Doing the rounds
This year's conference was attended by around 200 delegates, representing hospital optometry departments from across the UK. There was a diverse range of lectures, paper presentations, workshops and posters, enabling delegates to learn from, and share ideas with, fellow eye care professionals.
Various sponsors also exhibited at the event, displaying new products available within hospital optometry, in areas such as contact lenses and low vision.
Dr Cindy Tromans, the present chairman of the Hospital Optometrists' Committee, opened the conference with a welcoming address, followed by a series of short presentations detailing both current clinical services and results of research projects being undertaken.
Dr Maria Dengler-Harles, principal optometrist at Walton Hospital, Liverpool, was the first to speak. With the incidence of diabetes increasing at approximately 6 per cent a year, she discussed the importance of managing this increased demand, within the Walton optometry-led diabetic eye screening service.
Sue Carter, senior optometrist at Cheltenham General Hospital, described the introduction of a community-based digital retinal photographic screening programme in Gloucestershire and the resulting implications for the National Health Service.
It was found that the ophthalmological workload relating to diabetic eye disease increased after the first round of screening, and in subsequent rounds it did not fall below the pre-screening level.
Dr Gillian Rudduck, principal optometrist at Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral, followed with the results of a study comparing IOL formulae in terms of predictability of refractive outcome following cataract surgery. A relatively recent formula, the Holladay 2, has been designed to give increased accuracy over the whole range of axial lengths. This formula was put to the test by comparing it to the previous formula of choice, SRK/T, as well as the Hoffer Q equation for eyes with short axial lengths. However, no significant differences in accuracy were found between the Holladay 2 and the SRK/T formulae for eyes within the full range of axial lengths, or the Holladay 2 and the Hoffer Q equations for eyes with shorter axial lengths (