As we look forward to the National Optical Conference (NOC), I am excited to be among friends from the optical sector. ABDO has advocated LOC membership to its members for quite some time and strongly encourages collaborative working with our colleagues in optometry. I, for one, am looking forward to meeting up with a large number of professional colleagues at Chesford Grange.

Not only in eye care, but little in healthcare remains the same in this ever changing world. For example, at my local GP surgery I can access a whole raft of services – the surgery now employs not just doctors and nurses, but specialist midwives, health visitors, nurse practitioners, dietitians, visiting surgeons, phlebotomist services and so much more, I can access the care I need, right on my doorstep.

I might think I need a GP appointment, but after I give a full description of my symptoms, I am triaged swiftly to receive the treatment required from an appropriate healthcare provider. I am not especially concerned with their job title, just so long as I receive the treatment I need, and so we slowly seek the same in optics.

Lines between the professions of optometry and optics are blurring – granted there has always been several areas of overlap, but, both opticians and optometrists are ideally placed to be delivering eye care to the public at large – and we, of course, know that it might range from a casual word of reassurance to a full blown clinical consultation. Regardless of how long or how technical or clinical the consultation is, as long as the patient receives timely, appropriate care I see this as a job well done.

So, I look forward to collaborative working and to seeing many of you at the NOC.