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Optometry’s historical skill base was a purely optical one. Opticians screened for abnormalities and referred to a clinician to diagnose and treat abnormalities detected. Apart from very minor, non-sight threatening conditions, this remains the norm for the vast majority of the profession. While correcting simple refractive errors this technical expertise is inadequate to fulfil the evolving clinical demands of community ocular care. The need to change the way optometry works has been evident for many years. But change takes time and often has false starts. As early as 2001 Peter Frampton commenced his Masters Degree in Ocular Therapeutics at Bradford University. He achieved an MSc with Distinction in 2005. While this degree helped Peter enormously in his day-to-day practice, it did not enable him to directly prescribe drugs for eye conditions. Changes in the law for practicing optometrists were still a long way off. In 2009 the law was passed allowing accredited optometrists to prescribe drugs to treat eye conditions independently of GPs.

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