The Association of British Dispensing Opticians' Annual Report of 2021 outlined focuses such as creating an official future vision and progressing sustainability efforts, despite ongoing impacts from Covid-19.

ABDO provided an overview of activities from its year, such as its five-year strategic plan, which launched in January 2022, and started sustainability efforts through its first SEE (social, ethical and environmental) Summit in 2021. This led to collaborative efforts between optical organisations.

Meanwhile, with Covid protocols still high in 2021, ABDO’s National Resource Centre proceeded with exams. However, 2021 presented significant challenges for ABDO’s work around extended services with both the extended services days (ESD) and OSCE examinations affected, according to the report. An online Clinical Hub was also launched for members to bring together up to date research and current knowledge.

Highlights included ABDO receiving the Creating Opportunities award from Youth Employment UK for its Careers in Eyecare campaign in December.

The report stated that the total number of members is 8639 and gross profit was £2,089,256, down from £2,413,383 in 2020.

According to the financial summary, the pandemic has continued to impact operations, and total income, excluding realised gain, declined by 15.8 per cent compared to the previous year, mainly due to decreased examination fees, subscription and donations. The joint headquarters building at 199 Gloucester Terrace was also sold at the start of 2021.

ABDO general secretary, Tony Garrett, commented: ‘The annual report for 2021 clearly demonstrates the resilience and commitment of the whole ABDO team. Despite the restrictions placed on us by the Covid epidemic your Association has continued to support the members and to deliver new and innovative services. In turn, the ABDO Board and staff are grateful for the continued support of all members at what has been a most difficult time for so many.’