In focus: Confederation takes battle for strips to Europe

The long delayed ruling on the classification of fluorescein strips is due in November. Chris Bennett reports on the fall-out for opticians if rules change

Fierce lobbying by British representatives will take place over the summer in the UK and Europe to ensure British practitioners can carry on caring for patients in a sensible, safe and efficient manner. But there will not be a hint of Brexit in the air.

These negotiations will be about simple strips of paper impregnated with a dye which are used by contact lens fitters to assess the patient’s tear film. Fluorescein strips are wetted with a sterile saline solution and touched on the tear film. Under cobalt blue light the dye fluoresces allowing the moisture layer to be visualised so the practitioner can optimise the fit. But this familiar and important procedure is at risk following a decision four years ago about the classification of the humble fluorescein strip.

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