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  • The College of Optometrists is seeking patients or carers from across the UK to join their Public Patients Reference Group

    The group provides input from patients and the public to the College’s policies, guidance, and patient resources. For more details and an application form, please go to:

    www.college-optometrists.org

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  • IGA Glaucoma Patient Conference, Newcastle 2018- 30th November 2018

    Invitation to an IGA Glaucoma Patient Conference, Newcastle 2018

    Following the success of our Annual Lectures in London earlier in the year, we decided to hold a similar event for our members in the North East area, and I’m delighted to invite you to join us at a Patient Conference on Friday 30 November at The Great Hall, Sutherland Building, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne.

    Refreshments will be available from 2pm and the event starts at 2.30pm with a keynote lecture about the future of glaucoma care by IGA Chair and consultant ophthalmologist Prof Philip Bloom, covering the latest news on laser and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery.  This will be followed by a dry eye disease presentation by Glaucoma Clinical Fellow David Lunt, then optometrist Zoe Richmond will talk briefly about the role of optometrists in glaucoma care. This will be followed by a Q&A session where you can put questions to our panel of experts chaired by Prof Bloom, and we’ll end with a drinks reception from 5pm to 6.30pm.

    The conference is free to attend but places are limited and booking is essential, so to secure your place and for details on how to find the venue and where to park, please call us on 01233 64 81 64 or email Richenda at r.kew@iga.org.uk

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  • Devon in Sight - Community Sight Loss Hubs

    Rural isolation and bad transport links were one of the reasons why Devon in Sight decided to take their services out into the community by creating Community Sight Loss Hubs.

    They now have regular 'Talk and Support Groups' over a dozen locations across the county where clients have the opportunity to meet with others with sight loss, hear about the services available for them in their community and receive specialist training.

    Their services continue as normal, with the majority being provided from their 13 Community Sight Loss Hubs. These hubs are operated by a community support team consisting of Cathy, Margaret, Rebecca and Tracey. Appointments are available to view lighting and daily living equipment at their new premises and at most of their Community Sight Loss Hubs.

    How to contact:

    Call the helpline on 01392 84 66 66

    Email: enquiries@devoninsight.org.uk

    Please remember that Devon in Sight operates by APPOINTMENT ONLY

    Devon in Sight, Splatford Barton, Kennford, Exeter EX6 7XY

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  • IGA Glaucoma Patient Conference, Manchester 2018

    Following the success of our Annual Lectures in London earlier in the year, we have decided to hold a similar event for our members in the North West, and we are delighted to announce that there will be a Patient Conference on Tuesday 16 October at the Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre, Aytoun Street M1 3AE.

    The event starts at 2.30pm with a lecture from Mr Leon Au, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH), who will be speaking about new advances in glaucoma treatment. Following on, Cecilia Fenerty, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at MREH will talk about the changing face of glaucoma care in the UK. The afternoon will finish with a Q&A panel where you will be able to put questions to Leon, Cecilia and other leading glaucoma experts. There will also be a drinks reception from 5pm to 6.30pm.

    The patient conference is free to attend but places are limited and booking is essential, so to secure your place please call us on 01233 64 81 64 or email Richenda at r.kew@iga.org.uk

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  • INTERNATIONAL GLAUCOMA ASSOCIATION WARNS MUSLIMS NOT TO STOP TAKING EYE DROPS DURING RAMADAN

    The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) advises Muslim glaucoma patients not to stop taking eye drop medication during Ramadan (Tuesday 15 May to Thursday 14 June) as stopping drops even for a short period of time can cause permanent loss of vision.

    Hospital reports and calls to the IGA helpline have indicated that some Muslims cease using their eye drops during Ramadan, believing that using the eye drops will break their fast. Even more worrying is that many of these patients then stop using the drops completely when they don’t perceive any change to their sight. This will not be apparent to the individual until significant sight loss has occurred.

    Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions in which the optic nerve is damaged, usually by excessive pressure within the eye. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to serious loss of vision, with up to 40 per cent of sight being permanently lost before the effects are noticed by the individual.   Fortunately glaucoma is the most common cause of preventable blindness and for the majority of glaucoma patients, daily eye drops are a simple solution to control their condition and save their sight.

    Subhash Suthar, IGA Development Manager, comments: “We want to reassure the Muslim community that drops can be taken before dawn and after sunset (known as Suhoor and Iftar), when food and drink can be consumed. We also suggest that patients close the tear duct when taking eye drops (known as punctual occlusion) as this means that fluid stays in the eye and does not drain into the throat and so cannot be tasted. This is achieved by putting finger pressure at the corner of the eye next to the nose (punctual occlusion) immediately after instilling drops. It is distressing when patients realise through a follow up appointment at their ophthalmologist or optometrist that their vision has been damaged through stopping drops. ”

    The IGA is working with the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) to raise awareness of this issue.

    MCB’s Deputy Secretary General Dr Omer El-Hamdoon, has confirmed that all Islamic Schools Of Thought agree that taking eye drops does not invalidate the fast unless the eye drops reach the throat, which is unlikely. More so, Islam advocates that people take care of their bodies.

    IGA Advice for eye drops during Ramadan:

    1. Do not stop eye drops during Ramadan- all Schools of Thought support this
    2. If you are still doubtful, use morning drops at Suhoor and evening drops at Iftar
    3. Try practicing punctal occlusion following instillation of drops

    As National Glaucoma Awareness Week approaches (4-10 June) the IGA also advises anyone planning a summer holiday to make sure they take their eye drops with them, as some patients either forget to take their drops with them, or think it will be fine to stop taking them while away, which could lead to serious sight loss.

    The IGA works with all professionals involved in glaucoma management to educate about the need for good eye drop use and compliance. It helps to set up local patient support groups within hospitals and has some simple tips and films available on our website.

    For more information on the IGA call 01233 64 81 64 or log onto
    www.glaucoma-association.com

    -ENDS-

    For further information please contact Annabel Hillary, 07884 430862, annabel@prwhenyouneedit.co.uk

    or Mary-Jane Greenhalgh, 07866 722051, maryjane@prwhenyouneedit.co.uk

    or Karen Brewer on: 01233 64 81 64 or email: K.Brewer@iga.org.uk or R.Kew@iga.org.uk

    About the International Glaucoma Association (Charity Registered in England & Wales no. 274681, in Scotland no. SC041550)

    1. The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) is the charity for people with glaucoma, with the mission to raise awareness of glaucoma, promote research related to early diagnosis and treatment, and to provide support to patients and all those who care for them. For more information, please visit:

    www.glaucoma-association.com

    1. Set up in 1974, it is the oldest patient based glaucoma association in the world and it is a Charity Registered in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England & Wales.
    2. As part of its support services, it operates the IGA Sightline (helpline) and provides free information on any aspect of glaucoma.

    4. For more information about glaucoma, contact the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) Sightline on 01233 64 81 70 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5.00pm).

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  • High level Education Strategic Review consultation responses show support for new education approach

    The GOC has published some high level findings from its Education Strategic Review concepts and principles consultation. 

    The high level summary publication shows 97 per cent of respondents agreed with the development of new education standards for optometrists and dispensing opticians. 82 per cent agreed with embedding clinical experience progressively from the start of education programmes.

    Stakeholders also showed support for the GOC further informing its education requirements with its Standards for Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians, with 84 per cent in favour of embedding professionalism into education and training programmes. 

    GOC Chief Executive and Registrar, Vicky McDermott said: “We are delighted to have received many supportive responses to the consultation that will enable us to work at pace to develop our detailed proposals to equip future professionals with the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to practise safely and competently in a changing sector.

    “We will make concerted progress in the coming months to transform these concepts into workable approaches for the future.”

    The GOC’s Education Strategic Review concepts and principles consultation ran from December 2017 to March 2018, comprised 21 questions and sought feedback on 11 concepts and principles. A total of 36 responses were received to the consultation, 26 from organisations and 10 from individuals.  

    The GOC has also commissioned a full independent analysis of the consultation feedback and will publish this separately. 

    To read the high level findings summary please visit: https://www.optical.org/en/Education/education-strategic-review/supplementary-reading.cfm

    ENDS

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  • The IGA professor is 17th on the list of 100 most influential people in ophthalmology

    #17 David (Ted) Garway-Heath

    David (Ted) Garway-Heath

    IGA Professor of Ophthalmology for Glaucoma and Allied Studies, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK

    Ted’s research has yielded many new diagnostic and monitoring tools, including the Moorfields Motion Displacement Test that identifies the loss of peripheral vision; The Moorfields Regression Analysis, software that assists glaucoma diagnosis from scanning laser tomography images; and the Garway-Heath Map, which is used in research and clinical practice to map the correspondence between visual field and optic nerve head damage. He was chief investigator for the UK Glaucoma Treatment Study, the first placebo-controlled trial for the medical treatment of glaucoma with a visual field loss outcome. In his research, he aims to continue to improve glaucoma diagnostic techniques, clinical trial design and identify risk factors for glaucoma. He recognizes the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration for successful research and has long-term productive collaborations with statisticians, computer scientists and academics in other fields of medicine. Advancement of knowledge and scientific progress comes from bias-free dialogue with peers, mentees and mentors.

    Ted is fortunate enough to include amongst his mentors Roger Hitchings, with whom he undertook clinical and research fellowships, Joe Caprioli, with whom he did a research fellowship, and George Spaeth, mentor in turn to both Hitchings and Caprioli. As President of the European Glaucoma Society, his aims for the coming years are to increase patient participation in the Society, build the education resources, establish a common platform to measure care outcomes across Europe and strengthen ties with other national and international Glaucoma Societies.

    https://theophthalmologist.com/power-list/2018/

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  • Moorfields appoints IGA trustee, Nick Strouthidis as its new medical director

    26 February 2018

    Source: Moorfields

    Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has appointed Nick Strouthidis to the post of  medical director. Currently a consultant ophthalmologist in Moorfields’ glaucoma service and the glaucoma service director, Nick has worked for the Trust since 2002.

    Nick began his career at Moorfields as a research fellow to the glaucoma research unit and completed most of his training at Moorfields as both a registrar and a clinical glaucoma fellow. His clinical interests cover all aspects of adult glaucoma, particularly new surgical treatments. Alongside corneal consultant colleague Mark Wilkins, he runs the UK’s first integrated clinic for patients undergoing keratoprostheses, a surgical procedure to replace a diseased cornea with an artificial cornea.

    Nick was appointed to this pivotal role following a rigorous recruitment process, involving external stakeholders.

    Nick Strouthidis said:
    “It is an honour to take on the role of medical director at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, an organisation that has shaped my professional life. I will work hard with our incredible staff to ensure we succeed in delivering our five-year strategy to work with patients and partners to discover, develop and deliver the best eye care.”
    The search for a new medical director began in response to outgoing medical director Declan Flanagan stepping down after eight years to focus on his clinical practice. Declan will continue to serve as medical director until August, when Nick takes up the post. After that, Declan will remain with the trust as a consultant ophthalmologist in the medical retina service, where he specialises in the treatment of retinal diseases.

    David Probert, chief executive of Moorfields Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said:
    “I look forward to Nick joining the executive team at Moorfields and congratulate him on his appointment. I am incredibly grateful for Declan’s exceptional leadership throughout his time as medical director.”

    Declan Flanagan said: “Spending the past eight years as Moorfields’ medical director has been a privilege. I am proud that, despite growing demand for our services, our clinical outcomes continue to be among the best in the world.”

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  • IGA wins commendation at Ophthalmology Awards 2017

    The IGA together with Princess Alexander Eye Pavilion, NHS Lothian receives a commendation for a local patient-led support group for Scotland aimed at reaching out to patients to improve awareness of glaucoma in the community.

    ‘Glaucoma Support Edinburgh’ was formed by a group of patients to address several unmet needs as the NHS now believe patients should take responsibility for their own health, and a support group/forum where patients can build their knowledge is an aid to this goal. The initiative began by recruiting a small group of patients, representatives from the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) and glaucoma specialists from the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, to form a project steering committee.

    Their aim was to establish a local patient-led support group for Scotland with its own identity, but affiliated to the IGA, with the aim of reaching out to patients and improve awareness of glaucoma in the community.

    A website was developed to provide patients with information on meetings and events which is now used as a local awareness/information site. The culture of ‘patients supporting patients’ has led to growth in the number of patients engaging with and accessing the support provided. The group has relieved pressure on the NHS services where there is little extra funding for patient education.

    Judges’ comments:
    “This entry showcased ‘excellent results’ and fulfils the unmet need that exists in some ophthalmology units. The judges found it interesting and demonstrated clear innovation by being patient led – overall it was a good use of patient support groups and patient ownership.”

    For more information about the 2017 winners, click here

    About the awards

    The Ophthalmology Honours recognise and celebrate the outstanding work being carried out by multi-disciplinary teams in ophthalmology throughout the UK. The awards identify exceptional initiatives that demonstrate clinical excellence and innovation in ophthalmology, and recognise exceptional individuals who improve the quality of care provided to patients and the patient experience. Funded and facilitated by Bayer, the awards are judged by a multi-disciplinary panel of experts in ophthalmology care and the decision-making process is wholly independent of Bayer.

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  • European Glaucoma Society

    Guess who’s going to be the next President?

     

    Our very own Professor for glaucoma, David (Ted) Garway-Heath will be taking the reins as the next President of the EGS from January 2018.

    Currently as Vice President, Ted’s work is focused on establishing outcomes to evaluate care quality across Europe, harmonizing ophthalmology training, and mentoring the younger generation of glaucoma specialists who will be taking the society forward.

    In addition to his clinical work, Ted leads research in visual assessment and imaging at the Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology of the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). He is also an NHIR Senior Investigator, a position awarded in recognition of his contribution to patient and people-based research.

    On his latest achievement, our professor said: "I will build on the current strong and innovative leadership in pursuit of the patient-focused EGS vision to promote the best possible well-being and minimal glaucoma-induced visual disability in individuals with glaucoma."

    Everyone here at the IGA wishes Ted all the best in his new role next year, and we’re sure he’ll be a great success!

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