New President: How I'm championing the College

19 August 2022
Summer 2022

A message from Professor Leon Davies FCOptom, College President.

Welcome to the latest issue of Acuity. Having taken on the role in June, I am delighted to write my inaugural editorial as President of the College. I want to thank Colin Davidson for his leadership as President over the past two years. I would also like to congratulate our Clinical Adviser, Daniel Hardiman-McCartney FCOptom, on the award of his MBE. I am sure you will agree that this is a fitting recognition of Daniel’s personal achievements, reflecting optometry’s critical contribution to public health. Indeed, I look forward to reminding policy-makers and the public of optometrists’ vital public health role. 

One of the many areas our profession is leading in is the diagnosis and management of dry eye disease (DED). Our article looks at the use of intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy to treat DED resulting from meibomian gland dysfunction. Amid a developing evidence base and research aimed at optimising treatment regimens, IPL is becoming more widespread in dry eye clinics. Two experienced clinicians interviewed in the article describe how they use IPL, often with other therapeutic modalities, to treat their patients.

Safeguarding children and adults who may be at risk of mental or physical abuse is a core professional duty for all optometrists. I am sure many colleagues have been in contact with a patient and had concerns about their welfare. That said, how confident are you with recognising the signs of abuse or neglect? Our article on safeguarding will help readers to recognise signs of abuse and to manage cases accordingly.

Safeguarding children and adults who may be at risk is a core professional duty

Recent advances in technology are allowing optometrists to take on further clinical roles. Importantly, these investigative procedures enable us to detect ocular pathology at an earlier stage and help prevent vision loss. As many of these advanced investigations are not typically included as part of an NHS sight test, optometrists need to be able to inform their patients not only about the value of these diagnostic tools, but also about their cost. Our article looks at the guidance for recommending further tests, and how colleagues can feel more confident having these conversations.

As I look to the future, I intend to champion our College as a committed and passionate advocate of our profession in all four nations of the UK. I am keen to listen, promote evidence-based practice, and lead innovation for the benefit of members and the patients we serve.

Image credit | Sam-Kerr

Professor Leon Davies PhD BSc(Hons) FCOptom Prof Cert Med Ret

President, Council Member - West Midlands

Leon Davies is a registered optometrist and Professor of Optometry & Physiological Optics at Aston University. A Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, Leon holds fellowships with the College of Optometrists, the American Academy of Optometry, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Leadership roles at Aston University include Director of Research (2010-17) and Head of the School of Optometry (2016-21). His clinical research is focused on presbyopia and the restoration of ocular accommodation to the ageing eye.

Image credit | Sam-Kerr

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