News

  • Coronavirus: Information for glaucoma patients

    The coronavirus pandemic is impacting all NHS services, and eye services are no exception.

    If the situation is causing you stress or anxiety, we’re here to support you.  We know that as a nation, we need to support the NHS at this time and we understand there will be sacrifices, but we also know that this isn’t always easy to cope with.  You don’t need to cope alone.  If you’d like to talk to someone just  call our glaucoma helpline on 01233 64 81 70 from Monday to Friday, 9:30am – 5:00pm.

    So how are hospital glaucoma services being affected by coronavirus?

    Hospitals across the UK have started deferring all routine work.  This includes outpatient appointments and surgery.

    OUTPATIENTS: If you’re  a glaucoma outpatient, your medical record will probably be assessed, by the clinical team and unfortunately only the most urgent cases will be seen.  Unless you’re assessed as having a very high risk of sight loss within months, the hospital will probably contact you to DEFER your appointment.  This is expected to be the case for virtual or optometrist-led clinics too.

    NEW PATIENTS: It’s likely that only those at very high risk of sight loss within months will be seen at the hospital. People with very high intraocular pressure, sudden visual loss or acute angle closure are likely to be treated as ‘urgent’, but all other cases will probably be deferred.  This is necessary in order to ensure that the most critical cases can be treated using limited resources.

    SURGERY: We expect that almost all glaucoma surgery WILL BE DEFERRED unless it falls into the new definition of urgent, i.e. only patients with a very high risk of  sight loss within months, of a kind that seriously threatens quality of life.

    If you were due to have surgery in the coming weeks or months, your hospital will probably be in touch.  It may be that a change in your eye drop regime may be introduced as a satisfactory temporary solution, and we hope eye clinic staff would discuss this with you.  We understand this will be frustrating and unsettling for people who may have already waited many months for surgery, but these are unprecedented circumstances and we need to ensure NHS staff are available to help deal with the current emergency situation, as well as preventing unnecessary visits to hospital.

    GETTING IN TOUCH

    Eye clinics will be trying to contact patients informing them of the situation with their treatment.  If you are called in for treatment and feel you are high risk and don’t want to go to the hospital in person, you can ask for a telephone consultation.  But please remember that we’re in a period of unprecedented demand on NHS services, and services at different hospitals will vary.

    Please don’t go to the hospital unless you have a confirmed appointment.  You may expose yourself, doctors and other hospital staff to coronavirus.

    COMMUNITY OPTOMETRY

    Routine community eye health checks are likely to be cancelled, and community optometrists will probably be available for emergency care only.  If your appointment has been cancelled, your optometrist will contact you and provide you with information about when a future appointment might take place.  Realistically this could be some months away.

    While appointments are being deferred, they aren’t being cancelled forever. It’s important that you are seen again in clinic when things improve, so if you haven’t heard from the hospital once the crisis has passed,  you may wish to contact the hospital to check you’re still in the system.

    In these difficult times, good eye drop use is absolutely essential in maintaining your sight. Please remember to use your drops regularly, and as prescribed by your doctor.

    You can find more help here

    https://www.glaucoma-association.com/about-glaucoma/treatments/eye-drops

    And finally, some topical advice for those who wear glasses or contact lenses.

    • It’s best to stick to soap and water when washing your hands to administer eye drops or handle contact lenses, rather than using hand sanitiser.
    • Anti-bacterial hand sanitiser will help to rid your glasses of potentially harmful surface particles, but do avoid contact with the lenses, because some ingredients may affect the quality of the lens’ surface. It’s also likely to smear or leave streaks on your lenses unless properly rinsed and dried.
    • Anti-bacterial hand sanitisers are likely to contain alcohol, so it’s important to avoid contact with the eyes as it may cause irritation. To help avoid this, use a glasses cleaning liquid or a diluted pH neutral hand wash”.

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  • Upcoming IGA events cancelled

    In light of the continued spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the UK government has advised the public to avoid unnecessary travel and avoid contact with others.

    Following this advice we have cancelled all upcoming IGA patient conferences and IGA-organised Glaucoma Support Groups.  We know it may come as a disappointment, but it is necessary for the safety and wellbeing of patients and staff.

    If you attend other support groups organised by hospitals and other organisations, please be aware that these will also be affected.

    Our glaucoma helpline remains open and our advisors can provide advice and support as always.  The helpline is open Monday-Friday from 09:30 to 17:00 on 01233 64 81 70.

    On our website we also have an online forum, which provides a platform for people to connect with others living with glaucoma, share experiences and ask questions.  This can be found at https://www.glaucoma-association.com/glaucoma-forum/

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  • Download information leaflets

    Did you know all our information booklets and leaflets are available to view and download as PDF files?

    With the ongoing threat of Coronavirus, we are working hard to make all of our information booklets and leaflets as accessible as possible.

    All of our information leaflets are FREE to view and download, just click on the leaflet you require below.

    If you would prefer a printed copy, you can still order these through our shop but please allow extra time for delivery.

    Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

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  • 2020 Annual General Meeting Postponed

    Unfortunately, our public 43rd AGM and 2020 IGA Annual Lectures due to be held on Friday 13 March 2020 have been postponed.

    As the situation and response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly evolving, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone our meeting with the safety of our members in mind.

    The most up to date public advice and information can be found at gov.uk/coronavirus

    We will update this notice with further details as and when we know more.

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  • We're Recruiting

    We’re looking for a new colleague to become our Office Administrator

    When?                         Permanent, full time 37.5 hours/week

    Where?                        Woodcote House, 15 Highpoint Business Village, Henwood, Ashford, Kent TN24 8DH

    What?                           We’re looking for someone who will provide front line cover including membership admin for two days per week, with the remaining 3 days providing support to colleagues working in patient services, finance, fundraising, membership, ICT, comms, HR, and more.

    How do I apply?          Download a job pack and application form here

    Closing date 9am Friday 27 March 2020

    Interviews will be held on Thursday 2 April in Ashford

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  • World Glaucoma Week 2020 survey. The results are in... 

    We want to say a big thank you to everyone who responded to our recent membership survey. The number of responses far exceeded our expectations!

    Survey result infographicsAs part of our World Glaucoma Week campaign, we asked people to tell us about how their glaucoma was first detected.

    The majority of those who responded to our survey had glaucoma detected via an eye test at an optician – just over three quarters. For over 65% this was via a free NHS sight test – a clear indicator of how vital free eye tests are to detecting conditions like glaucoma.

    More than half of respondents - 55% - had their eye test at an independent optician. Just over 31% chose an optician that was part of a chain, the most popular being Specsavers and Boots.

    A huge number of respondents - more than 67% - told us that they had no concerns about their eyesight before they attended this appointment – a response that highlights the importance of having your eyes tested regularly. As glaucoma is so often symptomless, the diagnosis will come as a surprise to many people, but early diagnosis helps to reduce the risk of sight loss and gives the best prognosis for retaining useful sight for life.

    That’s why this World Glaucoma Week, our mission is to raise awareness of the availability of free eye tests on the NHS.

    Millions of people in the UK are eligible, but many of them may not know it. Our ‘Are You Eligible?’ campaign is seeking to reach out to people who may be unaware of their entitlement to free eye tests, and encourage as many as possible to book one today.

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  • Important notice regarding our telephone number

    We have been made aware that telephone numbers used by our organisation are being ‘spoofed’ by nuisance callers.

    Caller ID spoofing is the practice of causing the telephone network to indicate to the receiver of a call that the originator of the call is a number other than the true originating number.

    Unfortunately, we currently cannot take action against those doing this because we don’t know who the culprits are.

    The International Glaucoma Association will never cold call you. We will only telephone you if you have requested a callback from our membership team or our Sightline team.

    If you have been affected, please do get in touch to let us know as are building an evidence base we will use to make a complaint and stop this from happening.

    We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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  • Chloe's 100 miles across Lake Baikal 2020

    Chloe is off on her amazing adventure on Friday 14 February.  Together with Dad, Sean, she’ll be bravely setting off on the challenging 150km winter crossing of Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia.  The lake is the oldest and deepest lake in the world and will take them just under seven days to cross.  They will have to pull sledges loaded with their equipment and supplies with them.  Chloe was diagnosed with glaucoma when she was 12 and her nan also has the disease, which is why she is raising money and hopes that one day there will be a cure.

    ‘My dad and I will be walking 100 miles across frozen lake Baikal. We will be camping on the ice and using sledges to carry our equipment. Being diagnosed at such a young age was a huge shock, not only for myself but also my family. Not many people realise that children can also suffer from this condition and it is not as rare as people may think. Having visited the children's glaucoma hospital in London on numerous occasions, I was surprised to see the wide age range of children attending the clinic. Due to the wonderful care of my consultant my condition is stable, and I have the opportunity to travel the world and see amazing things, but I am sure this is not the case for many. Therefore, I am trying raise as much money as possible for this charity so the wonderful work they do can continue and maybe one day there will be a cure.’

    Our best wishes and sincere thanks go to Chloe and her dad.  Good Luck!

    To donate, please click here

    To find out more about their challenge, click here

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  • IGA Professor David (Ted) Garway-Heath receives national and international awards for his glaucoma work

    We are delighted to share news of IGA Professor David Garway-Heath's recent international and national awards from the American Glaucoma Society (AGS) and the UK Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (ACCEA).

    Picture of IGA Professor

    The AGS will present Professor David (Ted) Garway-Heath with the prestigious International Scholar Award in February 2020. Ted, who is Professor of Ophthalmology at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (IoO) and Consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital alongside being IGA Professor, receives the award in recognition of his "lifetime contributions to glaucoma research, education, and patient care".

    In the UK, Prof. Garway-Heath has been awarded a Gold Clinical Excellence Award in recognition of his contributions to the NHS after intense scrutiny by the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (ACCEA), which is sponsored by the Department and Health and Social Care. The award is a public acknowledgement of his professional expertise and sustained and dedicated contribution to the NHS over and above contractual requirements.

    About Professor Garway-Heath

    In addition to his clinical work, Prof. Garway-Heath leads research in visual assessment and imaging at the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields and UCL IoO. He also conducts his own research aimed at improving care outcome by developing and evaluating diagnostics, improving clinical trial design to reduce the time taken to establish treatment benefits, identifying risk factors for disease progression, and developing decision-support software to provide evidence-based guidance in clinical care.

    Prof. Garway-Heath's 2015 Lancet paper reporting the findings of his landmark UK Glaucoma Treatment Study is highly cited worldwide and has been referenced in the NICE Glaucoma Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. The map he developed to relate structure and function in glaucoma has now been incorporated into diagnostic devices used in the clinic worldwide.

    Prof. Garway-Heath has been consecutively cited in The Ophthalmologist magazine's power list as one of the 100 most influential people in ophthalmology worldwide, and last year he was voted 'top mentor worldwide' on the power list for his work mentoring younger colleagues and helping them develop leadership skills. He has also been driving a mentorship programme for the European Glaucoma Society (EGS), of which he is President, called Next Generation Partnership (NGP). Since its launch in 2017, the NGP programme has enrolled around 100 glaucoma specialists across all European countries.

    He has also undertaken a European-wide patient support initiative. Currently, patient support organisations are not as well developed in some countries as in the UK, which means that patients often cannot access support outside the clinical environment. The first step of this initiative has been accomplished by allowing all EGS members to gain direct access to information on patient education and support provided by the IGA. The IGA was selected as it is one of the best-established patient organisations in Europe. A further step of the initiative was launched at the 2018 EGS biennial congress to promote the establishment of a Europe-wide Patient Support Organisation Network with the support from the IGA.

    This year’s EGS congress in Brussels will celebrate the Society’s 40th anniversary and will be marked by the launch of an initiative dedicated to patient input into care provision and research priorities. The IGA will be taking an active part in this initiative.

    Find out more

    - View Professor Garway-Heath's academic profile https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioo/research/academics/garway-heath

    - Visit the EGS website https://www.eugs.org/eng/default.asp

    - Visit the AGS website https://www.americanglaucomasociety.net/home

    - Read about the NHS Clinical Excellence Awards https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/advisory-committee-on-clinical-excellence-awards

     

     

     

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  • Our friends at City, University of London are recruiting…

    Job details

    Laboratory Technician Optometry Wrap Around Cover

    Reference Number: 60029981
    Location: Northampton Square  Map & Directions
    School / Service: School of Health Sciences
    Department: Optometry & Visual Science
    Contract Duration: Permanent
    Hours: Part-time
    Salary Range (£): 25941 to 29176

    Responsibilities

    Acting as a point of contact for the students that use the Clinical Skills and Dispensing laboratories, you will be responsible for loaning equipment out to students and maintaining a log. You may be required to coordinate unsupervised group sessions for students. You will be required to keep the laboratories neat and tidy, ensuring all equipment and registers are locked away at the end of the shift. You will also be responsible for ensuring the laboratories are locked at the end of the shift.

    The role is term-time and you will be required to start at 4.30pm. The hours will vary as follows:
    From 17th February to 20th March you will work from 4.30 to 6.00pm for 5 weeks
    From 23rd March to 3rd April you will work from 4.30 to 5.00pm for 2 weeks

    The role will commence again for Term 1 from mid-September 2020 to mid-December 2020 from 4.30 to 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

    Person Specification

    Educated to A level or equivalent you will also have previous experience of working in a supportive role. You will have a calm and patient manner, coupled with flexibility and the desire to work as part of a team. A willingness to help others and ensure students are treated in a friendly professional manner at all times are essential. You will also be expected to demonstrate an understanding of the issues that would arise in a student focused work environment.

    Additional Information

    City offers a sector-leading salary, pension scheme and benefits including a comprehensive package of staff training and development.

    Closing date for applications: 11.59pm 6th February

    Interview date: 19th February

    For further details and an informal discussion about the position, please contact Irene Ctori via 020 7040 0132

    Actively working to promote equal opportunity and diversity

    Academic excellence for business and the professions

    Please use the link below to view further details for this job.

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