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Webinar: Managing difficult conversations

  • This webinar will support optometrists and ophthalmologists to have confidence in managing difficult conversations with patients. You will hear from an optometrist, an ophthalmologist, a social worker and a patient and you can put your questions to the panel during the session.


7.30pm – 9pm, 12 January 2021 Add to calendar

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Managing difficult conversations

The College of Optometrists and The Royal College of Ophthalmologists jointly bring you this webinar on Managing Difficult Conversations.

Chaired by Colin Davidson FCOptom, President of The College of Optometrists, join our expert panel in this must attend webinar as we discuss how to manage difficult conversations with patients. You will hear from an optometrist, an ophthalmologist, a social worker and a patient living with AMD. We will discuss examples of how to communicate bad news and you will hear a patient talk about what happens after the clinician has broken the bad news. 

The webinar will support optometrists and ophthalmologists to have confidence in managing difficult conversations with patients. It will cover how it is necessary for clinicians to consider and reflect on both the patients' experience and perspective as well as the clinician's own. Join us for this important discussion and put your questions to the panel.

Mary Bairstow MCOptom


Colin Davidson FCOptom

The College of Optometrists

Jane Johns

Patient with AMD

Ian Trimmer

Clinical Practitioner

Rahila Zakir FRCOphth

Consultant Ophthalmic & Vitreoretinal Surgeon
Western Eye Hospital, Imperial College NHS Trust

Case studies to be presented will include:

  • An older patient with macular degeneration. The discussion will explore the issues around macular degeneration being a degenerative disease. This scenario will explore how to raise the issue of the patient not meeting driving standards, how to answer questions raised by the patient and where to look for support.
  • A patient with juvenile maculopathy attending low vision clinic with their family. The discussion will explore how to elicit information from the family about their understanding of the young person's sight loss and how to explain the situation to the family. 
  • A patient underwent second eye cataract surgery following uncomplicated first eye cataract surgery, but had surgical complications that resulted in him undergoing multiple further operations with no recovery of useful vision. The discussion points will be around talking to the patient about what had happened during surgery; it will introduce the concept of Duty of Candour conversations.
  • A patient presented to A&E with a referral for raised intraocular pressure, where the A&E triage nurse checked the vision and pressure and advised the patient to take the letter to the GP who would refer to the glaucoma clinic on a routine basis. The patient was very anxious. We will discuss managing expectations and anxiety, both of which require empathy and an exploration of what underlying fears patients have.
  • A patient with AMD will present their experience from receiving bad news and their subsequent journey.
Competencies covered: Target audience: Optometrists and Ophthalmologists
CET points: 1 interactive CET point (for optometrists)
Competencies covered: Communication and Standards of practice
Learning objectives:
  • To enable practitioners to deliver a patient-centred approach, (considering their views and emotions and level of understanding of the topic), when delivering and discussing news/diagnoses which may be unwelcome.
  • To be able to consider the patients' feelings and the factors which may influence their reactions, using empathy and dignity to respect the informed decisions they make.
  • To understand the importance of clear manageable pieces and how to avoid euphemisms or misunderstanding.

Terms and conditions

  • To attend this webinar you must be a College of Optometrists' or Royal College of Ophthalmologists' member.
  • To obtain your one interactive CET point you must ensure the following standards are met, you must:
    • have a minimum attendance of 50 minutes
    • complete a minimum of 4 of the 6 polls.

CET does not apply to ophthalmologists, students and pre-registration trainees.

Optometrists, please book using the book now button on this webpage.

Ophthalmologists, please contact Julie Hodgkinson to book your place.

For general queries about the webinar contact

How to join our webinar

See our joining instructions for more information.

What members say about our webinars

"Overall, excellent as always." MCOptom

"Excellent way to get interactive points!" MCOptom