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In June 2016, Council met to focus on the newest issues and developments facing the profession, review changes to the College and discuss what it means to be a Council member.

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Author: Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt MCOptom, President of the College of Optometrists
Date: 28 June 2016

One of the roles of President is to chair College Council, the enthusiastic and increasingly diverse group of member representatives, who provide the strategic and professional direction of the College. Council met most recently in June and focused on the newest issues and developments facing the profession, reviewed a number of changes to the College that will be in evidence over the coming months, as well as discussing what it means to be a Council member.

Developments in optometric service delivery remain high on the profession and the College’s agenda. To set the context for many of these developments, Katrina Venerus, LOCSU’s Managing Director and Alan Tinger, LOCSU’s Chair came along to speak about their ongoing work with local services. Following their presentation, Council discussed the opportunities and challenges that emerging pathways and services present for optometry and the eye health sector, and how the profession can be best be equipped to take full advantage of these.

The College continues to ensure that it evolves as a modern and contemporary professional body for optometrists with the patient at the centre of what we do.

The Foresight Report provided a thought-provoking picture of what the future might hold for eye health professionals. Commissioned by the College of Optometrists and the Optical Confederation and principally funded by The Central Optical Fund, it examines the impact innovation and new technology will have on optometry. The skills that that eye health professionals will need as health care rapidly adjusts to take advantage of innovation, along with changing patient need and the realities this brings, will need to evolve too.

We were again joined by Alan Tinger, Chair of the Foresight Project, this time co-presenting with Director of Research at the College Mike Bowen, for a journey that took us from direct to consumer contact lenses, frames and glazing, to bespoke 3D printing, hand held 3D imaging technology, and both online and app-based refraction.  Council then considered the likely impact on the profession of these wide ranging developments in detection, management, treatment and correction, and which of these the College should prioritise in helping prepare our members for what can at times feel like a brave new world.  

The College continues to ensure that it evolves as a modern and contemporary professional body for optometrists with the patient at the centre of what we do. Council reviewed an update on the College’s branding and a new website, and discussed the College’s success in conducting research and how we can explore new ways to diversify research funding in order to continue to develop the optometric evidence base.  

Council members reviewed the role description we have developed. The discussion provided an interesting insight into what drives individuals to put themselves forward for for Council, the benefits the College and the profession gain from those individuals who do, but also how Council members benefit in their personal and professional development from their involvement.  

On which note, I would like to thank Council members for a lively and engaging meeting which was a joy to chair! I look forward to seeing them all at the next Council meeting which will be held on 23 November.

More information about the College’s Council and your regional Council members.

Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt PhD MCOptom DipGlauc DipTP(IP)
Co-opted Trustee, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Mary-Ann is Clinical Lead for Optometry at the University of the West of England, and part of the multidisciplinary team at Bristol Eye Hospital. A NICE Centre for Guidelines Expert Advisor on Serious Eye Disorders, she represented the College on Optometry Wales for six years, becoming their Clinical Advisor during the formalisation of the Eye Care Plan for Wales. A College representative on the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning, Mary-Ann is also a past President of the College.



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