More than 200 eye care practitioners have signed up to work towards a certificate in Dry Eye as part of a new education programme run by the British Contact Lens Association.
The new CET-accredited programme focuses 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 already enrolled 200 members who will work through an education resource to allow clinicians access to new specialised avenues supported by training and peer assessment.
The free 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.
Keith Tempany, BCLA President, said: “We are always keen to help our members improve their clinical expertise which in turn enhances the patient experience; this programme in managing the Dry Eye and managing Ocular Surface Health does just that.
“OSH is well documented as fundamental in the success of the contact lens wearer; managing this for the patient, may help the retention of contact lens patients in practice and minimise drop outs due to discomfort.”
A BCLA Dry Eye Certificate will be issued on successful completion of the course, which is only available for BCLA members. The certificate, sponsored by associate partners Thea Pharmaceuticals, 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.
Professor Christine Purslow, head of Medical Affairs at Thea Pharmaceuticals, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the BCLA for this course. Dry eye education is essential, and this qualification ensures practitioners will be best placed to offer the specialist service needed to diagnose and manage the disease.”
The issue of Dry Eye will play an integral role in education sessions at forthcoming BCLA UK events in London and Birmingham, including a peer review and a programme of workshops.
The peer review will provide an overview level of understanding on the management and diagnosis of Dry Eye Disease that supports eye care practitioners to raise their levels of confidence and skill to complete the BCLA’s Dry Eye Practical Accreditation Examination.
The event will include interactive workshops, based on the evidence and findings of the TFOS DEWS II report, to familiarise delegates with clinical instruments specific to Dry Eye disease diagnosis and management.