27 February 2019

College’s Optometry Tomorrow Conference takes place in Birmingham

The College of Optometrists welcomed over 800 attendees to Birmingham last weekend (24-25 February) for its annual conference and AGM.

Held at the city’s Hilton Metropole Hotel, Optometry Tomorrow 2019 saw delegates attend cutting-edge lectures, seminars, peer discussion and hands-on skills and discussion workshops. The extensive programme, in which delegates could obtain up to 16 interactive CET points, saw optometrists discussing hot topics such as treatments to manage myopia progression, advances in glaucoma surgery and the latest trials and treatments in AMD. At the event, The College also published the consensus statement and new member guidance on myopia management following its roundtable meeting with researchers and clinicians in the field. 

Professor Pete Coffey, Theme Lead for Development, Ageing and Disease, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, presented the keynote lecture entitled; ‘The London Project to Cure Blindness at 10 years; have we found a cure?’ he said; “I'm delighted to speak at Optometry Tomorrow and talk with delegates about our exciting project. Our main focus has been to regenerate the diseased, blind eye and the work we are doing has the potential to affect the 700,000 people living with AMD in the UK. I do think we have a cure. And we are building on our clinical trial with the hope of providing access to this life-altering treatment for a wider group of patients."

Helen Owens, Eye Health Business Unit Manager for Thea Pharmaceuticals Ltd, platinum sponsor for this year’s conference, said; “As Platinum Sponsor for Optometry Tomorrow 2019, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and talk to so many enthusiastic optometrists over the course of the weekend. Thea supports this conference every year as we see it as the perfect combination of high-quality clinical presentations and practical workshops.” 

Following the conference, delegate Elliot Bateman MCOptom, Bateman Opticians, said; "This is the second time I've been to Optometry Tomorrow and it's been as good as ever. I mainly focused on the therapeutics stream this time and it was great to be able to carry on discussions with like-minded people after the sessions were over." 

The conference featured a trade exhibition with over 40 exhibitors and sponsors including platinum sponsor, Thea Pharmaceuticals; gold sponsors, CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson Vision; silver sponsors, Avizor, Essilor, Visioneering Technologies, Topcon; bronze sponsors, Alcon, Entod Research Cell UK Ltd, No7 Contact Lenses, Scope Ophthalmics and SpaMedica. 

Nikita Thomas MCOptom was the winner of the Optometry Tomorrow Poster Prize 2019 for her poster on validation of a microperimeter for use with nystagmus.

Optometry Tomorrow 2020 will take place on 23 and 24 February at the Telford International Centre. Booking will open on the College website soon. 


Note to Editors

  1. The College is the professional body for optometry. It qualifies the profession and delivers the guidance and training to ensure optometrists provide the best possible care. We promote excellence through the College’s affixes, by building the evidence base for optometry, and raising awareness of the profession with the public, commissioners, and health care professionals.
  2. The College hosted a myopia management roundtable event in Summer 2018 with clinicians, researchers and lead organisations from across the sector to consider the current evidence on childhood and adult myopia management with the  aim of reachinga consensus on the current evidence supported with regard to practice in this area. The report from this event, our consensus statement and new professional guidance can now be read on the College website.



Related further reading

The clinical figures that count.

Eye health issues that are making the news.

We speak with Aston University’s Emeritus Professor, and this year’s College of Optometrists President’s Medal winner.