Specsavers optometrists in Haverfordwest, Newport and Plymouth have been recognised at an awards ceremony in Birmingham for their contribution to enhanced optical services (EOS).
The 2016 Awards for Excellence for Specsavers optical and audiology partnerships were held in the ICC, with more than 1000 attendees.
Actor and comedian, Stephen Mangan, introduced the awards, together with Specsavers co-founders, Doug and Dame Mary Perkins.
There were 287 award entries submitted by Specsavers stores across 10 categories for this year’s awards. In an unprecedented move, three stores were awarded in the enhanced optical services (EOS) category, ‘due to an exceptional number of quality nominations,’ according to the multiple.
The Haverfordwest Specsavers practice was one of the stores to receive the award for excellence in enhanced optical services (pictured are its directors collecting the accolade).
Specsavers Haverfordwest director, Paul Skoczek, said: “We feel so privileged to receive this award – it feels like a real achievement. There are so many great stores, so to be nominated as the best of the best is tremendous. I’m blown away.”
Specsavers director of optometry advancement and awards judge, Paul Morris, highlighted: “The Haverfordwest store has developed dispensing opticians to deliver low-vision services, engaged with optical coherence tomography pilot schemes and invested in a major store refit to deliver EOS services.”
He added: “It represents its local area and Wales via regional optical council and Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians attendance at EOS stakeholder groups, and supports its local hospital services with clinics.”
The Plymouth Armada Way store also received the award for excellence in enhanced optical services in England.
Plymouth store director, Philip Gray, said: “Winning this award is brilliant. The team has put in so much effort – a huge amount of work.”
Mr Morris told delegates: “This store has shown great proactivity in the local community in GP and stakeholder groups by multiple team members.
“It is in the top five stores for EOS sales in the UK with creative, bespoke solutions based on insight and investment in the patient journey and experience.
“It is engaged with training for staff at all levels from EOS certificate level 3 courses and accreditation of screeners for diabetic retinopathy screening schemes to Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre training, college qualifications and a PhD.
“There is a real culture of clinical professionalism throughout the team strengthened by the environment that the partners have created,” he concluded.
The Newport store received a special EOS award for its work in opening an Ophthalmic Diagnostic Treatment Centre for people suffering from wet age-related macular degeneration.
Specsavers Newport director, Craig MacKenzie, said: “It’s fantastic recognition to receive this special award. The team is very pleased, and I am pleased that I could bring them all to such a high-profile event.”
He added: “We’ve been working on our age-related macular degeneration clinic since 2014. Being early adopters has presented its own challenges but the staff have supported the change fully, so it’s great to be able to celebrate this with them.”
Mr Morris emphasised: “The Newport store has been involved in local charity and awareness events linked to clinical advancement and EOS, as well as extensive work with stakeholder groups.
“It has invested huge volumes of effort and time into the establishment of an innovative model that is proving the concept of modern eye care delivery and its promotion.
“The development of the team has been at the core of its success,” he concluded.