Complementing the skills of its highly-qualified optometrists, Specsavers in Oban has introduced eye health training for its non-clinicians, to ensure that whoever a customer first sees in-store is sympathetic to their eye care needs.

The RNIB Ambassador training, which has been devised by Specsavers and the Royal National Institute of Blind People, has been rolled out across the UK. One member of the team in Oban has completed the RNIB Ambassador training with more set to complete it in the coming months.

Understanding advanced eye care services

The course has informed the front of house teams about how to best accommodate customers with low vision in-store as well as broadening their understanding of advanced eye care services now available in high street opticians. At least one person in every Specsavers store is now a RNIB Ambassador, wearing a distinctive badge on their uniform featuring the charity’s new branding.

Iona Campbell, assistant manager at Specsavers in Oban said: ‘It has really made me think about the impact of living with sight loss, but also how vital regular eye tests are in helping to maintain and protect your sight.’

One in four people are not having an eye test

Specsavers and RNIB have been working in partnership for the last three years to raise awareness in the importance of eye care. Their research* has revealed that 250 people start losing their sight every day even though at least half of all cases are avoidable. Early intervention is vital in the management and successful treatment of many conditions, with regular eye tests being key. But despite that, one in four people are not having an eye test every two years as recommended.

A word from the store director 

Store director Ken Macdonald said, ‘This is a fantastic piece of training. Some of our team have previously mentioned wanting to know more about the clinical side of eye health and this course has provided that in an accessible and engaging format. Everyone that completed it found it really useful and we know it will be of great benefit to our customers.’

The RNIB Ambassador training complements the skills held by Specsavers’ 3,500 optometrists, who have collectively completed almost 10,000 postgraduate accreditations in detecting and monitoring glaucoma, cataracts and other eye health conditions, through a variety of accrediting bodies.

Philippa Simkiss, Head of Partnerships, RNIB, added: ‘It’s been a fantastic partnership experience working together to develop the course. Ambassadors have learned how to provide great customer experience to people with low vision and refer people to RNIB for more information if they need it. Above all they now fully understand the importance of looking after your eyes.’

All Oban store information 

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