Children’s eyecare at Specsavers is in the spotlight as part of ABDO Insight 2016, a news and current affairs style programme released this week by ITN Productions and the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO).
Patients will go to high street opticians for their eye health
Introducing the Specsavers news-style report, national newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky says, ‘It is predicted that patients with minor and some more serious eye conditions will go to their local high street optician for screening and treatment instead of the GP or hospital. Good habits start early, which is why high street opticians Specsavers have made a major investment in children’s eyecare.’
See the Specsavers report:
The four-minute Specsavers segment, which was filmed in the group’s West Bromwich store, focuses on three initiatives to improve children’s eyecare that are unique to Specsavers.
Vision screening in schools
The first is the online vision screening programme made available to schools across the UK since January 2016 as the result of a partnership between Specsavers and Thomson Screening. So far more than a thousand schools have signed up to the programme which is designed to pick up vision problems that could affect a child’s educational and social development.
Children’s eyecare is a specialist area and the report also explains how Specsavers is the only accredited provider of a level 6 BTEC qualification in children’s eyecare for optometrists and dispensing opticians. The online course will ensure every practitioner is super competent and confident about looking after the under-16s.
Best fitting kids glasses
And the report looks at how Specsavers has developed frames that are a great fit for children instead of being just scaled-down versions of adult glasses. Specsavers has been working in conjunction with Alicia Thompson of ABDO, whose PhD in paediatric dispensing is the first of its kind to solely focus on the measurements of a child’s head through its various development stages.
Finally the report highlights how an aging population and new treatments are putting pressure on the NHS and optometrists are seen as a solution. Specsavers co-founder Doug Perkins comments: ‘That’s the big vision, to be the GP of the eyes. We know that the eye hospitals are full and we have got four year-qualified optometrists who can actually step up to that role of offering more convenience and that’s going to be good for everybody.
‘It’s never been more exciting than it is now because we’re working ever more closely with the health service and the hospitals. We’ve always screened for health, but now we’ll be able to make an ever-greater contribution.’