Devon practice welcomes MP visit

Mel Stride, MP for Central Devon, took a tour of Specsavers Okehampton

Kathryn Reynolds, optometry director, MP Mel Stride, retail director Karen Reader, and audiologist Max Bennet stand outside the Specsavers Okehampton practice

A practice in Devon has received a visit from Central Devon MP Mel Stride.

Stride, the Work and Pensions Secretary, attended Specsavers Okehampton, Fore Street, to speak to the practice team about the delivery of NHS services.

The MP took a tour of the practice and spoke to the team members about their roles, career opportunities for locals, and how the practice supports community organisations.

Optometrist Kathryn Reynolds, a director of the practice, commented: “We are locally owned and run, and proud to be at the heart of our community, providing exceptional eye health and hearing care as well as supporting local organisations.”

Reynolds highlighted the lack of a Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) in the area to Stride.

“This is a barrier to local residents accessing care. Patients have to go to hospital or secondary care, which is not always necessary. If MECS was commissioned locally, patients and the NHS would benefit,” she said, pointing out that residents in nearby areas including Tavistock and Launceston have access to MECS.

MP Mel Stride received a tour of Specsavers Okehampton

Commenting on the practice visit, Stride shared: “It was great to meet the team at Specsavers today. It was particularly useful to have had the opportunity to learn more about the range of services they offer. I look forward to working with the Okehampton team to ensure that Specsavers can continue to offer vital care to the local community.”

“It was also fascinating to hear about the training required for all members of the team, and how community opticians and audiologists have the skills to play an even bigger part in delivering critical services in the community,” he added.

Audiologist, Max Bennett, also a director of the practice, discussed NHS and private hearing care services provided at the practice.

Pictured: Optometry director, Kathryn Reynolds, MP Mel Stride, retail director, Karen Reader, and audiologist, Max Bennett.