should improve outcomes and independence for people with learning disabilities, with the benefits seen across the local health and social care system.” Pathway documentation is available to download at Vision Now OCTOBER 2020



& Détail


MACULAR DEGENERATION Now also available for near vision with NEW E-Scoop Detail

E-Scoop Offers Improved visual acuity - E-Scoop® lenses enhance central vision, allowing your patient to recognise more detail. Faces can be recognized more often.

instantly and can wear E-Scoop® the whole day, both outdoors and indoors.

Relaxed vision - E-Scoop lenses give a restful image and viewing will become more relaxed. The sensitivity to light decreases by wearing E-Scoop®.

E-Scoop® increases independence - With the use of E-Scoop® lenses, self-reliance increases and wearers are less dependent of others. Everyday hazards such as kerbs and obstructions can be recognized.

Easy all day wear - E-Scoop® lenses can be produced in a vast range of prescriptions and fitted in a regular, full rimmed frame. Your patient will get used to the lenses

Easy to fit - With the help of the trial kit, you can test every patient with AMD to see if they benefit from E-Scoop®.


The patented E-Scoop® lens is scientifically tested. Around 15,000 people already benefited from E-Scoop®. Only available from The Lenstec Optical Group. Contact us for more information or to order a trial set or a Detail upgrade for your existing set.

Unit 8, Bedwas Business Centre Bedwas, Caerphilly CF83 8DU

17 Twyford Business Centre London Road Bishop’s Stortford Hertfordshire, CM23 3YT

1 Clayton Wood Court Leeds LS16 6QW

T: 02920 883 009 F: 02920 889 798 E:

T: 01279 653785 F: 01279 658308 E:

T: 01132 883094 F: 01132 883095 E:


BS EN ISO 13485:2016


Association of British Dispensing Opticians

Foreign body removal training

Contact lens opticians (CLOs) wishing to qualify to provide minor eye conditions services (MECS) are invited to attend one of two extended services days (ESD) being run by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) at its National Resource Centre (NRC) on 2 and 23 November. Numbers will be capped at 15 to reflect current Covid19 restrictions, and participants will be required to join an ESD lectures webinar on 15 October – and have completed their Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre online extended services course. The webinar will cover anterior chamber assessment, pupils and theory behind a Goldmann applanation tonometer (GAT) including calibration. There will also be an overview of the ESD and what to expect, as well as an opportunity for a Q&A session at the end. The practical day will consist of three workshops: anterior eye assessment; foreign body identification and removal; and contact tonometry. Max Halford, ABDO clinical lead, said: “There is a real opportunity out in the community for accredited CLOs to support the delivery of MECS and the Covid19 urgent eyecare scheme to help relieve the huge burden that the virus has placed on our colleagues within secondary care.” Find out more at or email

16 Fight for Sight Fight for Sight has published a landmark report highlighting the huge social and economic impact of sight loss in the UK. The charity has also unveiled a unique costing tool to demonstrate the current and future costs of sight loss, and how investment in eye research could benefit both individuals affected by sight loss and wider society. The Time to Focus report suggests that sight loss

14 Vision Aid Overseas Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) has ended its recycling scheme in the UK and will no longer accept used spectacles from the public, opticians and community groups. The charity said the scheme no longer raised enough money to cover its costs and help deliver eye health work in Africa. Instead, VAO plans to focus on other areas of fundraising. VAO chief executive officer, Nicola Chevis, said: “We are proud of our long history of recycling at Vision Aid Overseas. We must have recycled over 30 New focus on targeted fundraising million pairs of glasses and raised many hundreds of thousands of pounds, money which I know personally has been put to good use, funding eye health for people in Africa. We are very grateful to everyone who has helped so far by donating used glasses. But it is time to change. “Vision Aid Overseas exists only to serve those who need us. Our mission is to ensure that people living in poverty can access good quality eyecare and affordable glasses. For that we need funds and we are unapologetic about that. We do not exist to recycle glasses. Based on the many conversations we have had during this process, I am confident that the UK public, optical practices, and community groups, will understand that as a small charity, we must focus our efforts on raising funds for our programmes in lower and middle income countries to change people’s lives for the better.” Visit for FAQs about what to do next if you’ve been collecting used spectacles.

15 Norville The Progear Anti-Fog Alcohol Free Surface Gel 5g, available from Norville, provides 100 applications per tube. Each application is said to provide approximately 24 hours of protection when applied with the included Chamois application cloth, and safe to use on all lenses and MAR coatings. Norville suggests that the ideal practice option is to have the 24-piece countertop display box at the point of sale. Anti-fog posters A4 size are also available to download at Larger posters are available by contacting Norville direct.

is costing the UK economy £25.2bn a year – a figure which will rise to £33.5bn by 2050 unless more funds are directed into research. Using the new costing tool based on a review of more than 350 academic papers, the charity has shown the enormous savings that could be made by reducing the prevalence of eye conditions by just one per cent. a year could avoid costs to the UK economy of up to £3.1bn by 2030 and £9.5bn by 2050, including £1.5bn in savings

Progear anti-fog lens cleaner display set

for the NHS and social care services. The chief executive of Fight for Sight, Sherine Krause, said: “Science offers so many possibilities to transform lives and there are breakthroughs happening every day. Eye research is more important than ever in the age of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, and our report shows how investing in research upfront will actually make huge savings for the NHS and for the wider economy in the longer term.” Read the report in full at Vision Now OCTOBER 2020


New OptiExpert™ v2.0.

Not actual interface.

Smarter than ever, so you can do more. Instantly converts (virtually) any spectacle prescription into a contact lens prescription. NEW OptiExpert™ v2.0 helps make contact lens selection even easier.* Featuring a new smart prescription calculator which converts virtually any sphere, toric or multifocal spectacle prescription into a contact lens prescription. Now that’s smart.

For iPhone, iPad and Android mobile and tablet devices.

Find out more or download web app

*OptiExpert™ is an educational, reference and information tool for eye care professionals. Eye care professionals may choose to use the app in connection with their own patient evaluation but it is not intended to be relied upon for clinical decision-making. OptiExpert™ is not intended as and does not constitute medical or optometric advice nor is it intended to replace the patient evaluation performed by an eye care professional.

NEWS 17 National Eye Health Week




Follow the 20-20-20 rule to prevent your eyes feeling tired and irritated when using your computer, device or mobile phone. Look up from your screen every 20 minutes and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

for more information visit




18 College of Optometrists The College of Optometrists and Royal College of Ophthalmologists have developed a joint vision to support the delivery of safe and sustainable eyecare services in England. The three key principles of the joint vision are: balancing visual loss due to delays in appointments against the risk of acquiring Covid-19 infection; decision making about the most effective patient care being made by the appropriate clinician, supported by senior decision makers in optometry and; all pathways are underpinned by the highest standards of joint optometry and ophthalmology clinical governance. Colin Davidson, president of the College of Optometrists, said: “We see this as the start of the conversation that will allow optometrists to be recognised and enabled to do more, in line with their skills so that optometrists can routinely provide services

College president, Colin Davidson

including minor eye conditions services, CUES, glaucoma triage and pre- and postoperative cataract assessments. While this vision is for England as a starting point, our aim is to establish similar frameworks for the other nations.” Visit for more details.

Eye health digital resources available

Figures released by Eye Health UK last month to mark National Eye Health Week estimate that five million routine eye exams were missed during lockdown. The charity described the figure as “a conservative estimate”, based on trends extrapolated from seasonal GOS sight test figures from the last five years and private eye exam data. It added that reduced capacity for sight tests in optical practices, due to Covid safety measures, had meant further delays in diagnosing and treating sight-threatening eye conditions. The charity also highlighted a recent University of London study into age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which found the most common patient-related factor for delays in treating the condition was people not attributing their symptoms to the condition – because they either lacked knowledge about AMD symptoms or attributed them to another eye problem, such as needing stronger spectacles. Study participants also didn’t perceive their symptoms as urgent or important, so delayed contacting their eyecare practitioner. The charity has been working with Covid-19 Infographics to produce a series of posters with eyecare advice for BAME audiences. There will be four posters/infographics in the series, translated into more than 30 languages including Hindi, Arabic and Polish. For this and other resources information, visit

19 CORE The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) has released an infographic in 22 languages to raise awareness amongst the public worldwide of mask-released dry eye (MADE). With translation services provided by Alcon Europe, the infographic is available to download at “In less than a month from when we first described MADE in The Conversation, interest has skyrocketed,” said CORE director, Dr Lyndon Jones. “I think this outreach shows the essential role that

ocular science and optometry can play in shaping larger healthcare discussions.” Since late August, CORE’s MADE insights have been published or broadcast in more than 20 countries on six continents, with a potential audience approaching one billion people. In addition, MADE has also been the subject of feature stories in The Washington Post, The Mirror, CTV,, The National Post,, Lifehacker Japan, and nearly 200 other media outlets.

20 Go Eyewear Sunny Zagreb in Croatia was the setting for Go Eyewear’s autumn/winter 2020/21 eyewear collection catalogue shoot, showcasing its Ana Hickmann, Bulget, Jo Margot and T-Charge collections. Shot during August, despite Covid-19 restrictions, the company was able to capture the essence of the eyewear collections, which can all be viewed with one simple click via the online catalogues housed at “The results achieved have been very satisfying; moreover, we have collected many positive comments about the latest collections being deemed wonderful,” said a spokesperson from the company. Our photograph shows an example of a counter top display card for the T-Charge collection for men.

Taking charge of the situation Vision Now OCTOBER 2020





Innovation, not imitation A super breathable premium reusable lens for healthy eyes and all-day comfort even in challenging environments.

Innovative material and surface technologies MeniSilk™


Delivering a silicone hydrogel material with one of the highest levels of oxygen transmissions, optimised across the entire lens.

Creating a super smooth, low friction lens surface, with antimicrobial resistance, designed for improved comfort. 8 mul 3% 昀rst 昀ttintifocal le g n and succes s 1 0 with 0% s in lens two es. 1

Miru 1month toric with Visiostable designTM

Miru 1month multifocal with Dual Balanced Design®

The unique asymmetric vertical thin zones matches the eyelids’ natural asymmetric coverage of the cornea harnessing the natural lid force, optimising centration and preventing rotation.

Designed to work with your eyes for clear and comfortable vision near and far, Miru 1month multifocal showed good all round visual satisfaction with greater distance vision performance when compared to other monthly silicone hydrogel multifocal designs.2

If you require more information on Menicon lenses, call us on: 01604 646216 1,2

Menicon data on 昀le


22 EssilorLuxottica

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg Childhood eye cancer warning

The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) is asking eyecare practitioners to ensure that every new onset squint, even in very young children, is examined to rule out any serious underlying conditions. An online survey of 1,014 parents with children aged up to six years old, by MMR Research Worldwide in August/September 2020, found that 32 per cent of respondents thought a squint or ‘lazy eye’ was ‘definitely not’ or ‘probably not’ a symptom of childhood eye cancer. However, data gathered by CHECT from the parents of 268 children diagnosed with retinoblastoma (Rb) in the UK in 2012 to 2019, has shown that a third presented with a squint.

EssilorLuxottica and Facebook have announced a multiyear collaboration to develop the next generation of smart glasses. The announcement was made by Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook Connect, an annual conference held virtually from California. The partnership will combine Facebook apps and technologies, Luxottica’s eyewear brands and Essilor’s lens technology. The first product will be branded Ray-Ban, and is scheduled to launch in 2021. Rocco Basilico, chief wearables officer at Luxottica, added: “We are especially proud of our collaboration with Facebook, which projects an iconic brand like Ray-Ban into an increasingly digital and social future. Combining a brand that is loved and worn by millions of consumers around the globe with technology that has brought the world closer together, we can reset expectations around wearables.” Product name, specifications, software capabilities, pricing and other details will be shared closer to launch in 2021.

23 Charmant

Patrick Tonks, CHECT chief executive, said: “Retinoblastoma is a rare, aggressive eye cancer, which affects babies and children under the age of six. We know squints are not uncommon in this age group, but it is crucial that every new onset squint, even in very young children, is checked to rule out Rb. If your practice does not examine babies and small children, ensure the parents understand that urgent arrangements must be made for the child to be examined elsewhere – another optometrist or ophthalmologist who does examine young children, or their GP. If Rb cannot be ruled out, an urgent referral must be made.”

The Elle autumn/winter 2020 collection from Charmant is led by the classic décor and artistic silhouettes of Paris, ‘the city of lights’. Alluring profiles in vintage-look metal, bold TR90 or material mixes, present quality designs with ornate details. Solid and gradient hues like vivid teal, hints of reds and pink and warm golden browns have been designed to set this late-year line-up apart from the crowd.

One child a week in the UK is diagnosed with retinoblastoma, according to CHECT. For more information, visit the chariry’s website at

New Elle style EL13490 (pictured) is a fluid, softly rectangular profile featuring trendy ombre colouring on gradient brown, green and pink models. The sides feature Parisian inspired metallic details enhancing the feminine glamour of the look. It’s available in black, brown, green and pink.

Elle model EL13490 in pink

Vision Now OCTOBER 2020


In association with



01527 870 550


Developing thoughts There are many ways in which evolution is driven, both in nature and in business, writes Phil Mullins

Adapt and succeed To paraphrase Darwin, “...the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment”. This theory has been proven correct this year, beyond any doubt. In nature, species adapt to a changing climate, food sources or predators. In business, it comes down to a changing economy, customer expectations and purchasing drivers. At the point of writing this, it is difficult to say what will be happening across the country, as local lockdowns take effect, different rates of infection and death rates will all have affected every one of us and the businesses that we work in. But what can be said for certain is that 2020 has seen many changes in what we do. Most of these have been forced on us by the Covid19 pandemic, but some are as a result of an overdue need to change things up. All industries have been impacted by the rise of online sales during lockdown, including optics. More people are purchasing items from the internet than ever before. For some time, there has been a slow leak of contact lens business to the internet, which accelerated during this year, but online sales of spectacles has become a real option for many customers. This wasn’t helped by a couple of the big multiples launching online spectacles stores. So that was some of the bad news, what about the good news for independent practices across the UK? Well it would seem that just like customers have moved to the internet, patients are moving to independent practices. Many practices have reported an influx of new patients over the last few weeks, many of them spending good money. Although this could be for many reasons, anecdotally the main reasons are: “I want to see a proper optician”, “I want to support local businesses” and “I’m worried

about going into shops with lots of people”. All of which offers independent practices a great opportunity to capitalise on these new patients. It would seem that Covid-19 has given the market a good shake, and the coming months will decide on where everything settles. To make the most of the new-look optical market, we need to adapt and be willing to adapt again when things change. Already practices have adapted with the introduction of safety screens, PPE, sanitiser stations and track and trace, but what other adaptations need to be considered?

MAKE PATIENTS FEEL SPECIAL Starting with attracting patients: do you have a good website, with details of your Covid-19 precautions? Make sure your contact details are really visible; I would also have articles about you and your team. This gives your business a personal feel, which is very attractive. Online booking is becoming a must if you want to attract new patients, making it easy to book an appointment. This not only helps new patients, but your current patients. Putting the link in reminder emails and text messages means they can book easily at any time. In the practice you may be restricting the number of patients you are seeing, but as you are seeing everyone by appointment, make the most of it and make the patients feel extra special with a personal service, rather than like you’re just doing it because of Covid-19. Create better theatre in the consulting room by introducing technology such as phoropters, fundus cameras and OCT. This kit looks great and reassures patients of a fantastic examination, whilst enabling you to keep your distance and clean easily between patients. Eliminate paper by using electronic records and eGOS,

Adapt to your new business environment

once again modernising interaction whilst reducing infection risks. When moving to the dispensing area, do you have ranges that are attractive to these new patients? Could your offering do with a refresh? Many of our suppliers are already working with members to make sure they have the best ranges, with the quickest sell-through rates, so it’s well worth speaking with them to see what support they can offer. Going back to basics is now offering real benefits, so when dispensing frames, take time to take those extra measurements like LTB, head width, temple width and pantoscopic angle. You can then set the frame before collection, meaning the fit is much better. This will impress the patient and reduce time spent with the patient on collection; again reducing infection risk and wasted appointment time. It’s also something the internet cannot do. This article certainly doesn’t cover every area, but hopefully it might stimulate the grey cells and start you thinking about how you can adapt to the changing environment for continued business success. Vision Now OCTOBER 2020



Magic spell for elegant and trendy glasses



Easy Wear


Comfort Stretch

Our metal frames are equipped with the

Comfort Stretch refers to our flexible hin-

self-adjusting nose pads system Ergofeel

ges, which offers wearers greater comfort,

by Visottica. Ideal for every nose shape.

improved ergonomics and stability.




Our sunglasses are covered with a special

This minimalist, weightless full metal cons-

hydrophobic coating and 100 % RX-able.

truction is one of the latest style trends.

A brand of the Michael Pachleitner Group

Andrew Davies F.B.D.O UK Country Manager, +44 (0) 7583 076 132

Michael Pachleitner Group GmbH Liebenauer Tangente 4, 8041 Graz, Austria Online shop:


Build your new normal There’s never been a better time to build a better business, writes Andy Clark We keep hearing about the ‘new normal’, but what will the ‘new normal’ actually be like? It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to build it, and these disruptive times mean that there’s never been a better opportunity to make changes, bring in new systems and leave some of the old ones behind. We asked our clients what they’d really like to see ‘in the new normal’, and here’s some of their answers. The good news is that they’re all entirely possible, so we’ve included a short ‘to do’ list with each on how to make that goal a reality. Table 1 highlights seven ‘old normal’ vs. ‘new normal’ aspects to independent practice. We will look at each ‘new normal’ (NN) in turn, with a plan of action.

services when you have found a way of first understanding and then demonstrating the real value to them. And if you get that right…





We all know that the cost of delivering an NHS eye examination (and often a private one too) is far greater than the fee received for delivering that service. To resolve this, some of our clients have already found that it’s possible to displace the NHS by filling most of their appointment books with profitable patients and leaving the NHS patients to fill the gaps that are left.

Once you have a menu of fees, you can easily create a bespoke management plan for each patient that details: what appointments they should have; how often they should have them; and how much that will cost per annum. Then divide that number by 12 and suggest that they pay you monthly by direct debit. To sweeten the deal, you can simply say that any additional ‘emergency’ appointments will also be included at no extra cost.

To do 1. Calculate how much it costs to deliver all of your different appointment types. 2. Determine how much profit you intend to make per hour and from each appointment type. 3. Design a menu listing the options and what you will charge the patient. 4. Create the messages that inspire your patients to insist that they pay you more, to take the best possible care of them. 5. Train your team to explain this properly. Remember: what something costs you has nothing to do with how much your customer will be willing to pay you for it, and so long as it’s affordable. Price is only ever an objection in the absence of value. Your patients are more likely to spend more on superior

Table 1. Old normal vs. new normal

Some practices make this even more appealing by including a hefty discount on spectacle purchases. Our experience is that if you explain the benefits of taking the very best care of your eyes for just a few pounds a month, then you don’t have to discount the dispensing at all. Of the practices that we work with who are taking the most in eyecare direct debits, none of them offer any discounts. These practices also report the lowest scheme drop-out rates because the patients signed up to care for their eyes instead of buying a discount. To do 1. Create ongoing marketing promoting planned eyecare and monthly payments.

4. 5.



Refresh it seasonally and make it one of your core campaigns. Train all of your team to discuss it unapologetically. Stress to your resident and locum optometrists that planned eyecare is very much in their patients’ best interests when compared to limited eyecare every two years. Set a target sign-up rate of 20 per cent of adult eye exams. Create a short but carefully worded Planned Eyecare Direct Terms and Conditions document to carefully describe the contract when patients sign up. Actively keep your patients up-to-date on new advances in eyecare that are relevant to them, and the benefits of planned eyecare between appointments. Carefully look at the gross profit per patient (don’t be seduced by the sales value) of your different options. In particular, look what happens to your gross profit per patient when you take £10 a month for eyecare but then discount a £350 dispensing by 30 per cent.

NN 3: DISPENSING FOR DIFFERENT SITUATIONS I’m sure you’ll agree that for every situation there is a ‘perfect pair’ of spectacles: a perfect combination of prescription, look and lenses. Different situations therefore require different pairs of specs. Isn’t it crazy Vision Now OCTOBER 2020


Advanced Practice Management Software

Fashion’s always evolving So is our software Intuitive dashboards, intelligent reports and individual staff permissions. Optinet FLEX keeps your business at the cutting edge.

For further information and to book your no obligation, in practice demonstration, please call 0845 3130233 or email

0845 3130233


Create ongoing, seasonal marketing

then that most patients only have one decent pair of specs? To do 1. Train your optometrists and dispensing opticians to properly explore both the look and the lenses for each situation in which a patient finds themselves, and recommend different options appropriately. 2. Create a system for recommending multiple pairs, and make sure that your team understands it and uses it all the time. 3. Train and develop your team’s skills in frame styling (and that’s not just talking about face shape and skin tone). 4. Actively promote the idea to your patients that for every situation there is a perfect pair with regular marketing campaigns.

NN 4: PATIENTS WEAR SEVERAL PAIRS Maybe a minimum spectacle wardrobe is a smart pair, a casual pair and a sun pair. We have found that three essentials are happening in practices that sell the most pairs per patient. The first essential is they recommend multiple pairs (see NN 3). The second essential is that the spectacles are affordable – not cheap, not discounted but affordable. Which moves us directly to NN 5, and the third essential is NN 6.

Indirectly, you are giving your patient this option: “Why go down the road for cheap specs when you can have these fabulous ones for just £X a month?” Interest-free credit has been shown to increase conversion rates and average dispensing values in the practices that promote it properly. It also has the added benefit of appealing to younger patients who are very comfortable with paying monthly. The downside is that you either take external finance and get paid a smaller amount right away, or you fund the transaction out of your own cashflow while waiting up to a year to receive all of the profit. To do 1. Decide if you’re going to reduce your gross profit by taking external finance or slow down your cash flow by funding the transaction yourself. 2. Find a reliable provider of direct debit services; ask your practice management software provider first, as some of them have this perfectly integrated. 3. Create direct debit terms and conditions and get your lawyers to make sure you’re not breaking any Financial Conduct Authority rules. 4. Train your team to explain price by saying: “This will be just £20 a month with 12 months’ interest-free credit, or £240 if you’d rather pay it all today”.

NN 6: BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH TAILORED MESSAGES Your patients are used to, and welcome, receiving updates from suppliers whose products and services they value. These same suppliers all know that they will increase customer engagement, frequency of purchase, customer loyalty and lifetime

value by staying in regular contact with their customers. And yet in optics, an eye examination usually ends with (and I’m paraphrasing here): “Now I’m going to ignore you until I think it’s time to tell you to come back.” In this new model, recall will be just one communication out of several. To do 1. Create a general data protection regulations (GDPR) compliant ‘club’ that people will want to join instead of asking people for their email address, and then assuming this indicates GDPR compliance (it doesn’t). 2. Offer them the option to subscribe to three different lists, for example, eye health, style and special offers, so you can tailor the messages that you send them to their personal preferences. If they ever choose to unsubscribe, they will probably only leave one list rather than having to take the nuclear option of unsubscribing from everything. 3. Further filter the content by asking people how they use their eyes and eyewear. 4. Create a content calendar for a rolling three-month period, listing all of the different messages that you’ll send. 5. Write all of the messages and sort out the appropriate graphics. 6. Automate everything so you don’t have to think about it much. 7. Add additional messages as appropriate.

NN 7: PATIENTS ATTEND WHEN THEY WANT TO The days of overworking recall to fill half of your appointments book with people who have no desire to attend, pay for an eye exam, or buy new eyewear, will be gone. Patients will want to return more often and will do so because they want to. When they do turn up, they will pay a fair price for an appointment and will be keen to avail themselves of additional products and services. To do 1. All of the above If you don’t have the time, skills or knowledge to do all of the above on your own, take out a membership of the NEG Business Club with VIPx and you’ll not only find all of the tools, training and support that you need, we’ll even do a lot of it for you.

Always recommend multiple pairs

Find out how VIPx will help you build your new normal at uk/neg. Listen to a podcast of this feature at Vision Now OCTOBER 2020



EDOF: the future of contact lens design By Lynn White MSc FCOptom Extended depth of focus (EDOF) designs, developed by Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI), uniquely improve near vision by manipulating contact lens power profiles to increase the depth of focus (DOF) of the eye. This type of design delivers augmented retinal sensitivity and image quality compared to multifocal designs, thus improving patients’ visual experience at near and far. As EDOF does not utilise dedicated areas of high or low power, the design allows for flexibility in lens centration and pupil sizes, which leads to a simpler fitting routine and more consistent patient vision. Ultimately, this translates to reduced chair time and happier patients. This technology is not only excellent for early and pre-presbyopes, but it can be used to relieve visual stress without the visual compromise of multifocal designs for younger age groups. All three BHVI designs – Low, Mid and Hi – are now available in a convenient daily disposable from UltraVision in its very successful Zwitteronic material, which allows all-day comfort – even for those with dry eyes.

DEMYSTIFYING EDOF DESIGNS EDOF is a form of optical correction that is gaining ground for the correction of presbyopia, visual stress and myopia management. This article will look at demystifying the technology and showing how it can not only improve on current multifocal designs, but address unmet needs in the early and pre-presbyopic age groups. The human eye already has a built-in DOF, which is controlled by pupil size and allows us to perceive objects clearly at different distances without the need to refocus via accommodation. The smaller the pupil, the greater the DOF effect and, in bright light, we have the extra benefit of an ‘extended’ depth of focus – EDOF – combined with the enhanced contrast afforded by excellent illumination. However, we lose out under


Vision Now OCTOBER 2020

Figure 1. EDOF power profile

conditions of a large pupil and/or when the illumination is reduced. EDOF contact lenses are designed to create an improved DOF under a wide variety of pupil sizes and lighting conditions by manipulation of the power profile. In the past, spherical and chromatic aberration control has been used for this purpose and is currently used in several intraocular lens (IOL) designs. This approach aims to enhance naturally occurring aberrations in the eye to improve the eye’s own DOF but has limitations, in that ocular aberrations vary between individuals and this affects overall outcomes. EDOF designs show a rapidly changing power profile (non-monotonic) (Figure 1) that differs significantly from older bifocal or multifocal annular designs. This approach has the advantage of there being far less dependency on the position of the optic

zone relative to the pupil; as in the profile remains effective over varying pupil diameters and under conditions of lens decentration (Figure 2). When utilising bifocal, multifocal or monovision systems, some part of the image transmitted to the retina is always out of focus, depending on the object distance from the eye. With EDOF, all of the image is in focus – all of the time – for the same range of distances (Figure 3). This is the standout reason why these lenses give improved visual comfort: because the retinal image is not being compromised. This has been shown by a study of 43 presbyopic patients between the ages of 42 to 66 years where EDOF lenses improved visual performance at intermediate and near distances without degrading distance vision1. This improved visual performance was also shown with a study comparing the

Figure 2. EDOF design under varying light conditions



The EDOF Low design can also be very useful for those suffering from visual stress. One the benefits of the design is that of reducing vergence and thus phorias. Gong et al4 have shown that phorias in children are pushed into the exophoric direction using multifocal contact lenses, while Kajita et al have shown that accommodative micro-fluctuations are reduced by wearing multifocals with a low addition. 3b Anecdotally, I find that using the plano EDOF Low extremely useful for emmetropes suffering from accommodative stress due to excessive close work. Relaxing the vergence system can improve reading speed and reduce issues of refocusing from near to far. Figures 3a and b. Comparison between EDOF and bifocal/monovision contact lenses. a) Images at intermediate distances are relatively blurred; b) With EDOF, images at all distances are equally clear at all times

EDOF to a centre near multifocal design in a myopia control study2. Subjectively, this translates to consistency of vision from high to low lighting conditions and significant reduction in glare and haloes at night1.

try adjusting overall power, using ‘flippers’ or a trial frame in a natural environment rather than with the patient in the chair. Phoropter heads do not give a natural visual environment due to accommodative effects.



EDOF designs are available in three forms: Low, Mid and Hi options (Table 1), which refer to the EDOF range. It should be noted that increasing the range of EDOF tends to reduce the retinal image quality slightly. EDOF contact lenses are easy to fit without the need for complicated guides or fitting apps. It is important to record the dominant eye using the blur technique, as in cases where it is desirable to supply differing EDOF designs to each eye, the higher type is given to the dominant eye. Note that this is significantly different from multifocal designs, where the higher add is given to the non-dominant eye to reduce blurring effects.

EDOF contact lenses are ideal for early presbyopes or pre-presbyopes who engage in a high amount of ‘screen time. Research has shown that there is a large drop-off in contact lens wear in patients from 35 years of age upwards, and that there is an unmet need for contact lenses for this group3. It is difficult to get younger patients acclimatised to multifocal contact lenses because the reduction in retinal quality and overall contrast feels ‘worse’ than managing in spectacles for the short periods of time when they are needed. The EDOF Low design is a perfect way to transition contact lens wearers to presbyopic contact lens wear, and can be used for those patients with low prescriptions who have never worn contact lenses at all. Once patients feel the benefit of near vision correction at this early age, it is then much easier to keep them as contact lens and spectacle wearers.

First determine the power using the spherical or average sphere of the spectacle prescription and fit the Low, Mid or Hi version according to the spectacle add (Table 1). If near vision is insufficient, move to the next type up in both eyes. If this solves near vision issues but is uncomfortable for distance, first




Up to +1.25



+1.50 to +1.75



+2.00 to +2.50



Table 1. EDOF fitting rules

SUMMARY EDOF designs are an exciting development in contact lenses, demonstrating a real step forwards – not only for presbyopia but visual stress too. Our world is increasingly lived via digital devices and these designs reduce the need for accommodation in younger people, and allow presbyopic correction without compromising retinal image quality. The rapidly changing power profile of EDOF contact lenses simplifies fitting by reducing reliance on pupil size and lens centration, and delivers a clear, crisp retinal image in all light conditions. Availability in a daily disposable reduces chair time as you can trial different powers in one visit, and finalise the prescription in the next followup. With this new type of optics, we are seeing the future of contact lens design.

REFERENCES 1. Bakaraju RC et al. Extended depth of focus contact lenses vs. two commercial multifocals: Part 2. Visual performance after one week of lens wear. J. Optom. 2018;11(1):21-32. doi:10.1016/j.optom. 2017.04.001. 2. Sha et al. Visual performance of myopia control soft contact lenses in nonpresbyopic myopes. Clinical Optometry 2018;10:75-86. OPTO.S167297. 3. Bulpin Clair. Essential contact lens practice 1 – Insights on the UK contact lens market Optician March 2019. 5327. 4. Gong et al. Accommodation and phoria in children wearing multifocal contact lenses. Optom. Vis. Sci. 2017;94(3):353-360. doi:10.1097/OPX.0000000000001044. Lynn White is clinical director at UltraVision. Vision Now OCTOBER 2020



Nine days, one event The AIO’s virtual conference from 7 to 15 November will be a unique get-together of independents and suppliers featuring CET, an exhibition and fun online events. Christian French explains more...

Conference will be a major networking event for the sector

The origins of the Association for Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians (AIO) can be traced back to the formation of the NHS in 1948. At that time, there were great organisational difficulties and little guidance for practitioners. Against this backdrop, two dedicated optometrists – Stanley Wells and Norman Archbold – founded the forerunner of the AIO, the Optical Practitioners Standing Conference (OPSC). Their view was that optometrists – or ophthalmic opticians as they were then known – should practise professionally and ethically, and that the best way to achieve this was in independent ‘rooms practices’ with no window display or the like. Their idea was that the OPSC could gather likeminded practitioners together for an annual conference to share ideas and attend lectures, a forerunner of today’s CET. An annual conference is therefore at the core of the AIO’s DNA and there has been a conference every year since the formation of the OPSC all those years ago. So, confronted with the implications of Covid-19, and pretty much every other optical event being cancelled for 2020 post lockdown, the AIO was faced with a dilemma and a challenge. Do we try and forge on with a physical event, which would have seemed foolhardy, or do we break with tradition and the cornerstone of the Association and not hold a conference in 2020 – the very year that everyone had been planning as a defining year for optical events. There was another alternative, however, and that was to try something completely different and go ‘virtual’. And that is what we decided to do.


Vision Now OCTOBER 2020

There were many considerations. First of all, the conference could not just be a series of webinars. There have been plenty of those in the last few months and, anecdotally, quite a few people are ‘webinared out’. Equally, there would need to be the opportunity for the traditional social element of an AIO conference to be accommodated. In addition, and in order for a ‘real’ conference to be staged, we would need to attract sponsors and exhibitors to provide the financial backing we would need.

BUILDING A VIRTUAL CONFERENCE So where to start? Well, with an expert of course. So we kicked off our research with Inspired Marketing, based in Halifax, which has considerable experience in staging online events. This opened up a world of technology that we did not know existed, specifically designed for staging online conferences. From the options available, we chose the ReAttendance product for virtual events as the platform for our conference. Remarkably, the software allows us to hold a number of

sessions simultaneously, have a full exhibition area, allow delegates to network, and even to hold virtual social events. The next stage was to decide on the shape and timing of the event. Traditionally, AIO conferences commence on a Saturday, often with some social activity, and then run through Sunday and Monday; although in recent years, with so many practices being open on a Monday, the conference has been held on the Saturday and Sunday only. We considered emulating the customary weekend format online, but decided it would not take full advantage of the flexibility that the virtual conference technology offers, and wouldn’t maximise the value equation for delegates, speakers and sponsors. Taking account of the fact that most independents are now extremely busy in their practices due to the overhang of appointments stretching back through lockdown, and that appointment times have been lengthened, we decided we

Delegates will be able to ‘meet’ exhibitors online

AIO VIRTUAL CONFERENCE be involved with us once again in 2020 and will offer a range of events on vision therapy and behavioural optometry. They will also offer one-on-one sessions for those looking to differentiate their practice offering, and interested in becoming qualified to provide vision therapy services. The demand for vision therapy continues to grow and with a shortfall in the supply of these services from qualified practitioners, there are some practices that have decided to exit the NHS contract in 2020 and expand their vision therapy offering – and they have not looked back.

Log on from wherever you are

would avoid normal practice hours. This meant we needed to hold sessions over the weekend and in the evenings; and in order to deliver the range of sessions we wanted to, with the maximum of exposure time for our sponsors and exhibitors, we decided to run the conference over nine days.

BENEFITS OF EXTENDED FORMAT For delegates, extending to a nine-day format means that we can provide a wide range of CET and non-CET sessions including lectures, discussion workshops, peer review and panel sessions, and interactive debates on topical subjects such as Covid-19 and the AIO Post Covid-19 Manifesto. The objective is to provide CET covering all of the required competences for all registered practitioners: optometrists, dispensing opticians, contact lens opticians and independent prescribers. Delegates will also be able to arrange to spend more quality time with sponsors than they would at physical events. They can book one-to-one, half-hour slots in advance with any exhibitor, and for their time of choice during the conference. They can also visit exhibitors’ virtual stands at any time during the conference and arrange spontaneous one-on-one sessions with them. For sponsors, as well as the benefits of the advance appointments system, we can help them connect with practices that they would really like to engage with. There will be extensive promotion for, and with, sponsors and exhibitors in the lead up to and during the conference with Platinum sponsors being named as a ‘Sponsor of the day’. Platinum and Gold sponsors will also be able to stage CET events during the conference, and all exhibitors will benefit from the rich analytics that the exhibition software will provide. They will know who visited their stand, when they visited, what they looked at and who they engaged with. On their

stands, exhibitors can run videos and provide online brochures, which delegates can download, as well as make special offers to delegates. They can talk to delegates live at any point during the conference. For speakers, an online event allows them to pre-record lectures and presentations. While these are running during the conference, they can monitor the comments and questions that delegates are posting in a ‘chat’ area and prepare for an interactive session when the recording has finished. Delegates who wish to engage in extended conversations with speakers can move to networking ‘bubbles’ as the sessions end and continue their conversations. For interactive sessions, such as discussion workshops and peer reviews, Zoom sessions integrated into the ReAttendance technology will run allowing for full engagement with delegates.

TOPICALLY CURATED CONTENT Conference content will cover a very wide range of subjects, including the topical use of adaptive, assistive and remote technology, as well as a full clinical and business programme. A line-up of excellent speakers is being finalised, many of whom have presented at previous AIO events. These speakers have proved extremely popular – not just because of their subject matter but because of their style of presentation. There will also be a focus this year on how to bring ophthalmology and optometry closer together to provide a more joined-up approach to all aspects of eyecare. This is not just about making ophthalmologists more aware of the clinical competence of optometrists, but also looking at how the quality of referrals from optometrists can be improved to enhance the reputation of the profession. Our friends and colleagues from the British Association of Behavioural Optometrists will

There will also be interactive panel sessions with highly regarded individuals from the world of optics, as well as the regulator and other representative bodies, all considering the topical issues of the day. There is an awful lot to discuss following this very challenging and different year for the optical sector, and of paramount importance is how the sector grasps the nettle to set out a new future for optical professionals in a post Covid-19 world in 2021 and beyond.

FUN AND SURPRISES We are aiming to release the full conference programme in October, however, the one thing we may all miss a little this year is the range of trips, tours and dinners that are normally part of an AIO event. But of course, being the AIO, there will be some online entertainment on offer including quizzes, competitions and other social interaction. Just watch this space. It is our objective that the conference has a fun element to it. One other feature that will give the event a real conference feel will be the delivery of a conference delegate pack to each and every delegate’s front door in advance of the conference. This will include a physical copy of the programme, sponsors’ materials, ‘goodies’ and a few other surprises. The 2020 AIO conference will be something fresh, innovative and unique in the world of optics and will provide a great – perhaps the only – opportunity for the independent sector to come together in a year devoid of other events. And all available from your practice, your kitchen, the beach... To book your space or find out more, go to the AIO website at or email or call 0800 1300 486 and ask for Lin or Mike (calls free from mobiles as well as landlines). NEG members will receive £20 off on all non-AIO member bookings. Christian French is chairman of the AIO. Vision Now OCTOBER 2020



Why staff training is key for business success ABDO and ABDO College offer a variety of courses to support the training and development of practice teams, writes Steve Hertz

As a practice owner or manager, you’ll appreciate that there is always a need for staff training. Even at a difficult time like now, practices can find themselves with a gap and need to take on new staff. Existing staff need to remain motivated and inspired. Staff training is a great way to keep every team member engaged and learning, but it’s not always easy to find the time to develop innovative and relevant training programmes. Staff training may also have fallen by the wayside in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic; practices have had enough to contend with, and bringing all staff together face-to-face is just one more unnecessary complication. This is fine for the short term, but in the longer term you need to innovate. Many CET providers have moved their offerings online. The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) for example provided extensive CET most days of the week while members were facing lockdown and furlough, offering daytime sessions and peer discussions as well as their usual evening webinars. Think about how you can use online learning to help your staff develop: what about asking everyone to view a webinar, then having a Zoom discussion about what each team member has taken from the event?

TAKING A STRUCTURED APPROACH Developing your staff training progamme benefits from a structure approach. Start by making a list of key topics. You could include basics such as the anatomy of the eye, and an introduction to ophthalmic lenses and spectacle frames. New optical assistants (OAs) will also need to know about screening and contact lenses. It is also worth asking your team what topics


Vision Now OCTOBER 2020

they might like to discuss; this could be a new product they have read about, or a question that arose during a discussion with a patient where they had to seek further advice. You can also pick up ideas for topics from journals and CET events. Next, you need to work out who can help you deliver staff training. Running staff training can be a good development opportunity for team members, but as the practice owner you may find that the bulk of the work is down to you. Aim to delegate at least one session a month to one of your more experienced team members. Talk to company reps and ask them whether they have any good training sessions to share, in practice or remotely.

Look at all the options for staff training

You could also use the training offered by ABDO College. The College offers the new improved Optical Assistant Course, which continues to be popular in its second year. New staff can study this course online as a structured introduction to optics, while staff who have worked in optics for some time will be able to develop and broaden their knowledge through weekly modules. For support staff who need a higher level, there is also the Senior Optical Assistant course.

College allow your team to develop and bring further expertise to the practice. Talking about what they are studying in a training session can inform, inspire and motivate the team. A discussion about more ways to help people with low vision, for example, can educate OAs as to just how many people have serious sight-threatening conditions, and how best to offer help with the resources available in practice. Learning more about contact lenses will help OAs build confidence in discussing them as an option with spectacle wearers.

As your OAs move through their studies and grow in knowledge and confidence, they could work with a senior member of the team to develop a staff training session which will allow them to share what they have learned. Both courses allow staff to apply for entry to the FBDO course in ophthalmic dispensing, so you can ensure you have home grown talent supplying your patients’ needs in years to come.

So, if staff training has been on your to do list for some months, pick one of the tips in this article and make a plan. Get the team involved, look for online resources, and check out the online training from ABDO College. This will motivate and educate your staff and help your business develop. Find out more at Apply by 11 January 2021 for the next intake on the Optical Assistant Course.

The ophthalmic dispensing, low vision and contact lens courses offered by ABDO

Steve Hertz FBDO BA (Hons) is head of operations at ABDO College.


Management and leadership Nick Walsh discusses more ways to develop your team through management and leadership training in partnership with the Chartered Management Institute

While becoming a dispensing optician (DO) is the natural progression for some OAs, others may be more interested in the management side of the practice. DOs and optometrists often find themselves in a management role without any formal management and leadership training. And once you have been managing a practice for a while, you may wonder if there is a relevant course to turn your informal learning into a recognised qualification which is relevant to your everyday work. Throughout 2020, ABDO has been running management and leadership training, leading to a diploma or certificate awarded by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). This course is studied online, with different modules each month. You can choose to study three modules leading to a certificate, or opt for eight modules for the diploma. The topics for the modules have been chosen to fit with the needs of a practice manager or owner, allowing you to marry your skills in optics to modern management techniques. Course tutor, Steve Bellamy, says: “Every ABDO student so far has taken something away from every topic and is looking to implement a positive change at work. For me, this is what learning is all about.” Choosing a management and leadership course allows you to: • Put newly learned skills and tools into practice • Improve your management style • Make better business decisions • Combine work with study via 100 per cent online learning • Receive excellent tutor support • Receive excellent learning resources As mentioned above, training is accredited by the by the CMI, and all students receive membership of the Institute while they study. This provides access to CMI support and materials, including the excellent ManagementDirect portal. An easy payment plan is available to spread the cost over time.

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE Dispensing optician, Darrin Bransgrove, has been qualified for 33 years, but is still learning plenty from the course. He says: “I had been thinking about further education within optics for some time and although I have been running practices for many years, I saw the management and leadership course as a more formal qualification that would put me in a better position for future roles. Hence, I decided to sign up to this course, and as a way of self-improvement. “The skills, knowledge and behaviours I’ve learnt are vast in the space of two months or so. In the first unit, I learned the principles of successful management, many of the theoretical models and how they are used in practice, and the importance of leaders learning coaching and mentoring within appraisals. “The second unit focused on performance management,” continues Darrin, “which highlights the importance of aligning organisational goals with those of employees to create a harmonious and successful environment. What I’m looking forward to is looking at developing new revenue streams utilising various models, developing a dedicated learning structure for optical assistants and suggesting better usage of KPIs. I’m enjoying learning the actual principles of management and leadership and seeing how I can improve within practice.” Mark Turner is ABDO College senior technician. He says: “I don’t have a management qualification, despite having done management roles in the past, so I am delighted to be working towards this. I never realised there are so many tools and theories, which can help you in developing, managing and leading individuals, such as setting SMART objectives, SWOT analysis, psychological contract and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to name a few. It has also highlighted to me the importance of informal and formal processes along with organisational and legal frameworks.”

Look at all the options for staff training

Mark continues: “It is always a great feeling when you have learnt something new. I enjoyed doing the personality tests. The feedback highlights one’s own strengths and weaknesses. The results added some fun into the learning. The distance learning method is useful whilst you need to work, especially when you have a family to support. “The tutoring has been very productive, providing help. The tutors will check, guide and give constructive feedback on your work. I’d absolutely recommend this course to others. I’d advise always to try and stretch yourself a little, this course offers just that – and will be useful to anyone who is already in a similar role or looking to further their career in coaching, management or owning a business,” adds Mark. In a survey of management and leadership students who replied to questions about their first modules, 100 per cent of students reported that they found the course to be relevant and good value for money. They said tutors were easy to contact and quick to reply with the requested information; and they would recommend the course to others. Make time for your – and your team members’ – personal development and gain management and leadership skills as a recognised qualification. To find out more about the course, visit Applications are due in by 1 December 2020 for a January 2021 start. Nick Walsh FBDO is ABDO sector skills development officer. Vision Now OCTOBER 2020



Creative colours subtle and spirited

By Joan Grady

“I prefer living in colour,” Steeplechase by Lower Case NYC: cheerful canary yellow

“We all need more colour in our lives,” says Jeremy Tarian, as he unveils his latest frame designs that vibrate with colour vitality. The Parisian creator infuses his frames with light and colour, his criteria for eyewear. Indeed, studies and colour therapists repeatedly confirm that colour brightens up our lives.

Graceful contours: Perspective Folio by Götti Switzerland in Berry with Gold

A streak of crimson at sunrise, Wedgewood blue skies, turquoise waters, a multi-coloured Gouldian Finch or a purple Starflower, usually generate a positive, powerful reaction in the viewer. Eyewear designers, like painters, enjoy colour experimentations in their frames. The enticing results offer many unexpected tonal combinations that range from mellow to vivid, and this season there are stunning examples.

and attention to detail, and Sven Götti at Götti Switzerland embraces these qualities in his sleek, streamlined eyewear. The latest designs from Perspective Folio capture the contemporary union of Sandvic stainless steel temples and 3D printed fronts. Graceful, strong and ultra-slim contours enhance the design that includes an innovative screwless system. The frames possess complete authenticity and are crafted in Götti’s Swiss factories. The colours are stunning: temples are available in black, gold and silver, and the frame front choices include a rich, delectable Berry tone, Mossy green evoking the countryside, creamy Mocca, deep Ruby, Slate and Sand among others. Skilled artisans who mastered their various crafts can be traced to ancient Egypt. Twentyfirst century artisans hold dear the concept of creating objects that are handcrafted with exemplary results, albeit nowadays, the tools are more modern and less dangerous. Gerard Masci and the Lower Case NYC team unite the newest technology with traditional craftsmanship in their Brooklyn atelier to create eyewear of the highest standard. The energy of New York filters into the designs,

COLOUR, PRECISION AND TECHNOLOGY Significant characteristics and the culture of different countries contribute to eyewear variety. Switzerland is praised for its precision


Vision Now OCTOBER 2020

Mantova by Jeremy Tarian offering a burst of dazzling turquoise

David Hockney

and animated colours capture the bubbly ambience of the city. A sensual cat-eye frame – Steeplechase – in Canary Yellow will brighten the wearer’s day and morale.

NATURE’S CONTRIBUTIONS Nature: the sea, plants and flowers; animals large and small; sunshine and the sky; all provide ample inspiration for incredibly beautiful colours. Painters have always been awed with the intense variety of colours that Nature provides. La Eyeworks in Southern California was amongst the pioneers that inculcated bright, bold colours in eyewear. Their experimental compositions with colour launched their brand on the global platform with international fans. Recent additions to the La Eyeworks collection includes the dramatic Jersey Mac in glistening Dragon Green, an intrepid shape in a colour that is both audacious and authentic.

Jersey Mac by La Eyeworks in dramatic Dragon Green

STYLE SPOTLIGHT artistically reflected in frames that wed patterns and light. Anne is among the new designs with lyrical contours in diverse shapes. Each frame is the union of craft and art, and represents the Danish company’s vision for modern designs crafted to last – as have the Thorvaldsen sculptures, which can be discovered in the Copenhagen Museum, plus statues in Warsaw, the Vatican and Munich.

Gala by Lafont Paris in bold blue

Paris is frequently the impetus for eyewear creations by Jeremy Tarian. However, he is also influenced by his visits to Corsica just off the French mainland, where the sea provides a constant visual display of nature’s glorious possibilities. The designer describes the Dolce series, that includes Mantova in dazzling turquoise, as “a collection that loves colours, bursts of light for a pop parenthesis, and a subtle combination of bi-colour acetate for men and women”. Glossy, shimmering acetate is beautifully silhouetted in Gala, which is among the latest designs launched by Lafont Paris. Designer Thomas Lafont infiltrates the collection with striking solid tones, and unexpected colour partnerships. The Parisian label’s experimentation with colour is part of the company’s stylish history, with unique colourations an integral part of designs for men, women and children.

PURPLE PASSION Royalty, peace, magic, nobility and luxury are all linked to the colour purple. European royalty frequently wear purple, and it is a colour also connected to dignity and devotion. Erkers Eyewear in the USA celebrates purple with a sensually sculpted cat-eye frame and a fashionable edginess. The luminous acetate in McGuire is expertly silhouetted by the familyowned brand that has been creating beautiful eyewear, with comfort and durability, for more than 140 years.

Upbeat colourations in Cocoa Mint frames by Eyespace

Award-winning British brand Eyespace has launched perky, upbeat colours in the newest Cocoa Mint designs. Style CM9110 in Confetti patterns – tones of purple, red and mint – is in glossy acetate and blends harmoniously with contemporary, curvaceous styling.

SUBTLE SYMMETRY Merging unexpected colourations is an art form at JF Rey in France. Perhaps the sunkissed location on the Côte d’Azur, surrounded by the sea and plentiful natural light, stimulates colour potential, which is then composed in JF Rey’s assertive designs. The subtle interaction in Olga from the Volte Face collection is a perfect alchemy of elegance and geometry. A dash of burnt orange on the brow is reminiscent of a Côte d’Azur sunset. Art Deco influences exhibit an airy grace with a decisively modern assurance and lightness.

Stylish demeanour: Ana Hickmann at Go Eyewear Group

STATEMENT COLOURS Assertive and energetic, variations on red are associated with power, courage, romance and strength. A highly visible colour, red is also connected to celebration and fun. Ana Hickmann designs, distributed by the Go Eyewear Group, convey a stylish demeanour in a beaming, glamorous red frame that will also inject a bright boost for autumn/winter clothing and spirit. Among the many creative characteristics in Caroline Abram’s eyewear is her fresh and clever colour originality. She is also a specialist in crafting sleek, very feminine cat-eye frames. Dear features voluminous, striking curves with uncluttered charm and finesse. In these changing and challenging times, independent opticians can capitalise on the variety, beauty and desirability of colourful eyewear, and their customers can experience these exciting and beautiful palettes with colour power.

Elegance and geometry: Olga from Volte Face by JF Rey

McGuire by Erkers Eyewear in regal purple

The Thorvaldsens Museum in Denmark inspires the latest Fleye collection – Elements of Art. The museum was constructed to exhibit the work of the renowned sculptor Bertel Thorvaldssen (1770-1844) and his finesse with Anne from the Elements of Art collection by Fleye Copenhagen marble is

Cat-eye charm: Dear by Caroline Abram Vision Now OCTOBER 2020




Preferred Suppliers’ Directory

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 Directory listings are available free of charge to all preferred suppliers, with a larger listing available to Vision Now Advertisers. To make changes to the directory listings, please call Sally Spicer on 01580 713698 or email



Tel: 0121 7723888 Fax: 0808 2801865

Tel: 01923 249491


HEIDELBERG ENGINEERING Tel: 01442 502 330 Fax: 01442 242 386




OPTICAL CENTRE SUPPLIES LTD Tel: 01923 239267 Fax: 01923 253951

Tel: 01388 420420 Fax: 01388 810101

Tel: 0116 251 8936 Fax: 0116 262 4205

Tel: 01628 605433 Fax: 01628 665077


Tel: 02920 362 136 Fax: 02920 362 137


Tel: 020 8992 9222 Fax: 020 8896 0287





Tel: 01527 870550 Fax: 01527 837012

Tel: 0845 330 0984 Fax: 0845 330 0977

Tel: 0151 426 3907 Fax: 0151 426 9340

Tel: 0800 056 5569

BAUSCH + LOMB Tel: 020 8781 2900



Tel: 01438 740823

Tel: 0870 9000 055




Tel: 01454 281281 Fax: 01454 281282

Tel: 0800 591150

GO EYEWEAR UK LTD Tel: 0800 9178270

INTERNATIONAL EYEWEAR LTD Tel: 0121 585 6565 Fax: 0121 585 0954

A refreshing perspective To help you enhance your contact lens practice, CooperVision offers an extensive product range designed to meet the needs of even more of your patients.

For more information 0870 9000 055* COMING SOON

©2020 Alcon Inc


Vision Now OCTOBER 2020

*Calls cost 2p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

T 01527 870550

01580 713698

ALCON UK Tel: 0371 376 0017 Fax: 0871 351 1005



(FORMERLY DAVID THOMAS) Tel: 01604 646216 Fax: 01604 790366

Tel: 02920 883009 Fax: 02920 889798


Tel: 07583 076 132

LLOYDS BANK Tel: 07780 338656

LOUIS STONE OPTICAL LTD Tel: 029 2073 5293 Fax: 029 2073 1446




Tel: 0115 989 9772

Tel: 01732 375975



Tel: 01884 266130

Tel: 01865 714620



Tel: 01132 883094 Fax: 01132 883095

Tel: 01279 653785 Fax: 01279 658308



Tel: 01452 510321

Tel: 01332 295001 Fax: 01332 295158

Tel: 024 7601 0103


Tel: 01424 850620 Fax: 01424 850650



Tel: 01474 325555


Tel: 01686 627595 Fax: 01696 610015


Tel: 01452 610033 Fax: 01452 638250



Tel: 0161 773 5555 Fax: 0161 773 5544

MARK’ENNOVY Tel: 0800 3280610 Fax: 0800 3280649

PERFORMANCE FINANCE Tel: 01536 529696 Fax: 01536 310033

POSITIVE IMPACT Tel: 08446 696907

THEA PHARMACEUTICALS Tel: 0845 521 1290 Fax: 01782 717 944

Tel: 0845 313 0233

Tel: 0800 72 2020

Tel: 0808 165 8555





Tel: 01525 381112 Fax: 01525 370091

Tel: 020 8987 8899 Fax: 020 8987 2430

SPEC-CARE LTD Tel: 01392 460806

WEBPOST Tel: 0800 074 2425

XACT Tel: 01698 574 655

Suppliers’ directory

LENSTEC EYEWEAR Tel: 02920 857122 Fax: 02920 920480

Open your eyes to



Love Your OCT. Guaranteed.

Andrew Davies F.B.D.O UK Country Manager +44 (0) 7583 076 132

0845 3130233

Vision Now OCTOBER 2020


A brand of the Michael Pachleitner Group

Andrew Davies F.B.D.O UK Country Manager, +44 (0) 7583 076 132

Michael Pachleitner Group GmbH Liebenauer Tangente 4, 8041 Graz, Austria Online shop:

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.