Optical Express shadowing programme to include IP

Optometrists who are working towards an independent prescribing qualification will be able to shadow IP-qualified optometrists and ophthalmologists at surgery centres 

In a clinical room, a woman in scrubs shows a document to a man in surgical attire, both are smiling
Optical Express

Optical Express has expanded its shadowing programme to support optometrists undertaking the independent prescribing (IP) qualification.

The Optometry Shadow Programme will provide optometrists who have undertaken an IP course and are working towards qualification the opportunity to gain in-clinic experience with IP-qualified optometrists and ophthalmologists at Optical Express. 

Participants in the programme will be able to secure up to 24 half day (four hour) sessions, gaining experience required for the IP qualification, while gaining an insight into refractive and cataract surgery.

Optometrists will join consultations, observe surgical procedures, and work with refractive and cataract surgery patients.

The programme will be offered in Optical Express’s surgery centres across the UK and Ireland.

Stephen Hannan, clinical services director at Optical Express, commented: “Finding a placement often proves to be the most challenging stage of the qualification process. Those who take part in our programme will have the chance to learn from IP-qualified optometrists and ophthalmologists undertaking pre- and post-operative consultations, as they transform the lives of patients through surgical vision correction and cataract surgery.”

The initial Optometry Shadow Programme was launched in 2023, with nearly 100 optometrists participating in the six months of the initiative.

Dhruti undertook the programme in the Optical Express Southampton clinic and shared: “I would strongly recommend Optical Express based on everything I’ve learnt, as the Shadow Programme really helped me to decide what I want to do further on in my career.”