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Lay advisory group

The College Lay Advisory Group (LAG) has members, who have no background in health or eye matters, members who are or have been eye patients, members who have a link to eye or health related organisations and clinician members of the College including the President who always attends meetings. While the Lay Advisory Group is not a patient lobby group it expresses views based on public and patient experience of health and eye care services


  • To support the College in the advancement of the science and practice of ophthalmology.
  • To represent lay opinion to the College.

The Group works at several levels

Quarterly meetings at the College at which a lay perspective on current matters of interest is discussed and can provide input to College policy. The presence of the President and Chief Executive ensures that lay opinion is represented in other College forums

Individual lay members provide lay input and opinion during policy making discussions. The Lay Advisory Group Chairman is a member of the College Council and other lay members are representatives on the standing committees.

Members of the Group sit with clinicians examining candidates during the communication module of the College Part 2 examinations.

A Lay Group Representative attends the Academy Patient Lay Group meetings of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

Members of the Group review College guidelines and other documents, for example: Clinical Guidelines for the treatment of glaucoma and age related macular degeneration and public information leaflets.

LAG Committee Members

Joy Tweed, LAG Chair

Joy Tweed originally trained as a nurse and studied for the Ophthalmic Nursing Diploma at Moorfields Eye Hospital. She later left the NHS and worked in a range of roles in the voluntary sector before becoming a lecturer at the University of Westminster, where she lectures on healthcare leadership and governance.

A strong advocate of increasing service-user involvement in health services, Joy also provides training to service users seeking to influence the provision and commissioning of health services. She has served as a non-executive director on an NHS board and as a lay council member at the Health and Care Professions Council.

Joy has retained a strong interest in eye care and the knowledge gained at Moorfields has stood her in good stead, as family members and then herself have required ophthalmic surgery and treatment in recent years.

Matt Broom

Matt Broom is UK Operations Manager for VISION 2020 UK and thoroughly enjoys a job that involves interacting with and encouraging collaboration between all the different organisations working within the sight loss and eye health sector. An experienced manager and communicator Matt has previous experience in the sight and hearing loss sector and in IT. He hopes that his involvement with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists will enable him to understand the complex problems within ophthalmology in order to advocate for patients and explain issues to people outside of the ophthalmic world.

Sam Burrows

Sam has a background in big data, analytics and performance management in healthcare, social care and local government. He currently works within commissioning within the NHS, and holds an additional  voluntary role with the Patient Liaison Group of the British Medical Association.

As someone with experience of monitoring and commissioning ophthalmology services, with extremely poor eyesight himself, and as a carer to grandparents who themselves have specific eye conditions (wet AMD and glaucoma respectively), he has developed a strong personal interest in the wider vision sector.

He has been a member of the Lay Group since 2016.

Helen Clegg

Helen retired in 2012 after practising as a part time High Street optometrist for over 30 years. During that time she participated in shared care schemes for cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. She has seen the role optometrists can play in primary care and knows how patients can benefit from well-managed community-based schemes. She fully appreciates the importance of good communication between eye care professionals and their patients.

She became a member of the Lay Group in 2014, and has recently joined the Scientific committee.

Stephen Kill

Stephen has worked in the vision sector for over 20 years. He originally trained as a Rehabilitation Worker for people who have a visual impairment and subsequently worked for Sight for Surrey, carrying out assessments and delivering rehabilitation programmes.

Stephen currently works for the national sight loss charity SeeAbility as their Eye Care and Vision Manager. This role involves working to increase access to eye care and vision services for adults with learning disabilities who are more likely to experience sight problems but less likely to receive the care they require. Stephen’s team works closely with people with learning disabilities, carers and supporters and the eye care and learning disability sectors to bring about change. He has been a member of the Lay Group since 2013.

Christopher Liu
Elizabeth Lynam

Elizabeth Lynam retired from the Civil Service in  2015 after a long career devoted almost entirely to health and social care policy. Elizabeth developed a strong interest in eye health as a result of working on learning disability and subsequently on diabetes. She was policy lead for the General Ophthalmic Services between 2011 and 2014 and established an Eye Health Forum in the Department of Health following the 2012 reforms to the health and social care system. In addition to professional involvement, Elizabeth has a strong personal interest in eye health. She has, in recent years, supported her mother first through successful treatment for cataracts and subsequently through continuing treatment for wet AMD. This means regular  visits to   a very busy  ophthalmology department, at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, who continue to provide excellent treatment for her mother. Elizabeth feels strongly that eye health is of central importance to all of us and is keen to play any part she can in making sure that eye health is accorded the profile and resources that it needs.

Judy Sanderson

Judy has a background in special educational needs with a specialism in vision impairment and disability and had previously worked in the public sector for over 30 years, changing direction in 2014 in an attempt to acquire some work-life balance. Judy is now an independent consultant in the field of special educational needs and disability and is currently working with a portfolio of contracts across a number of organisations within the voluntary and community sector and local authorities supporting their work in improving and achieving positive outcomes for children and young people with sensory impairment.

Judy is an associate of NatSIP (National Sensory Impairment Partnership); a member of the children’s sub-group, low vision, with Vision 2020 UK; a Trustee with both Sight for Surrey and with VIEW (Vision Impairment and Well-being) and became a member of the Royal College’s Lay Group in 2014 and a member of the Sustainability Working Group and the Paediatric Sub-committee.

Liz Wick

Elizabeth Wick was diagnosed with macular degeneration in 2003 at the age of 40.She is a former GP Practice Manager and worked in primary care for almost 21 years. Since leaving this job she has given time helping to promote the RNIB ‘Being There’ campaign, to address the need for sight loss advisors at eye clinics. She has spoken at various engagements about living with sight loss and the emotional and physical impact that has.Liz was invited to join the Lay Advisory Group in February 2014, she is now the groups’ representative at the College’s Training committee. She is currently a patient representative member on the latest NICE guidelines committee for AMD which will produce its clinical recommendations, plus a ‘patient friendly’ version in 2017. She also works as a Specialist Advisor, with the Care Quality Commission, assisting in the inspection of GP practices.


Contact with the Lay Advisory Group

Through the College :  Jo Longden Jo.Longden@rcophth.ac.uk