News & Events
MiYOSMART Round Table Event and Year 3 Results
Sandi Charlesworth reports on the MiYOSMART event which was chaired by Andy Sanders, the Professional Services Director for Hoya Lens UK. There were lectures from Professor Bruce Evans (speaking as a clinician treating myopia) and Professor Carly Lam (whose research and design led to MiYOSMART) followed by a Round Table discussion of academics and ECPs working in this area. Research papers show that slowing myopia by 1D reduces the likelihood of developing conditions such as myopic maculopathy by 40% in later life. Similar reductions apply to retinal detachments and glaucoma. As GOC standards state that we must assist patients (and parents) in making informed decisions, this is something we all need to be aware of and able to advise on.
INTRODUCING YALEA The all-female eyewear brand With Cindy Crawford and Bianca Balti as Ambassad
De Rigo, a key preferred supplier to NEG members has announced the arrival of its fourth and new house brand. An important project that has taken shape over the course of the last few months, intended to enrich the Group’s portfolio with a 100%-female brand, designed and produced with women in mind.
ABDO College – providing training for all your team
Developing your team is key to business growth and patient satisfaction, but it can be time consuming if you do all your training in-house. ABDO College offers a range of courses for every member of the practice team. Start with the optical assistant and senior optical assistant courses. Both offer online learning to help new members of the team get off to a great start, while ensuring experienced optical assistants have the chance to fill in gaps in knowledge and build their skills.
Senior graphic designer opportunity
The National Eyecare Group has a vacancy for a freelance senior graphic designer – with at least five years' experience – to take over the design and production of its monthly membership journal, Vision Now. Working closely and flexibly with the editor, and reporting to the operations director, you will be solely responsible for the design, layout and production of Vision Now in strict adherence to design templates and production timescales. With 10 issues per year (excluding January and August), Vision Now is a 32+pp magazine created using QuarkXPress, Photoshop and Illustrator. Editorial copy is supplied in Microsoft Word. Tables and figures are supplied in Word, PowerPoint or Excel.
20 20 Optical Services announce Joe Browns as their latest licensed partnership
20 20 Optical Services specialise in spectacle frame design and distribution for high quality British Brands. Joe Browns are the latest brand to venture into the eyewear market, bringing their remarkable designs to an exciting new audience. “Our passion lies in creating unique spectacle frames in collaboration with some of the best of British, for the style and satisfaction of the wearer.
Job satisfaction Index
After the crazy year we’ve just had this is a good time to pay some extra attention to the needs of your team. The NEG Business Club has just launched a brand-new tool that will help you to explore how your team feel about their jobs right now and we would love you to be a part of it. It consists of asking each team member to score their job satisfaction in ten different aspects of their employment with you
Stepper take responsibility seriously
Eyecare can no longer only consider its responsibility in terms of benefitting an individual’s vision needs. Throughout the supply chain it is crucial the industry is aware of its impact on environmental and social issues too, taking measures to deliver the best solutions wherever it can. STEPPER EYEWEAR is on a journey to improve its performance on wherever its impact is felt. This ranges from the use of recyclable materials, where beneficial, to the wellbeing of the communities within its sphere of influence.
HYGIENIC AND SUSTAINABLE – A WINNING COMBINATION FROM MENICON
“Wash your hands!” Most of us remember the reminder from parents to children the world over. But as we approach the first anniversary of the global pandemic, the importance of hygiene has never been more in focus. Hygiene compliance was a known issue pre-Covid with 49% admitting to not washing their hands before touching their lenses. Hopefully that figure has now dropped, given higher awareness levels about virus and bacteria transmission via touch. However, the good news is that Menicon has been at the forefront of hygiene innovation for decades. And this commitment is clearly evident in terms of its innovative packaging.
NEG announces launch of exclusive label contact lens portfolio: mediflex®
National Eye Care Group has secured an agreement with contact lens manufacturer CooperVision to offer NEG members access to a new and exclusive brand, mediflex®. The mediflex® portfolio includes CooperVision’s leading daily disposable lenses, monthly disposable lenses and lens care solutions, all designed to improve patient retention and build practice success. CooperVision’s research demonstrates that private label contact lenses encourage patient loyalty1, help drive spectacle sales2 and generate greater income for practices2. Additional research from the recent COVID lockdown of Spring 2020 highlighted a strong link between online patient loyalty and private label.3
NEG welcomes AOS as new supplier
Our latest preferred supplier is AOS, a revolutionary anterior imaging and grading software company who are transforming the eyecare sector. With the release of their latest version, they have created a software product which we very much consider to be in line with our focus for 2021 – it is a tool designed for successful patient and business outcomes.
New Date for conference
With the on going uncertainty around Covid-19, we are moving our "Building for Success" members conference from the end of May to the 26th & 27th September 2021. It will be at the DeVere Staverton park Estate near Daventry, which offers great space and good transport links for all members to attend. Although many events have moved online, we strongly feel that its important to meet together, share our experiences and celebrate everything that is good about independent practice.
Menicon launches its first daily disposable toric contact lens in the UK
Menicon Ltd has unveiled a toric version of its award-nominated Miru 1day Flat Pack contact lens – its first daily disposable toric lens for the UK market. This popular lens, with its combination of all-day comfort, hygienic handling and convenience, can now be offered to more of your customers.
NEG 2021 Members conference
We're excited to confirm the dates for our 2021 Building for Success Conference as being on 23 and 24 May. The venue will be the superb DeVere Hotel Staverton Park, Daventry, with excellent accessibility for both road and rail. The theme of the two-day event for members – to be filled with CET, business discussion, socialising and more – is 'The tools for success'. Phil Mullins, NEG operations director, said: "Over the course of two packed days of learning, networking and business-building, we aim to share with members the most valuable tools that they require in their toolbox to develop their business, succeed in an ever-changing world, and help promote a strong independent sector in the UK. "Stay tuned to your inbox, Vision Now and our social media channels for all the latest conference updates as we announce them," added Phil.
Optinet rolls out eGOS in England
Optinet has supported five independentpractices in England this month to become early adopters of electronic General Ophthalmic Services (eGOS) GOS1 and GOS3 form submissions – with full integration to the company's flagship FLEX practice management system (PMS). The IT division of the National Eyecare Group (NEG), Optinet was the first to offer eGOS integration to Scottish practices in 2018. It is now rolling out its eGOS programme across England, as Primary Care Support England commences acceptance of e-submissions from the end of October.
Come and join the club!
With today’s market changing constantly and more independent opticians being purchased by groups or closing down due to competition, it is even more important that the owners in surviving businesses take the time each week to work on their business not just on the day to day jobs. With footfall on the high street decreasing, you can’t just expect potential customers to walk in without using ongoing marketing and working your database to fill your books. You need to spend time developing your relationship with your customers old and new.
Record growth leads to expansion in size and delivery
Optinet, the IT services division of the National Eyecare Group (NEG), has declared 2018 its most successful year ever with record installations of its flagship Optinet FLEX practice management system (PMS). Due to this rapid growth, the company has doubled the size of its offices in Malvern, Worcestershire, and opened a dedicated on-site training facility.
Helly Hansen Eyewear now available to NEG members
NORWEGIAN EYEWEAR LAUNCHING HELLY HANSEN EYEWEAR - “ALIVE SINCE 1877” AND ARE DELIGHTED TO BE SUPPLIERS TO THE NATIONAL EYECARE GROUP. From their home in Norway, Helly Hansen has been making professional grade gear to help people stay and feel alive for almost 140 years. Norwegian Eyewear was founded by Carl Fredrik Andersen in January 2018. Fredrik grew up in a family driven eyewear company in Norway, with involvement in sales, manufacturing, design and management. Having being granted the global eyewear license for Helly Hansen in 2017, Fredrik’s vision is to bring Norwegian brands to the international market. The Helly Hansen ophthalmic collection covers ladies, men’s and children’s ranges in acetate, stainless steel and titanium. The polarized sunglass collections cater for both lifestyle and sport and have the added benefit of hydrophobic and anti-reflective coatings.
NEG announces support of “Seeing beyond the eyes” campaign
NEG are pleased to announce sponsorship of the upcoming "Seeing Beyond the Eyes" CET workshops, being run across the country by Dan Williams and the Visualise Training & Consultancy team. All Optical colleagues are invited to attend a free session which forms part of a UK-wide mission to get low vision higher up the agenda by bringing the optical and sight loss sectors together for the benefit of patients embarking on their new journey.
Alcon® helps partners grow their contact lens practice with the launch of new enhancements to its Al
- Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, has launched a brand new update to its Alcon Partnership Programme for 2018. With newly added features and enhanced benefits, the programme offers a partnership between Alcon and its customers, allowing them to flourish and work more effectively by receiving tools and support. First launched in 2017, the Alcon Partnership Programme was created specifically for independent practitioners to help support and reward them in delivering outstanding eye care. Predominantly focused on the Growth Rewards programme, offering practices the chance to be rewarded based on their growth, the programme has evolved this year to offer even more benefits to Alcon’s partner accounts.
iDay and NEG go on tour for 2018
The team behind the annual Independents Day (iDay) business symposium and the National Eyecare Group (NEG) Conference have announced a change to their combined event’s format for this autumn. Proven Track Record’s (PTR) Nick Atkins and NEG’s Phil Mullins have announced that for 2018 the combined event will take a roadshow format covering the north, midlands and south of England. The events will take place during 8 days towards the end of October with the following schedule: • Monday 22nd October: Wembley, London • Monday 29th October, Ricoh Arena, Coventry • Tuesday 30th October: Bolton, Manchester
Alcon® looks to the future by announcing new intake dates for its popular Scholarship programme
Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, is helping newly qualified optometrists learn and develop by continuing to run its education scheme throughout the year. The popular Alcon Scholarship programme, along with its other educational programmes and offerings, provide eye care professionals with further opportunities to develop their skills in the field. The next intake’s application window will be open between July and August this year, welcoming optometrists who have been qualified for between two to five years to apply. Those interested can register online and complete an assessment to be considered for the intake. The programme is now also open to international applicants, with last year’s intake including representatives selected by Alcon’s sister Professional Affairs teams from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands and Finland
Alcon® adds three new updates to digital platform InContact to benefit practices and patients
Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, has announced it will be adding three new features to its digital platform InContact. Aiming to help businesses grow their patient base and online presence, the update will add subscription benefits for both patients and practices
Alcon makes significant investments in customer advertising
Alcon®, has announced it will be continuing to invest in the multifocal category in 2018, with an additional £750,000 going to a variety of direct-to-consumer promotional activities. Driving the multifocal category in 2018, the advertising campaign will educate 40-55 year old patients about presbyopia and multifocal contact lenses. Taking place until the end of March, Alcon’s investment will see it commence a range of consumer advertising including digital and promotional support, in-practice display materials and education tools. Following extensive research undertaken to understand the 40+ consumer lifestyle, Alcon has carefully planned its media activity to ensure the target audience are reached in the most relevant places and at the right times.
THE UK’s LEADING OPTICAL EXHIBITION IS BACK!
Optrafair is back, bigger and better across three days from 14-16 April 2018. The Federation of Manufacturing Opticians and MA Exhibitions invite you as a previous attendee to be first to register to attend the leading and most established optical event catering for the entire sector since 1978!
Xact exclusive for NEG members
As you will know Xact offer members a free web service, with comprehensive information about all aspects of human resources and health & safety. Members have been able to upgrade this service by adding options at £300 per module. But exclusively for NEG members Xact are offering the two most popular modules at just £300 + VAT per year
Thomsen renew exclusive deal
We are delighted to announce that Thomsen Eyewear, which is distributed by Arena Eyewear in the UK, have agreed to extend the exclusive deal for NEG members for another twelve months. Also unlike many suppliers where prices are increasing, we have negotiated a price reduction with Thomsen, so making them an option for even more members To celebrate the deal, for the next few months if you order 10 Thomsen frames, you will receive two free frames. For more information and to arrange to view the range please contact Arena on 01952 820408 or email contact @arena-eyewear.co.uk
Heidelberg support industry with education at 100% Optical
Heidelberg Engineering will once again be taking a leading roll in the education on offer at this years 100% Optical, being held at the Excel centre on the 4th to 6th February. There will be sessions on the Saturday and Sunday, with a number of CET points available. In addition to the CET Heidelberg Engineering will be giving away free hard copies of the OCT Atlas book by Yoshimura and Hangai, worth £145.00, with every demonstration of the SPECTRALIS Imaging Platform! Simply visit stand M220 and enjoy some time with one of our imaging experts, who will answer any questions you might have on OCT and fundus imaging. There will be a limited supply of books available so visit early to avoid disappointment!
NEG Members Fitting Competition with ‘Made to Measure’ campaign 2016
Custom-made contact lens manufacturer mark’ennovy in co-operation with NEG are pleased to confirm the launch of the Fitting Competition as a part of ‘Made to Measure’ campaign 2016. All active NEG members are eligible to take part in the fitting competition with the support of mark’ennovy’s point of sales materials (print materials and social media). The competition will run for 3 consecutive months starting on September 15th until December 15th. The top three most successful and fastest growing practices during the 3-months period will be awarded with a trip for 2 to Madrid, including a visit to mark’ennovy HQ, a manufacturing tour, a round table discussion as well as evening entertainment and free time to explore the city at the end of Feb/beginning of March*.
Book your place at the NEG Building for Success conference 2016
This year we have joined forces with Independents Day to offer a combined event to all UK independent Opticians. It is being held at the Hilton Metropole Hotel Birmingham on the 6th & 7th November and promises to be one of the most important events of the optical calendar. By joining together we are able to offer delegates a wider topic base, an improved exhibition and a chance to meet with a greater number of like minded independent opticians from across the UK. In the past the two events have been very different, so we didn't want either to lose their identity, so Sunday the 6th will follow the NEG Building for Success formula, with CET and clinical elements, while the Monday will be in line with Independents Day and will be looking at being a retail champion. The exhibition, that both events are renowned for, will run for the two days, with many of the UK's leading optical suppliers showing their very latest developments and sharing with delegates what support they can offer independent practices. The Sunday programme is free for everyone to attend, with the NEG members paying just £99 to attend the Independents Day on the Monday. For those attending both days there are hotel packages available and the INight gala dinner, which always a great evening of fun and entertainment.
Auto Enrolment Pensions Information Evening
Following on from member’s feedback regarding Auto Enrolment Pensions, we have organised an evening for members to receive information and advice about this very important issue. The first evening will be held on the 30th June at the Royal Holloway University of London, in Egham Surrey. The second eveing will be held on the 19th July at the Holiday Inn, Garforth near Leeds. Each evening will start at 6pm and will include a buffet as well as the presentation on Auto Enrolment and two short presentations on building your business with direct debit and an update on the Eyecare DL lens portfolio. The evening should be complete by approximately 8.30pm.
Heidelberg Engineering Academy launches Optometric Faculty at 100% Optical
The Heidelberg Engineering Academy has announced they are setting up a new faculty, made up of likeminded optometric practitioners who are passionate about promoting enhanced clinical services, and developing clinical confidence in a multi-modal imaging approach to improved patient care in the community. The primary function of the faculty will be to support educational events nationwide to promote enhanced clinical services in the community and raise the standard of multimodal imaging education in optometry. These events will deliver both clinical and commercial expertise, as well as CET accreditation, and will be offered in different educational formats including workshops, lectures and peer discussion.
iDay and NEG Conference to join forces
Proven Track Record (PTR), the force behind the annual Independents Day business symposium, and the National Eye care Group (NEG) have announced that they are collaborating on a combined conference in 2016. The alliance will see Independents Day move from the July date it has occupied for the last 10 years, to the NEG calendar slot in November. The format is still under discussion, however it’s likely that NEG will run its free-to-attend members conference on the Sunday 6th, with Independents Day following on the Monday 7th November. The venue will be the Birmingham Hilton Metropole
1,000th member milestone celebrated
We are pleased to announce an epic milestone in our 30-plus year history having recently welcomed our 1,000th member to the fold – Morgan-Owen & Coates Optometrists of Petersfield, Hampshire. NEG Managing Director, Michael Daunt, said: “We are delighted to have reached this fantastic milestone of 1,000 members. I would like to thank all of our members, many of whom have been with us since we started in 1979, for their continued support and loyalty."
Change of distribution for Thomsen Eyewear & Sunwise
From 1st May 2015 the distribution of Thomsen Eyewear, the exclusive range for NEG members and Sunwise sports eyewear has been transferred to Arena Eyewear. The terms for NEG members on these ranges will remain unchanged and no management fees will be charged on these purchases.
Independents Day 2015
This year sees the 10th anniversary for Independents Day. Now established as an important date in the UK optical calendar, this year’s event looks like it will be the best ever. Titled “Niches for Riches – Supplementary services for happy patients and healthy profits”, it will be a mix of workshops, CET presentations and Key note lectures. Headlining the speakers this year is Dr Garry Gerber, who is a highly respected business building consultant, who from personal experience offers not only entertaining presentations, but thought provoking and stimulating challenges.
Thomsen Eyewear launch exciting new acetate styles
Thomsen Eyewear, the Danish designed frame range, exclusively available to NEG members has launched a number of acetate frames to enhance the range. Using only the highest quality materials, the new frames further enhance what NEG members can offer their patients.