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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Subhash Suthar, Development Manager at the IGA, wins new David Burt OBE Award 2019

    Our colleague Subhash Suthar, and his contribution to the sight loss community, was recognised on 9 October 2019 when he became the first recipient of the new David Burt OBE Award 2019 at the Vision UK awards.

    The David Burt OBE award is given to an individual or team working within the vision, eye health and sight loss community who can demonstrate a project, in research or improved methodology and practise in assisting in the cause of reducing sight loss in the community, that has made a significant improvement in the sector.

    Hosted at the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), Subhash was presented with a striking bespoke sculpture crafted specially to mark the occasion by David Burt OBE.

    The award was given in recognition to Subhash’s work with the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) to reach and provide services to BME communities to assist in reducing sight loss.

    Muslims in the UK who are affected by glaucoma or suspected intra-ocular pressures may stop using their eye drops during the holy month of Ramadan when fasting. Subhash identified this potential risk to the eye health of this community and played an integral role in driving the IGA to develop a campaign to raise awareness and give information to those who might be affected. The campaign engaged the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), ophthalmologists and a large portion of the population to deliver a clear message that Muslims could continue taking eye drops either side of fasting each day and could also learn to instil them whilst practicing punctal occlusion, thus keeping the drops within the eye.

    This project is just one of many that comprise Subhash’s extraordinary contributions towards discouraging preventable glaucoma sight loss in his role at the IGA, for which we are delighted he has been recognised.

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  • IGA and RCOphth £100,000 Ophthalmology research grant

    International Glaucoma Association (IGA) and The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) announce prestigious £100,000 Ophthalmology research grant


    There are 700,000 people in the UK living with glaucoma, an eye disease that without treatment typically causes loss of vision.  Over the next ten years, glaucoma cases are predicted to rise by 22% and over 20 years by 44%.  Research is vital to improve understanding of glaucoma and develop innovative and sight-saving treatments.

    The £100,000 Ophthalmology research award is run in partnership between the RCOphth and the IGA, with the IGA providing the funding for this important contribution towards glaucoma research. The prestigious award has now been running for nearly 20 years and has funded research from prospective stem cell treatments to the use of big data in patient risk stratification.

    The IGA encourages patient-orientated research directly concerned with the improvement of glaucoma management.  Applicants may be trainees seeking support for a fellowship or senior researchers seeking a grant for a project.  Last year’s successful applicant was Dr Victor Hu, International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with his project ‘Detecting glaucoma using a combination of low-cost, portable and easy to use tests’.

    Karen Osborn, Chief Executive, International Glaucoma Association

    ‘We are delighted to announce the call for the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) and The Royal College of Ophthalmology (RCOphth) £100,000 Ophthalmology research award, which forms part of our largest ever annual programme of research funding.  We’re grateful to our friends at the College for their help in the promotion and administration of the award, and we’re hoping for a bumper year in terms of applications.’

    Prof Philip Bloom MB ChB FRCS FRCOphth, Chair, International Glaucoma Association

    ‘The importance of research awards in the field of ophthalmology cannot be understated. Research has led to improved technology and innovative methods of service delivery that are helping to improve the way we deliver care. We’re proud to have played a role in this, and we’re excited to see what new studies will be proposed in this grants round.’

    The IGA and RCOphth wish to encourage a high level of applications for 2020 for this prestigious award.

    Award applications close 1 February 2020.  To apply please visit https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/professional-resources/awards-and-prizes/

     About the International Glaucoma Association:

    The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) is the charity for people with glaucoma: we are a membership organisation, and glaucoma patients are at the very heart of all we do. We support people to live well with glaucoma by providing a telephone helpline, regional support groups, peer support services and widely acclaimed patient information booklets. We also fund vital glaucoma research, and we campaign to raise awareness of the disease and encourage good eye health care.

    For more information, please visit: www.glaucoma-association.com

    Sightline glaucoma helpline: 01233 64 81 70 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5.00pm).

    Applications open: 1 October 2019
    Applications close: 1 February 2020
    To download an application form, please click here.

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  • Christmas Cards 2019

    Sending IGA Christmas cards is a great way to show friends and family that you support our sight saving work.

    This year we have some beautiful new designs, some with lovely festive red envelopes, as well as bargain packs and a small selection of our more traditional designs.

    Call us on 01233 64 81 64 to order your cards and pay by credit or debit card.

    Click on the images below to see larger pictures of the cards.

    Postage costs:

    1 pack of 10 cards: £1.20

    2 to 10 packs: £3.00

    11 or more packs: £6.00

    Bargain cards (30 cards): £3.00

    Call us on 01233 64 81 64 to order your cards and pay by credit or debit card.

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  • 100 Voices Campaign

    The IGA is pleased to be supporting the 100 Voices campaign, a patient experience initiative for eye services.

    EyesWise is an NHS project that aims to save sight and improve lives. Since April 2018, work has been underway in hospital eye services across the country to streamline and speed up outpatient treatment for patients at highest risk of sight loss. As part of EyesWise we are now launching the 100 Voices campaign to find out what it feels like to use those services.

    What would patients, carers and staff like the people involved in commissioning and providing services to know? What is your experience of making appointments and attending ophthalmology outpatient clinics since April 2018? The100 Voices campaign will gather and share your stories.

    As one of the highest volume outpatient specialties, oophthalmology is a key focus and understanding the perspective of patientsis essential to understanting the priorities for the redesign of ophthalmology services.  Forthcoming work on the redesign of ophthalmology services will build on the outcomes and learning from EyesWise and the 100 Voices campaign.

    If you think the NHS can learn from our experience, please tell us your story. You can write about it or upload a video or recording of yourself talking about it.  To share your story and be part of the sim to streamline and speed up outpatient treatment, please click here.

     

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  • New Cardiff Visual Impairment Social Group- coming August 2019

    On Thursday 15 August at Llanishen Hub (CARDIFF) a new social group for those living with a visual impairment will be starting from 12 - 2pm.

    If you would like more information or If you would like to come along/know of anyone who may be interested then please contact Sue Baskerville: SBaskerville@caerdydd.gov.uk / SBaskerville@cardiff.gov.uk

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