Shaping the future

13 May 2022
Spring 2022

A message from Colin Davidson, College President.

I am now in the last few months of my presidency, and happily we seem to be returning to some sort of normality, with restrictions gradually easing. The College team are still working hard to guide and support the profession through these changes.

And more are still to come for the profession – the most significant of these potentially arising from the General Optical Council’s call for evidence on the Opticians Act. This represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the future of our profession and ensure the review addresses the increasing scope of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians. I urge you please to respond to our invitations to contribute to our response. 

As I write this, spring seems to have well and truly arrived – and as we all turn to familiar pastimes such as gardening and DIY it is worth taking note of our article on eye injuries. Lockdown research has revealed an increase in DIY-related injuries, with various reports across the country of eye injuries including chemical burns, lid lacerations and foreign bodies. It is always worth reiterating the importance of eye protection to our patients, particularly at this time of year.

It is always worth reiterating the importance of eye protection to our patients

I had the pleasure of welcoming Sharon Beatty MCOptom to our College Council meeting last November, where she was able to give us an update on the digital technology supporting eye care in Wales. In our article Sharon describes how community schemes have been established for new care pathways with the emphasis on cooperation between primary care optometry and secondary care ophthalmology.

Leading on from this, in another article we ask whether direct ophthalmoscopy should be maintained. We highlight how it still has a use in home visits as well as for teaching purposes. There is no doubt that the use of direct ophthalmoscopy has declined, and the emergence of newer technologies has sparked some interesting debate.

Finally, we are now into a new era of continuing professional development (CPD). I am sure many of you have started your personal development plans to link in with this and are enjoying the return of face-to-face educational activities. The College website has lots of resources to help members with the changes, and I for one am looking forward to attending Optometry Tomorrow in Telford on 19 and 20 June. I hope to see many of you there in what promises to be a great event after a two-year absence.

Colin Davidson BSc FCOptom DipTp(IP) Prof Cert Med Ret

Colin currently works part-time for the University of Hertfordshire where he is programme lead for independent prescribing. He also works in independent practice in East Sussex, and at Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton where he works in both A&E and uveitis clinics. He is a senior assessor for the College and an OSCE chief examiner. He is a former member of East Sussex LOC and a current member of the education faculty at the Johnson and Johnson Institute.

Related further reading

We believe that vaccine uptake will be maximised when staff are supported to make their own decisions, having been provided with clear, evidence-based information on the benefit and value of vaccinations.

There will be some changes to the guidance on the wearing of face masks for clinicians in Scotland.

Our Clinical Adviser, Denise Voon MCOptom, tells us how we can take part in the nationwide volunteering initiative, The Big Help Out.