The Isle of Wight Optical SocietyEYELOGO-GOC

The Isle of Wight Optical Society has been addressing professional isolation for more than 30 years among a group of mainly rural and geographically isolated practitioners.

About 20 years ago we had a Local Optical Committee here on the Isle of Wight which comprised nearly all our optometrists and dispensing opticians, and our secretary was a much loved dispenser.   The Government’s changes to the professional status of Dispensing Opticians  however resulted in their removal from LOC’s.   We therefore formed the IW Optical Society (IWOS) intending to embrace everyone with a professional interest in matters optical.  This then enabled a continuation of the professional peer relationship function.  We had seminars, peer discussion, hospital lectures and for a few years even a Christmas “Eye-Ball” party.  So we were well placed to combat professional and rural isolation.

Our LOC was integrated with Portsmouth, and subsequently became Hampshire and the Isle of Wight LOC. Not so very local any more and an extra ferry trip for our stalwart representatives. Fortunately we still had IWOS.

This left IWOS as the sole vehicle for providing educational events and combating professional isolation. Statutory CET came along and IWOS was well placed to facilitate and administer this.  IWOS comprises about 25 OO’s and several DO’s more of whom we are encouraging to join.

With the depersonalisation of LOC’s and the need for combating professional isolation we find that the local organisation we have in IWOS functions very well.  It would be helpful to know of more local social/educational/professional organisations like IWOS.  We feel this complements at a local level the superb way the AOP looks after us nationally.

Roger Skidmore, MSc, DCLP.

Roger can be contacted on the Isle of Wight via the contact page or 01983 822900