New independent opens in Chard

Optometrist Cathy Barnett officially opened Cathy Barnett Eye Care last month

Cathy Barnett Eye Care

Optometrist Cathy Barnett is “excited” about what the future holds after opening an independent practice in Chard, Somerset.

Ms Barnett, who was a Boots Opticians franchisee for 23 years, decided to open Cathy Barnett Eye Care after the multiple confirmed that the practice she ran would close in December last year.

Acknowledging the “big decision” that she had to make after learning that the practice would close, Ms Barnett opted to open her own practice in the same premises due to her commitment to her patients.   

“If we were to of closed all of the patients would have been dispersed to other practices. Many patients would have had to make a 30-minute journey to Taunton, which would have been particularly difficult for those who are elderly,” she explained to OT. “Having practised here for over two decades, we are like a family and I felt that I would be abandoning my patients by leaving,” she added.

Cathy Barnett Eye Care opened on January 8. Reflecting on the day, Ms Barnett said: “It was really exciting, when I first saw the sign I had tears in my eyes.”

The practice hosted an open day on 26 January, with the mayor, Garry Shortland, and town crier, Stuart Cummings, in attendance.

Speaking about her goals for the future, Ms Barnett said she looks forward to welcoming patients old and new to the practice. “I’ve been surprised by how many new patients we have seen over the last few weeks,” she shared.

She also aims to establish a Direct Debit scheme for contact lens patients.

Image credit: Chard & Ilminster News