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Vision Now magazine


OFFER A TRIAL TO YOUNGER PATIENTS AND BUILD YOUR PRACTICE With DAILIES® AquaComfort PLUS® and AIR OPTIX® plus HydraGlyde ® contact lenses they’ll feel like they can do anything1,2 See instructions for use for complete wear, care and safety information. 1.Wolffsohn JS, Hunt OA, Chowdhury A. Objective clinical performance of ‘comfort-enhanced’ daily disposable soft contact lenses. Contact Lens Anterior Eye. 2010:33(2):88-92.2. 2. Davis R, Eiden B. Changes in comfort and vision during weeks 3 and 4 monthly replacement silicone hydrogel contact lenses. American Academy of Optometry 2012; E-abstract 125401. DAILIES AquaComfort PLUS, AIR OPTIX plus HydraGlyde, Alcon and the Alcon logo are trademarks of Novartis AG. 12891 © 2018 Novartis GB/VC/VCG/07/18/0106

Balancing Eyecare & Eyewear NEG MEMBER EARLY BIRD










EXCITING NEW ROADSHOW FORMAT 22 OCTOBER LONDON | 29 OCTOBER COVENTRY | 30 OCTOBER BOLTON High street optics has long battled with balancing the clinical and retail elements of running a profitable practice. Recent MECS vs. Specs debates have reenergised these long-standing deliberations. Always topical, this will be the focus of this year’s joint conference programme – only we prefer to refer to this balancing act as Eyecare versus Eyewear...

For more details and to book visit TITLE SPONSORS







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

CET consultation responses invited New team to head up Heidelberg ‘Driving blind’ campaign launched Thealoz Duo to hit TV screens Toric lens parameters extended NEG supports low vision roadshows

15 An independent view No such thing as a free lunch

18 Promotional feature

Editor’s comment Welcome back to Vision Now after a scorching summer break. At the time of writing, the Met Office was predicting the dry, warm and settled weather to continue well into October, which is good news for getting out and about. However, if bookings and sales have been down over the past few months, perhaps due to the heatwave effect, you might be looking for new strategies to make up for a dip in revenues. Well, look no further than the combined NEG and Independents Day roadshow, which kicks off in London next month.

Spectralis Spirit essentials

21 iDay/NEG conference What happens on tour…

29 Contact lenses Power of collaboration

30 Training Training for a fitter business

32 Style Spotlight Spectacular castles, culture – and eyewear

34 Suppliers’ directory


With well-known marketing expert, Andy Clark, confirmed as the keynote speaker – supported by a trio of leading independent practitioners – this year’s refreshed programme will bring a host of insights, innovations and take-home tools to help you devise new plans to build and protect your practice business in the short and longer-term. We have a special four-page preview of the programme, including sponsor-led CET workshops, and the iShow where suppliers can discuss your individual product and service requirements. Elsewhere this month we hear from the Association of British Dispensing Opticians’ (ABDO) Nick Walsh how staff training and development should form a key part of your business planning. As Nick says: “Well trained and engaged teams bring value to organisations, customers and business.” We also have a report on the inaugural Specialist Club event, bringing together contact lens practitioners with a focus on specialist and niche lenses. There’s been plenty of campaigning by groups and organisations over the summer, which you can read about in the News section, and some great product launches too. Completing the line-up is a delightful feature by Joan Grady on the castles, culture and eyewear of the Loire Valley; so, if you’re still in holiday mode, it’s the perfect finale to this month’s issue. Nicky Collinson


Nicky Collinson BA (Hons)


Editorial PA

Sharon Hicks

Fashion Editor

Joan Grady

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 materialfor publication is not a guarantee that it will be included in any particular issue. Copyright © 2018 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.

Business Editor Phillip Mullins FBDO Design and Production

Rosslyn Argent BA (Hons)


Michael C Wheeler FCOptom DipCLP FSMC FAAO 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 SEPTEMBER 2018




Association of Optometrists

General Optical Council

Practitioners have until 11 September to respond to the General Optical Council’s (GOC) consultation on CET, the current cycle of which ends on 31 December. The consultation seeks views on how the GOC can help practitioners develop new skills on a continuing basis, and comes in response to increasing demand for eye health services and advancements in technology that are changing the optical sector. Alistair Bridge, GOC director of strategy, said: “The existing system of continuing education and training has up to now been effective in safeguarding the health of the public, but as the optical sector changes it needs to evolve to support practitioners in maintaining high standards of patient care. We want to use the current system as a foundation upon which to build new elements that help the sector move with the times.” Participation in the Fit for the Future consultation is at https://consultation. The findings will be used to shape the new CET system starting in 2020 following a transition year in 2019 when registrants will be expected to achieve 12 CET points, six of which will be interactive.



CooperVision believes that its recently released report, ‘1-day silicone hydrogel contact lens report: does professional practice align with consumer expectations?’, illustrates a “substantial opportunity for the continued adoption of one-day silicone hydrogel contact lenses, directly addressing common misperceptions held by eyecare professionals [ECPs] and revealing self-created gaps when compared to patients’ needs”. The report found that 68 per cent of consumers expected their ECP to recommend the healthiest option regardless of cost, and 75 per cent of consumers were likely to follow the advice of their ECP no matter the cost.


Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018

School children missing out, says AOP report

A report released by the Association of Optometrists (AOP) last month, revealing that 52 per cent of parents with school age children thought their child would have a full sight test at primary school, gained widespread coverage in the national media – after it was provided to the BBC as an ‘exclusive’. The study also showed that 74 per cent of optometrists had seen children in the past year who had vision problems that could have been treated more successfully if they had been diagnosed at an earlier age. Twenty-four per cent of four to 16-year-olds had never been taken for a sight test by their parents. Optometrist and AOP clinical advisor, Farah Topia, said: “The AOP’s research demonstrates that unfortunately there is a huge gap between what most parents think is provided, and the eye health care that children actually receive at school, through vision screening. Many parents also don’t realise that there is a window of opportunity to treat certain eye conditions which is why many practitioners are seeing children come in, with a condition that could have been treated much more effectively, had they been seen earlier.” The AOP A B See campaign recommends parents take their children for an NHS-funded sight test, at their local opticians, every two years, or more often if their optometrist recommends it.

“Comparing the ECP and consumer responses shows disparities between what patients want and what is often prescribed in practice,” said Gary Orsborn, vice president of global clinical and professional affairs, CooperVision. “We found ECPs’ reluctance to recommend a one-day silicone hydrogel lens is often because of misunderstandings about cost, allergy and comfort – self-imposed barriers to adoption that run counter to the data.” The report is based on proprietary research among more than 450 ECPs and 1,500 consumers in Japan, the UK and US, investigating their attitudes, beliefs and behaviours, and can be downloaded at

Report reveals misperceptions

Daily health habits.

clariti® 1 day contact lenses. Highly breathable daily disposables, with UV protection.* We believe in healthy eyes for everyone. CooperVision® clariti® 1 day is the affordable1 family of silicone hydrogel daily disposable lenses available in sphere, toric and multifocal. Make clariti® 1 day part of your patients’ daily health routine. *. Warning: 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. Patients should continue to use UV-absorbing eyewear as directed. 1. Based on CooperVision® recommended retail price. Retail price is solely at the discretion of the retailer at all times, the above is not meant to influence the price any retailer charges. clariti® is a registered trademark of The Cooper Companies Inc. and its subsidiaries. © CooperVision 2018.


My way.











It’s up to you.

Try before you buy! Heidelberg Engineering offer an 18 month, no obligation, rental scheme, offering peace of mind so you can get started right away.

Call 01442 502330 today to choose the SPECTRALIS that is right for you, your practice and your patients.

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No7 Contact Lenses


Lenstec Optical Group

Grown-up kids’ collection

Kristina Mihic

City University’s Division of Optometry & Visual Science has taken on a PhD student to look at designing an ortho-k lens specifically to maximise myopia control, as well as correcting vision. Jointly funded by No7 Contact Lenses, which will have the option to manufacture any new designs, the student is optometrist Kristina Mihic.

The Street Kids collection from Pennine Optical, now part of the Lenstec Optical Group, offers a rainbow of cheerful and eye-catching colours, ranging through electric blues, pinks, greens, oranges, yellows, reds, turquoise and purples, to help attract young spectacle wearers. With their grown-up look and feel, Street Kids frames come in sizes and colours designed to suit boys and girls aged from five to 12 years old. All 14 styles come with a two-year manufacturing warranty in sizes 44-49/16. Metal, acetate and TR90 styles are included with some featuring flex joints, 180˚ spring joints and silicone nose pads.


Heidelberg Engineering

With a specialist interest in this field, Kristina joins from the University of Velika Gorica in Croatia. She said: “We know that wearing ortho-k lenses slows the rate of myopia progression. We are looking at the best means of ensuring the most successful outcomes for patients in the long term.” No7 will work closely with Kristina on all aspects of design.



As members will be aware, the Opticians Act 1989 directs that a person involved in the fitting of contact lenses must provide patients with instructions and information on the wear, care, treatment, cleaning and maintenance of their lenses. To help practitioners comply with their obligations, Alcon has launched updated versions of patient-targeted ‘Instructions for use’ leaflets for its contact lenses via the MyAlcon portal, Available in PDF format, they can be easily printed for handing out to patients in the practice, or emailed direct with practice communications.

Kenny Boyle and Tosh Vadhia

Heidelberg Engineering UK has announced a new leadership team to drive the company into the next decade. UK director, Krysten Williams, is moving to Germany to become head of global marketing and education, while Tosh Vadhia, head of sales, is now general manager UK. Kenny Boyle, national accounts manager, has been promoted to national sales manager. Both Tosh and Kenny have been with the company from its start in 2011. Chris Mody continues as director of clinical affairs, Emily Malbon as marketing manager, Phill Ennion as head of technical support, and Ruth Hatt as finance and HR manager. Krysten praised the UK team: “I have been honoured to work with this team for more than five years and they are amazing individually and collectively. We have raised the standard of education for diagnostic imaging in ophthalmology and optometry, and significantly increased access to imaging technology that facilitates early diagnosis and prompt treatment of sight-threatening disease. I am confident that this team is ready to lead forward and continue the success we have worked so hard to achieve together.” Tosh added: “We are all looking forward to taking Heidelberg Engineering UK to the next level, while continuing to nurture our core values.” Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018



British Contact Lens Association


Dunelm Optical

Freya model Zoe in Ebony and Poppy Alex Shortt

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) will mark the 25th anniversary of the Medical Contact Lens and Ocular Surface Association (MCLOSA) by teaming up to present a joint programme at the BCLA Visionaries conference in London on 30 November. BCLA president, Professor Sunil Shah, said: “A joint conference with MCLOSA, which I hope will be the first of many, will allow the multidisciplinary group that forms the BCLA to interact with the MCLOSA members to the benefit of both groups and hence ultimately the clinical care that is provided.” MCLOSA president, Alex Shortt, added: “The modern management of patients with dry eye, corneal and ocular surface diseases requires expert input from both optometrists and ophthalmologists. Both groups of professionals require highly specialised skill sets to achieve the best outcomes for patients. It is the 25th Anniversary of MCLOSA this year and collaborating with the BCLA is the perfect way to mark the milestone.” Further details will be released via

11 Essilor

A new national campaign to stop UK motorists ‘driving blind’ has been launched by Essilor, with support from the Association of Optometrists, Association of British Dispensing Opticians, International Opticians Association, GEM Motoring Assist, individual independent opticians, MPs and activists. Campaign spokesman Nigel Corbett from

Dunelm Optical has launched a new “aspirational yet affordable” eyewear collection for women called Freya. There are 22 frames in the collection, available in three colours. The frames are lightweight, durable and made from the finest materials, said the company, including Mazzucchelli acetate. All styles come with a lipstick red gloss case, embossed with the Freya logo and with a contrasting black velveteen interior, and a luxury branded cloth. Stockists can take advantage of a discount when ordering all-in glazed and free merchandise materials including display stand, poster, showcard and logo block. Product development director for Dunelm Optical, Oliver Beaumont, said: “Our market research has shown there was a gap in the independent optical market for everyday, contemporary and flattering adult female eyewear. The Freya collection brings affordable designer eyewear that oozes femininity, style, luxury and finesse. We are confident that the Freya brand will become an unforgettable name amongst today's modern women.”

10 Rodenstock Greg Barbour has taken over as country manager at Rodenstock UK, following the decision of Niels Jensen to return to Scandinavia. With more than 25 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and optics industry in the UK, during which he worked in different sales functions, Greg had worked with Allegan UK since 2006. There he was most recently responsible for the positioning of the biggest business unit in Allergan UK as eyecare business unit director. Greg Barbour

Essilor and the professional bodies are rallying optical professionals to support the campaign by signing the petition at https://petition. and encouraging colleagues, patients and MPs to do the same. Nigel Corbett will present the Road Safety Starts with Good Vision Manifesto this winter in the House of Commons, calling for new legislation. This would require drivers to have their sight tested in optical practices before their driving test and at every licence renewal application up to the age of 70 and then every three years, with test results supplied with licence renewal paperwork. Nigel said: “We need social media support, and we will share blogs and messages of support so email or call us for quick and easy ways to help. We have posters and petition copies that can be used in practices which most patients will sign, but even if each optical professional signs it, we are half way to our target.” Follow the campaign on Twitter and Facebook @DrivingBlindUK * Mike Kirkley has retired as managing director of Essilor UK after 35 years with the company. Regional vice president at Essilor, Peter Smith, said: “Mike’s passion for supporting the independent channel was his hallmark. He ensured they were at the heart of every product, every process and every investment the business made. The legacy of supporting independents continues today and this strategy will remain into the future. Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018


NEWS 12 Go Eyewear

14 CooperVision

One frame, two style options

The Ana Hickmann eyewear collection for this autumn/winter is now available from Go Eyewear. Dedicated to women “and their natural elegance”, the collection is characterised by what the company describes as “particularly elegant shapes, perfect fitting and beautiful colour combinations in the Duo-Fashion (collection DNA)”. Duo-Fashion is a system developed specifically for the temple allowing a rotational movement, and revealing colour and/or surprising material combinations. It’s a system that allows two looks in one single frame. Our photograph shows model AH1368, a full-rim, round metal style available in five elegant colours offering different combinations for the Duo-fashion temples.

13 Vision Aid Overseas

Invitation to raise funds

Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) is asking all optical practices in the UK to join in the celebrations for World Sight Day on Thursday 11 October by organising their very own Big World Sight Day Lunch. What’s more, Freedom Destinations, one of the UK’s largest independent holiday companies, will double every donation up to the first £5,000 raised through the campaign. “The Big World Sight Day Lunch is a really simple way to get everyone together and involved in supporting access to eyecare everywhere,” said Andy Holliday, VAO director of fundraising and communications. “We will provide you with a ‘lunch box’ full of useful materials such as bunting, invites and balloons that you can use to promote your event to your patients, family and friends. To receive your lunch box, why not kickstart your fundraising today by donating £5, the cost of an eye test and pair of glasses?” Find out more or donate at

Neil Retallic

CooperVision has appointed optometrist, Neil Retallic, as professional services manager, covering for Krupa Patel whilst she is on maternity leave. Neil joins the company with 15 years’ experience from his time at Vision Express, where he was most recently professional learning and development manager, alongside 10 years of teaching experience at the University of Manchester. In other moves, contact lens optician Samantha Armstrong is now professional services consultant for the North of England and Scotland; Sarah Weston has become senior marketing manager, moving across from her previous role as European marketing manager for daily disposable lenses; while Lara Drury is now responsible for activities to help grow the contact lens market. CooperVision head of marketing and professional services, Mark Draper, said: “These new appointments reinforce our commitment to continually investing in our people and growing our team in order to provide practitioners with a trusted and knowledgeable service. All of our recruits bring a wealth of experience to their new roles, gained both internally and externally, and I am delighted to welcome them all to the team.”

15 Thea Pharmaceuticals A television campaign for Thealoz Duo will be hitting screens across the ITV central TV region this autumn. Running from 17 September to 14 October, with a combination of daytime and peak airtime, the advert will reach up to eight million

individuals. The 20-second advert will focus on the symptoms dry eye sufferers are likely to encounter, highlighting how Thealoz Duo offers a unique combination of ingredients that are clinically proven to relieve these symptoms, without the

need for preservatives. The company is urging practices to ensure they are wellstocked for the campaign. Orders can be placed via Thea representatives or via Mid-Optic. Point-of-sale material is also available. Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018


Saskia wears STS-30022

NEWS 16 Bausch + Lomb

18 100% Optical

Parameter extension

Bausch + Lomb has extended the parameters of Biotrue ONEday for Astigmatism, its bioinspired material which contains 78 per cent water, with the addition of a -2.25 cyl. Similar to other Biotrue lenses, Biotrue ONEday for Astigmatism utilises Surface Active Technology. This technology uses hydrophilic polyvinylpyrrilidone, a ‘water loving’ molecule, and poloxamer 407, a surface active macromer, to form a dehydration barrier that helps the lens maintain 98 per cent of its moisture for up to 16 hours, said the company. Amy Rothwell, Bausch + Lomb business unit head UK and Ireland, vision care, said: “At Bausch + Lomb we are very proud of our innovative Biotrue ONEday lens range, which uses naturally inspired technology developed with patients in mind. We are delighted that practitioners will now be able to fit a larger number of patients with Biotrue ONEday for Astigmatism, providing these patients with consistently clear vision and comfort throughout the day.”

17 Silhouette

Eco-friendly Eva

Stylish eco-friendly eyewear brand, Neubau, has welcomed two new models to the collection: Adam and Eva. Crafted from Neubau’s signature natural PX material, the frames also introduce a unique style of hinge. Adam is part of a new creation of shapes called Squanto – a panto shape with a slightly angular outline designed to capture the essence of men’s fashion in the 1920s. A unisex model, Adam is available in four colours from a cool denim blue to a caramel tortoise pattern. The cat-eye arch of Eva makes a subtle yet eye-catching statement, especially in striking brick red, caramel tortoise and ivy green matte finishes. Eva also offers a silky black finish for more traditional spectacle wearers. Adam and Eva are made from natural PX, the sustainable material derived from the oil of a ricin plant. The styles are fitted with the brand’s logo integrated onto the hinges, which can only be seen once folded, for a surprise design element. The spectacle cases are made from a cellulose material without the use of harmful glues, and the cleaning cloths are crafted from recycled plastic bottles – all of which is packaged together using zero plastic components.

New initiatives for 100% Optical 2019

Registration is now open for 100% Optical 2019, being held slightly earlier next year from 12-14 January. “Our one stop show offers visitors a journey of discovery by showcasing the biggest ever collection of brands and suppliers under one roof, alongside the opportunity to gain invaluable CET points as part of a world class education programme,” said event director, Nathan Garnett. New for 2019 is an Eyewear Week initiative running from 7-13 January, where 100% Optical aims to generate public awareness around eyewear trends and technology by highlighting the latest designs from established brands and up-and-coming designers. Also new will be the British Academy of Audiology (BAA) becoming an official partner and putting together an education seminar programme for the Audiology hub, alongside the Association of Optometrists. Register and find out more at

19 Heidelberg Engineering UK practitioners are being urged to book now for its optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging conference which takes place in Germany in October. The 16th International Spectralis Symposium (ISS) will be held from 12 to 13 October in a landmark building important to German history, the former Plenary Chamber of Germany's Parliament in Bonn. It will provide a broad overview of research and clinical applications supported by the Spectralis product family, with a social evening event for delegates on the Friday evening. Book via Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018





NEWS 20 Essilor The Bolon Eyewear collection has been bolstered with 35 new lines and continued brand building and marketing campaigns starring brand ambassadors, Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway and American supermodel Hailey Baldwin. Designed for the UK independent market with an exclusive range of 78 sunwear and optical models, the optical collection features four new round models in multiple colours including a full titanium double bridge style, BJ1309. Bolon frames are designed in Italy and manufactured using high quality materials like Italian Mazzucchelli acetate, but are sold at an affordable above-mid-range price, so independents can offer premium, stylish sunglasses to more customers at a great price as well as the prescription eyewear, said Essilor. The two brand ambassadors are projecting the brand in point-of-sale materials, window visuals, frame display units, brochures and out-of-home advertising packages.

Hailey Baldwin models Bolon sunwear

21 Visualise Training NEG has announced its sponsorship of the latest round of ‘Seeing beyond the eyes’ CET workshops, being run across the country by Daniel Williams and the Visualise Training and Consultancy team. The free workshops form part of the organisation’s UK-wide mission to get low vision higher up the agenda by bringing the optical and sight loss sectors together for the benefit of patients embarking on their new journey. More than 900 professionals have already attended one of 17 workshops to date. Daniel said: “Our findings show a staggering 96 per cent of [delegates] will now refer to rehabilitation services, up from only nine per cent prior to the courses. Their increased awareness of services and products for people who are blind or partially sighted will greatly enhance the experience of patients and we are already hearing about new referrals.” The course is suitable for ophthalmologists, optometrists, dispensing and contact lens opticians, and students and is delivered by Jayshree Vasani, Peter Black and Daniel. A new referral resource pack can be downloaded from Daniel Williams with Visualise executive www.visualisetrainingand assistant, Gill Perry, and roadshows can be booked at

AN INDEPENDENT VIEW No such thing as a free lunch The phrase, ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’, is a reality for many businesses and ‘free’ offers will always have to be paid for in one way or another. In optics, it is either through the sale of eyewear or from the public purse by way of the GOS fee – or, of course, both. Whilst the AIO believes that offering ‘free eye tests’ demeans the profession of optometry, they are a reality that will not go away as the government will never legislate against the provision of ‘free’ anything. It is just not politically expedient. But what about the way that ‘free eye tests’ are paid for? Whilst it could be argued that cost transference to the sale of eyewear is acceptable business practice, the AIO maintains that paying for ‘free eye tests’ from the public purse is wholly unacceptable. As a result, the Association has written to the recently appointed health secretary, Matt Hancock, and made a proposal to him that would forestall the use of taxpayers’ money for the provision of a ‘free’ service. Our proposal is that the government stipulates that optical outlets cannot claim a fee for an eye examination or sight test from GOS public funds that exceeds any sight test fee advertised or offered to the public by that outlet or associated group. In the letter, the AIO has suggested the requisite wording changes to the rules that govern PCSE payments and has also proposed that for the sake of clarity GOS1 claim forms include the statement: “No claims can be made for GOS sight tests for sums greater than the practitioner’s lowest advertised sight test price”. Clearly, this does not stop optometrists offering ‘free eye tests’, just that the government and, ultimately, the taxpayer will not be paying for them. It also means that the minister does not have to outlaw the ‘free’ word.

Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018


Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018


Advertorial brought to you by

That’s The One I Wear

“I recommend the same contact lenses that I wear to my patients, DAILIES TOTAL1® - 16 hours of total comfort” According to research, 78% of patients agree that they can trust their optician to recommend the best contact lens for them.1 Reflecting on this statistic, Beth Ralph, a contact lens optician from Sheffield, said: “The priority for all my patients when it comes to lenses is comfort first, vision next and price last.” Beth is a busy working mum, an optician, and a part-business owner of independent practice, Elliott & Heath Optometrists, which she shares with her husband. Like most working mums, Beth’s life is busy and her hours are long, so she needed a lens that could compliment her busy lifestyle. Speaking about her search for the right lens, Beth shared: “The lenses I originally tried were so uncomfortable and after four hours of wear I had to remove them. It was at this point that my husband brought home DAILIES TOTAL1 – I have never looked back since.” “The comfort was a huge improvement as I didn’t feel the lenses in my eye. Now I recommend the same contact lenses for my patients – 16 hours of total comfort.”

Beth tells us what it’s like in the eyes of a DAILIES TOTAL1 wearer... 7AM: MY BUSY DAY BEGINS I put my contact lenses in and spend a manic morning rounding up my children ready to ship them to breakfast club before school. I like to arrive early at work and look through the files of my patients that I will see that day to find out what they are currently wearing and what’s new that I can offer them. I will always offer them the best on the market.

9AM – 11.30AM: CONSULTATIONS AND ADVICE One lady I had recently was going through a divorce and wanted to renew her image. As soon as I removed her glasses and swapped them for lenses, her confidence grew dramatically. In another case, I saw a patient who is a keen sportsman and enjoys tennis. Wearing glasses compromises his peripheral vision and gets in the way. I immediately suggested DAILIES TOTAL1, knowing that these lenses will provide him with excellent vision and long wear. I truly believe anyone that wears glasses should have the option to use contact lenses.



1 IN 3

eye care professionals who prescribe DAILIES TOTAL1 also wear them themselves

11.30AM – 2PM: FITTING WITH CONFIDENCE When I fit DAILIES TOTAL1, I no longer ask my patients ‘are your lenses comfortable?,’ I now say, ‘can you feel your lenses?’ because I am confident in the knowledge that they feel like nothing. Other times, I’ll put a high quality lens, such as DAILIES TOTAL1, in one eye and an alternative lens in the other and ask which they prefer. Almost every time, they will choose DAILIES TOTAL1. When I fit an existing contact lens wearer with DAILIES TOTAL1, the response I get is ‘why haven’t I been given these before?’. In the past, they have typically been used as a second option or ‘the problem solver’ if they don’t get on with their current lenses. This shouldn’t be happening as it’s our duty as eye care professionals to recommend the best product for our patients.

References 1. Independent 3rd Party U&A study conducted on 1083 lens wearers, Alcon data on file, 2016. All views, comments and opinions expressed in this advertorial belong to those making them, and are not scripted. Beth Ralph has been paid as a consultant to Alcon. © 2017 Novartis AG. DAILIES TOTAL1, DAILIES TOTAL1 logo and Alcon logo are trademarks of Novartis AG. GB/VC/DAI/08/17/0117j

2PM – 5PM: A RANGE OF PATIENTS Yesterday a eight-year-old and her mother came to me for advice on contact lenses for wear after school. Many parents are unaware that contact lenses are an option for their children. My only criteria for offering contact lenses to children is that they can fit them and remove them themselves. My 11 year-old and 6-year-old daughters are both extremely active, they take part in lots of activities after school and I believe no child should miss out on any activity just because they wear glasses. Neither need a vision correction yet, but should either need anything in the future, I wouldn’t hesitate with fitting DAILIES TOTAL1. 6PM: REFLECTION After a busy day tending to between 12 and 14 patients, my drive home is spent reflecting on the patients I’ve seen and feeling extremely fortunate to have the job I have. My ultimate priority at the start of every working day is to improve the eye sight of each of my patients, and in turn, enhance their lives. I sometimes see a child wearing glasses with no confidence, looking at the floor, the second those lenses are in, they are a different person. 11PM: 16 HOURS OF AMAZING By the time I am preparing to go to bed, I realise I have lasted a full 16 hours without even thinking about my lenses or noticing them there. There is also no need for solutions before bed as my lenses get binned and I use a new pair for the next day. To hear from another optometrist who wears and recommends DAILIES TOTAL1, visit [insert link] to watch the video.


If you are new to OCT, with the SPECTRALIS SPIRIT you can begin with the essentials No matter how you configure your SPECTRALIS, you can be sure it contains the core DNA for high contrast, high resolution images that cut through the noise and give you the confidence to pinpoint pathology, identify real change and make more informed clinical decisions: • Upgradeable Platform: Build your dream futureproof imaging platform. Add the modules you want as and when you need them. • Confocal Fundus Image (pictured): Image in any lighting condition with no pupil dilation, even through cataracts and contact lenses. • TruTrack Active Eye Tracking and Retinal Recognition: Unique TruTrack Active Eye Tracking mitigates for eye movements by effectively “freezing” the retina, allowing you to capture the precise OCT image you want, even if the patient blinks or moves. At follow-up, TruTrack automatically repositions the OCT scan in the same location on the retina so that you can see changes as small as 1-2 microns. • Multimodality Diagnostics: Use different, established and novel imaging modalities simultaneously to improve your understanding of different pathologies and make confident clinical decisions. • Noise Reduction and 10 Layer Visualisation: 100 B-scans are averaged live in front of your eyes, even in a volume scan. This provides you with high resolution images from vitreous through to choroid and visualisation of 10 retinal layers which enables you to confidently describe and pinpoint pathology.

The SPECTRALIS SPIRIT uses the same technology as the world famous SPECTRALIS imaging platform but features a streamlined user interface that is designed to make OCT easy and fast without sacrificing clinical accuracy and reproducibility. • Simple: An incredibly accurate RNFL disc scan, designed to catch the earliest signs of glaucoma, and a comprehensive macula volume scan give you all the information you need to be able to interpret the simple, intuitive reports in no time. • Smart: View patient images on a monitor or iPad anywhere in practice using a wireless web browser and never follow up on the wrong patient with retinal recognition technology. • Small: Surprisingly small and flexible with a choice of tables to fit any size practice. • Speed: Semi-automated, 3-click image acquisition makes learning to capture stunning images in seconds easy for anyone. • Sensible: The smaller upfront investment and upgradeable design means you can get started right away and grow as and when you are ready.


Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018

Below, two optometrists describe why they love their SPECTRALIS SPIRIT:

choosing which OCT to purchase, so Daniel Harris took advice from another local optometrist:


“I am the Vice Chair of the Hertfordshire Local Optical Committee, so when I was considering which OCT would be best for our store, I spoke to Wendy d'E Vallancey, who is an independent optometrist and Chair of the Hertfordshire LOC. She has a SPECTRALIS at her practice, Aves Optometrists, and is extremely happy with it, so she had no hesitation in recommending the SPECTRALIS SPIRIT to me.”

“I am looking to work closely with the NHS to provide shared care. As I have a strong clinical focus to the business I was looking for a good OCT with accurate and consistent scanning. I am continuing to work part-time in medical retina at Epsom and St Helier Hospital Trust so I have been well placed to discuss the options with the medical retinal specialists. Heidelberg Engineering came highly recommended and I am starting with the SPECTRALIS SPIRIT as I believe it has all the functionality our practice needs at this stage. In the future, I can convert the functionality to a full SPECTRALIS device if I want to.” Nishit, who is soon to complete the independent prescribing course, is looking specifically at shared care in medical retina and glaucoma management: “It is a very exciting time for optometry as we have the opportunity to move more into the clinical care side. I really love the SPECTRALIS SPIRIT, as having used OCT so much in the hospital environment I feel that I am not carrying out a thorough eye examination without it. It is so quick and easy to use, and with Heidelberg Engineering’s training my support staff will soon be undertaking the acquisition of images. The idea of OCT has been positively received by the patients who appreciate the greater level of care.”

CASE STUDY: DANIEL HARRIS, OPTOMETRIST DIRECTOR, SPECSAVERS HEMEL HEMPSTEAD Specsavers in Hemel Hempstead are improving patient care in their local community with their new SPECTRALIS SPIRIT. There were several considerations for the store when

Clinical credibility and the opportunity to take part in shared care schemes with local ophthalmologists was also a key consideration in the store’s decision to purchase the SPECTRALIS SPIRIT, as Daniel explains: “The challenges the NHS face with an ageing population are considerable, so we need creative solutions. We believe we are perfectly placed to take part in shared care schemes with ophthalmologists that will improve the patient experience and relieve pressure on the hospital, particularly as Specsavers are now partnered with Newmedica, who are one of the leading providers of NHS-funded ophthalmology services in England. The OCT will enable us to refine our referrals and reduce unnecessary trips to hospital for the patient, whilst ensuring patients who do need to be referred receive the right treatment at the right time. For all of this we needed to choose a hospital-grade OCT and the SPECTRALIS SPIRIT was the clear choice as it is highly regarded by ophthalmologists and offers the clinical credibility and quality of images that we need, whilst being really easy to use. “The ability to track tiny changes in the eye to within one micron over time was one of the main reasons we chose the SPECTRALIS SPIRIT. Visual field tests aren’t always dependable but being able to demonstrate true loss of retinal nerve fibre layer tissue over time really gives us the edge in glaucoma diagnosis, particularly in those patients where you are just not sure what is going on based on their eye pressures and visual fields. Knowing the eye tracking system is so accurate gives me confidence that I am seeing real change over time. I love looking at the images; I saw a patient who had recently had surgery on their retina and seeing how the retinal layers had been affected in such detail was amazing. You simply don’t get that degree of detail on a fundus photo.” The purchase of the SPECTRALIS SPIRIT comes with a comprehensive training package from Heidelberg Engineering to include operator, interpretation and front of house training. Daniel has been impressed with the quality of service they have received:



“The training has been really good. Even our non-technical members of staff have picked it up very well and have already started training other members of staff themselves.” Every SPECTRALIS SPIRIT comes with a comprehensive training and practice marketing package to get you up and running in no time. Call Heidelberg Engineering on 01442 502 330 or email to find out how simple and affordable it is to get started. Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018



What happens on tour… Coming to a location near you this October is the 2018 combined Independents Day and NEG Conference roadshow. We preview the programme and the parallel iShow…

As members know, this year’s joint conference with NEG’s Independents Day (iDay) partners at Proven Track Record (PTR) is going on the road. “After many successful years using a traditional conference format, it is with great enthusiasm that we embark on a new roadshow format taking in the North, Midlands and South of England,” said NEG operations director, Phil Mullins. With its 2018 theme of ‘Balancing eyecare and eyewear’, the combined event will take place on: • Monday 22 October at the Holiday Inn, Wembley; • Monday 29 October at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry; and • Tuesday 30 October at the Holiday Inn, Bolton. In another change, designed to make attending easier, the programme will run from 1pm to 8.30pm rather than in the traditional daytime slot. “Our aim is to provide delegates with plenty of food for thought, as well as tools and action points that will make an immediate and positive impact on their business,” said PTR director, Nick Atkins. “At the same time, delegates can enjoy the company of like-minded independent professionals without taking too much time away from the coalface or having so far to travel.”

AVATARS AND ARCHETYPES As previously announced, this year’s keynote speaker is marketing expert and optometrist, Andy Clark. In ‘Who do you think you are?’, Andy will share details of a unique business model to help delegates to stand out on the High Street. He said: “When it comes to picking an optician, a patient’s options are many and confusing. Some practices offer very little direct evidence about who they are and what they do, some offer ambiguous messages, some say one thing but then deliver something else, and some clearly demonstrate exactly why that particular patient should choose them. There are no prizes for guessing which practices are busiest.”


Andy Clark

Andy will highlight some common mistakes that practices make within this context, such as trying to appeal to every demographic in town, failing to refine their business model, and resorting to special offers instead of promoting value. “We advocate a model whereby an independent practice defines and delivers an offering in such a way that the prospective patient would realise exactly why they must choose them and no other,” Andy explained. Delegates will learn how to identify patient types within their locality – specific customer types or ‘avatars’ – and help fulfil their desires. These avatars could include ‘glamorous grannies’, ‘young working mums’ or ‘presbyopic professionals’. “Practitioners need to consider why these avatars will choose or reject their practice,” said Andy, who will also look at what he calls the fundamental ‘practice archetypes’. “Once practitioners know the optimum mix of archetypes for their ideal patients, they can use it to define everything they say and do, ensuring there is never in any doubt as to why potential patients should choose their practice,” Andy continued. “This is an essential marketing exercise, but it goes far further in that this model enables independent practice owners to define the foundations for building a profitable practice.” Attendees can discover the ideal combination of archetypes for their own practices during Andy’s subsequent interactive workshop session: ‘Uncovering your practice archetype’.

Fellow optometrists and practice owners who have ‘walked the talk’ in their businesses will support this year’s keynote address. Each speaker will share their unique perspective on successful independent practice and how they’ve managed balancing the eyecare versus eyewear conundrum. In ‘This is me (and my practice)…’, Michelle Beach will speak at the Bolton and Coventry roadshows, Gerard Fernandes in London, and Mark Holloway at all venues. Michelle Beach’s optometric career started down a clinical path when she undertook her pre-registration year at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. She specialised in low vision and corneal research and was awarded prizes there and in the US for her studies in corneal graft surgery. In 2008, Michelle opened Park Vision because she felt there was a need for an eye clinic that offered a bespoke service for any visual need. Michelle is a firm believer that everyone should feel and look great in their glasses – whatever their budget.

Michelle Beach

Gerard Fernandes is the husband and business partner of one of last year’s speakers, Lynne Fernandes. Together they run Lynne Fernandes Optometrists – a successful Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018


Mod. JNB 701M

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IDAY/NEG CONFERENCE Following a morning refreshment break, and a chance to visit the iShow, the programme will continue with a presentation by Dean Waugh, retail designer and owner of RED (Retail Experience Design). In ‘Delivering the experience…’, Dean will discuss his passion for leading-edge creative and considered design providing engaging health, wellbeing and retail environments.


and award-winning independent group of three practices in and around Bristol. Each practice has a different demographic and so each practice has a slightly different positioning, offering tailored products and services to the needs of the local population. Mark Holloway of Thomas and Holloway Opticians took an unconventional route to optometry and practice ownership despite his father being an independent optometrist. Mark eschewed optometry for a degree in biology and ‘fell into’ a corporate career in sales and marketing for 10 years before the call of optometry proved too great. Since joining the practice, the business has grown year on year mixing clinical advancement with an improved retail experience.

Following their popularity and success last year, the programme will again include parallel interactive discussion sessions that will enable delegates to delve deeper into developing strategies for marketing, audiology and staff development. In parallel with Andy Clark’s workshop session mentioned earlier, there will be sessions led by Ryan Leighton and Lindsey Small. It’s a welcome return for Ryan following his popular presentation last year. This time, in ‘Seeing the hearing opportunity’, Ryan will share his experience of audiology in his practice group and how it can successfully dovetail with optometry. “Those who are still considering whether they should start hearing services cannot afford to miss this session,” said Nick Atkins. Lindsey Small’s workshop, ‘Training and development: the key to retaining staff’, will explore the (sometimes hidden) benefits to training. Lyndsey said: “Training and development can be described as ‘an educational process involving the sharpening of skills, changing of attitudes and gaining more knowledge to enhance performance’. However, exit interviews indicate that proactive and targeted development is as much about the way it makes people feel and strongly influences staying in a job.”


After an early evening buffet and another chance to visit the iShow, activities will

recommence with an hour of parallel CET sessions courtesy of sponsors Alcon, CooperVision and Heidelberg Engineering. All three sessions will be worth three CET points. Alcon’s workshop is titled, ‘Handle with care’; CooperVision will discuss ‘Myopia management in everyday practice’; whilst Heidelberg will run a session discussing the key five optical coherence tomography (OCT) parameters for assessing the patients risk of glaucoma in ‘The glaucoma OCT safari’. Proceedings will conclude with a round table discussion, chaired by Nick Atkins, on the theme of the joint conference. The event finishes at 8.30pm with closing remarks by Nick and Phil. “Because this year’s meetings are being held in smaller venues, with a limited capacity of approximately 60 delegates at each, we are advising practitioners to book early for their preferred venue,” said Phil.

ISHOW As in previous years, the sold-out iShow exhibition is free to visit whether attending the conference or not. “New products are the life-blood of all businesses,” said Phil. “The iShow has always been a good source of new ideas for expanding services and product offerings – and this year will be no exception.” Read on for some messages from this year’s sponsors and exhibitors…



Welcome to tomorrow. Here at CooperVision, our focus goes beyond product development to true innovation, tackling some of the greatest challenges of our time such as myopia management and the impact of the

ALCON The Alcon product portfolio includes Dailies Total1 and Dailies Total1 Multifocal, the first water gradient contact lenses, Air Optix family of contact lenses, Dailies family of daily disposable contact lenses, and FreshLook colour contact lenses. Lens care products include Opti-Free PureMoist multipurpose disinfecting solution and AOSept Plus with HydraGlyde. The Systane eye drop family offers long-lasting dry eye relief through coneal surface restoration.

Ryan Leighton

Build business with Alcon’s product portfolio

Learn more about myopia management with CooperVision Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018


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Free case with every frame • For kids aged 6 months to 12 years old • New trendy frame designs • Practical smaller styles - perfect for today’s younger patients • Different eye shapes in exciting bright colours

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IDAY/NEG CONFERENCE global transformation to a digital lifestyle. Visit us at NEG/iDay ‘on tour’ and join our three CET point discussion workshop on myopia management, and find out more about the innovations of tomorrow, brought to you today.

HEADLINE SPONSORS HEIDELBERG ENGINEERING Heidelberg Engineering is inviting optometrists to experience the power of multimodal imaging with the Spectralis and the speed and sophisticated simplicity of the Spectralis Spirit at NEG/iDay this year. Every Spectralis is instantly recognisable because Heidelberg Engineering builds it with the core DNA needed for confident clinical decision making, allowing you to concentrate on refining your referrals, improving patient care and making a return on your investment.

ULTRAVISION UltraVision, in partnership with SEED, offer a full range of disposable lenses. For easy-tofit patients, SEED 1dayPure moisture ensures all day comfort. For patients who fall outside of the disposable range, Avanti offers the convenience of a monthly with the flexibility of a custom-made lens. Make sure you join UltraVision for our lunchtime sessions before each event to find out more.

obligation demonstration and ask us about the NEG 12-month free trial.

OPTOS An investment in Optomap ultra-widefield technology enhances your clinical care and could be your practice differentiator. Our devices provide a 200° single capture Optomap image of the retina in less than half a second aiding in the early detection of ocular and systemic conditions. Optomap can help retain and attract new patients and build additional practice revenue. Visit the Optos stand to learn more.

POSITIVE IMPACT Positive Impact will be showing its ‘Best in Class’ dry eye portfolio. Its expanded range of unique and patented technologies now includes HydraMed drops, a patented formulation containing hyaluronic acid and tamarind seed polysaccharide, as well as Eye Nutrients Dry Omega, a novel formulation made of pure marine and virgin olive oil containing Omega 3, 7 and Vitamin D3. These complement the existing range of Parasol punctal plugs and the InflammaDry diagnostic.


OPTINET Optinet is happy to be supporting the NEG conference and Independents Day 2018. Visitors to the Optinet stand will see the latest version of the Flex software, including new features: online appointment booking; integrated Barclaycard payment processing; Docmail letters and postcards; Zeiss direct ordering and iTerminal mobile integration. Visit our stand for your free, no-

ESSILOR At Essilor, we’re focused on being the best business partner to independent opticians. We are the only ophthalmic lens supplier who actively recommends independent opticians through national and local consumer advertising campaigns. Our successful business support programme has been proven to assist opticians in growing their businesses. Please visit our stand to find out how we can support you.

EYEPLAN Eyeplan is a business model not just a debit collection service. It is a proven value exchange between practice and patient in which both parties benefit. Success comes from two key elements: managing the fee collection and supporting the fee generation. Eyeplan’s tailor-made eyecare schemes are supplemented by a dedicated marketing team providing free support to associates.


FOUNDATION SPONSORS Bausch + Lomb was established in 1853 in Rochester, New York, as a small optical shop that grew to become a large healthcare company with over 10,000 employees in 100 plus countries. Since our establishment, Bausch + Lomb has been at the forefront of visionary innovations in eyecare dedicated to perfecting vision and enhancing life. Vision Care works in partnership with eyecare professionals and retailers to provide real world technological advancements in contact lenses, lenscare solutions and OTC eye health products. At Bausch + Lomb we continue to leverage our medical heritage and expertise in eyecare to be at the forefront of innovation for both patients and practitioners alike.

accurate, quick, effortless and dilation-free retinal imaging device capable of examining multiple layers of the retina, but you’ll find that the true potential of the EasyScan lays in its ability to help you generate new customers while reinforcing the loyalty or your existing ones.

View dry eye products available from Positive Impact

PRACTICE BUILDING When people ask us, “How do I get more people through my door?”, our first answer is never ‘do more marketing’. On the main stage and in the follow-on interactive workshop, we will be sharing what really inspires people to choose your practice over all of their other alternatives; and on our stand, we will be focusing on strategies for growing and protecting your profits in these very turbulent times.

PREMIUM EXHIBITORS EASYSCAN Smart retinal imaging – EasyScan does a lot. Not only will you be able to use it as an

Menicon has introduced a new multifocal into the Miru 1month silicone hydrogel family, which offers two distinct designs: the Low design for emerging presbyopes; and the High design, which offers patients uncompromised vision at all distances with its unique proprietary decentred near zone. Menicon Z Night, Menicon’s ortho-k lens, is made in the world’s only Hyper Dk GP material, and is approved for up to 30 days’ continuous wear. The lenses are worn overnight resulting in excellent vision in the daytime.

SEIKO Visit the Seiko stand for information about our new programme, which includes: a unique second pair offer, to support a return to practice strategy; Accidental Damage Assistance with every Seiko lens, to add value to your lens offer; and SPECS network, a collaborative online marketing platform with hundreds of independent opticians throughout the UK. Also be in with the chance to win a Practice Media Package, including a practice video.

STEPPER Through innovation and technology, Stepper embraces new materials and processes to create exciting and durable eyewear. Experts in design, materials and manufacturing, Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018













Available to prescription in Polycarbonate or Trivex lens materials. VerSport offers a new level of sports eyewear protection available from 46 to 64 eye size, at a market leading price point!


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IDAY/NEG CONFERENCE offer through our Insights Practice Growth Programme with Andy Clark and our latest product innovation – Enroute – our new driving lens.

IRIS VISIONCARE From simple direct debit collection to a fully tailored patient membership programme, Iris Visioncare will be demonstrating how our range of products can grow your practice with increased dispense values, conversion rates and additional monthly income while offering the patient a range of savings and benefits they simply cannot get elsewhere locally. Come and have a chat with us at the iDay/NEG roadshows


Discuss the Stepper and StepperS collections

Stepper delivers eyewear that looks as good as it is comfortable. Meet one of our business development managers, let them take you through our Stepper and StepperS collections and explain how we can make a positive difference to your practice.

EXHIBITORS BONDEYE Seeing is believing. Roav eyewear, the world’s thinnest folding frame is now available exclusively to Bondeye. As thin as a smartphone, Roav eyewear is three times thinner than its closest competitor and has other amazing features such as screwless technology. Come and view the collection and see the brilliant engineering for yourself. Our excellent team will be there to demonstrate the product and can offer you genuine show deals. See you there.

There’ll be plenty of new innovations to discover on the Lenstec Optical Group (LOG) stand. We’ll be launching new lens materials and full digital lens types, as well as new innovations and models for sports protection from Versport. We’ll also be discussing our new acquisition: Pennine Optical joins LOG and brings great new styling from GF Ferré Eyewear, blending modern styling with a classic feel, offering a new luxury male and female brand for the autumn. The portfolio also includes Revlon Eyewear, consisting of 19 stylish feminine models with great styling and a mix of bold, as well as simple and warm colour tones.



The GF Ferré collection is now available from Lenstec

HOYA Hoya has had a presence in the UK for over 35 years and in that time, has become renowned for innovative products and services. We are delighted to be at the 2018 iDay/NEG roadshows and will be showcasing the training and support we

SYNERGEYES ‘Have your cake and eat it!’ is the message from SynergEyes, referring to the benefits of fitting its Duette hybrid lenses. Fitted like a soft lens from empirical data to toric eyes, Duette provides the visual performance of a GP lens with the comfort of a silicone hydrogel soft lens. Duette Progressive, with its CN and CD design options, is ideal for astigmatic presbyopes and really does provide patients and practitioners with the best of both worlds.

THEA PHARMACEUTICALS Thea Pharmaceuticals is extremely pleased to be back exhibiting at the iDay/NEG roadshow this year. 2018 marks the anniversary of our 10th year in the UK and we continue to develop, manufacture and distribute the highest quality eye health products. We are proud to showcase our eye health product range this year including our unique, clinically proven (Doan SM et al Acta Ophthalmologica 2015; 93; S255) dry eye drop, Thealoz Duo – as seen on TV this autumn. Please come along to our stand to make the most of our exclusive special offers.


HEARING CARE PARTNERSHIP The Hearing Care Partnership (THCP) is the UK’s sole ‘optician only’ hearing care company, connecting market-leading audiology with independent optometry. “We’ve specifically designed THCP as a partnership, and it’s our vision to bring more than just the best audiology experience to our independent partners,” said Ryan Leighton. Pop along to meet Ryan and Andrew Bridges and discover how THCP can help your independent practice.

technological innovation. The company markets its products under prestigious brand names including: Calvin Klein, Chloé, Columbia, Diane von Furstenberg, Dragon, Etro, G-Star RAW, Karl Lagerfeld, Lacoste, Liu Jo, Longchamp, Marni, MCM, Nautica, Nike, Salvatore Ferragamo, Skaga, Flexon, Marchon NYC and Airlock. Marchon is a VSP Global company, which as a doctorgoverned company, connects its 84 million members to affordable, accessible, highquality eyecare and eyewear around the world.

MARCHON Marchon is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of eyewear and sunwear that exemplifies supreme quality, fashion forward trends and

At this year’s iDay/NEG roadshows, Zeiss will be showcasing its next generation ultra-widefield fundus imaging system – Clarus 500. The new system provides true colour and high resolution across an entire ultra-widefield image, with the ability to capture high resolution fundus autofluorescence (FAF) images–FAF-Blue and FAF-Green, Infrared (IR) and external eye images. Simple, stable and intuitive, Clarus 500 has been designed to optimise the patient experience and enhance patient comfort. Also exhibiting are Glasklar, Scope and Wolf Eyewear. The price for NEG members to attend the iDay/NEG roadshow is at the reduced rate of £59 (plus VAT) and places can be booked at Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018


Focus on Contact Lenses

Japan’s first and largest contact lens manufacturer represented in over 80 countries. For 66 years Menicon have been pioneers in contact lens innovation, with a long and unique heritage of world class contact lenses. Introducing the Miru family of monthly disposable Silicone Hydrogel contact lenses and the innovative flat pack 1 day. For more information please visit

Menicon Limited, Gatelodge Close, Round Spinney, Northampton NN3 8RJ For customer care contact : +44 (0)1604 646 216


Power of collaboration Collaboration not competition was the name of the game at the first-ever Specialist Club meeting in London

Brainchild of Positive Impact, the inaugural meeting of the Specialist Club in the shadow of Wembley Stadium on 9 July focused on specialist and niche contact lenses and attracted 60 practitioners, with some travelling from as far as Madrid and Dublin to attend. The collaboration between specialist contact lens manufacturers made it a must-attend event for anyone in specialist practice, and those interested in expanding their scope of contact lens fitting.

gold standard in baseline measurement for contact lens patients. It gives you much more information than a keratometer and allows you to educate your patients, as well as stand out from the crowd.” Indie recommended that practitioners keep a PDF of all contact lens fitting guides on their computer desktop and to always start with the appropriate fitting guide. “Speak to professional services if you’re not sure about anything. They are there to help and guide your success,” he advised. Nick Atkins addresses delegates

The event featured four hours of interactive CET lectures and an exhibition, with support from contact lens companies SynergEyes, Menicon and UltraVision, contact lens materials company Contamac, and ophthalmic pharmaceutical company Entod, as well as Positive Impact. The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) also supported the first event.

TARGETED RESPONSES A case study from practice owner, Indie Grewal, got the conference off to a flying start, as he shared how he maximised the commercial opportunity of contact lenses in his St Albans practice following the recession of 2008. His presentation, ‘Successfully commercialising a niche contact lens practice, from the dispensing optician and optometrist’, proved an inspirational start to the day. Indie told delegates: “Pareto’s principle states that 20 per cent of our inputs or activities are responsible for 80 per cent of output. Increasing your contact lens business should start with a review of your current patients; they are the low hanging fruit. Create a spreadsheet that contains patients who have yet to succeed in contact lenses, as well as a wish list for future contact lens patients. That way when a new contact lens comes to market, you’re in a position to respond in a targeted way.” Indie highlighted that many practitioners have invested in optical coherence tomography (OCT) over the past few years. He said: “Topography is now becoming the

Indie went on to emphasise the benefits of contact lenses for practitioners such as “a huge sense of satisfaction”. “Whether that be putting a young child into contact lenses, or fitting a frustrated presbyope with multifocals, there is contact lens solution available for most patients,” he said. Indie also highlighted that the recurring income from contact lenses, especially when tied to a direct debit collection, meant that the practice could start every month with a cash injection. “The longterm profitability of contact lenses is overlooked by so many practitioners. A patient who purchases spectacles and contact lenses will be more profitable than a specsonly patient,” he concluded.

ENGAGING WITH THE ENGAGED Other topics at the event included modern hybrid contact lenses as an alternative for astigmatic and presbyopic astigmats, as well as successfully fitting scleral contact lenses. An overview of ortho-k and myopia control was given by Josie Barlow, professional services manager at Menicon, in her lecture, ‘An overnight success and beyond’.

Josie Barlow presenting

Josie said: “This type of meeting, where smaller, more niche companies work collaboratively, had been discussed several times over a period of years. This event highlighted that the practitioners who attended were really engaged in the new bespoke devices available to them and the research that details the efficacy of such contact lens options. We would most certainly be keen to participate in any future events.” Optometrist Lynn White, clinical director of UltraVision, also gave delegates food for thought in her presentation, ‘Can I fit a soft lens? Always say yes’, which emphasised that it is possible to fit almost any corneal type with soft contact lenses. The exhibitors also had 10-minute slots to explain more about their products in two ‘show and tell’ sessions. Positive Impact’s director of marketing and professional services, Nick Atkins, a former BCLA president, concluded: “It was an excellent day, with fantastic support from the delegates and sponsors and with rave reviews from both. I’d like to thank them all but especially the foresight of SynergEyes, Menicon, UltraVision and Contamac in understanding the power of collaboration, rather than competition, for the benefit of the profession.” The Specialist Club event proved so popular that future conferences on other specialist topics and already being planned. For more information, visit or telephone 01424 817 035. Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018



Training for a fitter business

Training and development should be a key part of any business plan, writes Nick Walsh

I’m sure you’ll agree that your support team is invaluable to the day-to-day running of your business. But do you get the most from them and are they getting the full opportunity to develop? Training is a shortterm cost leading to an invaluable, longerterm way of improving your team, giving improved job satisfaction and, through the latter, helping with staff retention. Learning and development should be a key part of any business plan, ensuring that future plans are supported by a team ready and able to deliver them. Well-trained individuals in the practice, with the right qualifications, can then help train others and pass on that knowledge. But how good are you at developing structured training programmes for your teams?

FOCUS ON STRUCTURED PROGRAMMES For the majority of practices, the in-practice experience will begin with some form of structured induction to help a new member of staff understand what could be a new and complex work environment. There will also be some form of training in other areas such as GOS paperwork, computer systems, data protection, and products. The above will take people from a limited understanding of optics, maybe as a patient, to a level where they can confidently work day to day in a reception/meet and greet type role. But surely we can, and should, do more? What about personal development for team members? You may be asking: “How do I develop the optical knowledge of the team, allowing for stepping off points at various levels, whilst still allowing me to prepare my ‘rising stars’ for further optical development – and maybe even a route to becoming a DO and/or CLO?” Well, one-size doesn’t fit all. The starting point for any training plan for an individual, and thereby the overall training programme for the business, will be a training needs analysis (TNA) for individuals leading to personal development plans (PDPs) for each individual.


Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018

Training is an invaluable, longer-term way to improve your team

A TNA is the process in which the company identifies the training and development needs of its employees so that they can do their job effectively. It involves a complete analysis of training needs required at various levels of the organisation.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS So, what is a PDP and why is it important? The following description from the Open University website describes a PDP well: “PDP supports the idea that learning is a lifelong and life-wide activity. The process of PDP can strengthen the capacity of learners to reflect upon their own learning and achievement and to plan for their own personal, educational and career development. This is a core learning process, required throughout many employment and continuing professional development contexts” (Open University). All individuals should have a PDP. As an individual, a PDP can help you to: • Become aware of skills you have • Identify and develop skills you need • Work out what you want to achieve and how to achieve it

• Focus on potential study, career and personal development goals The aim of individual PDPs is that there is ongoing learning and development that will also support the overall goal of your business plan. It’s important to think about when a training intervention needs to occur, plus what people need to do before the training. More importantly, we need to plan what support there should be for individuals after training has taken place to help them develop those newly learned skills back on the shop floor. A fundamental issue with learning can be with workplace culture and whether it is supportive of a change in behaviour. The simple act of sending someone on training isn’t enough and that approach often ends with the cry of ‘the training didn’t work’, when the practice didn’t create the right culture for the training to be implemented well. After all, learning to drive a car from theory study alone wouldn’t prepare us well for driving in a real-life situation. It takes practice under supervision to reach the level of confidence and competence expected.


ABDO College offers an array of courses to fit with work and life

A COST-EFFECTIVE APPROACH At the start of this article, I mentioned that we can look at training as a short-term cost leading to an invaluable, longer-term way of improving our teams, giving improved job satisfaction and through the latter, helping with staff retention. Well, is there a cost-effective approach? Let’s consider this in two parts. Firstly, let’s look at impact on the individual and the practice in terms of time away studying. For most individuals in practice, full-time study is not a viable option as this would mean giving up full-time work. So, does this mean no training? Absolutely not. We really need to look at ‘earn as you learn’ as the correct route. Such training is delivered remotely, often via a learning management system (LMS), which is an online tool enabling learning for anyone with access to the internet via a computer. This is often achieved by using blended learning and distance learning, meaning that time away from the practice is minimal. This is especially important when considering impact for the business. There is less disruption to normal routines and rotas as well as removal of any requirement to cover absence (and the inherent cost of that). The second, less visible, cost to consider is the impact that not developing an individual may have on staff retention. What cost is involved when we lose a valuable member of the team when they leave to work elsewhere? They might include: • Costs to cover the position on a temporary basis – be that overtime or use of locum staff • Cost of advertising for a replacement • Your time in considering applications and interviewing • The cost of an agency should you follow this route • The cost of taking someone through all of that basic induction and training again • Your competitor gains a great individual

The process of a TNA and the building of the individual PDP should now have clearly shown the aspirations of your team members – and hopefully you’ve also considered your business aspirations too. By now you will have a good understanding of how you need to upskill the team. The courses offered by ABDO College, leading to recognised Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) and ABDO qualifications are great in that they allow members of staff to learn as they earn. Entry level courses are delivered entirely online and, even as staff progress to level four and above, the College’s mix of blended learning and distance learning ensures that time away from the practice is minimal. There are entry-level courses available from ABDO College leading to the WCSM qualifications in optical support at levels two and three. These have three mandatory units to give your staff a good grounding in roles and responsibilities in optics, communication skills and basic knowledge about the eye, plus optional units for you to choose from to ensure the course is relevant to the individual’s role. This could cover frames, lenses, contact lenses and glazing, amongst other topics. There is also a two-year distance learning optical assistant level four qualification available. The Level 4 Diploma for Optical Assistants is for staff who you would like to become senior optical assistants and/or supervisors. It will deliver benefit to your practice through staff with increased knowledge, and allows staff to feel they are developing. It also gives a great foundation if they want to study for the FBDO qualification at a later date. This is the WCSM’s newest qualification for optical assistants. Holders of the qualification will be entitled to use the letters SMC (OA) after their name. ABDO College’s Access course, Optics and Dispensing, presents introductory level

information to facilitate an initial understanding of these important disciplines. It is also a particularly useful course for new staff induction and for reception staff. ABDO College courses and the recognised qualifications gained are designed to help individuals along the optical career pathway with a variety of ‘stepping off’ places along the way. To this end, ABDO College also provides training towards qualifications for lab technicians, dispensing opticians (through the FBDO route or the degree route), contact lens opticians as well as a fast-track to SMC Tech for DOs, a low vision honours course and a degree top-up for holders of the FBDO qualification. So, plenty for the future for your rising stars. More information can be found at In summary: • Consider short-term cost for long-term gain • Use the TNA process to assess what ‘now’ looks like • Use the PDP to plan individual training (It’s not ‘one size fits all’) • Ensure that your business plans are supported by training plans • Think about personal satisfaction for an individual and how this helps your staff retention • During and following training help individuals develop those newly learned skills back on the shop floor • Look for training programmes with various ‘stepping off’ points to better match individuals’ needs Having the right people with the right skill sets offering the support and services that our patients will come to expect is key to sustainable growth for optical practices in this ever-changing optical environment. Well trained and engaged teams can bring value to organisations, customers and business. This can help provide competitive advantage. Training and learning should be continuous.

‘There is always one more thing to learn’ – Steve Jobs For details from ABDO College of the next intake, fees, key dates and how to apply: • Visit • Call the courses team at ABDO College on 01227 738 829 (option 1) • Or email

Nick Walsh

Nick Walsh FBDO is sector skills development officer at ABDO.

The list could go on… Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018



Spectacular castles, culture – and eyewear Midway along the Loire River in central France, the picturesque Loire Valley has been celebrated for its centuries of history, culture and stunning fairytale castles, writes Joan Grady The Loire Valley also boasts a diversity of fine artisan, independent eyewear boutiques. Vision Now publisher Michael Wheeler visited the Loire Valley and was impressed by the splendour of the region. With the potential of seeking new holiday adventures, as well as independent opticians relishing the opportunity to experience contemporary and unique eyewear, the British are increasingly crossing the channel to the beautiful ‘Garden of France’. UNESCO notably recognised the Loire River Valley by including this historic area on its list of World Heritage Sites in 2000. Magical Château Chambord (courtesy of Tours Tourist Bureau)

ARCHITECTURAL TREASURES Through the years, the Loire Valley has endured power, royalty, romance, war, hope, despair, politics and protest – a long and illustrious history. Until the middle of the 16th century, French royalty preferred to spend most of their time in the Loire Valley, hence the number of outstanding chateaux in the historic towns along the river. The stunning structures were constructed during the Renaissance era, and the reign of François I. Then the centre of power moved to Paris; and through the centuries, these great French chateaux were ransacked. In the 20th century, many were demolished during World War I and World War II. Nowadays, the surviving, breath-taking castles continue to thrive – some as private dwellings, hotels or bed and breakfast establishments. Many allow visitors to briefly experience royal life and great architectural monuments with this extraordinary escape into a bygone era. Tours is the small but lovely gateway city where you can discover magnificent and elegant castles that are nestled in the Loire Valley. Green spaces and parks are scattered throughout the city, and being a university town, the atmosphere is upbeat without being overwhelming. Five years ago, a


Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018

modern, sleek tram opened in the city – superb, efficient and wonderfully convenient. Centrally located is the delightful Hotel L’Artiste, a small boutique hotel with rooms named after movie stars. The Audrey Hepburn room features memorabilia of the gamine actress who remains to this day, a fashion and eyewear icon.

chateau was, the king only spent 50 nights there. He never thought of Chambord as a place to actually live, but as a symbol of power, beauty and aesthetic achievement. Victor Hugo noted: “An edifice has two characteristics: its use and its beauty. While its use belongs to the proprietor, its beauty is there for one and all.”


The gardens at Chambord are stunning, and visitors can explore pathways, forests and moors through the largest walled and enclosed park in Europe – it is the same area as the city of Paris. Picnic on the grounds in front of Chambord, and visualise how royalty once spent idyllic afternoons with a gourmet feast on the luscious green lawns.

Each resplendent castle in the Loire Valley has its own unique history. Chambord is absolutely magical, decorated in flamboyant gothic style. François I, the original habitant of Chambord, loved the location, as it was in the centre of the Sologne marshlands – ideal for game hunting. As majestic and beautiful as the

Soothing charm of Chäteau Chenonceau (courtesy of Marie Bouin)

STYLE SPOTLIGHT CHENONCEAU – THE LADIES’ CHÂTEAU Château de Chenonceau is noted for its different female owners and female builders who would mark its long history. They were ‘feminist’ in their own right, long before it became a rallying cause. In 1547, King Henri II donated the castle to his favourite lady, Diane de Poitiers. Through the ensuing centuries, Catherine de Medici; Louise of Lorraine; Louise Dupin (who saved the château during the French Revolution); Marguerite Pelouze; and lastly, Simone Menier were custodians of the remarkable structure. During World War I, Chenonceau was transformed into a hospital, with Simone Menier in charge as matron.

CHATEAU VILLANDRY – ELEGANCE AND CHARM Neither king nor courtesan inhabited Villandry – the exceptional chateau was the residence of a finance minister for François I. Villandry is particularly known for the magnificent gardens that have recently been restored. The romantic, Renaissance beauty includes unique sections with ponds and enormous vegetable gardens. The chateau interior is beautifully appointed with fine furniture and antiques. A visit to the Loire Valley demands a leisurely pace, as there is so much to see – not just in the Tours region but also Orléans, Angers, Blois and Saint-Nazaire, with exceptional castles and smart optical shops.

ART AND NATURE Cultural opportunities abound in the Loire Valley year-round. Summer activities at various chateaux feature opera, jazz festivals and theatre. At Chateau Amboise this summer, a special programme of music – endemic to the time of kings past – was presented. Explore the Loire River by boat, or investigate vineyards where renowned wines, such as Sancerre, Saumur, Quincy, and Chinon, are cultivated. Elegant, spacious parks and landscaped gardens offer the possibility of lovely walks,

Sculptured gardens of Villandry (courtesy of Villandry)

Modern, sleek, efficient – the tram in Tours (courtesy of Adrian Gaubert)

including the Park Leonardo da Vinci. The well-respected Beauval Zoo is an opportunity to meet the star residents – two adorable giant pandas – national treasures, as they are the only pandas in France. Chateau Cheverny sponsors a spring marathon and a Venetian weekend with fireworks. The entertainments are varied and imaginative.

Bespoke fit and service at Edgard Opticiens

Just a few kilometres away is the lovely residential area of Saint-Avertin, where you can find Optic AC – owned by Marie-Line and Nicolas Saint-Georges. Clientele include people in the Tours area with active lifestyles, who appreciate the finest quality, artisan styling, high fashion and technical innovation. Face à Face, Lindberg, Caroline Abram, Sabine B, Bruno Chaussignand and Pierre Eyewear are among the labels featured.

Woow distinctive eyewear is featured at Optic AC in Saint-Avertin Terrace at L’Artiste Hotel in Tours

STYLISH EYEWEAR BOUTIQUES Independent opticians in the Loire Valley herald high quality, fashion forward labels. An elegant spacious boutique is Edgard Opticiens, located in the picturesque Old Town of Tours. The shop attracts numerous tourists as well as locals, people of all ages and professions. The boutique features chic, stylish brands including Theo, Nathalie Blanc, Anne et Valentin, Caroline Abram, Matsuda, Moscot, and Ic! berlin among others.

Tim Van Steenbergen for Theo is a highlight at Edgard Opticiens

Visit the Loire Valley and make a little history yourself. Surrender to the beauty, magic and history…and enjoy dynamic eyewear boutiques too.

Edgard Opticiens, Tours Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018




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

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


BRULIMAR OPTICAL GROUP Tel: 0161 655 7000 Fax: 0161 655 7002



Tel: 01634 880885 Fax: 01634 540530

Tel: 0116 251 8936 Fax: 0116 262 4205

Tel: 01952 820408




Tel: 01388 420420 Fax: 01388 810101

Tel: 0800 591150


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

Tel: 01628 605433 Fax: 01628 665077



Tel: 020 8992 9222 Fax: 020 8896 0287

Tel: 0800 056 5569

ESSILOR Tel: 01454 281281 Fax: 01454 281282

HOYA LENS UK Tel: 0845 330 0984 Fax: 0845 330 0977


Tel: 020 8781 2900


Tel: 01527 870550 Fax: 01527 837012


Tel: 0151 426 3907 Fax: 0151 426 9340

Tel: 0121 585 6565 Fax: 0121 585 0954




Tel: 01438 740823

COOPERVISION Tel: 0870 9000 055

BONDEYE OPTICAL Tel: 0121 7723888 Fax: 0808 2801865

Over 75% of patients agree that they can trust their optician to recommend the best contact lenses for them, regardless of cost. Designed for quality minded patients, DAILIES TOTAL1 is so comfortable that 1 in 3 of eye care professionals who prescribe DAILIES TOTAL1 also choose to wear this lens. For more information:

Tel: 03713 760 017

DAVID THOMAS Tel: 01604 646216 Fax: 01604 790366

Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018

Tel: 0800 9178270


Tel: 029 2088 3009 Fax: 029 2088 9798


Tel: 01442 502 330 Fax: 01442 242 386


Tel: 07780 338656

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*

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


T 01527 870550

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 Sharon Hicks on 01580 713698 or email



THE NORVILLE GROUP LTD Tel: 01452 510321

Tel: 01359 241312

Tel: 024 7601 0103




Tel: 0808 165 8555

Tel: 0845 313 0233

Tel: 01474 325555

Tel: 0800 72 2020



Tel: 0161 773 5555 Fax: 0161 773 5544

Tel: 01452 610033 Fax: 01452 638250

Tel: 01686 627595 Fax: 01696 610015


MARK’ENNOVY Tel: 0800 3280610 Fax: 0800 3280649


Tel: 01332 295001 Fax: 01332 295158



SILHOUETTE UK LTD Tel: 020 8987 8899 Fax: 020 8987 2430

WEBPOST Tel: 0800 074 2425


Tel: 0115 989 9772

Tel: 01698 574 655


Tel: 01392 460806



Tel: 01884 266130

Tel: 01424 850620 Fax: 01424 850650

STEPPER UK Tel: 01732 375975



Tel: 01706 369530 Fax: 01706 628733

Tel: 01954 785100 Fax: 01954 785101

Tel: 08446 696907



Tel: 01525 381112 Fax: 01525 370091

Tel: 01536 529696 Fax: 01536 310033


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

RAWDON OPTICAL LTD Tel: 0113 288 3094 Fax: 0113 288 3095

YOUNGER OPTICS EUROPE UK Tel: 01242 578971 UK Mobile: 0790 133 7530


Tel: 01279 653785 “Only one comment,


Suppliers’ directory

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

Open your eyes to

Alisdair Buchanan, Buchanan Optometrists

313004-002 UK.BE16 © Heidelberg Engineering GmbH


Telephone: 01442 502 330

VV The Norville Group Limited, Magdala Road, Gloucester GL1 4DG

Tel: 01452 510321 Email:

Norville 38 x 71mm ad.indd 2 Norville

26/05/2016 12:56 26/05/2016

0845 3130233

Vision Now SEPTEMBER 2018


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

Vision Now September 2018  
Vision Now September 2018