Melanie Corbett and Sinead Connolly talk us through the Inspire programme, and call for contributions.



Book Giveaway Competition - Winners Announced!

Dr Sohaib Rufai and competition winner Pavel Sharma.


Congratulations to the winners of our book giveaway competition!

  • Pavel Sharma - @Pavel_Eye
  • Helen Kuht - @KuhtHelen
  • Haris Ali - @haris.ali.sheikh
  • Dr Chanelle Smith - @doctorchanniesmith
  • Chris Way - @cway_eye

 Each will take home a signed copy of A Practical Guide for Aspiring Ophthalmologists b Dr Sohaib Rufai. You can read the five-star review of Sohaib's book here.

Well done to all our entrants, we have enjoyed seeing all of your submissions coming in! #RCOphth2022 #AspireOphth



Eye News spoke to the Ophthalmological Society of Malawi about their plans for their Congress in September, what they have learned at the RCOphth, and the impact of the Vision2020 LINKS programme.


RCOphth Annual Congress - Awards


The RCOphth's Award's Ceremony took place on Wednesday morning, with three presentations from various winners. Professor Gus Gazzard received the Nettleship Medal on behalf of the Moorfields Eye Hospital Foundation Trust, which conducted the LiGHT trial examining laser trabeculoplasty. 

The study worked over a 3 and then 6-year period, comparing subject groups who were being treated using eye drops and, alternatively, lasers. The study found that laser treatment allowed for fast, individualized targeting and treatment within each eye. One or both eyes in glaucoma patients were able to be controlled without the use of medication following laser treatment. Whilst Prof Gazzard observed that the study made him "not very popular with the pharmaceutical industry", the study proved anew standard which indicates its success and importance in use a primary treatment, as it preserved visual fields better than eye drops.#


Professor Gus Gazzard presents having won the Nettleship Medal, and lists the LiGHT study group as thanks.


The study led to changes in national and international guidelines; NICE now recommends it as common practice, and the AAOC recommend its use in adjunction with medication in patients with POAG .

The group’s next steps will see them roll out a sister trial in China, to see if Chinese eyes respond in a similar way. This will be followed by further studies which examine how the treatment works in East African populations as well. Prof Gazzard concluded his speech by paying tribute to the large number of people throughout the UK who contributed to the study, and his team at Moorfields Eye Hospital.


The Ulverscroft David Owen Prize for 2021 was awarded to the British Childhood Visual Impairment and Blindness Study 2 (BCVIS2) at University College London.

The collaborator group consisted of 250 ophthalmic and paediatric clinicians. It was the first study into all-cause visual disability, and was nationally representative, including 784 individual cases.


The UCL delegate examines childhood mortality among the visually disabled.


The study found a higher incidence of visual disability in infancy among ethnic minority and socioeconomically deprived populations. Within childhood visual disability in the UK, over 72% are what is termed VI+ (impacted by other disabilities, such as mobility issues).  The research also found that childhood visual impairment results in a higher risk of infant mortality – 4% of cases died within one year of a VI diagnosis. The broader statistics highlighted a mortality rate of 17.4 per 1000 children with VI, as opposed to 3.8 per 1000 in general infant mortality. Half of all the children included had multiple disorders, and 43% of the cases were potentially preventable.

The presentation concluded that visual disability in childhood was a sentinel child health event, which led to numerous complexities as well as reduced life expectancy.


The Ulverscroft David Owen Prize for 2022 was awarded to Dr Sohaib Rufai and his team, for their work in grading foveal hypoplasia in children.

Use of the OCT device, whilst revolutionising clinical ophthalmic practice, was not designed for children or young people. The study group recruited 42 children, providing treatment from 2012-2018, at which point they took a visual acuity test. A breakthrough was achieved, wherein grading could predict future visual acuity, as well as observing a full spectrum of foveal hypoplasia.


Dr Sohaib Rufai explains his research into OCT appliances and their impact on paediatric ophthalmology.


Thanks to the handheld OCTs, this was the first study of its kind. Dr Rufai emphasised the diagnostic and prognostic value of the device, and its capacity to guide local clinical management. The study has been cited 39 times in Ophthalmology journal, and its results were covered in this publication.

Dr Rufai secured funding to represent the study nationally and internationally, and personally thanks his colleagues and mentors, dedicating the award to the patients and families who took part in the study and were crucial to its findings.


We spoke to Dr Hazel Shillingford-Ricketts about the work of Vision 2020 LINKS and treatments in diabetic retinopathy.


Surgical Skills with Théa Pharmaceutical

Hard at work in the Gala room at the SEC Armadillo, as Théa Pharmaceutical host
a Surgical Skills session, with equipment linked up to iPads for ease of use and entry.

The session attended by over 50 RCOphth trainees. A focus of this simulated ocular surgery session was cataract, specifically capsulorhexis – each trainee was provided with a microscope, synthetic eye and equipment and the session was lead by multiple trainees including Mr John Ferris, Professor Larry Benjamin, Mr David Lockington, Mr Rob Scott and, notably, Mr Uday Devgan, the ‘Cataract Coach’, an ophthalmologist from California. Théa Pharmaceutical sponsored the event and provided equipment and staff to support the college with the session


In Conversation With: Professor Harminder Dua (OOC)

We spoke to Professor Harminder Dua about his highlights from the first day of the RCOphth Annual Congress 2022, and he discussed his excitement for the Oxford Ophthalmological Congress taking place 4-6 July.


Good morning, good morning!

The penultimate day of RCOphth 2022 is sure to keep up the tempo set on Monday and Tuesday. We open with the Congress awards, so keep an eye out for the winners reported live. We will also be announcing the winners of our book giveaway competition, with a signing from the author taking place just after 1pm. You can still enter, and find details here. We will also have updates from the talk on the new curriculum due to come into action in 2024 - keep your eyes peeled! In the meantime, catch up with the highlights from yesterday, including our interview with RCOphth President, Professor Bernie Chang, here.


Click here for RCOphth Annual Congress - Day 4