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EDITOR’S COMMENT

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As one may expect, the news of Labour’s plans to ‘put high street opticians to work’ to clear NHS ophthalmology backlogs (News, January 23 and In Focus, page 7) made some headlines in the mainstream press. As one has very much come to expect these days, the comment sections made for interesting, if a little depressing, reading.

‘Privatisation through the backdoor,’ arguments were the most common theme among the disgruntled commenters from Royal Tunbridge Wells. Well, yes. The private sector has been bailing out the NHS for decades and the service isn’t going to be rescued through investment alone. It needs to be reformed from top to bottom and if one of those ways means leaning on the private sector to provide procedures at less cost to the taxpayer, then in my view, so be it. What the Labour Party has proposed is something the optometric sector has been able to do for a long time now, and way before waiting lists spiralled out of control to where they are now. It was good to see some optometrists in the comments making this point, even if it was from the perspective of ‘too little, too late.’ It was also nice to see optometrists mention remuneration for these services, too, because fair fees will be crucial to how the services are offered. Even more crucially, who will offer them.

I’m always interested in public perception of the optical sector, but comments along the lines of ‘not sure I’d want a high street optician doing my cataract surgery lol,’ speak more of trouble with reading comprehension than a poor opinion of the sector. What was good to see, however, were those talking about referral pathways already in place and how efficient they were, which bodes well should Labour’s plans come to fruition.

Editor

CONTENTS

10 Informed

11 Showcase

NEWS 4 7 Days News from the past week 7 In Focus High street optometr y will be leveraged by Labour

OPINION 8 Moneo

Follow your dream

PRACTICE 10 Informed

The latest from inside the industr y 11 Showcase

The latest product news

CONTACT LENSES 12 His-toric-ally good

Some of the most useful toric contact lenses available to UK practices

CLINICAL 18 CPD: Counterfeit contact lenses

What can be done about counterfeit contact lenses 22 Truth or myth?

The risks of myopia on vision loss 24 Does dr y eye get overlooked in visually impaired people? Dr y eye research in the spotlight

CLASSIFIED 26 Ser vices 29 Recruitment

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Optician is the weekly, paid-for information source for optometrists, dispensing opticians and the optical industr y. For 132 years Optician has been the independent voice for eye care professionals, students and business owners offering breaking news, analysis and education. In print and online, Optician provides an array of clinical, business and technology ar ticles, comprehensive CPD coverage along with the ver y latest in contact lenses, frame fashion trends and spectacle lens technology. Optician offers advice on careers and carries hundreds of job oppor tunities ever y week. Optician provides its readers with essential business help and offers a forum for eye care professionals and others in the market.

2 Februar y 2024 OPTICIAN 3

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