Tuesday 29 September 2015

First UK patient receives stem cell treatment to cure loss of vision

Experimental transplant uses eye cells grown in a lab and if successful could be used to treat hundreds of thousands of macular degeneration sufferers in UK

A patient has become the first in the UK to receive an experimental stem cell treatment that has the potential to save the sight of hundreds of thousands of Britons.

By December, doctors will know whether the woman, who has age-related macular degeneration, has regained her sight after a successful operation at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London last month. Over 18 months, 10 patients will undergo the treatment.

The transplant involves eye cells, called retinal pigment epithelium, derived from stem cells and grown in the lab to form a patch that can be placed behind the retina during surgery.The potential is huge. Although the first patients have the ‘wet’ form of macular degeneration, the doctors believe it might also eventually work for those who have the ‘dry’ form, who are the vast majority of the UK’s 700,000 sufferers.

The surgery is an exciting moment for the 10-year-old London Project to Cure Blindness, a collaboration between the hospital, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and the National Institute for Health Research, which was formed to find a cure for wet age-related macular degeneration, the more serious but less common form of the disease.

Prof Pete Coffey of UCL, one of the founders of the London Project, said he would not be working on the new treatment if he did not believe it would work. He hopes it could become a routine procedure for people afflicted by vision loss, which is as common a problem among older people as dementia. 

“It does involve an operation, but we’re trying to make it as straightforward as a cataract operation,” he said. “It will probably take 45 minutes to an hour. We could treat a substantial number of those patients.”

First they have to get approval. The trial is not just about safety, but also efficacy. There will be a regulatory review after the first few transplants to ensure all is going well.The group of patients chosen have the wet form of the disease and experienced sudden loss of vision within about six weeks. The support cells in the eye, which get rid of daily debris and allow the seeing part to function have died. 

“There is a possibility of restoring their vision,” said Coffey. The aim of the transplant is to restore the support cells so the seeing part of the eye is not affected by what would become an increasingly toxic environment, causing deterioration and serious vision loss. The surgery is being performed by retinal surgeon Prof Lyndon Da Cruz from Moorfields, who is also a co-founder of the London Project.

The team chose people with this dramatic vision loss to see whether the experimental stem cell therapy would reverse the loss of vision. But in those with dry macular degeneration, said Coffey, the process is far slower, which would mean doctors could choose the time to intervene – if the treatment works.

Helping people to regain their sight has long been one of the most hopeful prospects for stem cell transplantation. Other research groups have been trialling the use of stem cells in people with Stargardt’s disease, which destroys the vision at a much earlier age.Stem cells have moved from the drawing board into human trials with incredible speed, scientists say. The first embryonic stem cell was derived in 1989. Using them in eyes was always going to have a big advantage over other prospects, because it is possible to transplant them without an all-out attack by the immune system, as would happen in other parts of the body. Most people who have any sort of transplant have to take drugs that suppress the immune system for the rest of their lives.

Just like conventional medicines, stem cell therapies will very likely have to be developed and marketed by large commercial concerns. The London Project has the US drug company Pfizer on board.

Portsmouth University plans to run a Masters in Optometry (MOptom) course in September 2016.

Even course clinical advisor and practising optometrist Andrew Matheson admits he was sceptical when he was initially approached by course project leader and associate head of education Dr Isobel Ryder. He, like others, questioned the need for another course, but was also keen to find out how the university intended to deliver on its aims.
After listening to Ryder’s plans for the course and on how it would fulfil an underserviced part of the country, Andrew was convinced that it would be of significant benefit to optometry in the south of England.

In the following months, university staff have been working hard on developing the course alongside the General Optical Council, the College, local independents and the multiples. Dr Ryder adds that local independent practices have, in particular, been very supportive of the new course – a factor which underlines the need for a new school in the south of England. It has also begun work on building a brand new 154sqm teaching laboratory ahead of a GOC inspection in the autumn.

One of the key recent developments has been the university’s decision to remain independent from any single optometric business or equipment manufacturer. Dr Ryder says the university has chosen to remain independent because it wants to set its own syllabus agenda. Some of the newer courses have struggled with a slightly negative perception from within the profession after establishing courses with multiples – something Dr Ryder wanted to avoid.

Andrew Matheson adds that this desire for independence extends into the specification of its clinical teaching laboratory, which allows the best individual pieces of equipment to be chosen. It also underscores the university’s aim to be a ‘centre of clinical excellence.’
The 13 teaching clinic consulting rooms lab are now completed. Each 2.6m wide bay will mimic a consulting room and feature a digital slit lamp which can broadcast images to a central screen for students to view and discuss findings. Carl Zeiss will provide Humphrey visual fields analysers and an OCT – which will integrate together usiung Forum software for advanced integrated analysis. The key learning on the interpretation of OCT imagery will feature early on in the course, which reflects the changing nature of optometric practice.
The four year integrated undergraduate Masters has been designed to incorporate the pre-reg placement between years three and four. The placements will see the practice, the student and the university working together in a collaborative manner. Matheson believes that traditionally, practitioners taking on pre-reg students are faced with having to spend extra time teaching a student in areas where their skills fall short, or aborting the placement. The pre-reg system the university is going to adopt will look to avoid that by allowing students to be recalled for additional training if required. Students will get very ‘hands-on’ early in the first year, as well as learning physiology elements and the importance of evidence and understanding research methods.

Applying to do Optometry at Portsmouth

Approval of the course by the GOC is expected in early 2016, after which potential optometry students can apply through the UCAS system. Entry grade requirements are yet to be finalised, but are expected to have more flexibility than some other institutions. Each candidate will be interviewed before places are offered to ensure that they have the communication skills required to interact with patients. Motivation and bed-side manner are important attributes that will be taken into account along with academic achievements

University Staff

Initially the university will appoint 5 optometry lecturers and also is able to draw on the existing teaching skill base at the university, where many related healthcare subjects are covered. Most of the optometry lecturer posts have been filled already. All lecturers will be involved in university research.

Once the course starts further lecturers will be added. This would suit dynamic individuals with an academic background and clinical skills.

Portsmouth is lucky to be surrounded by many high quality and forward thinking optometrists with specialist interests, several of whom have expressed an interest in helping the students in their training. Optometry here has very strong links with local hospitals with several enhanced schemes in place, such as PEARS, Glaucoma Refinement, Glaucoma co-management and low vision.

In the south of England, there is a real shortage of optometrists as it is hard to attract those who have settled close to their training institutions. Even for those managing to employ a pre-reg willing to re-locate, the sad fact is that many eventually drift homeward not long after their training.

For this reason, it makes more sense to take smaller student intakes in areas of real need than to carry on increasing the number of students at existing centres.

Portsmouth is ideally suited to fill the void between Cardiff and Plymouth to the west and London and Anglia to the East. As there are no established courses locally, Portsmouth should not be seen as a threat but an asset to UK optometric education.

The Portsmouth course will be very practically based - aiming to release graduates at an MOptom (Masters) level who will have completed their equivalent of the Pre-registration year in the last 2 terms of year 3 and the first 2 terms of year 4. Right from year one, local optometrists will be involved in their training helping to ensure that the students leaving the course are prepared for the tasks ahead of them in their professional career. Applicants will be interviewed prior to offers to ensure they have the right balance of academic and people skills. High academic grades alone do not necessarily guarantee the production of the best clinical optometrists.

Although Portsmouth University is strong on research, the course focus will be to produce excellent clinicians prepared for the evolution of our profession both now and in the future. The integrated pre-reg year and hospital placement takes away the worries many final year optometrists have about obtaining a pre-reg year with a suitable supervisor. Optometry is an extremely challenging degree and students will benefit hugely from the absence of such extra worries.

The Portsmouth University  will be a centre of excellence working with local optometrists and hospitals and will be equipped with state of the art equipment: Initially there will be 13 eye exam “rooms”, each with high-end digital slit-lamps able to do both still and high definition video imaging. These are ideal for teaching techniques such as gonioscopy and Volk. The imaging system will integrate with the retinal cameras, which will be capable of fundus autofluorescence, and be able to review anterior and posterior segment OCT and visual field analyser results in each cubicle and in the central teaching area. With all the available resources, the students will become familiar with good practice from year one.

Portsmouth also has plans in the future to introduce therapeutic training for optometrists and a course in dispensing optics.

Portsmouth University already has a strong healthcare pedigree with existing courses such as Paramedic Science, Pharmacy, Nursing and Midwifery.

Hampshire is a wonderful place to live and study with a myriad of things to see and do, both in the countryside and the coast. All types of water-sports are  available locally, with the university having several specialist clubs. The area is well served with rail and road connections to the rest of the UK. Even Europe is not too far away by ferry!

Friday 25 September 2015

The sixth annual National Eye Health Week (NEHW)

The sixth annual National Eye Health Week (NEHW) takes place this week (21 – 27 September 2015).

Once again, Butterflies Healthcare are proud to be one of the weeks official partners and along with eye care charities, organisations and health professionals from across the UK are joining together to promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all.

Themes for the week, which will be reflected in a series of emails, are:
  • Monday - The Importance of Regular Sight Tests/General Eye Health
  • Tuesday – Children's Eye Health
  • Wednesday – UV Protection
  • Thursday – Beauty
  • Friday – Nutrition and the Eye
  • Saturday – Dry Eye
If you haven't already read the latest issue of Vista magazine you can online here.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Vitamin D may play key role in preventing macular degeneration

Vitamin D has been studied extensively in relation to bone health as well as cancer. Now, a team led by a researcher at the University at Buffalo has discovered that vitamin D may play a significant role in eye health, specifically in the possible prevention of age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, among women who are more genetically prone to developing the sight-damaging disease.
In a paper published in JAMA Ophthalmology online, Amy Millen, associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health in UB's School of Public Health and Health Professions, and her team found that women who are deficient in vitamin D and have a specific high-risk genotype are 6.7 times more likely to develop AMD than women with sufficient vitamin D status and no high risk genotype.
"Most people have heard that you should eat carrots to help your vision. However, there appear to be many other ways that adequate nutrition can support eye health. Having adequate vitamin D status may be one of them," says Millen, PhD, the study's lead author. "This is not a study that can, alone, prove a causal association, but it does suggest that if you're at high genetic risk for AMD, having a sufficient vitamin D status might help reduce your risk."
"To our knowledge, this is the first study that's looked at the interaction between genetic risk and vitamin D status in the context of age-related eye disease," adds Millen.
Macular degeneration is characterized by the deterioration of the macula, a small part of the central retina where the eye's photoreceptors (rods and cones) are most highly concentrated. The leading cause of legal blindness, macular degeneration affects more than 10 million Americans -- more than cataracts and glaucoma combined -- according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation. The disease affects a person's central vision, which is needed for common tasks such as reading and driving. The effect is similar to that of a rain drop on the center of a camera lens.
Researchers analyzed data compiled on 1,230 women ages 54 to 74 who participated in the Carotenoids in Age-related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS), which is an ancillary study of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Observational Study (OS). The WHI OS is a major National Institutes of Health-funded research program aimed at addressing the most common causes of death, disability and poor quality of life in postmenopausal women. UB is one of 40 WHI centers nationally. CAREDS was conducted among participants at three of the centers: University of Wisconsin (Madison), the University of Iowa (Iowa City) and the Kaiser Center for Health Research (Portland, Oregon).
Researchers were able to determine participants' vitamin D status by analyzing serum samples for a vitamin D biomarker, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], which provided a glimpse into vitamin D intake through all sources: diet, supplements and sunlight.
Human skin can synthesize vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light, Millen explains. However, for many people, 15 to 30 minutes a day with 10 percent of their skin exposed might be sufficient. In winter months, when there is a lower solar angle, sun exposure may not be not sufficient to maintain blood level for people who live north of a line from about Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles. At these times and locations, dietary intake may be needed. Dietary sources of vitamin D include fortified foods such as milk and foods that naturally contain vitamin D such as fatty fish like salmon and mackerel.
"Macular degeneration has been found to be strongly associated with genetic risk," Millen says. Among many genes linked to AMD, one of the strongest is a specific genetic variant (Y402H) in the complement factor H gene, called CFH for short. This gene codes for the CFH protein that is involved in the body's immune response to destroy bacteria and viruses.
Inflammation is believed to be involved in the development of macular degeneration.
"People who have early stage AMD develop drusen, lipid and protein deposits that build up in the eye. Your body sees this drusen as a foreign substance and attacks it, in part via the complement cascade response," explains Millen. "CFH is one of the proteins involved in this response. We see more AMD in people who have certain variants in the gene which encodes a form of this CFH protein that is associated with a more aggressive immune response."
Vitamin D shows promise for protecting against macular degeneration because of its anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic properties; antiangiogenic refers to slowing the growth of new blood vessels, often seen in late stages of AMD.
"Our thinking was, if a person's vitamin D status is better, would it reduce the immune response to drusen? We wanted to understand if the association between vitamin D and AMD differed depending on a person's genetic risk for AMD," says Millen. "Our study suggests that being deficient for vitamin D may increase one's risk for AMD, and that this increased risk may be most profound in those with the highest genetic risk for this specific variant in the CFH protein."
The study results, however, shouldn't prompt people to run to the nearest grocery store to purchase vitamin D supplements.
"Our message is not that achieving really high levels of vitamin D are good for the eye, but that having deficient vitamin D levels may be unhealthy for your eyes," Millen says.
Although the odds of having AMD was higher in women who were deficient for vitamin D, with 25(OH)D levels below 12 ng/mL (30 nmol/L), increasing vitamin D levels beyond 12 ng/mL did not further lower the odds of AMD to any meaningful extent, she explains.
"This study supports a role for vitamin D in eye health. That's significant because when the Institute of Medicine's report on the dietary reference intakes for vitamin D and calcium were released in 2011, the committee could only make conclusions about D related to bone health," says Millen. "There wasn't enough evidence at that time to make any recommendation based on D status and other outcomes beyond bone health."

Story Source:
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University at Buffalo. The original item was written by David J. Hill.

Eyesight of elderly Plymouth woman cured by NASA scientists

A RETIRED classroom assistant from Plymouth is no longer blind in one eye after undergoing a revolutionary, NASA-inspired private procedure in London.
81-year-old Irene Da Silva, who lives in Hooe with her husband, suffered from a progressive eye condition known as age-related macular degeneration for more than four years, and her eyesight slowly deteriorated during that time.
While the condition is considered the most common cause of blindness in over 55s in the developed world, dated and somewhat lengthy procedures - coupled with high-risk complications - have discouraged both patients and even the most modern eye surgeons from treating it in the past – until now.
Earlier this year, Irene noticed an advert in a health magazine regarding radical new treatment that combined NASA technology with the expert medical knowledge of staff at the Harley Street-based London Eye Hospital.
"When I was first diagnosed with AMD, I didn't fully understand the consequences," Irene said. "When I found out that it was a progressive condition and couldn't be cured, I was incredibly upset.
"I couldn't see faces anymore, or bus numbers, so I couldn't travel alone to even go shopping or meet friends for coffee. My husband even had to read my post to me.
"But we saw this article about treatment in London and I was really impressed by it. I spoke to my family and friends who encouraged me to contact the hospital, so I arranged a consultation."

Designed by Bobby Qureshi and Pablo Artal, the two joined forced and managed to implement technology that was first used to fix the Hubble Telescope into a lens, limiting the surgical risks, known as an iolAMD lens.
The lens, which was injected into Irene's right eye, acts like a telescope, gently magnifying the image entering the eye and diverting it to a healthier part of the retina.
While the 15 minute procedure cost Irene more than £10,000, she said the return of her sight – and ability to clearly distinguish faces once again – was worth every penny.
"It cost a terrible amount of money for what is in fact a very simple and straightforward process," she admitted.
"But, now that I can see again, it's absolutely marvellous. I can't even begin to describe what this is like – there is just so much colour and so much detail to what I can see now, I'm just amazed by it.
"The reason I wanted to share my story was so that other people who suffer from AMD can know there are solutions. There is a treatment, and it will cure your condition."

Read more: 

Diet, Exercise, Smoking Habits and Genes Interact to Affect AMD Risk

People with a genetic predisposition for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) significantly increased their odds of developing the blinding eye disorder if they had a history of heavy smoking and consistently did not exercise or eat enough fruits and vegetables, according to an observational study of women funded by the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.
Eating a healthy diet and getting exercise have been shown in earlier studies to protect against AMD, a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. Findings from this latest study, conducted by a team of investigators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, suggest that genetic and lifestyle factors may contribute to AMD in a synergistic way. The findings were published online in the journal Ophthalmology.
“If you have a family history of AMD, the good news is that the study findings suggest that there are things you can do to potentially lower your risk of developing AMD yourself,” said Julie A Mares, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The study teams were led by Dr. Mares and Barbara A. Blodi, M.D., in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, in collaboration with investigators from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and Oregon Health Science University, Portland.
The researchers studied the risk among women ages 50 to 79 years who had participated in the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS), an ancillary investigation of the much larger Women’s Health Initiative, an observational study that has tracked the health-related behaviors and outcomes of more than 160,000 women since 1991.
For the current study, first author Kristin J. Meyers, Ph.D., and her team evaluated the diet and exercise patterns of 1,663 women and categorized them into lowest-, moderate- and highest-risk groups. They also evaluated whether the women smoked and, if so, how many years they smoked a pack of cigarettes or more each day. They also assessed genetic data from the women to determine whether they carried known genetic risk factors for AMD. They looked most closely at an allele (version) of the complement factor H (CFH) gene that is known to be associated with greater AMD risk, probing whether the women had zero, one, or two copies of the allele. 
A total of 337 women in the study developed AMD, of whom 91 percent had early-stage disease. 
Among women with stable diets, those who carried two high-risk genetic alleles, smoked at least seven pack-years, and were in the highest-risk diet and exercise categories were more than four times more likely to have AMD compared to those women who did not have genetic risk factors and who ate a healthy diet and got at least 10 hours/week of light exercise (such as housework or walking at a pace you could sing to) or at least eight hours of moderate activity (such as brisk walking). 
 NEI Looks Ahead

In addition to lifestyle contributions, vitamin D levels may play a synergistic role with genetic factors, according to the findings of another study by the same team involving 913 CAREDS participants. Amy E. Millen, Ph.D., that study’s first author, found that blood levels indicating vitamin D deficiency (less than 12 ng/mL of 25 hydroxyvitamin D) were associated with a 1.8-fold increase in the odds of having AMD among women with no risk alleles, but a 6.7-fold increase in the odds of having AMD among women with two risk alleles, compared with women who had no genetic risk alleles and adequate levels of vitamin D. The findings of the vitamin D study, which was also funded by NEI, were published in JAMA Ophthalmology.
“The findings of both studies support the notion of biologic synergy. That is, that one’s genes, lifestyle factors and nutrition all come together in a synergistic way to mediate inflammation, which is a key mechanism involved in AMD,” said Dr. Mares. “There’s a large body of evidence that unhealthy lifestyle habits are associated with inflammation and that CFH risk alleles augment inflammatory responses. Vitamin D is believed to suppress inflammation, which is thought to enhance the AMD disease processes both directly and indirectly.” 
Both studies were supported in part by NEI grants EY013018 and EY016886.
Meyers KJ et al, “Joint associations of diet, lifestyle, and genes with age-related macular degeneration.” Ophthalmology. Published online Sept. 8, 2015.
Millen AE et al, “Association between vitamin D status and age-related
macular degeneration by genetic risk,” JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online August 27, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.2715
NEI leads the federal government’s research on the visual system and eye diseases. NEI supports basic and clinical science programs that result in the development of sight-saving treatments. For more information, visit
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more i

Scientists eye molecular target for AMD

A signalling molecule which activates white blood cells in the eye could offer a new treatment target for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to new research.
Previous research had shown that, before vision loss occurs, levels of an anti-inflammatory signalling molecule called interleukin-10 (IL-10) increase in the eye. The numbers of a specific type of white blood cell, M2 macrophages, also increase, which ultimately contributes to the formation of abnormal blood vessels characteristic of wet AMD. However, the link between the two was unclear. 
By engineering mice with various IL-10 signalling pathways disabled, researchers at Washington University in the US found that one of the pathways, involving a particular protein called STAT3, was interacting with immune cells in the eye. STAT3 activated and altered the macrophages and ultimately resulted in the formation of the abnormal blood vessels.
High levels of the same protein were also found in human retina tissue samples from wet AMD patients treated in previous decades. The findings offer hope that compounds used to disrupt the action of STAT3 in mice could be used in patients with wet AMD. 
Principle researcher, Dr Rajendra S. Apte, a professor of ophthalmology and visual science at the university’s School of Medicine, said: “When we inhibit this pathway, we can alter the immune cells and interfere with abnormal blood vessel growth in mice. Doing so might open therapeutic avenues to halt vision loss or even restore sight in people who have macular degeneration.”
He added: “Now that we have a better idea of how these macrophages are activated at the molecular level, we may be able to use those drugs to halt or reverse the process.”
The research is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Monday 21 September 2015

National Eye Health Week begins today

National Eye Health Week (NEHW) marks its sixth year this month, with organisers expecting the most successful awareness week to date.
Chair of the campaign, optometrist David Cartwright, told OT: "We have seen a record number of practices and health organisations sign up to take part in NEHW this year."
The annual campaign will be held on September 21–27, with changing daily health messages scheduled for each day of the week. The themes will aim to highlight a range of issues, including the links between eye health and smoking, as well as diet and nutrition.
As chair of the initiative for the second consecutive year, Mr Cartwright is passionate about the role that the week plays in encouraging members of the public to have an awareness of the importance of eye health and how a person’s lifestyle habits can affect their vision.
Discussing the purpose of the week, Mr Cartwright said: “I hope it brings the whole industry together to raise the profile of eye health, which is essentially what everyone wants to achieve.”
The optometrist pointed out that while the week and the messages shared are ultimately for the public’s benefit, “getting involved also absolutely helps raise a practice’s profile in its local community and is therefore good for business too.”   
The initiative has once again attracted support from big names, with Vision Express, Boots Opticians and Lloyds Pharmacy supporting this year's awareness week.
Sponsored by Vision Express, the Vision Van will be touring the UK during the week, making stops in towns and cities which are considered ‘hot spots’ for poor eye health.
“The Vision Van is really important as it not only provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the eye health message, but also for people to be seen there and then,” Mr Cartwright said. 
The chair also confirmed that Devon local optical committee will feature in a live broadcast on health channel Hiblio, while the DVLA will host an eye health awareness raising event at its head offices.
Eye health supplements will once again be published in national newspapers The Times and the Guardian on September 20 and 21 respectively, with consumer magazine Vista also returning.
Vista was introduced last year to provide practices with a reception area magazine with longevity that could be used continually to highlight eye health messages with patients throughout the year.
"There are some very interesting features in this year's Vista, and we have managed to keep advertising to a minimum so it doesn’t detract from the importance of the messages,” added Mr Cartwright.
Last year’s NEHW was its most successful to date, with more than 560 pieces of press coverage generated before the week had ended. National media coverage included Dr Hilary Jones promoting the importance of regular sight tests on ITV breakfast television, and the College of Optometrists’ clinical adviser, Dr Susan Blakeney, appearing on This Morning. 
Almost 2,000 supporters signed up and took part in the initiative in 2014, while a OnePoll survey performed by organisers in October last year revealed that 66% of UK adults said they planned to take better care of their eyes following NEHW 2014.
Sharing his desire to expand on the information-gathering exercise for 2015, the optometrist revealed that organisers of the initiative will commission pre- and post-evaluations of public opinion. “This will help us build some concrete evidence around how the week  does actually change people’s behaviours,” explained Mr Cartwright. “It will allow us to demonstrate the week’s worth to the industry so we can attract more investors and grow the week even more.”
Returning to this year’s initiative, Mr Cartwright emphasised that it is certainly not too late for practices to sign up and get involved with NEHW 2015. “We encourage people to continue to register their interest to receive a resource pack, and there is lots of information and ideas freely available to anyone wanting to plan an event on our website.”
For more information and to sign up, visit  

Saturday 19 September 2015

Optometrist and practice of the year 2015 - Just hours left to vote!

Voting ends at midnight on the 20th September 2015. There is still time for you to help us obtain this accolade. Every vote counts so please find the time to click the links below to navigate directly to the voting page. It is a simple check box vote and should take seconds to complete.

We really appreciate your help

Matheson Optometrists have been nominated and short listed for two major national awards.

Practice of the year 2015
Optometrist of the year 2015

The next stage in the award process is for patients and customers to vote for us at: