Craig MacKenzie on how a new optometry contract is transforming care in Wales

OT  spoke with the Optometry Wales chair, Craig MacKenzie, about the extended services on offer and his personal journey into optical politics

Optometrist Craig MacKenzie has outlined how witnessing the positive impact of extended services in his own practice spurred his motivation to push for a broader roll out.

He shared that a glaucoma pilot in 2014 that was offered at his own practice received positive patient feedback.

“It has shown that the delivery of these traditionally hospital-based services in the community were far preferable to the patients, were deliverable within optometrists’ core practice and could quickly increase the capacity in the community,” MacKenzie shared.

OT spoke to Craig MacKenzie for our At the table cover feature.


Through his role as chair of Optometry Wales, MacKenzie has overseen the implementation of a new national optometry contract in Wales, which came into effect in October 2023.

Optometrists will take on greater levels of low vision work in the community – including, in a UK-first, optometrists with specific qualifications certifying vision impairment. By this month, pathways will be in place for optometrists to deliver glaucoma and macular services in the community.

MacKenzie shared that following the introduction of the contract, more optometrists are upskilling and practices are investing in updated equipment and training.

“There is a revolution going on in Wales at the moment… We still do normal sight tests, but we also do emergency eye care and will be able to deliver glaucoma services in the community across Wales,” he said.