New collaborative eye clinic opens

Family optometry group and ophthalmologist open state-of-the-art facility in Exeter

New collaborative eye clinic opens

A new state-of-the-art clinic has been opened in Exeter with an optometry practice and a private eye clinic under one roof. 

The Medical Eye Clinic is a collaborative project between Devon-based optical group, Bill Opticians, and consultant ophthalmologist Roland Ling, of the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

At the new facility, optometrists and ophthalmologists are working closely together to suggest the best strategy of care for each individual case. 

The Medical Eye Clinic’s promotes its message ‘All your eye needs’ which is reflected in the wide range of services available, from spectacles and contact lens dispensing, designer eye wear, a Nike sports vision centre and enhanced eye examinations, to cataract, refractive and retinal surgical procedures.

The clinic will also be part of a local shared care scheme, and is already carrying out routine cataract procedures for the NHS, in addition to its private lens exchange patients.

Bill Opticians is a family owned business which has been established for over 40 years and now has six practices.

The second-generation owners are brothers, Charles and James Bill, both AOP members. Charles Bill is an optometrist and James Bill is a contact lens optician.

Explaining why they opened the new clinic, James Bill, told OT: “We wanted to offer a complete eye care service as we thought it was strange how other optical groups either went down the opticians route, or the surgery route but few places offer proper unbiased advice on all aspects of eye care.

“We have gone above and beyond what is expected, for example we have an air filtration unit, as used in hospital theatres, which cleans the air 50 times an hour. Most laser eye surgery clinics just use simple air conditioning units.”

Mr Bill added: “We have already seen success in that we are now helping Torbay hospital with its cataract surgery waiting list.”

The new centre was opened earlier this month (12 June) by MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw, pictured with the directors Charles Bill, Roland Ling and James Bill. The BBC filmed the opening and it was later broadcast on local news.

The clinic is also the first Zeiss centre of its kind in the UK, offering the most advanced Zeiss technology for cataract patients in the country. Ophthalmologists will be visiting the clinic to be trained by Zeiss on its high tech equipment.

The clinic’s Zeiss Cataract Suite enables markerless toric intraocular lens alignment, allowing the surgeon to perform simple and accurate intraocular lens implantation without the need for pre-operative and intra-operative marking.