I would like to thank the editor for his editorial, (Optician, 28.9.18), that commented on the showcase National Eye Health Week (NEHW), September 24-30, gives to the importance of eye health and the work of the two professions. The trustees of Eye Health UK, the charity which runs NEHW, believe that previous weeks have given good value for the monies spent and in due course there will be an evaluation of this year’s week, published in this journal, which I am sure will show value for money.

The editor hits the nail on the head that the optical community is stronger when it works together. Eye Health UK is hugely grateful for the financial support it receives from the various optical bodies, and this year both ABDO and FODO significantly upped their contributions, which enabled more independence of the eye health message. We are also very grateful to the commercial organisations who support us, enabling us to do more and reach more people.

The aim of the trustees is to be able to run the week and extend the public promotion of eye health throughout the year, in a way that is independent from commercial branding. This would benefit the whole market by encouraging members of the public to take up eye examinations. To do this requires funding and while it is good that more organisations put out information within the week, it would be great if the whole industry contributed towards a fully funded independent week. This could be through the optical bodies and letter to Chris Bennett, Optician editor.

In context the amounts involved are relatively small; less than £8 per DO/optometrist or around point two of a percent of the total optical marketing spend.