Dr Ben Ashby, Head of Optometry for Specsavers Australia & New Zealand (ANZ), has been invited to present at the national RANZCO Optometry Education Workshop.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, 28 October 2017 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, co-located with RANZCO’s 49th Annual Scientific Congress, which runs from 28 October to 1 November.

RANZCO introduced the national optometry workshop last year following the launch of its series of eye care referral guidelines, to which Specsavers and other optometrists contributed.

“RANZCO believes that close collaboration between ophthalmologists and optometrists is essential in delivering excellent eye care for our patients in the most effective and efficient way possible,” RANZCO CEO David Andrews explained.

“The RANZCO Optometry Workshop at the RANZCO Congress provides an opportunity for presenters to share information and experiences and answer optometrists’ questions. It also provides an introduction to the RANZCO Referral Pathway for Glaucoma Management and how to use it.”

This year represents the first time that RANZCO has invited an optometrist to join the ophthalmologists presenting at the national workshop.

“Specsavers’ Dr Ben Ashby, as both an experienced optometrist and one of the driving forces for the audit of RANZCO Referral Pathway for Glaucoma Management, provides a useful perspective as a presenter at this workshop and we are delighted to welcome him to the event this year,” David said.

In August 2016, RANZCO and Specsavers ANZ established a historic collaboration with the aim of providing more effective and efficient patient care pathways and improving eye health outcomes for people across Australia and New Zealand.

The announcement included the launch of the RANZCO Referral Pathway for Glaucoma Management, which was later followed by similar pathways for age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The resources lay out a suggested referral pathway for optometrists if certain signs or symptoms are identified.

At the upcoming Optometry Education Workshop, Ben will be underscoring the importance of collaboration between optometry and ophthalmology.

“Collaborative care with agreed pathways is a cornerstone of quality and consistency in eye care,” Ben stated. “At the workshop, I will explain why joint research projects and the sharing of data are the only valid ways to prove value in healthcare spending. Optometry and ophthalmology need to demonstrate to Government that leadership through inter-professional partnerships can result in superior patient outcomes.”

Limited to 30 delegates, the Optometry Education Workshop will cover a range of topics pertinent to optometrists, with a focus on appropriate referral guidelines. The workshop will be chaired by RANZCO Immediate Past-President Dr Brad Horsburgh and feature a range of well-regarded ophthalmologists, who, along with Ben, will be available to take questions directly from delegates in an intimate Q&A panel session.

Spaces are limited – for more information and to register, visit ranzco2017.com