Eye clinic opens at University of Portsmouth

The £2.5 million facility includes a pre-screening room with the latest equipment, as well as a dispensing area and a contact lens wing

University of Portsmouth Eye Clinic

The University of Portsmouth officially opened a new eye clinic last week, which is now providing services to local residents, as well as university staff and students.

A total of £2.5 million has been spent on the new facilities on Cambridge Road for second and third year students to gain practical experience with supervision from fully qualified optometrists.

Students have access to the latest optical equipment in the pre-screening room, such as Optos’ Daytona Plus, Cerium’s Colourimeter Curve and Topcon’s DRI OCT Triton.

A bay that measures six metres, rather than the traditional three metres, has been installed in order to provide maximum space for children to relax while students provide paediatric services. 

A dispensing area features frames from eyewear companies, such as International Eyewear, Continental Eyewear, Marchon and Mondottica, with ophthalmic lenses provided by Zeiss.

The contact lens wing has four bays with a keratometer in each. There is also live slit lamp imaging in all 10 bays for demonstrating the process to patients and for training purposes.

Speaking at the opening event, vice-chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, Professor Graham Galbraith, said that the eye clinic was borne out of a realisation that there is “a huge need” for optical services in the area.

“[The clinic] is important because students need that practical training and need that opportunity to work with patients. It also becomes a window to our community,” he said.

He explained that the eye clinic is booked up for the next two months with over 1000 people expected through its doors.

In the future, Professor Galbraith anticipates the opportunity to be able to work with the local NHS trust in Portsmouth, including on research projects.

The eye clinic was officially opened by England blind footballer, Brandon Coleman, who spoke about losing his sight at 17 years old because of leber hereditary optic neuropathy.

Mr Coleman shared his emotional story of looking to alcohol and drugs before turning a negative into a positive through blind football. He now has 37 caps and 18 goals for the England team and is aiming to qualify for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.