Do you have experience of community and hospital optometric care, either as a patient or a carer?

If so, you may be interested in the following message from the College of Optometrists:

The College is the professional body for optometrists in the UK. Our main purpose is to raise standards of optometric education and practice by providing the necessary evidence-base and by supporting our members in their professional development so they deliver the highest quality of eye care for the benefit of the public.

We want to increase the ways in which we obtain input from patients and the public to our policies, guidance and other work. To this end we are setting up a reference group of volunteers to enable us to incorporate the views of patients and carers into our work.

The Group will not normally meet as a whole. Rather, we will circulate documents to members of the Group for comment or we may ask members to meet on a one-off basis to discuss a particular issue, or to join a working group.

We will ask members of the Group to consider a range of issues and review information in areas such as patient information, guidance for optometrists and various aspects of policy and research work. An example of patient information can be accessed here:

We are seeking 25 patients or carers from a range of backgrounds and from across the UK who:

• Have experience of community and hospital optometric care either as patients or carers.

• Are prepared to evaluate and comment on a range of issues relevant to patients whilst keeping the bigger picture in mind.

• Can communicate their views clearly and with respect for other people’s views.

More information on what we do can be found on our website:

Our current three-year strategy can be found here:

We have a special website for members of the public that can be accessed here:

Commitment will be for two years in the first instance with the possibility of renewing for one year.

We are unable to pay an honorarium for work undertaken at home. However, we will pay an honorarium of £200 a day or £100 a half day for attendance at meetings, and travel expenses in line with our Standing Orders.

If you are interested in volunteering to help the College, please click here to download a copy of the application form. The closing date is Monday 23 January 2012.