SOA Europe – 2018 symposium, Royal College of Ophthalmologists Annual Congress

St John Symposium at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Annual Meeting

ACC Liverpool, Monday 21st May 2018

The St John Ophthalmic Association (SOA) exists to support the postgraduate activities of the St John Eye Hospital Group. Formed of three branches – Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific – the SOA runs regional and international meetings bringing together physicians with an interest in the work of St John.  The first regional meeting of the SOA was in Jerusalem in 2017, and in 2018 the SOA hosts the first international meeting, ‘Ophthalmology – State of the Art: Expertise beyond boarders’.

At this Royal College Symposium, five speakers gave a perspective on the work of the Order and the Hospital Group. The symposium was organised and moderated by Miss Alison Davis from Moorfields.

Mr David Verity outlined the history of the Jerusalem Hospital from the time of the Persian ‘Bimeristans’ (hospitals) through to the foundation of the modern Order by Queen Victoria in 1888, and gave an update on the challenges of providing ophthalmic care in this region.

Dr Habes Batta, Chief Medical Officer in Jerusalem, provided a talk and videos on the paediatric work across the Groups Hospitals, these including Anabta, Hebron, Gaza and Outreach, illustrating the enormous paediatric need in this population.

Miss Melanie Hingorani spoke of her own experience leading an ophthalmic service review team from Moorfields, commissioned by St John. She spoke of her many positive impressions of the Hospital Group, but also of the value of developing leadership roles and the governance culture generally.

Representing a group of four Moorfields trainees who visited Jerusalem in 2017, Mr Siegfried Wagner spoke of their own impressions, observing in clinics and joining the Outreach team that visits some of the most remote and most needy villages in the West Bank. The visit left an impression on the group and they are sure to return.

Finally, a Q & A session led by Miss Alison Davis touched on the importance of training the next generation of nurses and doctors in St John, and how the SOA is preparing to support this need.

We thank all our speakers and delegates for supporting this session.


13.00 – 13.25:       St John Past, Present & Future: Views from the Hospitaller
David Verity, Moorfields Eye Hospital

13.25 – 13.40:       Paediatric Ophthalmology in St John Eye Hospital
Mr Habes Batta, St John Eye Hospital

13.40 – 13.55:       Clinical Governance and St John Eye Hospital
Mrs Melanie Hingorani, Moorfields Eye Hospital

13.55 – 14.10:       A Trainee perspective
Dr Siegfried Wagner, Moorfields Eye Hospital

14.10 – 14.20:       How you can become involved
Miss Alison Davis, Moorfields Eye Hospital, SOA Secretary, & Symposium organiser

14.20 – 14.30:       Q&A

The Arena and Convention Centre, Liverpool

The Arena and Convention Centre, Liverpool