When and where...

Date: Friday 16th September, 2016

Time: 9.30-4.00

Venue: Cardiff School of Optometry and Vision Science



Annual Wales Eyecare Conference 2016: Innovation in Eye Services, Moving Forward

Speaking and performing at this year's conference are ...

Grant Duncan, Deputy Director for Primary Care.

Grant joined the Welsh Government in 1999, following a career in manufacturing. His career in the civil service started with the Millennium Date Change followed by spatial planning. A few years ago Grant moved to the health department, taking forward policy areas such as organ donation, older peoples’ health and chronic conditions. Most recently he holds the role of Deputy Director for Primary Care, where he leads on the development of Welsh Government policy to reform primary care services, as the core element of a sustainable health system.

Rebecca Evans AM, Minister for Social Services and Public Health

Rebecca Evans was first elected to the National Assembly for Wales in May 2011 to represent the Mid and West Wales region. In 2016 she became Assembly Member for Gower.

Rebecca received a degree in History from the University of Leeds and attended Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge, where she received a Master of Philosophy Degree. Before being elected, Rebecca worked in the third sector.

Rebecca has served on the National Assembly for Wales' Environment and Sustainable Development Committee and its Common Agricultural Policy Task and Finish Group. She has also served on the Health and Social Care Committee, and the Children, Young People and Education Committee.

In 2014 Rebecca was appointed Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, and in May 2016 she became Minister for Social Services and Public Health.

Rebecca’s wider political interests include equalities, welfare reform, tackling poverty, and rural affairs. She lives near Llanelli with her husband, and is a keen Welsh learner.

Rebecca’s ministerial responsibilities are listed at http://gov.wales/about/cabinet/ministers/rebecca-evans

Megan John

Megan is 24 years old and living in Cardiff. Megan was born with congenital Cataracts, Aniridia, Nystagmus and Photophobia. She is a performance artist, with an interest in directing and production. Megan achieved a BA (Hons) in Drama and Theatre studies at Aberystwyth University. She is a founder member of UCAN Productions, a UCAN Lead graduate and project assistant on the UCAN GO project. Over the last 10 years Megan has performed in all of UCAN’s major core group productions. As well as being a long time member Megan is now a part of the team of trainers who deliver workshops across the country.

Mared Jarman

Mared is 22 years old and lives in Cardiff. She was diagnosed at 10 years of age with Stargart’s. She is a performer and singer who works both as a backing vocalist and solo artist. She is a founding member of UCAN Productions, a UCAN Lead graduate and project assistant on the UCAN GO project. Over the last 10 years Mared has performed in all of UCAN’s major core group productions. As well as being a long time member Mared is now a part of the team of trainers who deliver workshops across the country.

UCAN Productions is a creative arts Co-operative run by and for blind and partially sighted young people who work in developing vocal and physical confidence through the arts.

Wales Council of the Blind is collaborating with UCAN on a project, Ein Llais: Ein Storm, that gathers young adults with sight loss to form an additional group for WCB’s Our Voice: A Shared Vision discussion groups. Mared and Megan are the officers responsible for the project.

The afternoon session will also feature UCAN Members Jake Sawyers and Ben Richards in a performance themed on employment.

Ben Richards

Benjamin Richards is a 24 year old, who lives and is from Barry in the Vale Of Glamorgan. Ben was born with oculocutaneous Albinism, and was also diagnosed with Nystagmus, Photophobia and short sightedness. Ben holds a HNC in sociology and criminology from the University of Gloucestershire and has interests in society, the arts and sports. Ben first found UCAN over a year ago when he joined and then performed in the ten-year anniversary show, Ben has never looked back and is looking forward to the future.

Jake Sawyers

Jake is 21 years old and lives in Port Talbot. He was born with query Norrie syndrome and nystagmus. He recently graduated from UWTSD with a first class BA Hons in acting. He has been a member of UCAN Productions for 8 years. UCAN Productions is a creative arts Co-operative run by and for blind and partially sighted young people who work in developing vocal and physical confidence through the arts.  He is also a UCAN Lead graduate. Over the last 7 years Jake has performed in all of UCAN’s major core group productions. Photography, acting and stand up comedy are jakes major interests. As well as being a long time member Jake is now a part of the team of trainers who deliver workshops across the country. 

Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer to Welsh Government.

Frank graduated in medicine from Leeds University and worked in hospital and primary care posts around the North of England for a number of years before undertaking voluntary work as a District Medical Officer in Malawi. On his return to the UK he completed specialist training in Public Health Medicine in the Yorkshire Region and then worked on international health and development issues for WHO and the UK Department for International Development in various locations including the Former Yugoslavia, Tanzania, and Bangladesh. From 2002 to 2012 Frank worked as a Director of Public Health in Lancashire and from 2008 to 2012 he also served as President of the UK Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH). In 2012 Frank moved to Canada to take up post as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health in the Department of Health and Wellness, Nova Scotia.

Frank holds honorary academic appointments at Dalhousie University (Adjunct Assistant Professor) and Lancaster University (Honorary Lecturer). He is passionately interested in addressing inequalities in health at global, national and local levels.

Dr. Fiona Jenkins

Dr. Fiona Jenkins is Executive Director for Therapies and Health Science in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. She is Chair of the NHS Wales Eye Care steering group.

Fiona is a physiotherapist with significant clinical, managerial and leadership experience. She joined Cardiff and Vale UHB in 2010 as Executive Director for Therapies and Health Sciences moving from her South Devon post of Clinical Director for AHPs/ Service Improvement lead.

Fiona has a PhD in Social Sciences related to NHS Management and completed the INSEAD NHS / Leadership Centre Clinical Strategists’ Programme, she also holds an MA (Distinction) in Management (Exeter University). Fiona is also a Companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management. She was awarded a Fellowship of the CSP for her services to management and is a former CSP Council member. She has both led, and been involved with, a large number of service innovations several of which have received national awards.

Her Executive portfolio includes:
National lead roles: Chair Eye Care steering group, Chair Wales Respiratory Health Delivery Plan, Chair National Pathology Programme Board, Chair South Wales Cellular Pathology Programme, Chair Wales Lymphoedema network, Member of national Delivery groups for stroke and diabetes and a member of the National Informatics Management Board.

Cardiff and Vale UHB lead roles: Executive lead Information Technology, National Delivery Plans, Stroke, Eye Care, End of Life, Falls, Learning Disabilities, Armed forces and Veterans, Medical Equipment, Decontamination, Nutrition and rehabilitation. She is also particularly interested in health and social care integration and ensuring the delivery of care in community settings. In addition Fiona is accountable for leading the 1800 Therapists and Healthcare Scientists in the organisation.

Fiona lectures both nationally and internationally, and undertakes service reviews and masterclasses. She is also co-editor of a series of five management books: “The Allied Health Professions Essential Guides” as well as “Safe and Effective Staffing in the AHPs”.

Karen Phillips

Karen, Head of Orthoptic Services in ABMUHB, has been qualified as an orthoptist since 1982, starting her career at Moorfields Eye Hospital. She became the first orthoptic glaucoma practitioner in Wales approximately 20 years ago, and has been instrumental in the development of multidisciplinary team working within ophthalmology. She currently manages the Orthoptic Services in ABMUHB, encompassing a third of the Welsh Orthoptic workforce, and is developing the first Orthoptic intravitreal injecting team in Wales.

Karen represents Welsh Orthoptists on a range of Welsh Government (WG) Committees and nationally at British and Irish Orthoptic Society special interest and leadership groups. She is currently working with WG Eye Care Colleagues, producing recommendations for training and competency requirements to facilitate a uniform approach to national non-medical practitioner ophthalmology standards.

James Ledger

James Ledger is an aspiring Paralympian with hopes of representing Great Britain & NI in Tokyo 2020. He also aims to represent Wales in the Commonwealth Games in 2018 in the 100m. He was born with bi-lateral coloboma and nystagmus and has most recently suffered 2 detached retina's in both eyes. This has left him with less than 5% vision in total. He has never let his disability get the best of him although when he was younger he was extremely shy and never wanted to do anything to stand out from the crowd. His sport has taught him to be confident in his own abilities and believe in what he is capable of.

Ceri Jackson

Ceri Jackson is Director of RNIB Cymru, the largest sight loss charity in Wales. With over twenty years experience in the third sector, Ceri has been instrumental in raising the profile of eye health and extending vital services to people with sight loss across Wales.

Ceri has been successful in developing new and sustainable partnerships to increase support for blind and partially sighted people. She is responsible for 60 RNIB staff and 150 volunteers across Wales and is part of the Senior Leadership team for Action for Blind People (UK).

In 2015, Ceri was selected to be Chair of Age Alliance Wales, a network of national voluntary organisations working together with, and for, older people in Wales.

Ceri is also Chair of the Wales Vision Strategy Advisory Group, Chair of Trustees for Cardiff Institute for the Blind, and Chair of the National Eye Health Week Steering Group for Wales.

Experienced in working with colleagues in the health sector and in Government, Ceri is a respected and experienced member of the Welsh Ophthalmic Board and the Welsh Government Eye Care Steering Group.

Ceri specialises in accessible information, health, human rights, transport and accessible housing.

Ceri started her career in the private sector and has worked for NAAFI’s business arm overseas. Originally from Cardiff, Ceri now lives with her family in the Wye Valley.

RNIB Cymru provides a wide range of services and support to blind and partially sighted people across Wales, as well as campaigning for service improvements and to prevent avoidable sight loss. www.rnib.org.uk/cymru

Richard Williams

Richard joined Action on Hearing Loss Cymru in May 2008 after some 20 years of working in the media industry in Wales. He was previously editor of the South Wales Echo, editor of the Wrexham Evening Leader and deputy editor of the Daily Post.

Since joining Action on Hearing Loss Cymru he has worked with the team to develop volunteering and member engagement, improvements in accessibility to health services for people with hearing loss and improvements in audiology services in Wales.

Richard co-leads Action on Hearing Loss’ UK programme to ensure people have the technology and treatment they need, driving £1.6m of investment into biomedical research.

Richard is the national third sector representative on the Powys Regional Partnership Board and is an active member of Age Alliance Wales.

Regional Multi-Disciplinary Eye Care Health Groups

Eye Care Health Groups have been set up in every health board. Membership includes clinicians from primary and secondary care, managers and the third sector. All health boards have also developed local eye care plans which outline the eye care needs of their local population and how they plan to meet them.

Each Health Board will talk about their work. Themes include developing the One-Stop Cataract Pathway, developments around local vitreo-retinal services, the production of consistent documentation for cataract patients and securing accessible services close to patients’ homes.

The conference will hear from:
Adele Gittoes (Aneurin Bevan UHB);
Craige Wilson (Cwm Taf UHB);
Andrew Powell, Paul Cotterell (Powys Teaching HB);
Graham Shortland (Cardiff & Vale UHB);
Mary Morris (Abertawe Bro Morgannwg UHB);
Huw Jenkins (Hywel Dda UHB).

Andrew Crowder, DMS, MIHM. Head of Programme, DESW. Diabetes UK Clinical Champion.

I began my NHS career as a state registered Biomedical Scientist, specialising in Haematology and Blood Transfusion. I moved to the laboratory service in Cardiff in 1985 and subsequently developed both my scientific and managerial career in parallel before choosing to concentrate on the latter and gaining senior positions in Laboratory Medicine and Medical Genetics in 2001. I joined DESW (then DRSSW) in 2011, taking on my current role in 2013. In 2016 I was appointed as a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion, to further develop effective, joined up services for diabetic eye care in Wales. I have a professional interest in organisational behaviour and development and continue to maintain my scientific registration status.

Lynne Doyle, Learning, Training & Development Manager, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council.

Lynne is contributing to this event today in her role as a member of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act Training Group. Convened by the Care Council for Wales, the Act Training Group was initially formed to develop awareness raising materials about the Act. When this work was completed, the group took on other tasks and its current focus is to assist with the roll out and promotion of learning resources on the Act.

In her main role, Lynne is responsible for all training activity across Neath Port Talbot Council, in particular, training for staff in all partner organisations across the social care sector. Lynne is also the named regional lead responsible for the development and roll out of the learning and development plan for the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act across Western Bay.

Tracy Martin-Smith, Senior Rehabilitation Officer for the Visually Impaired

Have worked in the field of visual impairment since 1994 from Project Worker (developing groups/services for customers with sight loss), Rehabilitation Officer (working with children and adults) to my current role as Senior Sensory Officer.  During this time I have also married had 2 children, and have more animals than ever ranging from chickens, 2 dogs + visiting dog friends, horses and so it goes on!

I have worked alongside many third sector organisations to develop and promote services from Guide Dogs (My Guide Service), RNIB (Digital inclusion Service), Wales Council for the Blind (West Wales – Your Voice a Shared Vision), National Blind Children’s Society (Joint working to deliver services to visually impaired children), and many more. I also work alongside Health Services both Primary and Secondary and continue to actively promote the Welsh Low Vision Scheme. I sit on the Welsh Rehabilitation Officers Forum (WROF), Sensory Loss Standards Implementation Group (Health, Local Authorities and Third Sector organisations) Chair the Vision Mid and West Wales Regional Partnership Group, and offer advice to organisations as and when required. 

I continue to learn something new every day about visual impairment and it is a privilege to work alongside some fantastic dedicated colleagues.

Dr Barbara Ryan, Chief Optometric Adviser, Welsh Government

Barbara spent her early optometric career in the Hospital Eye Service in Oxford, Nigeria and Birmingham. In 1996, she moved to London and became the first optometrist to work for the national charity, Royal National Institute for the Blind. After working in community practice and teaching at Bradford University, in 2003, she moved to Wales and was responsible for providing clinical leadership for the Low Vision Service Wales and the training and accreditation of optometrists who provide the Welsh Eye Care Service. In 2009 she was one of the founding Directors of Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre (WOPEC) in the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University and is currently the Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes in the school. Barbara continues to practice community optometry one day a week.

Dr Andrew Goodall, Director General of Health and Social Services/Chief Executive, NHS Wales

Dr Andrew Goodall was appointed to the role of Director General of Health and Social Services/Chief Executive NHS Wales in June 2014. His role includes both supporting Ministerial priorities for health and social care within the Civil Service structures, and the leadership and oversight of NHS Wales.

Including this current role, Andrew has been an NHS Chief Executive in Wales for 11 years, the most recent post being that of Chief Executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, a position held since the Health Board’s inception in October 2009 until 2014.

During his 25 year NHS career, Andrew has held planning and operational positions across a number of NHS organisations across South Wales as well as national roles. He has particular areas of interest in improving patient safety, quality and patient experience; partnership working across Public Services; and delivering frontline services through service improvement and modernisation.

Dr Goodall has a law degree from Essex University and a PhD in Health Service Management from Cardiff Business School.

Previous conference presentations: many presentations are posted to the downloads page.