‘You’ve got to accentuate the positive,’ sang Aretha Franklin in 1962, so staking her claim to be well qualified for fitting multifocal contact lenses.

As a successful wearer of multifocals for some years now, with comfortable binocular 6/4 and N5 acuity, I am always surprised to hear of colleagues who still consider monovision appropriate as the first choice for presbyopes. Or to meet patients who had been deterred from trying multifocals by ECPs who introduce the lenses with a barrage of ‘you may find that your vision is not so good’ challenges.

So, it was refreshing to hear one speaker during the recent and excellent CooperVision Perspectives online conference offering a different approach. When discussing presbyopia correction in future, suggested the always perceptive Professor Lyndon Jones, why not begin by describing the challenges presented by spectacle correction? Multifocals suddenly seem a much more attractive option. I wish I had thought of that.

It was also good to see the results of the GOC survey suggesting an increase in ‘those who would attend an optometrist first if they had an eye problem’. Some 30% of respondents said they would do so, an 11% increase since 2015 possibly helped by our pandemic activities. Some way to go still.

I was also pleased to see Bayes’ theorem in the national press this week. This is an algorithm that has been used successfully in developing suspect glaucoma care pathways with minimal false positives (see Optician 08.06.18). It is only when ‘prior probability’ is considered that the real concern over false positives with lateral flow testing becomes starkly apparent.

Alas, this wave of positivity was somewhat tempered upon hearing how the boss of Serco has just been awarded a bonus of £4.9m for 2020, with shareholders enjoying a £17m dividend pay-out, after Covid-19 contracts boosted revenues. Oh, how the NHS needs that money to deal with the current backlog problem.