Eye care practitioners have been given the chance to work towards a certificate in Dry Eye as part of a new education programme launched by the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA). The new CET-accredited programme will focus on clinical skills for Ocular Surface Health (OSH) and Dry Eye, allowing BCLA members to gain CET points while working towards a Dry Eye certificate or a higher level to lead to a BCLA Fellowship.
BCLA leaders have put together an education resource to allow clinicians access to new specialised avenues supported by training and peer assessment. The programme is in response to what is seen as the ‘changing face of the profession’, taking into account research such as the Forsight report and highlighting a need to increase the scope of optometry and contact lens practice.
Cheryl Donnelly, chief executive of the BCLA, said: “We are confident this course will help guide practitioners to improve the retention of contact lens patients in practice and minimise drop outs due to discomfort. The programme forms part of BCLA ‘s commitment to supporting its members, who will be able to access all online materials required for this course free of charge.”
The issue of Dry Eye formed a cornerstone of the education segment of the 2017 BCLA Conference held in Liverpool, where a ‘Dry Eye Symposium’ allowed clinicians to gain credits towards the certificate, as well as numerous workshops to mark the start of this programme.
Professor James Wolffsohn of Aston University said: “Dry eye screening should form part of routine examination in clinical practice, with specialist practitioners with a BCLA qualification well placed to offer the specialist service needed to diagnose and manage the disease.”
A BCLA Dry Eye Certificate will be issued on successful completion of the course. The certificate can be achieved by any optometrist or CLO who attains six credits and a final OSCE style examination. The six credits are available from five online modules and one relevant Dry Eye or OSH workshop, peer review or lecture (GOC approved validated with CE number). This certificate will need to be renewed every four years.
For more information about the 2017 education programme launched by the BCLA, visit www.bcla.org.uk.