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Record number of clinicians attend returning conference

Record number of clinicians attend returning conference

Record numbers of clinicians attended one of the UK’s biggest continuing professional development conferences for optical and audiology delegates as it returned to being an in-person event.

Delegates at the Specsavers PAC 2022.

More than 1,500 optical and more than 350 audiology delegates joined the Specsavers Professional Advancement Conference (PAC) at the ICC in Birmingham. The conference saw more than 2,000 people attend overall, including expert speakers from across the world, key opinion leaders and exhibitors – with the event open to all industry colleagues, wherever they work, to share learning as widely as possible for the benefit of patients.

After the huge success of our online events I was curious about the level of interest in a face-to-face PAC, but people have come back in record numbers across the board – delegates for optics and audiology, exhibitors, and even WOPEC OSCE assessments,’ says Grant Duncan, Specsavers Director of Professional Development, Clinical Services.

‘It was lovely to see lots of smiling faces as we met up with colleagues and friends both old and new.’

Providing CPD to delegates was very rewarding, says Mr Duncan, who thanked delegates, speakers and exhibitors for attending the conference that took place on Sunday 16 October.

He adds: ‘Specsavers is all about changing lives through better sight and hearing. By delivering events such as the PAC, we provide CPD support to both Specsavers and non-Specsavers colleagues. Colleagues can apply their learning to develop services for patients in their community.

‘Key takeaways from the conference included foundations of myopia management, enhanced optical services and referral quality, particularly related to Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), as well as infection control in domiciliary services. The largest session of the day saw the Association of Optometrists Clinical Director Dr Peter Hampson and College of Optometrists Clinical Adviser Daniel Hardiman-McCartney join Paul Morris, Specsavers Director of Professional Advancement, Ophthalmic, to discuss our clinical obligations while reflecting on the real data underpinning clinics from the Specsavers unique Clinical Outcome Report.

‘In addition, an entire track on optical dispensing included a session delivered in an escape room format and another track focused on leadership and accountability to increase confidence in leadership skills at every career stage.’

Winners of new Doug and Dame Mary Perkins medals announced

The PAC also saw Specsavers founders Doug and Dame Mary Perkins hand out medals in recognition of clinical excellence and outstanding clinical customer care by Specsavers colleagues across the UK and Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland.

In England, the Doug Perkins medal for clinical excellence in optics was handed to Irinder Khakha from Specsavers Hayes, while Specsavers Haverfordwest’s Andy Britton received the award for Wales. From Scotland, Specsavers Wick’s Ian Morris was recognised, and Specsavers Magherafelt’s Michael Foster received the medal for Northern Ireland. The Doug Perkins medal was also awarded to Martin O’Brien of Specsavers Wexford in Ireland. Kathryn Bye, of Specsavers’ York 1
Domiciliary business, received the medal for domiciliary clinical excellence.

The Dame Mary Perkins medal for outstanding clinical customer care was awarded to Jack Collins of Specsavers Atherstone in England, while the Specsavers Pontypridd team in Wales shared the award. Specsavers St Andrews’ Julia Campbell received the award in Scotland, while the Specsavers Larne team in Northern Ireland were similarly recognised. In Ireland, the Specsavers Crumlin team received the award, with Graeme McKenzie from Specsavers Dundee Domiciliary business being handed the Dame Mary Perkins medal for domiciliary. For audiology, Specsavers Warminster’s Alison Edwards scooped the Mary Perkins medal with Oliver Sykes of Specsavers Scunthorpe receiving the Doug Perkins medal for clinical excellence.

The awards were first started by Specsavers in Australia and New Zealand and have been running there for several years.

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