End of year: Looking back, looking forward

We asked five industry experts to round up the optical successes of 2018, and what they predict for the year ahead.

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With changes throughout the sector, and constantly evolving practices and expectations, the last 12 months have been a busy time for optometrists and others in the provision of eye care services. But with 2019 looking like it will herald some significant developments, the next year could be just as exciting.

Acuity asked a group of industry experts to reflect on 2018 and look forward to the year ahead, and give us their thoughts.


Professor Edward Mallen MCOptom, President of the College: There will be many new professional development opportunities to look forward to from the College in 2019, including a series of webinars on topics such as keratoconus, OCT interpretation and glaucoma, along with further online training modules for newly qualified optometrists, as well as experienced practitioners. The College’s professional development programme for 2019 will kick off with our ‘Effective referrals’ webinar in January and our annual conference, Optometry Tomorrow, on 24 and 25 February.

We will also deliver the results of a number of research projects in 2019, including on: the long-term effects of anti-VEGF therapy in peripheral retinal function in wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD); rehabilitation needs and adjustment to visual loss of visually impaired people over time; and the genetic prediction of individuals at risk of developing myopia. We will also be publishing a consensus statement on the management options for myopia early in the new year. Expect outputs from our research into the experiences of people living with posterior cortical atrophy to be published too. 

As well as providing our members with the individual support and resources they need to deliver clinical excellence to their patients, we will be working to raise the profile of optometry through the influencing of decision-makers. We will continue to lead debates on the delivery of eye care services and evidence-building research. And, working with the optometry schools, we will contribute to the General Optical Council’s Education Strategic Review, with the aim of ensuring that those wishing to become optometrists have the best grounding they can in the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to practice. We will also be adding to the Guidance on a number of topics including dementia and will be adding to the brand new College member app.

Happy New Year from everyone at the College of Optometrists.

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