Meet the experts

Our team of optometrist media experts are happy to answer your questions

From the importance of children’s vision to driving and technology, our expert advisers can help with any eye-related stories. Here at the AOP, we care about the public’s eye health. We work with the media on a range of different topics, from the importance of sight tests, to top tips for eye care and the important role that optometrists play protecting the nation’s vision.

Contact our PR team for more information.

Gordon Ilett 

2012 Gordon Ilet

Gordon is a Managing Director of a group of three community optometric practices in Bexleyheath, Chislehurst and Sevenoaks and an AOP Councillor for London. Gordon has developed his clinical interest in a variety of areas, including eye care for patients with learning disabilities, diabetic eye disease, low vision and primary care ophthalmology services. These interests have led Gordon not only to the provision of care for patients in a variety of settings, but to a wider teaching role and the publication of papers.


Henry Leonard

Henry Leonard

Henry is the Professional Advisor to the Association of Optometrists.

After graduating from Aston University in 2002, Henry undertook his pre-registration year in multiple practice, during which he was awarded second prize in the pan-European Essilor Varilux University essay competition. Since qualifying, Henry has worked for independent opticians, small groups and multiples, and has been an active member of his Local Optical Committee for over 10 years, most recently taking on the role of Clinical Governance Lead.

Henry has a particular interest in IT, having developed the AOP’s GOS audit tool, which allows contractors in England to audit their GOS claiming. Henry has also been involved in charity work, travelling to Tibet in 2006 to help set up an optometry clinic in the remote town of Yushu on behalf of ROKPA, a medical charity working in Tibet, Nepal and Zimbabwe.


Dr Julie-Anne Little

Julie Anne Little 2011

Julie-Anne is a researcher with specialist experience working in hospital with children with visual impairment and special needs and an AOP Councillor for Northern Ireland. She has a PhD in vision science and is a lecturer in optometry at the University of Ulster.  Julie-Anne’s research interests concern paediatric vision and the impact of intellectual disability on vision. She has also presented her research at several international scientific meetings and in peer-reviewed scientific journals.


Ceri Smith-Jaynes

Ceri Smith-Jaynes

Ceri has 15 years’ experience in high street practice and can usually be found examining the eyes of patients at an independent practice Cottam and Glaister Optometrists. Her special areas of interest are dry eyes, sports vision and complex contact lenses. Ceri has previously worked in a hospital glaucoma clinic, supervised young opticians through their qualifications, hosted training sessions for her peers and spoken on BBC Radio Lancashire on a number of eye topics


Kevin Thompson

Kevin Thompson

Kevin has 32 years' experience of the optical sector, with 20 practices based in the North East of England, including one in South West Scotland. Kevin is the former Chairman of the AOP Board and interested in the promotion of the profession and preventative sight loss to both the public and government. This includes raising awareness of the importance of eye care, the significant benefit that optometry can deliver and the legislative and financial barriers that prevent optical practitioners from reaching their full potential within the wider retail and healthcare sector.


To speak to any of our experts, get in touch with our PR team.