100Optical-2017-Doug Perkins-Specsavers cofounder calls for optometry profession to work together

Call for optometry profession to unite

Industry leader Doug Perkins will kick off the main stage programme at 100% Optical on Sunday 28 January with a call for optical professionals to work together to neutralise the threats it faces and to assume its true role as the GP of the eyes.

Doug, Specsavers co-founder and joint MD, will be joined by Paul Morris, Director of Professional Advancement, for the CET-accredited session, Commissioning the future: what optometry needs to do next.

Barriers cannot be overcome without optometrists, representative bodies, and all the major companies working together

Two years since he first spoke at 100% Optical on the disruptive changes facing optometry, Doug will outline the continuing challenge of technological, demographic and political change.

In this context, he will say, the advancement of enhanced optical services has been good but not great.

Setting out the barriers to advancement, he will say that they cannot be overcome without optometrists, their representative bodies, Specsavers and the major companies all working together.

‘We all have the same gains from advancement,’ he will argue. ‘We will need good leadership and a big budget to not only move forward but to prevent ourselves being removed entirely from primary care.’

The next generation of optometrists

An optometrist himself for more than 50 years, Doug is optimistic about the new generation of optometrists.

He will say, ‘The good news is that they are massively enthused by a different career structure with a full scope of primary care services. It is of course the primary healthcare career they thought they were training for. I believe employers, particularly the corporates, have to help them more to get the training and experience required for enhanced services. The young optometrists I meet each year at the College graduations have done their bit in graduating with enormous loans. Let’s do our bit for them.’

More than a year on from Specsavers’ Adam Wannell will lead a discussion workshop on best practice in the integration of clinical data to improve decision making in cases of suspected glaucoma.

Specsavers’ professional recruitment colleagues will also be on the stand throughout the three days to meet delegates who are interested in finding out more about career and partnership opportunities.

More on 100% Optical CET sessions and speakers

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