The Optometry Scotland team swapped the office for the slightly grander surroundings of the Scottish Parliament last week.
We were proud to have the opportunity to showcase the latest OCT technology to MSPs and parliamentary staff, and carried out dozens of scans on more than 100 eyes! Most were healthy but in a few cases we recommended a follow up visit to an optometrist, as we know, early intervention can help to identify and prevent health issues further down the line.
We rounded off a three-day exhibition with our inaugural parliamentary reception on Thursday evening, kindly sponsored by Stuart McMillan MSP, elected member for Greenock and Inverclyde and Convenor of the Cross Party Group for Visual Impairment.
Seventy guests attended and enjoyed drinks, canapes and a guided tour of the debating chamber.
We were delighted to welcome Jenni Minto, Minister for Public Health and Women’s Health as our keynote speaker. Ms Minto reiterated the very welcome announcement of a 6% increase in GOS fees in Scotland, and its ambition to invest in and deliver new services such as community-based care.
Guests also heard from Ian Rough, an IP optometrist based in Stornoway, and Chair of the Western Isles Area Optical Committee. Ian outlined some of the challenges around practising in remote and rural areas, particularly in Barra, which has a population of just over 1,000 and is currently being covered from Stornoway.
OS Chairperson Julie Mosgrove also addressed the reception, thanking Stuart, the Minister, the Scottish Government and its eyecare team for its support and recognising the hugely positive increase in fees. Julie also highlighted the need to work with the Scottish Government on a short life working group on domiciliary care to improve accessibility of eye heath care for everyone, as well as a separate group to explore the wider use of the OCT technology we demonstrated.
Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the reception, and thanks in particular go to Stuart McMillan MSP, Jenni Minto MSP, and the team at the parliament.
You can check out some photos below and watch a short video clip on our You Tube channel – let us know if you spot yourself!