Member briefings

We produce briefings to help our members understand developments in health policy and opportunities to improve eye care for their patients.

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NICE Guideline Glaucoma: diagnosis and management (update)

The revised NICE Guideline Glaucoma: diagnosis and management came into effect on 1 November 2017. The member briefing below summarises the main points and outlines how it will affect you in practice.

NICE Guideline Glaucoma: diagnosis and management (update) - member briefing

The revised NICE Guideline Glaucoma: diagnosis and management came into effect on 1 November 2017.


NICE guideline Cataracts in adults: management

You may have seen that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its first guideline on the management of cataract in adults. It is primarily for clinical treatments and surgery at ophthalmology level, but there are implications for optometrists. We have developed a briefing document which explains how the guideline may affect you in your daily practice. 

NICE guideline Cataracts in adults: management - member briefing

You may have seen that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its first guideline on the management of cataract in adults.


Buying contact lenses online

After being contacted by a member who raised concerns about an online retailer selling contact lenses with 'no prescription needed', we produced a patient factsheet about buying contact lenses online. This is only available to College members to download and print for use in practice. 

The company concerned is registered outside of the UK, although their web and returns address could lead consumers to believe that they are buying their lenses from a UK company, and are therefore protected by UK laws. We believe this is disingenuous and potentially harmful. As a result, we have raised this issue with the GOC.

If you spot anything related to the profession which causes you concern, please make sure you get in touch at


PrOVIDe: Prevalence of Visual Impairment in Dementia

This College research finds prevalence of visual impairment in those with dementia generally higher than the overall population. This member briefing includes an outline of the research findings and how it might affect you in practice.


The optical profession: What does the future hold?

The Foresight report and the College’s Optical Workforce Survey (OWS) report were published earlier this year. Findings from these publications highlighted that technology is pushing eye care services towards automation and that the workforce is moving more towards part-time and locum. The College felt it was crucial to begin to tackling these issues head on as a united sector. This member briefing highlights key outcomes of our roundtable event focusing on solutions to challenges ahead.


Online spectacles study

College research finds that consumers prefer spectacles purchased in UK optometry practices to those bought online. Researchers from the University of Bradford and Cardiff University compared 154 spectacles bought online with 155 spectacles from UK optometric practices in order to test the accuracy, visual performance, quality and perceived acceptability and safety of the spectacles using input from consumers and dispensing opticians.


Honey Rose: Member media alert

If asked questions relating to the Honey Rose case by concerned members of the public, please refer to some of the answers we have outlined in this member briefing. You can also speak to our Clinical Advisers if you have any clinical or professional questions relating to the case.


Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction (NICER) study

New research, jointly funded by the College of Optometrists and Ulster University, has shown that myopia is more than twice as prevalent among children in the UK now than in the 1960s. 


NHS England's new care models - Strengthening Primary and 'out of hospital' care

NHS England's new care models aim to dissolve boundaries between primary care and community services, hospitals, social care and mental health services. This member briefing outlines the proposal. 


Focus on falls

The College has undertaken a project to establish the current provision of vision checks by falls services. Falls services are specialist teams who are dedicated to providing rehabilitation and guidance to prevent further falls. By talking to falls professionals across the UK and conducting an online survey, we gathered information in order to make recommendations about how falls teams could be supported in checking patients’ vision, and how we could support and encourage better connections between them and local optometrists. 

Focus on falls - member briefing

Key findings of the College project, and ways to get involved