Alcon’s annual discussion event, the Alconversation, was broadcast live to attendees on December 7 and saw a panel discuss what the host, Alcon head of professional affairs for the UK and Ireland Rebecca Stoner, called ‘the bigger themes experienced by optical practices over the past year.’

The panel was chaired by Richard Edwards, clinical lead at the Optical Consumer Complaints Service, and comprised representatives from the General Optical Council (GOC), the Association of British Dispensing Opticians, the Association of Optometrists and the College. Discussion points were decided upon by viewers of the event, who had sent in questions prior to the livestream.

Teleoptometry and its increasing presence was the first subject discussed by the panel. Leonie Milliner, current director of education and CEO-elect at the GOC, explained that the GOC’s role as statutory regulator of the profession was to protect the public and ensure care was delivered according to patient need. She said: ‘Technology will continue to develop and be incorporated into optical practice, however, the standards for patient safety must be maintained.’

Other topics discussed at the Alconversation included professional judgement, regulation, the transition from CET, Covid’s lasting impact on innovation and sustainability, among others. A complete recording of the event has been made available at