Barkingside residents are set to benefit from an additional eye examination room at a local opticians.

New testing room in store

Specsavers Opticians and Hearing Centre in Barkingside, located at 45 High Street, has announced plans to build an extra testing room at their store. The work will coincide with the store’s tenth anniversary and the new room will allow staff to offer more appointments at popular times and reduce waiting times.

Christina Tomlinson, retail director at Specsavers in Barkingside, says: ‘We’ve been looking after the eyes and ears of Barkingside for a decade and have always strived to offer more for our customers. This extension will allow us to provide a better service to the town, as well as create more local jobs.’

Supporting local people

The store has grown significantly since opening in May 2004, increasing the number of team members from six to 18.

Christina says: ‘We have a local recruitment policy, and employee development is very important to us. We believe that well trained staff who care about the community create a better environment for our customers.

‘Making our store family friendly has also been a real goal of ours. Many of our staff are parents and we know how important it is for kids to feel safe in a clinical environment, which is why we hold separate clinics for children.’

State of the art equipment

The store has invested heavily in optical equipment, including a state-of-the-art digital camera, which captures images of the back of the eye. These digital retinal photographs can be used in the detection and monitoring of a number of potentially harmful conditions and is offered for free as part of a routine eye examination.

Chirag Shah, ophthalmic director at Specsavers in Barkingside, says: ‘Clinical excellence is something we try to champion in store and investment in the latest equipment is a large part of that.

‘I’m an optometrist with a specialist interest in glaucoma and as such I provide treatment through local community clinics for sufferers, including referrals from GPs and other local opticians. Although optics is a competitive business, the welfare of customers is the most important thing to all opticians.’

10 years on

The opticians has faced a few challenges over the past decade, including an incident involving a vehicle.

Christina says: ‘A few years ago we came into the store to find a wall had completely fallen down. It transpired that a vehicle had driven into the back of our store, knocking over one of the internal walls. Thankfully nobody was hurt and we were able to continue serving our customers as the front of our store and testing rooms were unaffected.

‘We are excited about another 10 years in Barkingside and all the good times and challenges ahead. We’d like to thank all of our customers for their support over the past decade and invite them to our celebrations at the start of May.’

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