Our Steering Committee
Chair - Steering Committee
Since retiring from BP, where he held various senior leadership posts in the areas of procurement and IT, Raj has been pursuing his passion in raising awareness and promoting the capabilities of disabled people. Indeed, being blind himself, Raj brings a unique and diverse perspective to the many roles he currently holds within the health and voluntary sectors, serving as an advisor, non-executive director, trustee, mentor and trainer.
Vice-Chair - Steering Committee
Matt originally joined VISION 2020 UK to implement the organisation’s strategic plans and operations.
With the 2017 rebrand to Vision UK Matt was heavily involved in the formation of the new strategic panels and in leading the work of our expert committees, ensuring all achieve proper results and make full use of the expertise of specific members and experts from within and without the sight loss sector.
His role as CEO of Vision UK involves working with and encouraging collaboration between the different organisations working within the eye health and sight loss sector and beyond. This includes taking a leading role in work with government departments, local authorities, clinical leads, commissioners and member organisations.
An experienced senior manager and communicator, Matt has previous experience working in both the sight and hearing loss sectors.
Professor Adrian Davis OBE FFPH FSS FRSM HonD (Montreal) HonFFHCS
Member - Steering Committee and Specialist Adviser (Hearing & Population Health)
Professor Adrian Davis was the Director of Population Health Science at Public Health England. He advised the Chief Scientific Officer at NHS England on NHS Audiology Services. He was responsible for the strategy of burden of disease programme for England and advised the Global Burden of Disease programme on hearing and related health issues. He is a member of the scientific council for Global Burden of Disease Programme.
He was the first Director of the Newborn Hearing and Infant Physical Examination Screening Programme (NIPE) where he had overall responsibility for all aspects of the Programmes. Adrian has been involved in the transformation and evaluation of NHS services across a variety of settings. He has a major interest in innovation and how the Public Health and NHS healthcare workforce can better use knowledge, information and technologies to transform and improve health, service quality and patient experience. Adrian has also been the Department of Health lead advisor on Physiological Diagnostics and Audiology. He recently received a Department of Health lifetime achievement award for his scientific contribution to healthcare in the NHS and has published 250+ articles, chapters and books about his research and associated service development.
Adrian was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 2007 for his services to healthcare. Adrian was an honorary professor in Hearing and Communication at The Ear Institute at University College London (UCL) and previously worked as an epidemiologist for the UK Medical Research Council for 25 years and as Professor of Hearing and Communication at Manchester University for six years. He is now owner director of AD CAVE Solutions Limited which is a consultancy and research company based in London.
Member - Steering Committee
Dr Catey Bunce
Dr Catey Bunce is a Reader in Medical Statistics at King’s College London, an Honorary Consultant in Applied Medical Statistics at Moorfields Eye Hospital, an Honorary Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and joint lead of the National Institute for Health Research Statistics Group which promotes inter-professional collaboration on statistical issues for the health and wealth of the nation. She is an Ambassador for the Royal Statistical Society championing the message that better data = better research = better healthcare and is a member of the Medical Section of the Royal Statistical Society.
Catey’s research interest is applied medical statistics – this has developed whilst working alongside Richard Wormald in developing a system for capturing high quality data on certifiable sight impairment in England and Wales. Catey is Statistical Editor for Cochrane Eyes and Vision, is an author on more than 300 published research papers and helped establish the patient and public involvement group at the Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) because of a passionate belief that patients should be at the heart of all research.
"I am part of the UK NEHS because it will facilitate development of an exemplar system for capturing robust data on the sight and hearing of people throughout our four nations that could then be mirrored on a global scale. As Ambassador for the Royal Statistical Society I am championing the message that “better data = better research = better healthcare” and the UK NEHS will demonstrate this principle by developing a solid evidence base that can target the right prevention strategies, treatment, public health services and support to people who really need it."
Dr Robert Harper BSc (Hons), MPhil, DPhil, DipGlauc, DipTP(IP) FCOptom
Member - Steering Committee (Representing the College of Optometrists)
Robert Harper is an Optometrist Consultant at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, an Honorary Professor of Optometry in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Manchester and a Visiting Professor in Optometry at City, University of London. His role encompasses clinical and academic work, involving clinical research, undergraduate and post-graduate teaching, and the training and continuing education of post-graduate optometrists. He is actively engaged in examining and wider professional and regulatory matters.
His main areas of clinical and research interest include glaucoma, diagnostic test evaluation, low vision rehabilitation, and evaluation of enhanced schemes within optometry. He has been lead applicant or co-applicant on grants amounting to over £3 million funding and authored over 100 papers, including over 70 papers in the peer reviewed scientific literature. He has engaged in developing links between ophthalmology and community optometry for many years and in 2015 he was awarded Life Fellowship of the College of Optometrists for his contribution to the optometry profession. He acts as an expert panel member for NICE.
Member - Steering Committee (Representing the British and Irish Orthoptic Society)
Professor Anna Horwood
Anna Horwood is one of the few professors of Orthoptics in the UK. She is involved in the Expert Working Group refining the data and questionnaire items to be collected by the UKNES.
Orthoptists are Allied Health Professionals working as part of the specialist ophthalmology team; receiving referrals from community professionals such as optometrists and GPs. A core skill is working with patients to understand how their eye problems impact on their lives. Orthoptists’ unique expertise is with people suffering from problems related to using their eyes together, such as double vision, squint, “lazy eye” and eye strain; and the increasing ageing population means that we now see many more adult and often elderly people. Nearly all orthoptists undertake extended roles, so many patients attending hospital eye clinics will be investigated, monitored and treated by orthoptists in the glaucoma, macular degeneration, low vision and neuro-ophthalmology services. The Orthoptic profession has a strong record in ocular public health, such as children’s school-entry screening, special education needs, stroke and rehabilitation, falls prevention and low vision services.
Anna’s research is mainly in the field of how the eyes work together, from birth and throughout the lifespan. She has published over 40 scientific papers and has attracted more than £1m in Research Council funding. Anna helped set up, and now runs the Infant Vision Laboratory at the University of Reading https://research.reading.ac.uk/childrens-vision/ . She has won major awards from the International Orthoptics Association, the International Strabismological Association and the British Isles Paediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Association (BIPOSA). She is a National Institute of Health Research Senior Research Mentor, a Health & Social Care Professions Council Partner and Executive Committee Member of BIPOSA.
She is the Research and Innovation Director for the British & Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS) and sits on the BIOS Education and Professional Development Committee and main Council, so she represents the Orthoptics profession in the UKNEHS project.
Professor Chris Hammond MA BM BCh MD MRCP FRCOphth FARVO
Member - Steering Committee (Representing the Royal College of Ophthalmologists)
Chris Hammond is Frost Professor of Ophthalmology at King’s College London, within the School of Life Course Sciences. He is also Consultant Ophthalmologist at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, having trained in Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus at Moorfields Eye Hospital. He manages the adult ocular motility service at St Thomas’, and also provides ophthalmological input to the UK national Neurofibromatosis 1 and 2 multidisciplinary services at Guys Hospital.
Professor Hammond heads one of the leading groups examining the genetic epidemiology of common eye diseases, including glaucoma, myopia, age-related cataract, dry eye disease and age-related macular degeneration. His research is aiming to deliver personalized, predictive, preventive and participatory medicine, using Omics technology and Big Data analytics with the ultimate aim of reducing blindness and debilitating eye diseases. His research is highly collaborative, and he contributes to international consortia with data from the TwinsUK cohort, UK Biobank and local patient datasets.
As a member of its Scientific Committee, I am representing the Royal College of Ophthalmologists on the Steering Group. The RCOphth and its members, need to understand who is affected by eye disease, and where they are, to enable them to train future eye specialists to deliver eye care, and to advise the Department of Health and others about future manpower needs. The NEHS will, we hope, deliver this vital dataset for use by the many stakeholders in the UK vision care community.
"My interest in the NEHS stems from my background in research, which started (and continues) with twin studies, which have tried to examine the roles of nurture and nature in eye disease. While genetic factors explain a significant amount of variation in eye disease within a population, our work has shown there are differences in prevalence of diseases in genetically similar populations, emphasising the importance of environmental factors. Our work in myopia, using data from European Eye Epidemiology (E3) Consortium studies, has shown a strong cohort effect- myopia is becoming more common, possibly related to increased educational pressures and less time spent outdoors in childhood. It is therefore imperative that we have up-to-date information about how common eye disease is in the UK- the last population-based evidence is now over 30 years old, and it is high time we had new data."