Specsavers in Haverfordwest is one of just five businesses in the UK to have been shortlisted in the enhanced optical service category at the Optician Awards, which recognises excellence in primary eyecare services delivered in the community.

To make the shortlist, the Haverfordwest opticians, locally owned and run by directors Andy Britton and Paul Skoczek, outlined how the store supports the Pembrokeshire community’s eyecare needs as well as its involvement in the integration of new eyecare schemes.

‘To be one of only five businesses in the country to make the shortlist for a prestigious award is a significant achievement for the entire team here,’ said Andy Britton.

‘Highest standards of clinical professionalism’

‘We are extremely passionate about providing the highest standards of clinical professionalism and this nomination reflects the hard work we’ve put in to achieve recognition at a national level.’

The practice assesses patients that contact the store with urgent eye health complaints by using a triage form. This process ensures, wherever possible, treatment is provided in the local community and prevents some people travelling in excess of 50 miles to the nearest hospital.

Help to relieve hospital eye services

It also helps relieve hospital eye services by providing glaucoma refinement services following its recent investment in an optical coherence tomography machine, which screens for conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

The practice’s cataract assessments aim to avoid unnecessary patient referrals to hospital and prioritise those in urgent need of specialist ophthalmologist treatment.

Specsavers Haverfordwest has collaborated with other opticians and Hywel Dda University Health Board to reduce a list of patients waiting for assessment at hospital for eye health concerns. This involves Specsavers’ optometrists reviewing patient information and assessing whether their health complaints can be dealt with in the community or if they require hospital treatment, as well as advising on the urgency of their care needs.

Mr Britton added: ‘We have actively worked with secondary healthcare providers to ensure better collaboration of services to positively impact our community.

'We have not only invested in cutting-edge equipment to enhance the services we can deliver but are continually investing in our staff through training, to ensure we are truly a key support function in Haverfordwest.’

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