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Sponsored by Optegra and AbbVie, and working with the Birmingham Ocular Simulation Course team, The School of Optometry at Aston University are proud to present its first programme of Ophthalmology Skills Taster workshops. The event will consist of two days

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Day 1: Extended Roles in Ophthalmology Day - Friday 8th November

Work your way through three 2-hour stations, designed to give you a taste of 3 extended roles in ophthalmology.

Station 1: YAG capsulotomy

Led by Mr Samer Elsherbiny and supported by Ms Imogen Hawthorne, delegates will learn the fundamentals of performing YAG capsulotomy, including laser safety.

This station includes 1:1 training using the YAG laser to perform a capsulotomy on a hyper-realistic dummy eye.

The station will also run through the various YAG surgical techniques, surgical note-keeping and governance, and how to appropriately consent for YAG capsulotomy.

Station 2: Intravitreal Treatments

Led by Mr Arijit Mitra, delegates will review the basics of how to perform intravitreal treatments, including performing effective scrub techniques.

Delegates will begin with a short practical demonstration on how to scrub effectively, as well as strategies to manage infection while performing intravitreal treatments.

The rest of the session includes hands-on practical experience in performing intravitreal treatments on dummy eyes, including steroid implants and anti-VEGF.

Station 3: Biometry

Led by Mr Amit Patel, gain hands-on experience in ocular biometry with a cataract surgery focus, including a chance to try biometry acquisition using Aston’s extensive armoury of state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.

This session comprises a short lecture covering the basics of ocular biometry when performing cataract surgery. After the lecture, delegates will work in pairs, receiving direct instruction on how to operate the following devices:

  • Lenstar
  • IOL Master 500
  • Pentacam
  • Anterior (Cornea App)

Finally, Mr Patel will discuss biometry interpretation covering clinical cases 2:1 with each delegate pair.

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Day 2: Eye Casualty’ Taster Day -Saturday 9th November

Work your way through three 2-hour stations, designed to give you a taste of skills required for working in a busy eye casualty.

Station 1: Practical Eye Casualty Skills

Led by Mr Arijit Mitra and Mr Samer Elsherbiny, delegates will rotate round 5 ophthalmological clinical skills integral to performing a clinical role in eye casualty:

  • Conjunctival swabs
  • Corneal scrapes
  • Loose suture removal
  • Corneal foreign body removal
  • Emergency eye wash-out

Delegates will work in pairs, each skill being demonstrated and supervised by an experienced clinician.

Station 2: Venepuncture and Cannulation

Led by our experienced nursing team, delegates will learn the fundamentals of venepuncture and cannulation in this 2 hour intensive session. Full instruction is provided with the chance to practice both skills using simulation arms.

Station 3: Managing the Acutely Unwell Patient

Delivered in our simulation suite by our experienced nursing team, delegates will learn how to manage several clinical scenarios in which a patient becomes acutely unwell during a visit to the hospital eye department or community clinic. The focus will be on how to manage and stabilise your patient as well as perform an appropriate handover of the patient to medical or paramedic colleagues.

Learn about the delivery team

Aston Nursing Team

Lead by Dr Jayne Murphy, our nursing team are currently in their first year of a brand-new BSc programme in Nursing Studies. This new programme marks a significant milestone in the University’s long-established commitment to excellence in healthcare education. Fully integrated into our medical school with state-of-the-art clinical simulation facilities, we are confident that this programme will produce the next generation of nurses with the knowledge and professional skills to work as part of multi-disciplinary clinical teams. We are thrilled to have the support of our nursing team for this programme of Optometry and Ophthalmology Advanced Skills workshops and look forward to further events collaborating across specialities.

Aston Optometry Team

Lead by Dr Preeti Bhogal-Bhamra, and benefiting from over 80 years of innovation, our post-graduate team in the School of Optometry comprises a highly experienced multi-disciplinary team of optometrists, dispensing opticians, ophthalmologists, and vision scientists. Based in the Vision Sciences building including 29 fully equipped consulting rooms, bespoke virtual patient simulators and an extensive suite of state of the art ophthalmology diagnostic equipment, the team has a proven track record of delivering comprehensive and engaging practical workshops that complement their post-graduate programme portfolio.

Course leads:

Imogen Hawthorne

Preeti Bhogal-Bhamra


Mr Amit Patel 

Arjit Patel

Mr Amit Patel is a renowned consultant ophthalmologist who specialises in Cataract and Corneal surgery. Working in a number of clinics across Birmingham and Warwickshire, Mr Patel provides a wide range of surgical treatments, including cataract removal, refractive lens exchange, multifocal intraocular lenses, corneal transplant, collagen crosslinking and laser vision correction.

Mr Patel graduated in Medicine from the University of Wales, then pursued postgraduate training in Wales, Yorkshire and London. His receipt of the prestigious Pfizer Ophthalmic Fellowship enabled Mr Patel to acquire further experience with world-renowned surgeons in Italy and Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, and to complete advanced specialty training in corneal transplant and laser refractive surgery.

As Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Mr Patel leads the Cataract and Corneal Service and has established corneal transplant surgery at the Trust. He is Honorary Senior Lecturer at Aston University and is the author of numerous research papers in peer reviewed journals and book chapters in ophthalmology. His current research interests include lamellar corneal transplant techniques, keratoconus, and improving outcomes in cataract surgery. Mr Patel has been invited to present his research at national and international conferences, and is the recipient of numerous awards for his outstanding clinical work.


Arijit Mitra

Arjit Mitra


Arijit Mitra is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Birmingham Midland Eye Centre, with a subspecialty interest in Surgical and Medical Retina. He graduated from and completed basic surgical training in Ophthalmology from Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital, in India. He undertook higher specialist training in Ophthalmology at West Midlands School of Ophthalmology. He underwent further specialist training in the management of complex vitreoretinal disorders at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

He has won several prizes during his training at the West Midlands Deanery. He has published over 35 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has presented widely at national and international meetings.

Together with his colleagues, he has been successfully running simulation courses since 2016.

He was the first Simulation Lead for the Royal College of Ophthalmologists from 2017 to 2021 and was responsible for promoting Simulation training in Ophthalmology, throughout the country. Since August 2021 he has been the Training Programme Director for the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Clinical Specialities

  • Cataract - including complex cataracts and complication of cataract surgery
  • Medical Retina - Age Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Eye Disease, Retinal Vein Occlusion
  • Vitreo-retina - Retinal Detachment, Macular Hole, Epiretinal Membrane, advanced Diabetic Eye Disease, Trauma

Professional Memberships

  • The Royal College of Ophthalmologists
  • British and Eire Association of Vitreo-Retinal Surgeons


Mr Samer Elsherbiny 

SamerIn 2004, Mr Elsherbiny started his role as Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (BMEC). During that time, he held a number of roles including College Tutor, Honorary Senior Lecturer, Clinical Audit Lead and Medical Retina Service Lead. From this he moved to lead the Medical Retina Service at the Machen Eye Unit in the South Warwickshire Foundation Trust in May 2017. In addition to his clinical role, he is a designated Educational Supervisor for Buckingham University Medical School and GIRFT Lead for the eye department. In addition, he is currently Principal Investigator for two studies (one NIHR and one commercial)

In January 2020, he commenced his role as Associate Clinical Professor (OSCE lead) at the Warwick Medical School, in time for implementing the new GMC UKMLA examinations in one of its pilot sites for this new examination. The role was subsumed by the successful delivery of OSCE examinations in the midst of the COVID pandemic. His role there ended in July 2021.

Mr Elsherbiny has been a member for the Royal College Fellowship Examinations committee and continues to be a surgical skills faculty member and examiner for the College. In addition, he is an external advisor to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and a reviewer for a number of ophthalmology journals.

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