Vaughan Gething, Wales’ Cabinet Secretary for Health, well-being and sport, was welcomed by the team at Specsavers on Queen Street during National Eye Health Week.

The visit saw Mr Gething have a tour of the store and its extensive facilities and speak to optometrists about the advanced enhanced eye care services they provide in a bid to raise awareness of the importance of regular eye tests.

Millions suffering unnecessarily

According to The State of the Nation Eye Health 2017: A Year in Review report, published by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Specsavers, almost six million people are living with sight-threatening conditions, despite nearly half of all cases being avoidable. The report found people in Wales are twice as likely to be put off by the cost of an eye test as those in the rest of the UK.

Specsavers on Queen Street delivers more than 600 sight tests to customers every week and sees a further 200 individuals for contact lens appointments, and is accredited to provide the Wales Eye Care Services programme on behalf of the NHS.

During the tour, Mr Gething learned about the specialist clinics the opticians provides, as well as the training opportunities offered to its 80 staff to develop their optical, audiology and retail careers. Almost a quarter of employees are in clinical roles.

‘A worrying number’

Frank Moloney, clinical partner at Specsavers Queen Street, said: ‘There are a worrying number of people living with sight problems in the UK - with nearly a quarter of people ignoring the first signs of sight loss.

'It is fantastic to have the opportunity to see political leaders, particularly decision makers in health and social care, showing an interest in the eye health care of our nation.

‘We’d like to thank Mr Gething for taking the time to visit our store during National Eye Health Week to see for himself the work we’re doing to protect the eye health of our customers.’

All Cardiff Queen Street store information