Press release: ABDO Members tune in for first online Consultation Day

Members logged in to ABDO first-ever online Consultation Day on Sunday 15 November. As well as the chance to hear an update from ABDO president, Jo Holmes FBDO, and general secretary, Sir Anthony Garrett CBE HonFBDO, members were able to submit questions prior to and during the event.

Following a welcome message from Jo Holmes, during which she praised both members and staff for the way they have managed and adapted working life and patient care during the Covid-19 pandemic, the president also updated members on CET opportunities, the new regional events coming online in the New Year, and progress on reviewing the ABDO Advice and Guidance section of the website.

Jo also announced the appointment of three new ABDO Benevolent Fund trustees: Keith Cavaye, Heather Hows and Lynda Matthias. “I’d like to welcome all three members, whose life experiences and opinion will be greatly valued within the group” Jo said.

Tony Garrett talked members through the financial impact of Covid-19 on ABDO. He went on to explain how ABDO was continuing to keep members informed about legal and regulatory changes throughout the devolved nations, with updated information available on the ABDO website’s Covid-19 guidance section. ABDO has been able to introduce new management and leadership training courses. The Association has also been in constant engagement with the General Optical Council over its Education Strategic Review (ESR), and other consultations.

There followed questions from members on topics including: how to respond to patients who refused to wear a mask; support for locums; adult safeguarding training; remote supervision of trainee contact lens opticians; the impact of the ESR; and mental health support for members.

Bringing the event to a close, Tony Garrett reminded members to make the most of ABDO’s legal helpline service and the Benevolent Fund. Jo Holmes highlighted the fact that many positives had come out of the pandemic, and urged members to keep on doing what they did best. She said, “Look out for the public, and we will look out for you”.

Members can catch up  a recording of the Consultation Day at


Notes to Editors

  1. Media enquiries to Antonia Chitty
  2. ABDO represents over 6000 qualified dispensing opticians in the UK