Important questions were raised about the future of optics at 100% Optical by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM), as three speakers were welcomed to the main stage seminar, chaired by Professor John Marshall.

Ben Fletcher, MD of Boots said that community optometry must be the ‘GP of the eye’ and that it should and could be providing extra services for patients, including diabetic screening and glaucoma care. He went on to say that there is too much technology available today, and with each improvement they are just the same idea made better – which isn’t good enough.

Ben also looked to the future of optics, questioning how the industry could encourage more young people into the industry.

Samantha Peters, CEO and Registrar from the General Optical Council (GOC), agreed, saying that they will be reviewing the education system.

She went on to say that the industry is changing at such a fast pace that it will be unrecognisable by 2050, with today’s generation seeing an even more dramatic pace of change. Samantha finished by urging visitors to share their views and concerns for the industry with the GOC.

Professor David Thomson, past head of department at City University, said that ophthalmology will not be able to cope in 2050 due to an aging population, but also that at some stage we will be heading into a world without spectacles.

He finished by saying “We need to start thinking about the future of optometry”.