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Public health strategy

We are working with organisations throughout the health sector on an optical sector joint strategy.

The strategy has three key priority areas:

  • knowledge - how can we build the evidence base of ophthalmic public health, and how can we improve the use of data?

  • capacity - how can we expand the ophthalmic public health workforce, and help it to work effectively?

  • communication - how can we improve communication among those interested in ophthalmic public health, and how can we engage public health professionals on ophthalmic issues?


The College is leading the project on the use of data, and has published a report on ophthalmic public health data.


The RNIB and the College have funded places on a new ophthalmic public health module at the University of Leeds. The 30 people who have successfully completed the course have become ophthalmic public health ambassadors, and they will increase the profile of eye health as a key public health priority, and build relationships with public health professionals locally and nationally. One way they will do this is by encouraging health and wellbeing boards to include eye health in their joint strategic needs assessments (JSNAs) - see our member briefing about local government, health and wellbeing boards, and how they fit into the new structure of the NHS.


LOCSU has set up an ophthalmic public health network on NHS Networks - log in to NHS Networks to join the network.



We called a meeting to discuss public health in summer 2011, which was attended by representatives from: 

  • Association of British Dispensing Opticians
  • Association of Optometrists
  • City University
  • Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians
  • NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney
  • Local Optical Committee Support Unit
  • Optometry Northern Ireland
  • Optometry Scotland
  • Optometry Wales
  • RNIB 
  • UK Vision Strategy.

At the meeting, representatives agreed to work together to: 

  • meet the ophthalmic health needs of the most at-risk populations across the country

  • develop understanding of where unmet need exists and what can be done to tackle it

  • support people working in ophthalmic public health and bring them together with partners in public health and commissioning

  • promote research that advances ophthalmic public health.

Download the latest version of the ophthalmic public health strategy:

  A strategy to improve ophthalmic public health 2014

Since this initial meeting, the College has hosted two further annual meetings to mark progress and update the strategy.   The events were attended by optical bodies including the Optical Confederation, RNIB, LOCSU, UK Vision Strategy, the Royal College of Opthalmologists and the General Optical Council, as well as representatives from all countries in the UK.

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