Launch of first ever online network for eye public health

30 April 2012

The first ever online resource to share evidence and information on Ophthalmic Public Health has been unveiled by the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) on behalf of the eye health sector.  With the introduction of the new health and wellbeing boards, the Ophthalmic Public Health Network provides information and evidence for anyone who wants to make the case for eye health as part of the local public health planning process.  People who will find this site useful include NHS commissioners, health and well being boards, eye health professionals, providers, public health experts and academics. 

Kathy Evans, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, said:
“The Ophthalmic Public Health Network should be a useful resource for clinicians and commissioners trying to find relevant information relating to eye health.” 

David Hewlett, Chief Executive of the Federation of the Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians and Vice Chairman of Action for Blind People (part of the RNIB Group), said:
“This is a long overdue development for far too long ophthalmic public health experts and people interested in ophthalmic public health have had to work in relative isolation.  This should bring everyone together to share experiences and expertise and to build an online community and stronger voice for all those involved in eye health improvement and prevention of sight loss.” 

Bryony Pawinska, Chief Executive of the College of Optometrists, said:
“The online network will play a critical part in the sector’s strategy to improve public health. For the first time those providing and commissioning ophthalmic public health will be able to go to a central point to build their knowledge and skills in this important area. We encourage optometrists to get involved by signing up to the network.”

Katrina Venerus, Director of Operations and Commissioning at LOCSU, said:
“This is a critical time for getting eye health on the agenda of local health and wellbeing boards and this resource will be invaluable for eye health professionals, academics and commissioners.  The site is owned by you – the entire ophthalmic public health community – so needs your contribution whether uploading useful content or taking part in a discussion forum to ensure that the site is a useful tool for all.”

To sign up for the Network:


Note to editors
The Ophthalmic Public Health Network is being established as part of ‘An Optical Strategy to Improve Ophthalmic Public Health’ (published in October 2011).

The steering group includes:

  • Kathy Evans, Chief Executive, Royal College of Ophthalmologists
  • David Hewlett Chief Executive, Federation of (Ophthalmic and Dispensing) Opticians,
  • Anita Lightstone, Programme Director, UK Vision Strategy & RNIB
  • Richard Oliver, Joint Clinical Director, Sheffield NHS Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Bryony Pawinska, Chief Executive, College of Optometrists
  • Terry Rich, Local Government lead, NHS (London) Public Health Transition Team
  • Geoff Roberson, Professional Advisor, Association of Optometrists
  • Darren Shickle, Head of the Academic Unit of Public Health, University of Leeds,
  • Sarah Slade, Chair, National Optometric Advisors Association
  • Katrina Venerus, Director of Operations & Commissioning, LOCSU

Media enquiries
Jenny Manchester, Communications Manager at LOCSU on or call 07703 677697 or call Katrina Venerus, Director of Operations and Commissioning at LOCSU on 07769 682681.


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