Welcome to the Vision 2017 Conference App - the leading eye health and sight loss sector conference.


09.00 - 09.45: Registration and networking

Morning plenary (Churchill, ground floor)

09.45 - 09.55: Welcome (Keith Valentine - Chief Executive, Vision UK)

09.55 - 10.10: Keynote address (Simon Wheatcroft - ‘Storyteller, technologist, adventurer, inclusivity consultant’)

10.10 - 10.20: Shaping futures (Fazilet Hadi - Deputy Chief Executive, RNIB and Director of Advocacy)

10.20 - 10.30: Partnership in action: Dementia Action Alliance (Phil Freeman - Executive Lead, Dementia Action Alliance)

Morning streams

10.45 - 12.15:

Stream 1: Public health, individual responsibility and collective action

Westminster, fourth floor

Protecting the health and well-being of individuals and populations, and promoting healthcare equality and accessibility is the role of public health. But with increasing pressure on services, an aging population and an increase in diseases such as dementia, is the eye health message being lost putting more people at risk of sight loss?

Stream 2: Working together towards integrated care and support services

St James, fourth floor

Greater integrated care within the health service has been a priority for successive UK governments for decades; there have been a number of approaches to the problem from multidisciplinary care, to shared care, to the integrated care model, but why does fragmentation persist and what can the eye health and sight loss sectors do about it?

Stream 3: Inclusion - Being heard and changing attitudes!

Rutherford & Moore, fourth floor

Is enough being done to involve people living with sight loss in the design process for developing tools that enable independence and inclusion and if not, why not? Public perceptions of what it is like to live with sight loss can limit blind or partially sighted people’s opportunities in life, leading to social isolation and underachievement so what can be done to stop this from happening? This stream will include sessions ranging from product design that puts users at the beginning of the design process to awareness raising projects that improve public understanding of sight loss.

Lunch (Pickwick, first floor)

12.30 - 13.45: Lunch, exhibitors and networking

Afternoon Plenary (Churchill, ground floor)

14.00 - 15.30:

Time to change: Rethinking mental health (Sue Baker OBE - Director, Time to Change)

Changing attitudes: Things not to say to a blind person (Marc Powell - RNIB Business Team and Georgie Bullen - Team Insight)

UK Ambition (Keith Valentine - CEO, Vision UK)

Panel discussion: Achieving change, together (David Parkins - Chair, Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning for England and Chair, London Eye Health Network (NHS England); Peter Corbett - CEO, Thomas Pocklington Trust and Chair, England Vision Strategy; Sally Harvey - Acting CEO, RNIB; Ken Reid - Scottish Vision Strategy Ambassador; Michael Burdon - Consultant Ophthalmologist, Royal Oak Hospital, Birmingham and President, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists)

Reception (Pickwick, first floor)

15.30 - 16:30: Networking reception

Stream 1


Learning from National Eye Health Week

David Cartwright - Chair, National Eye Health Week

David Cartwright, Chair of National Eye Health Week, will present on the success of National Eye Health Week to raise the profile of eye health across the UK and increase awareness and engagement amongst the public with regards to their eye health. David will also share with delegates how to get involved in National Eye Health Week to bring about change in their local area; including what tools are available to them in their work to improve the eye health of their local communities.

Case studies

Eye research – projects and partnerships

Michele Acton - CEO, Fight for Sight and Judith Potts - Esme's Umbrella

Fight for Sight is the leading eye research charity funding researchers based at leading hospitals and universities across the UK. Its Chief Executive, Michele Acton, will outline the research landscape and how Fight for Sight partners with other organisations in its research. Judith Potts from Esme’s Umbrella will provide the perspective of a partner currently working with Fight for Sight to raise funds for medical research into Charles Bonnet Syndrome.

Communities Eye Health Champions Project

Neil Baxter - Manchester Eye Health Project Coordinator, RNIB and David Backhouse - volunteer on the Eye Health Project & member of the Manchester Eye Health Project Advisory Board

Neil and David will explain how this volunteer-led partnership project is reducing preventable sight loss in at-risk communities in Liverpool and North Manchester through establishing eye health champions, producing resources and delivering eye health events.

A study of the effects of sight loss on diabetic patients

Bronagh Stewart - Student, Queens University Belfast and Andrew Murdoch - Policy & Engagement Manager, Guide Dogs Northern Ireland

This session will outline how Guide Dogs NI, Diabetes UK and Queens University Belfast (QUB) partnered together to study the effects of sight loss on diabetic patients in accessing information, managing their diabetes, and adopting a healthy lifestyle, compared with patients who do not have sight loss. The speakers will explain how this work will influence the Diabetes Framework and the development of new partnerships to promote healthy lifestyle options.

Reducing vision-related falls

Paul Alexander - Policy Manager, College of Optometrists

Across the UK, falls are the most common cause of hospitalisation for people aged over 65, and of accidental death in those aged over 75. Undetected and untreated visual impairment plays a significant role in the high incidence of falls among older people. Paul Alexander, Falls Project Lead, will outline the main findings of the College of Optometrist’s work on helping to reduce vision-related falls and how you can get involved.

Waiting Time Targets and Clinical Prioritisation in Wales

The increase in demand for ophthalmology services has not been met by a corresponding increase in capacity or a review of demand and capacity to assess and deal with the increasing demand. In addition, waiting time targets mean there is more pressure to see new patients rather than patients that need follow up treatment. In this session delegates will learn about the partnership work in Wales to address the crisis in capacity.

Delays to follow-up eye appointments

Barny Foot - British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit, Royal College of Ophthalmologists

In January 2017, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists published a surveillance report of patients coming to harm due to delays in treatment and follow-up appointments. Barny Foot, co-author of the report, will run through the main findings and conclusions of the report.

Self-Advocacy - ‘Ask and Tell’!

Tessa Barrett - Head of Services, Macular Society and Karen Osborn - Chief Executive, International Glaucoma Association

Following Barney Foot’s presentation, delegates will then hear about ‘Ask and Tell’ - a joint project between the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, RNIB, Macular Society and the International Glaucoma Association. This initiative encourages people to report their experiences if they have appointment delays in the eye clinic.

Stream 2


Marsha de Cordova - Engagement and Advocacy Director, Thomas Pocklington Trust


Innovative new models of care and new ways of working

Dr Phil Richardson - Director of Transformation and Innovation Dorset CCG

In this session, Dr Phil Richardson will talk about the challenges Clinical Commissioning Groups face to meet the needs of local populations as part of the wider health and care economy. He will share the different ways in which the Dorset CCG looks at existing approaches and new challenges, exploring innovative solutions in order to drive disruptive change. Phil will also share how the Dorset system is coming together as a partnership of commissioners and providers to innovate new models of care and new ways of working.

Case Studies

Optical Practices: Solutions to the rising demand on eye care services

Fiona Hiscox - Ophthalmic Public Health Lead and Jonathan Drew - Business Manager, both from Devon Local Optical Committee

With an ageing UK demographic and increasing number of patients with eye conditions, the demand for local hospital eye services is increasing each year. This session will focus on the Devon Local Optical Committee’s efforts to alleviate the pressure on hospital eye care services by drawing on the resource of highly qualified and regulated optometrists and dispensing opticians in local optical practices. Delegates will hear about an example of primary and secondary care services working in an integrated way to have ‘right care’ delivered in the ‘right place’, at the ‘right time’, by the ‘right professional’.

Networked ophthalmology care – a toolkit for increased collaboration

Karen Reeves - Vanguard Programme Director, Moorfields Eye Hospital

The vanguard team at Moorfields has developed a unique online toolkit to help NHS trusts to think about working together in a networked care model. Karen will outline how networked care helps to sustain hospital clinical services locally for patients and alleviates the stress for patients of travelling to get specialist care. She will explain how the toolkit provides advice and practical tools and templates to help get best practice right first time, and will give resources and templates for other organisations to use to help NHS trusts to implement a networked model more quickly.

Using patient experience to improve eye care services

Dr Jackie McCall - Consultant in Public Health, Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland

Dr McCall will present on how the Public Health Agency used a survey tool to obtain anonymous feedback from users, families, carers and staff across Northern Ireland about their experiences of hospital eye care services and what matters most to them. She will explain how the findings and recommendations will drive forward changes, improvements and developments to eye care service design.

Sight loss and mental health

Adrian Iuga - Eye Clinic Liaison Officer, King’s College Hospital

People with sight loss are at a higher risk of developing mental health conditions. Support services are available but patients are not systematically identified and referred. Adrian Iuga will give an overview of work by King’s College Hospital to pilot a mental health screening programme for patients with sight loss, in order to integrate mental health support into the current medical management of eye conditions, and create clear referral pathways for appropriate support and interventions.

Certification of visual impairment in the 21st Century – the eCVI project and ECLO support

Philippa Simkiss - Head of Partnerships, RNIB and Chris Wilsdon, ECLO at Princess Royal University Hospital & Queen Mary's Hospital

Philippa Simkiss will present on a joint project between Moorfields Eye Hospital, RNIB and hospitals in Gloucester, Leeds and Nottingham to investigate whether an electronic certification process is a more reliable, efficient and speedy way to help people who are blind or partially sighted to access the support associated with registration. Chris Wilsdon will then provide an insight into the support Eye Clinic Liaison Officers can provide.

The costs avoided through effective rehabilitation services

Josh Feehan - Research and Development Officer, RNIB

As part of the Early Intervention and Rehabilitation Project, RNIB commissioned the Office for Public Management to undertake a study of the costs avoided when effective vision rehabilitation services are provided to blind and partially sighted people. Josh will outline the results from the case study in terms of costs avoided for Health and Social Care relating to personal safety, social participation, functional independence and emotional well-being.

Stream 3


Ken Reid - Scottish Vision Strategy Ambassador


Including the voice of people with sight loss in design

Matt Marsh - Creative Director, Firsthand Experience

Matt Marsh will lead a session examining how new products, services and environments can be designed to accommodate users with sight loss. He will explore obstacles in the design system, how they can be overcome, and how those with sight loss can be included in the design process. This session will include audience participation to explore the obstacles, generate ideas of how they can be solved, and create actions for change to promote to the design community and beyond.

Case Studies

Cities Unlocked

Jarnail Chudge - User Experience Architect, Microsoft

Find out how a partnership between Guide Dogs and Microsoft has yielded the innovative use of 3D audio to increase independence and mobility for people living with sight loss by helping them paint a richer picture of their surroundings.

Conspexit Intelligent Assistant

Laith Al-Janabi - VP Strategic Partnerships, Conspexit

Find out how the Conspexit Intelligent Assistant will ‘see the world’ and assist people with sight loss with a variety of day to day tasks. Laith will also outline plans for this product in the future.

Working in partnership to provide support to families of children with vision impairment, Sara Akhtar, CYP Enablement Officer, Henshaws and Kay Wrench, Team Leader, Oldham Education Team for Vision Impairment.

This session will give an insight into Henshaws’ partnership with Oldham Council’s Vision Impairment Team to employ a Children and Young People Enablement Officer to provide emotional and practical support to families. Sara and Kay will also outline the benefits of partnership working with local eye health professionals and a range of voluntary sector organisations to raise awareness of eye care in mainstream and special schools. Organisations involved included Henshaws, Eye Heroes, SeeAbility, Oldham council and a local dance and theatre company, Reforma.

Supporting Black African people with sight loss to develop peer support groups

Diana Collins - Project Officer, You Care - Eye Care Project and Gozie Joe Adigwe - Senior Eye Health & Equalities Officer, both RNIB Scotland

Learn how this initiative, funded by Alliance Scotland and led by RNIB, supported Black African people living with sight loss to develop a peer support group to build confidence and improve social connectedness. Learn also how the project helped people work towards non-health goals such as employability, IT proficiency, social integration and effective self-management.

Changing the face of blindness

Jay Paul - Senior Marketing Manager - Connected Communities, RNIB

Over one-third of blind and partially sighted people say that they sometimes, frequently or always experience negative attitudes from the general public in relation to their sight loss - especially when using a white cane. In this session delegates will learn about the ways in which people living with sight loss are working together and using film and social media to reach the general public to raise awareness of what it is like to live with sight loss; that using a cane does not necessarily mean that a person is unable to see at all and how people registered as blind or partially sighted see the world.

Morning Plenary

Keith Valentine, Chief Executive, Vision UK

Having worked for many years leading urban renewal programmes Keith has directed his energies to the sight loss sector as his own loss of sight progressed, affording him a unique perspective on the needs and aspirations of the people who are served by the eye health and sight loss pathway..

Keith is a Trustee for RNIB and RP Fighting Blindness.

Simon Wheatcroft

Simon Wheatcroft refuses to let blindness hold him back. Whether he is competing in ultra-marathons, climbing mountains or going about his day to day life, he combines the use of technology and his fundamental belief and trust in his own abilities and body to overcome what many would consider insurmountable barriers and achieve his goals. Simon's unique blend of ferocious drive, along with his background in technology and psychology, enables him to push the boundaries of possibility and challenge the audience to explore what they can achieve.

Born with a genetic eye disorder (Retinitis Pigmentosa) resulted in Simon becoming blind at 17. After a number of difficult years of adaptation, he headed to California in order to climb a mountain. After an unsuccessful attempt due to his lack of vision, he vowed never to quit again because he was unable to see. Making use of technology, he began a remarkable journey of learning to run outdoors totally unaided aside from the Smartphone app RunKeeper and his remaining senses as a guide.

Partnering with leading technology firms and using social media to find running partners Simon has gone on to run marathons and ultramarathons. Leveraging his experience of working with leading technology firms (IBM, MIT and Google), Simon is creating the next generation of technology that will continue to enable himself and others to achieve what many bystanders would consider unattainable. Much of this technology was put to the test when he became the first ever blind person to run solo the 4 Deserts Marathon in Namibia in May 2016.

Phil Freeman - Dementia Action Alliance

Phil is the Executive Lead of the Dementia Action Alliance. Prior to joining the DAA Phil was part of Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Communities team where he led on partnerships. He also worked as part of their Corporate Partnerships team, where he managed a number of key accounts with clients such as Deloitte and Lilly. Projects he worked on included the review of the National Dementia Strategy of England (NDSE) and the Worried About Your Memory? campaign.

Prior to joining the Alzheimer’s Society Phil spent four years working for a leadership development organisation, Common Purpose, where he headed up the Emerging Leaders programme. Here he was responsible for recruiting cross sector groups and facilitating the programmes, equipping the members with the knowledge, skills and connections to be more effective leaders, both within their organisations and in wider civil society. He also led on projects to raise the profile of social enterprises and to increase diversity across the public sector.

Fazilet Hadi, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Advocacy, RNIB

Fazilet Hadi has worked at RNIB for 19 years, during which time she has overseen RNIB's research, marketing, communication and political campaigning. She has also been the lead officer for the UK Vision Strategy and played a key role in the consultation on the initial UK Vision Strategy and its launch in 2008. Fazilet commissioned the recent evaluation of the UK Vision Strategy and is strongly committed to ensuring that the UK Vision Strategy, in its new articulation as the UK Ambition Statement, drives change across eye health and sight loss and wider society.

Fazilet recently assumed the role of Deputy Chief Executive at RNIB and Director of its new Advocacy Directorate. Prior to RNIB, Fazilet worked as a solicitor in law centres and as an equality specialist in local government. She is passionate about influencing change for the benefit of communities, whether on a local or societal level.

Fazilet recently completed a 37km fundraising trek across Iceland with RNIB colleagues and supporters.

Stream 1

David Cartwright, Chair National Eye Health Week (NEHW)

David is an optometrist of 35 years standing and is Chair of Eyecare Trust which is the organisation that runs National Eye Health Week. He has previously worked in all spheres of optometric practice, the majority of his career with Boots Opticians as Professional Services Director.

David is past president of the College of Optometrists and a College examiner. He is currently chair of Derby/Notts eye health Local Professional Network, is a College examiner, is a non-executive director of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust and a General Optical Council Hearings Panel member.

David is married to Yvonne, a practising optometrist and has two children. His hobbies include golf, tennis and occasional triathlons.

Stream 2

Phil Richardson, Director of Transformation

Phil Richardson joined the NHS in September 2014 with 30 years commercial experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, digital and consulting industries. Phil is the Programme Director for the Clinical Services Review (CSR), lead director for Dorset’s Sustainability Transformation Plan (STP) and Senior Responsible Officer for the Local Digital Roadmap (LDR).

In addition to setting up a boutique strategy and change consultancy, previous employers include Amersham International, Deloitte, IBM, Pfizer and BUPA, where he worked in a number of senior roles both nationally and internationally on complex strategy and change programmes.

Phil is a Chartered Scientist and a Chartered Biologist he has a PhD from the University of Bath in biomimetics and the application of biological modelling to innovation, strategy and change. He also teaches strategy on the Open University MBA and is an examiner for the final year MBA thesis. Originally from Newcastle, Phil has lived with his family in the South West for nearly 20 years.

Stream 3

Matt Marsh

Matt Marsh has a background in behavioural sciences & user-centered innovation, and is recognised internationally for his people-shaped(TM) approach to new product and service innovation.

Matt is expert at providing innovation teams with the missing customer perspective that helps correctly link new forms of product and service to successful commercialisation. He is Creative Director at Firsthand Experience, a visiting professor at Ravensbourne University in London, and serves on the Professional Affairs Board of the Institute for Human Factors and Ergonomics.

Prior to setting up Firsthand Experience in 2002, Matt was studio leader and then marketing director at IDEO, and then served as an innovation envoy at the Design Council. With a wide range of experience in many fields including transportation, healthcare, government, technology and telecommunication sectors, Matt has created award-winning customer centred services, products, software, systems and environments.

Matt's clients include: Novartis, NHS, Microsoft, HSBC, PwC, Samsung, BBC, BMW, Innovate UK, Channel 4, BBH, SC Johnson.

Afternoon Plenary

Sue Baker OBE - Director, Time to Change

Sue leads Time to Change, England’s largest ever programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination. She is responsible for leading and delivering this exciting social movement in England.

Time to Change is an ambitious programme (funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund) being delivered by leading mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

Sue previously worked for the leading mental health charity in New Zealand setting up marketing, campaigns and fundraising programmes and supporting the ground-breaking campaign to address the discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems, using human rights and mental health promotion models. She also worked for nine years as Head of Media at Mind, in particular carrying out the UK’s first survey of the extent and impact of discrimination (in the mid-90s).

She has also been a Director of a leading substance misuse charity where she was responsible for marketing treatment services, delivering business growth and developing marketing and fundraising.

Sue studied marketing and advertising at the University of the West of England and in her career has worked in charities, councils and in PR and advertising agencies.

She is open about her experiences of anxiety and depression as a way of encouraging others to do the same.

Marc Powell - RNIB Business Team

Marc Powell was 4 years old when his family were informed that he had inherited his father’s eye condition, cone-rod dystrophy, which caused him to have significant acuity issues and resulted in him being registered as blind.

From a young age, Marc was exposed to Paralympic sport as his father, Terry Powell, was a double-Paralympic bronze medallist in Judo, and also ran an inclusive sports business, where Marc worked with him part-time.

Marc’s own sporting ability was spotted in 2009 and he was given the opportunity to leave his hometown of Liverpool, and move to a Judo ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Dartford. Marc went on to represent Great Britain in Judo for over 5 years, winning numerous international medals (both visually impaired, and mainstream) and competing at major international tournaments, including the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

In 2014, Marc retired from professional Judo and began to seek employment. In 2015, through the RNIB’s Trainee Grade Scheme, Marc gained a 50 week position as a ‘Community and Corporate Fundraising Officer’ for the RNIB. After being in the role for four months, Marc was offered a permanent role at the charity, and since then has progressed to becoming a ‘New Business Development Executive’, which involves him working with companies and organisations to help them become more accessible across a range of commercial solutions.

Georgie Bullen - Team Insight

Georgie Bullen was 5 years old when it was discovered that she had a very rare form of Macular Degeneration which resulted in her being registered as blind.

At the age of 14, having never participated in adapted sports, Georgie attended a Paralympic Talent Identification Day, where she was selected to join the GB Women’s Goalball team. In the space of three and a half years, Georgie went from not knowing the sport, to being in the starting line-up which competed in the London 2012 Paralympics. The team reached the quarter-finals in, only being knocked out in Golden Goal by Sweden, who went on to win Bronze.

After the Paralympics, Georgie began to seek employment but quickly discovered how difficult it was to get a job when you’re visually impaired, as over 73% of Visually Impaired and Blind people of working age are unemployed. Georgie felt this was down to a lack of awareness and so decided to do something to try and educate employers in VI awareness in the hope that she could change their perceptions and improve employment levels.

In 2014, Georgie combined her skills in Goalball, as well as her desire to educate the public in visual impairment awareness, to launch her own business, Team Insight. Team Insight uses Goalball, as well as other blindfolded activities, to deliver team building and visual impairment awareness training events for corporates. The company has won national awards and gained well-known clients such as; O2, Atos and Great Northern Rail.

Whilst starting and running her own business, Georgie has continued to compete as part of the GB Women’s Goalball team.

Keith Valentine - Chief Executive, Vision UK

Having worked for many years leading urban renewal programmes Keith has directed his energies to the sight loss sector as his own loss of sight progressed, affording him a unique perspective on the needs and aspirations of the people who are served by the eye health and sight loss pathway..

Keith is a Trustee for RNIB and RP Fighting Blindness.

David Parkins - Chair, Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning for England and Chair, London Eye Health Network (NHS England)

David is the Chair of the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning for England, Chair of the London Eye Health Network (NHS England) and a registrant member of the General Optical Council (UK). He has extensive experience in NHS commissioning and works part time in independent and hospital practice in South East London.

David was the President of the College of Optometrists from March 2014 until March 2016. He is currently conducting doctoral research into the clinical decision making and the referral practice of UK optometrists with London South Bank University and the Institute of Optometry. Previous published research provided the evidence for commissioning glaucoma services.

David is a Fellow of the European Academy of Optometry and Optics, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of Vision Aid Overseas.

Peter Corbett - CEO, Thomas Pocklington Trust and Chair, England Vision Strategy

Peter Corbett is Chief Executive of the Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT), where he has worked since 2009. Over that time, the charity has changed its focus from being a small housing provider to a national mainstream organisation reaching over 20 times as many people with sight loss. As well as directly supporting a number of local sight loss societies, mainly in London and the Midlands, TPT is a strategic partner of Visionary, supporting local sight loss societies across the country.

TPT’s Research and Policy team continue to manage projects focused on key evidence and impact and its recently established Engagement and Advocacy team seeks to ensure that the voice of people with and at risk of sight loss is clearly heard and that key service providers are properly “held to account” where appropriate.

Peter is involved in several collaborative ventures in the eye health and sight loss sector; he is Chair of the London Visual Impairment Forum, Co-Chair of the England Vision Strategy and Treasurer of VISION 2020 UK and Vision Aid Overseas.

Peter previously spent 2 decades in the commercial sector, mainly with Sony Music, and almost one decade in the public sector, after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant.

Peter grew up in Bolton and is a keen Bolton Wanderers supporter. He is married with 4 grown up daughters and lives in Epsom.

Sally Harvey - Acting CEO, RNIB

Sally was appointed Interim Chief Executive at RNIB in October 2016 in order to deliver RNIB Group’s ambition to make every day better for everyone affected by sight loss: by being there when people need us, supporting independent living, creating an inclusive society and preventing sight loss.

In her previous role as Managing Director for RNIB Places Sally oversaw the management of RNIB's Care Homes, Schools, Further Education College, Supported Living Service and Supported Housing and was strategic lead for children, young people and families.

In past roles at RNIB, Sally has been the strategic lead for Independent Living and has managed RNIB’s services in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Sally was also seconded for a period of 18 months to lead the development and creation of what is known as RNIB Solutions set up to lead RNIB’s business to business work amongst other things.

In her previous career Sally held various positions within the Housing Association sector and local government and in addition to her work at RNIB is currently the Board Chair of Sapphire Independent Housing, a small Housing Association providing accommodation and support to vulnerable people in London and Hertfordshire.

Michael Burdon - Consultant Ophthalmologist, Royal Oak Hospital, Birmingham and President, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Mr Michael (Mike) Burdon is a consultant ophthalmologist with an interest in neuro-ophthalmology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. He underwent subspecialty training in Brisbane, St Thomas' Hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital, and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Mike was chair of the RCOphth Scientific Committee and remains chair of the British Isles Neuro-Ophthalmology Club. He has an established reputation as a teacher of neuro-ophthalmology, speaking at numerous national and international meetings, and co-authoring "The Neuro-Ophthalmology Survival Guide" with Anthony Pane and Neil Miller and has extensive experience in the diagnosis and management (including surgical correction) of adult motility disorders. His main research interests are papilloedema and idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

Mike took over as President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists on 24 May 2017. He is committed to RCOphth maintaining the high standards of education, training and assessment to ensure that the development and delivery of world-class eye care for all patients is at the heart of the ophthalmology profession.

Ken Reid - Scottish Vision Strategy Ambassador

Ken Reid was born and raised in Edinburgh. After studying Business Studies in Dundee, he worked for National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society, Stratford upon Avon for three years as a business analyst. In 1986, he joined Scottish & Newcastle in Edinburgh, in the distribution operations function. Over 22 years he worked in a variety of areas, including Marketing and Human Resources, and was involved in several major projects, for example the development of a new head office site for over 800 people.

Shortly after joining S&N Ken was diagnosed with the degenerative, genetic condition: Retinitis Pigmentosa. This led to him being registered blind in 1990, and eventually retiring in 2008. He now focusses much of his time on voluntary work including rolls with Royal National Institute of Blind People, UK's leading sight loss charity, and UK Vision Strategy.

Ken’s years of progressive sight loss mean he has experienced the good, the bad and the downright ugly of services for blind and partially sighted people. He uses his years of experience in a commercial environment to understand the needs of the business world. This helps him fulfil roles with RNIB, including volunteer public speaker and member of the Scotland committee.


  • RNIB - Supporting people with sightloss

    RNIB (opens in new window)

    Come together with thousands of others affected by sight loss.

    RNIB Connect is a growing community that brings together people affected by sight loss; including friends, families and carers. Best of all, it's free to join! Meet others with similar experiences in our helpful, welcoming and supportive community.

    Come visit us on stand number 5 along with our products and services team.

  • Bayer

    Bayer is a global innovation focused lifescience company specialising in health care and crop science. We have a strong heritage since 1875 in the UK currently employing around 1000 people, with around direct R&D investments in the UK of around £54m annually.

    We care passionately about developing healthcare solutions that benefit UK patients and the NHS. We have a longstanding commitment to researching and making available therapies to designed to treat macular disease. We partner with the NHS to improve ophthalmology services to patients, we deliver high-quality training to health care professionals and develop education materials for people with macular disease.

    Each year Bayer funds and organises the Ophthalmology Honours. These awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding work being carried out by multi-disciplinary teams in ophthalmology throughout the UK. The awards identify exceptional initiatives that demonstrate clinical excellence and innovation in ophthalmology, and recognise exceptional individuals who improve the quality of care provided to patients and the patient experience. Although funded and facilitated by Bayer, the awards are judged by a multi-disciplinary panel of experts in ophthalmology care and the decision-making process is wholly independent of Bayer.

    Entry for the 2017 Awards is now open until 18 August 2017. Entry is open to anyone working in the field of ophthalmology in the UK. Submissions and / or nominations are welcome from healthcare professionals, non-clinical staff, charities, patient associations, volunteers and patients.

    For more information please visit: Bayer (opens in new window)


  • Orcam

    The OrCam MyEye is an innovative and wearable device aimed to improve the lives of individuals who are blind, visually impaired, have reading difficulties or other conditions. OrCam’s breakthrough technology aids through a discreet, wearable platform and easy-to-use interface.

    The MyEye is designed to provide a new level of independence that was once before non-existent. This advanced and portable piece of technology is dedicated to enhancing the lifestyle, well-being and mobility of its users.

    OrCam’s unique device can read text from documents, email, newspapers and signs without being connected to the internet or power outlet. You can identify products at home or in the shops as well as recognise faces of loved ones or work colleagues. With the ability to read bank notes, the OrCam MyEye provides financial independence to its users without being reliant on those around them.

  • Visionary is a diverse community including organisations of various shapes and sizes across the UK. However, we are united in our common goal of improving the lives of people with sight loss and, unlike larger, more generic membership organisations, we are able to offer a more tailored support service to our members. One of the key aspects of this is our relationship model which means that every member has an allocated team member as their initial point of contact as well as being able to access our other services.

    We offer:

    • knowledge sharing, such as toolkits and resources, regular briefings, and co-ordination with national partners
    • networking events, including our one-day Leadership Conferences and two-day Annual Conference
    • development and innovation in the delivery of ongoing and new services
    • income development, from community fundraising and trading activity through to grants and contracts

    For more information about the benefits of being a Visionary member or to sign up, please contact the Member Engagement Team by emailing visionary@visionary.org.uk or calling 020 8090 9264, or visit www.visionary.org.uk (opens in new window).

  • Blind Veterans U K

    We're Blind Veterans UK and we believe that no one who's served our country should battle blindness alone. That's why we're here to help with a lifetime's practical and emotional support, regardless of when they served and how they lost their sight. We help blind veterans to recover their independence and discover a life beyond sight loss.

  • To address the problems faced on a daily basis by individuals with sight loss, and to promote the importance of maintaining good eye health, the leading organisations in England are working together to deliver a plan for change called the England Vision Strategy.

    The England Vision Strategy works to the aims of the UK Vision Strategy and the ‘Seeing it my way outcomes’ nationally and locally for adults and children. To achieve these, the England Vision Strategy has identified six priorities until 2018 as the key building blocks for change. The priorities are:

    1. Detecting eye conditions early, especially in seldom heard groups
    2. Promoting a consistent strategy for eye care commissioning
    3. Improving the Certification process – making sure people who are eligible actually get certified and registered and that relevant data flows through the whole eye health and sight loss pathway
    4. Early intervention to ensure practical and emotional support post diagnosis (for example, an ECLO available in every eye department)
    5. Habilitation and rehabilitation available on a free and timely basis for as long as needed to learn or relearn key life skills including mobility
    6. Development of peer support and self-help groups in every community for adults, children and families to provide voluntary sector support for independent living and to lobby for inclusive local public services
  • Fight for sight. The eye research charity.

    Fight for Sight is the largest charity in the UK dedicated to funding pioneering research to prevent sight loss and treat eye disease. Fight for Sight was formed by the merger in 2005 of Fight for Sight and The Iris Fund for the Prevention of Blindness, both of which had funded research since 1965.

    It is estimated that there are almost 2 million people affected by sight loss in the UK alone. Worldwide over 285 million people are affected. Age-related causes of visual impairment and blindness are increasing as is blindness due to uncontrolled diabetes.

    Our current research programme of over 8 million pounds is focussing on preventing and treating many different eye conditions including AMD, glaucoma, cataract, diabetic eye disease, corneal diseases, trachoma, uveitis, inherited retinal diseases and childhood eye conditions. Fight for Sight also funds research into a large number of rare eye diseases.

    Fight for Sight relies on donations, legacies and fundraising activities to fund its vital world-class research programme. For more information please visiting www.fightforsight.org.uk (opens in new window) or contact us by calling 020 7264 3900 or emailing info@fightforsight.org.uk.


The Queen Elizabeth II Centre Broad Sanctuary Westminster London SW1P 3EE Telephone: 020 7798 4426 Fax: 020 7798 4123 QEII Centre (opens in new window)

Travel by road

For detailed directions from your place of origin please visit the RAC (opens in new window)

Car Parking

Disabled delegates arriving at the conference centre in a vehicle with a disabled badge displayed will be allowed to park on the forecourt of the building. Taxis and other vehicles will also be allowed on to the forecourt to enable disabled passengers to disembark more easily. There is a ramp from the forecourt, which leads to the front doors and is wide enough for easy wheelchair access.

No other car parking is available at the conference centre. The nearest car parks are:

Bus, Tube or Train


Buses 11, 12, 24, 53, 148, 211, 87, 159, 3 and 88 stop at Parliament Square.


  • Westminster on Jubilee, Circle and District Lines (5 minutes walk)

    Exit the station via the underground tunnel towards Parliament Square (exit 6). You will come to street level on Whitehall. Turn left into Parliament Square, cross the road ahead of you then turn right into Broad Sanctuary. The conference centre is located on your right, directly opposite Westminster Abbey.

  • St James Park on Circle and District Lines (5 minutes walk)

    Take the Broadway exit from the tube station and walk straight down Tothill Street. At the end of this street turn left and the conference centre will be directly in front of you.

  • Victoria on Victoria, Circle and District Lines (10 minutes walk)

    Exit from the front of the station, turn right and walk down Victoria Street. At the end of Victoria Street is Broad Sanctuary, the conference centre is on the left hand side opposite Westminster Abbey.


The conference centre is within walking distance of Charing Cross and Victoria stations.

For help planning your journey to the QEII Centre, please visit the Transport for London (opens in new window) for Transport for London's journey planner.

Disabled Facilities within the Conference Centre

The conference centre has six passenger lifts, all of which are large enough to accommodate a wheelchair and incorporate audio/voice announcements.

There are six accessible toilet facilities in the conference centre, located on the ground floor, third floor and fourth floor. These are equipped with emergency alarms and can be accessed from function rooms by using lifts where necessary.

There is no fixed seating at the conference centre, therefore wheelchair spaces can be positioned anywhere in the meeting rooms. There are public telephones at low level on the ground floor and all corridors are wide enough for wheelchair access.

Induction loops

Induction loops are fitted in all the session rooms but not in the public areas.

Guide Dogs

Water bowls will be placed at the back of the main auditorium and the reception area on the Second floor.

There is a grass area outside the QEII entrance for delegates to walk their dogs.

If you need assistance locating a water bowl or the dog walking area, please visit the help desk on the ground floor.


There are trained guides on site at the conference centre to assist delegates around the venue. All guides will be sashes for easy identification. Guides for blind and partially sighted delegates can be provided upon request via the registration form or by contacting the secretariat: Telephone: + 44 (0) 207 391 2157 or via email ukvs@ukvisionstrategy.org.uk.

Toilet facilities and wheel chair accessibility

Information to follow...

Other Requirements

Please notify us if you have any further requirements, for example, if you would like to be met at a public transport interchange, tube station or bus stop and guided to the venue.

Vision UK 2017 Information


Registration desks will be located on the ground floor and will be open from 09.00 to 18.00. The conference will begin at 09.45.


On arrival at the conference, you will receive in your badge holder a ticket confirmation of your chosen stream, along with the allocated room.

Please aim to arrive five minutes before the start of the stream to allow the programme to run to time.

Final Programme

The conference programme will be made available to you in advance of the conference via a web link.

Upon arrival on the day, you will receive a copy of the final programme, in the format you requested when you register.


Tea and coffee will be provided throughout the day and a lunch will also be provided:

Arrival coffee: 09.00 - 09.45
Lunch: 12.15 - 13.45
Networking reception: 15.30 - 17.00

If you have any dietary requirements and did not indicate this on your registration form, please ensure that you inform us via email by Thursday 1 June. Whilst we will endeavour to, we cannot guarantee your needs will be catered for if we are not informed in advance.

Social Networking

Join the conference conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #visionuk2017


Free Wi-Fi is available in all public areas within the conference centre, using the "QEII Guest" network. No password is required.

Dress Code

Dress code is smart casual or business attire.


The cloakroom is located on the ground floor of the conference centre and will be in operation from 08:00-18:00.


All delegates are advised to take out their own travel and cancellation insurance. RNIB does not cover individuals against medical or personal occurrences, cancellation of bookings, theft or damage to belongings.


There will be a photographer onsite taking pictures of the day. Should you not wish to be photographed during the course of the conference, please advise the registration desk upon arrival. In addition, the conference may be filmed, again, please advise the registration desk should you not wished to be filmed.

Delegate List

Name Organisation
Michele Acton Fight for Sight
Hannah Adams RNIB
James Adams RNIB Scotland
Sara Akhtar Henshaws
Yasmin Akhtar NHS England
Paul Alexander College Of Optometrists
Masuma Ali East London Vision
Laith Al-Janabi Conspexit Ltd
Louise Allen University of Liverpool
Joyce Allinson Northumberland Sensory Support Service
Phil Ambler Thomas Pocklington Trust
Sarah Anderson Thomas Pocklington Trust
Jonathan Attenborough MACS
David Backhouse RNIB
Michael Bailey Christopher Grange
Sarah Bailey UK Vision Strategy
Julie Baines Norville Opticians
Sue Baker, OBE Time to Change
Heather Banks RNIB
Jim Barlow RNIB
Tessa Barrett Macular Society
Liz Bates Deafblind UK
Odette Battarel South East London Vision
Michelle Baxter Wickham Visionary
Jane Bell NHS England Wessex LEHN
Marilyn Bentham Wilberforce trust
Martin Best Henshaws Specialist College
Ravi Bhakhri Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Andy Billingham Thomas Pocklington Trust
Sharon Billingham Thomas Pocklington Trust
Kamal Bishai West Essex CCG
Clare Black Guide Dogs
Kirstie Bower Guide Dogs
Paul Bowerbank Norfolk County Council
Matt Broom VISION 2020 UK
Simon Brown Blind Veterans UK
David Brown NHS England
Loraine Brown RNIB
Jennie Buckland Guide Dogs
Georgie Bullen Team Insight
Michael Burdon The Royal College of Ophthalmologists
Danny Cahill NCBI
Catherine Callens RNIB
Kris Callow Bayer
Rosemary Cameron RNIB Scotland
Fiona Campbell Bayer
Kevin Carey RNIB
Matthew Carr Visionary
Brian Casey N-Vision
Claire Cawkwell RNIB
Marie Chadwick RNIB
Campbell Chalmers RNIB Scotland
Carolyn Chamberlain RNIB
Emma Chaplin UK Eye Clinic Support Services (RNIB)
Avril Chapman Kent Association for the Blind
Nalini Chauhan Moorfields Eye Hospital
Judith Chorley Guide Dogs
Jarnail Chudge Microsoft
Matthew Clark VICTA Children
Anne Clayton Living Options Devon
Kezia Coleman Thomas Pocklington Trust
Diana Collins RNIB Scotland
Jenny Cook Guide Dogs
Robert Cooper Henshaws
Peter Corbett Thomas Pocklington Trust
Emma Crozier Smith West Sussex County Council
Emma Cruickshank Visionary
Rod Cullen Deafblind UK
Adrienne Dalcher Barnet Enfield Camden & Haringey LOC
Mike Daw National Eye Research Centre
Bernadette Dawes Birmingham Vision
Nik Demetriades 4SIGHT
Catherine Dennison RNIB
Laurence Derbyshire Optometry Today
Jamie Dormandy RNIB
Shenade Dowe-Cain Thomas Pocklington Trust
Helen Doyle Henshaws
Jonathan Drew Devon Local Optical Committee
Cathy Duffy Devon in Sight
Robert Dufton Moorfields Eye Charity
Beverley Duguid Thomas Pocklington Trust
Jen Eathorne Visionary
Colin Elliot Guide Dogs
Danielle Ellis BECH LOC
Mike England Guide Dogs
David Evans Deafblind UK
Kathy Evans The Royal College of Ophthalmologists
Joshua Feehan RNIB
Graham Findlay North East Sensory Services
Gabrielle Firestone UK Vision Strategy
Daniel Fisher RNIB
Grahame Flynn Devon in Sight
Kate Flynn RNIB
Barny Foot Royal College of Ophthalmologists
Ann-Mari Freebairn Blind Veterans UK
Carl Freeman Guide Dogs
Sue Fritsch Sight for Surrey
David Galloway RNIB
Faye Gatenby ECL - Essex Cares Limited
Jayne George Guide Dogs
Louise Gow RNIB
Logan Gray British Blind Sport
Amanda Green Metro Blind Sport
Kevin Gregory MertonVision
Fazilet Hadi RNIB
Mark Hare Deafblind UK
Vikki Harris-Merrick Newcastle City Council
Judith Harrison N-Vision
Sally Harvey RNIB
Andy Haynes Visionary
Laura Hedley Thomas Pocklington Trust
Claire Herbert General Optical Council
Fiona Hiscox Devon Local Optical Committee
Susan Hoath Focus Birmingham
Peter Holton RNIB
Helen Honstvet Guide Dogs
Beverley Hopkins Guide Dogs
Tina Houlihan RP Fighting Blindness
Hugh Huddy RNIB
Sophie Huggins Thomas Pocklington Trust
Sarah Hughes Gwent Visual Impairment Service
Emma Hughes RP Fighting Blindness
Bob Hughes Sight for Surrey
Lisa Hughes UK Vision Strategy
Bob Hutchinson Primary Health Net
Julia Hyde Torch Trust
Adrian Iuga King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Ceri Jackson RNIB
Julian Jackson VisionBridge
Robert Jinks Guide Dogs
Arwyn Jones Beacon Centre
Chris Jones Parkrun Limited
Laura Jones RNIB Scotland
Puja Joshi RNIB
Beth Joy Fight for Sight
Alhaji Kamara London Borough of Ealing
Mikki Kavanagh RNIB
Shaun Kemp OrCam Technologies
Stephen Kill SeeAbility
Ruth Lambert N-Vision
Andy Law Thomas Pocklington Trust
Jade Leahy Guide Dogs
Helen Lee RNIB
Lorraine Lockwood Essex Diabetic Eye Screening Programme
Philip Longworth Bradbury Fields
Claire Lovegrove Moorfields Eye Hospital
Cathy Low Thomas Pocklington Trust
Scott Lynch RNIB
Matthew Marsh Firsthand Experience
Sarah Marshall East Anglia Diabetic Eye Screening Programme
Ann Mcateer British Blind Sport
Jackie Mccall Public Health Agency
Aaron Mchale
Stewart Mckay RNIB
Elizabeth McLoughlin Thomas Pocklington Trust
Fiona Mcmullen Henshaws
Andrew Miller Focus Birmingham
Simmone Miller RNIB
Kendrick Morris London Borough Barking & Dagenham
Chris Muldoon Guide Dogs
Andrew Murdock Guide Dogs NI
Jackie Napier Bayer
Steve Naylor BucksVision
Kirsty Necker Guide Dogs
Marlon Nelson Deafblind UK
Chris Newall Dorset LOC / LOCSU
Sylvia Newcombe Thomas Pocklington Trust
Graham Newman Macular Society
Angie Nicholas Macular Society
Sonya Nikchevska Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Alison Oliver Visionary
Sarah Orme Royal Berkshire Hospital
Karen Osborn International Glaucoma Association
Tanya Page Bayer
Jeff Page Croydon Vision
Beryl Palmer Kent County Council
Cara Parker Guide Dogs
David Parkins CCEHC
Nicola Parks Thomas Pocklington Trust
Hussein Patwwa RNIB
Jay Paul RNIB
Sophie Pavlovic Association of Optometrists
Jenny Pearce Thomas Pocklington Trust
Katherine Pearson Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust
Paul Pemberton Essex County Fire and Rescue Service
Alex Pepper Thomas Pocklington Trust
Tom Pey RSBC
Judith Potts Esme's Umbrella
Slavinka Potts Guide Dogs
Selina Powell Optometry Today
Marc Powell RNIB
Rodney Powell
Cecilia Power Sight for Surrey
Flra Raffai Cam Sight
Wendy Rankin Guide Dogs
Patrick Redmond Queen Alexandra College
Karen Reeves Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Ken Reid RNIB Scotland
Claire Roberts Specialist Learning and Teaching Service - V.I. Kent
Loraine Rogers RNIB
Diane Roworth York Blind & Partially Sighted Society
Niall Ryan Volunteer
Eithne Rynne Kent Association for the Blind
Alexa Sage Visionary
Sharon Schaffer London Visual Impairment Forum
Ian Schofield NHS England
Julie Shaw Guide Dogs
Martin Sigsworth Thomas Pocklington Trust
Philippa Simkiss RNIB
Luxman Sivanesan East Sussex County Council
Brenda Slater-Lewis Thomas Pocklington Trust
Tricia Smikle RNIB
Steven Smith Fight for Sight
Gillian Smith Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Roy Smith MBE Metro Blind Sport
Ellie Southwood RNIB
Paula SpinksChamberlain SeeAbility
Lee Stanway Guide Dogs
Bronagh Stewart Queen's University Belfast with Guide Dogs NI and Diabetes UK
Sarah Stirrup East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
Nicola Stokes East London Vision
Maria Storesund Living Paintings
Christine Tama Fight for Sight
Tracie Tappenden VICTA
Gordon Temple Torch Trust
John Thompson England Vision Strategy
Amardeep Tokhi Thomas Pocklington Trust
Mike Townsend RNIB
Rory Tulloch Guide Dogs
Andre Turner Essex County Fire and Rescue Service
Steve Vaid Guide Dogs
Keith Valentine Thomas Pocklington Trust
Keith Valentine Vision UK
Ashleigh Venables RNIB
Jane Vincent Sight for Surrey
Jack Visser Guide Dogs
Giulia Vitaletti Visionary
Matthew Wadsworth Thomas Pocklington Trust
Jonathan Ward Thomas Pocklington Trust
Julia Wardill Guide Dogs
Lynn Watson Thomas Pocklington Trust
Angela Watts Addenbrooke's Hospital
Anne Webster Joseph Clarke Service for the Visually Impaired
John Welsman Guide Dogs
Simon Wheatcroft &Adapt
Colin Whitbourn RNIB
Chris White NCBI
Komal Whittaker-Axon Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Greg Wilkinson Berkshire Vision (Berkshire County Blind Society)
Lauren Williams England Vision Strategy
Christopher Wilsdon Kent Association for the Blind
Michelle Winstone Sight for Surrey
Rebekah Worsfold Guide Dogs
Kay Wrench Oldham Council
Rebecca Wright Guide Dogs
Katy Wright Thomas Pocklington Trust

Draft: Vision UK Ambition Statement

The Vision UK Ambition Statement is intended to refresh and update the UK Vision Strategy. It expresses our ambition to achieve greater priority for eye health and sight loss, driven by a new, re-energised and focused, partnership.

Our Ambition

The UK will be a nation where:

  • Everyone looks after their sight.
  • People’s eye conditions are identified early, treated and, where possible, cured.
  • People obtain services which are person centred, joined- up and good quality.
  • People with sight loss live the lives they choose.

Our Mission

Our mission is to increase priority for eye health and sight loss amongst individuals, organisations and society at large. We will involve private, public and voluntary organisations to: improve the nation’s eye health; end preventable sight loss; join-up eye health and social care services; and promote an inclusive society for all.

Priority Area 1: Improve the nation’s eye health and end avoidable sight loss

Reducing avoidable sight loss would improve the quality of life of millions of people, positively impact on our health and social care system, and reduce costs to the UK economy.

It is important that we enable everyone in the UK to take responsibility for their eye health and for looking after their sight. We will champion the need for regular eye tests so that sight conditions are identified and treated early.

We will make eye research a priority, restoring sight and improving treatments.

Priority Area 2: Improve support across eye health and social care services

Everyone affected by sight loss should receive the treatment and support they need at the right time, and in the most appropriate way.

People with eye conditions should receive timely treatment and regular appointments to manage their eye health and reduce the risk of further deterioration of their sight.

We would like every individual with sight loss, young or old, to feel fully supported to live the lives they choose. This includes emotional and practical support as well as receiving information about available services and peer connection. Where barriers to support exist, we must remove them, so people receive a seamless service.

Priority Area 3: Improve awareness of sight loss and create an inclusive society for all

We must raise public awareness of the impact of sight loss and how negative attitudes and inadequate services can lead to social isolation and exclusion.

Together we can challenge ignorance, low expectations and poor service planning that lead to social exclusion through under-achievement in education, high unemployment, depression and loneliness, enabling full participation in society.

By changing attitudes and services we can empower people to lead independent lives and achieve social inclusion for all.

We would appreciate your feedback on the ambition statement; please send your comments to ukvs@ukvisionstrategy.org.uk.