Association News

Contact lens world comes together in Liverpool

The past, present and future of contact lenses were put into sharp focus as practitioners from across the world with a “passion” for the subject came together for the industry’s leading flagship event.

Dry Eye, OrthoK and Myopia were high on the agenda as three days of sharing innovation, the latest research and best practice took place at the 40th anniversary conference of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA).

Hundreds of delegates descended on Liverpool’s ACC for the 2017 for the organisation’s Clinical Conference and Exhibition in what represented a “comprehensive exchange of knowledge”.

Leading experts contributed to lectures, workshops and discussions all focused on driving up standards of care at the showcase event, which ran from Friday, 9 June, to Sunday, 11 June.

Cheryl Donnelly, chief executive of the BCLA, said: “The role of the BCLA is ensuring that everyone has access to the very latest research and technology to allow patients to receive the most up-to-date care available to them.

“Our 40th anniversary conference not only allowed us to facilitate a comprehensive exchange of knowledge, the conference also provided an opportunity to celebrate our proud 40-year anniversary. We have been at the heart of many advances in our industry over the last four decades and will keep to push over the next four decades as contact lenses continue to advance

Long-standing BCLA member and new president Keith Tempany said: “The sterling leadership of Brian Tompkins has seen the BCLA go from strength to strength, now it is my role to continue to strive for excellence.

“I share a passion for contact lenses with Brian and will take this forward with the aim of inspiring others to fit contact lenses for as many people as possible. I am also proud to lead a unique multi-disciplinary, multi-national and multi-cultural organisation.”

Read more here....

BCLA Award Winners at the Conference 

Successes and excellence in the industry were also celebrated through a series of awards presented throughout the three days, including:

BCLA Awards
        Dry Eye Practitioner of the Year: Nick Dash
Young UK Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year: Laura Reece
Industry Award: Paul C Nicolson
President’s Award: Kate Gifford

BCLA Medal for outstanding contribution to contact lenses
Professor Michel Guillon

BCLA Dallos Award
Jaya Sowjana Siddireddy 

BCLA Irving Fatt Award
Fabrizio Zeri

The Diane Gould Photographic Awards
Photographic winner: Antonio Calossi
Photographic first runner up: Susan Bowers
Photographic second runner up: Boris Severinsky

BCLA Poster Awards
Posters winner: Debby Yeung
Posters first runner up: Carlos Carpena-Torres
Posters second runner up: Stefan Bandlitz   

Member Spotlight

Katie Griffiths, an optometry
 student at Plymouth University and BCLA
 Student Ambassador, tells us about starting

 Q. What’s it like treating real life patients for the
 first time?

 It’s a steep learning curve! Being responsible for the
 patient, it is necessary to be able to listen to their
 needs, assess the problems clinically and then go
on to form an appropriate management plan.
Q. What did you do to prepare?
I found the resources on the BCLA website
invaluable and strongly recommend them. They
offer concise prompts of what to ask on history
and symptoms allowing you to fully appreciate how
your patient is living with their contact lenses. I also
found the resources of how to formulate a flowing
and thorough slit lamp examination specifically
for lenses very helpful, as I had been struggling to
keep to the allocated time frame for these initial
Q. Anything else?
The BCLA conference was also a big help and
if given the chance I would definitely encourage
students to attend.
Q. What did you find useful at the conference?
The exhibition gave me a better understanding of
available products including contact lenses that
meet different patient needs and dry eye and lid
hygiene treatments. Understanding how they work,
it is so much better to be able to confidently and
clearly explain how they work and how a patient
should use them.
Q. Would you recommend going to the
conference or other BCLA meetings?

Yes! I found the lectures to be hugely helpful in
getting a better understanding of the clinical side of
assessing the anterior eye. It is great to hear experts
speak about these topics, reinforcing and adding
to the knowledge gained in the first years of the optometry degree.