Cardiff University has officially opened its new clinical and educational research facility, based within the university’s School of Optometry and Vision Sciences.
According to the university, the new facility will boost numbers of patients who can be seen by community optometrists, reducing pressure on hospitals and GPs.
It will provide eye care professionals with enhanced education as well as training in specialist skills, such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetes and emergency eye-care.
The facility, which has been in operation since June, will provide 12 new clinics, a teaching area and state-of-the-art imaging equipment.
Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Professor Marcela Votruba, said: "The establishment of the Clinical Education and Research Facility is in response to even further demand for learning opportunities for eye care professionals who are working in primary care and looking for invaluable practical clinical training."
Professor Votruba added: "This investment will significantly enhance our support for the professional development of practicing eye care professionals across Wales, the UK and further afield. It will also cement our leading position in optometric postgraduate education and provide a unique environment for high-quality clinical research across optometry, vision science and ophthalmology."At the opening of the centre, first minister for Wales, Caryn Jones, said: "I am really pleased to be opening this fantastic new eye care facility at Cardiff University. This centre will help us deliver better NHS care for the people of Wales through enhanced professional development opportunities for our optometric workforce, and world-beating research. I wish them every success for the future."