Monday 15 June 2015

Vote For Matheson Optometrists - AOP Optometrist of the year

Hi all, 

Is there any chance of you guys, along with any of your friends who know me, voting? Apparently we need the votes of thousands of happy patients to stand a chance. Please spread the word. Thanks

Help us achieve this prestigious award for the third year in a row!

Please vote by clicking here

Optometrist of the Year – Two Years Running

Local Optometrists, Matheson Optometrists who locally have practices in Petersfield, Grayshott, Purbrook and Denmead, have been awarded another national eye-care award. As far as we can tell this has never happened before.

Last year the Macular society named them as Optometrist of the Year, for their work looking after patients with macular degeneration, using new technology to help prevent and treat this disease.

They have just been presented with the Optometrist of the Year trophy at the National Optician Awards Ceremony.   This means that for 2 consecutive years, our local optometrist has achieved this highest accolade. The fact that 2 separate bodies independently have deemed it appropriate to make this award, makes this even more impressive.

Andrew Matheson also was the overall winner in the Keeler Retinal Photography Trophy. He was the first therapeutically qualified Optometrist in the UK and is one of only a handful of optometrists with Specialist Glaucoma Qualifications. Therapeutic Optometrists are qualified to treat as well as diagnose eye disease. Andrew is registered with BUPA and other health care providers. This greatly improves the service to the patient and also helps shorten the hospital waiting lists.

Matheson Optometrists have always been at the forefront of ocular innovation, being one of the first practices to embrace routine air puff tonometry for glaucoma screening in the early 80s. They are involved in research into new technology for eye disease detection, striving to provide the most comprehensive eye-care for their patients. OCT and Auto-Fluorescence Macular imaging are operated by highly skilled and friendly staff.

The Matheson practice has had on-site spectacle workshops so your spectacles can be made or repaired while you wait. Treatments for Colour Blindness and Dyslexia are also offered.

In addition to all this clinical excellence the Matheson Optometrists practice stocks frames from the best manufacturers in the world such as Mykita, Lindberg, Tom Davies and Maui Jim. Other Designer frames include Fendi, Prada, Valentino, Chloe, Nike and Calvin Klein. They also stock high quality value ranges. They source spectacle lenses from top suppliers. And are able to offer the new individualised varifocals measured using the high-tech Visioffice measuring system.

In response to high demand for non-weekday appointments, especially by patients who commute to London, Matheson Optometrists now offer evening and Sunday appointments.

All this on our own doorstep…

To vote, please click here

Tuesday 9 June 2015

New optometry course at Portsmouth University?

Andrew Matheson, Optometrist of the Year in 2014, tells Optician that the new course would also be an asset to UK optometric education

When Isobel Ryder from Portsmouth University first approached me about helping set up a new optometry course in Portsmouth, I was initially a bit sceptical. Did we need another university optometry department? Would Portsmouth be up to the task? What would my optometry colleagues think about my involvement?
The more I listened to the well thought out plans and considered my own feelings about the shortcomings of the present system, the more I came round to the idea.
The vastly increased intake of the established universities over recent years has contributed to increased numbers of students qualifying; however, these are not distributed evenly over the UK.
In the south of England, there is a real shortage of optometrists as it is hard to attract those who have settled close to their training institutions. Even for those managing to employ a pre-reg willing to re-locate, the sad fact is that many eventually drift homeward not long after their training.
For this reason, it makes more sense to take smaller student intakes in areas of real need than to carry on increasing the number of students at existing centres.
In addition, I have often been very dissatisfied with the standard of graduate optometrists applying for pre-registration posts. Many have had little clinical experience and have not mastered basic skills such as cover test and retinoscopy. Smaller intakes, such as at Portsmouth University, can also ensure that students receive adequate clinical training and patient time.
Portsmouth is ideally suited to fill the void between Cardiff and Plymouth to the west and London and Anglia to the East. As there are no established courses locally, Portsmouth should not be seen as a threat but an asset to UK optometric education.
The Portsmouth course will have a very practical base – aiming to release graduates at an MOptom (Masters) level who will have completed their equivalent of the pre-registration year in the last two terms of year three and the first two terms of year four.
Right from year one, local optometrists will be involved in their training helping to ensure that the students leaving the course are prepared for the tasks ahead of them in their professional career. Applicants will be interviewed prior to offers to ensure they have the right balance of academic and people skills. High academic grades alone do not necessarily guarantee the production of the best clinical optometrists.
Although Portsmouth University is strong on research, the course focus will be to produce excellent clinicians prepared for the evolution of our profession both now and in the future. The integrated pre-reg year and hospital placement takes away the worries many final year optometrists have about obtaining a pre-reg year with a suitable supervisor. Optometry is an extremely challenging degree and students will benefit hugely from the absence of such extra worries.
Portsmouth will be a centre of excellence working with local optometrists and hospitals and will be equipped with state of the art equipment. Initially there will be 13 eye exam ‘rooms’, each with high-end digital slit lamps able to do both still and high definition video imaging. These are ideal for teaching techniques such as gonioscopy and Volk.
The imaging system will integrate with the retinal cameras, which will be capable of fundus autofluorescence, and be able to review anterior and posterior segment OCT and visual field analyser results in each cubicle and in the central teaching area. With all the available resources, the students will become familiar with good practice from year one.
Portsmouth also has plans in the future to introduce therapeutic training for optometrists and a course in dispensing optics.
It is at present advertising for full-time lecturers. This would suit dynamic individuals with an academic background and clinical skills. Portsmouth is lucky to be surrounded by many high quality and forward thinking optometrists with specialist interests, several of whom have expressed an interest in helping the students in their training. Optometry here has very strong links with local hospitals with several enhanced schemes in place, such as PEARS, glaucoma refinement, glaucoma co-management and low vision.
Portsmouth already has a strong healthcare pedigree with existing courses such as paramedic science, pharmacy, nursing and midwifery.
Hampshire is a wonderful place to live and study with a myriad of things to see and do, both in the countryside and the coast. All types of water-sports are available locally, with the university having several specialist clubs. The area is well served with rail and road connections to the rest of the UK. Even Europe is not too far away by ferry.
A university course in optometry on the south coast was inevitable, it was just when and where. This course has been well thought out and has been developed to fill a need with a quality product.
I think Portsmouth will fill a void, producing quality optometrists locally, involving local skills and we should give the course a chance by supporting it in this task.
Andrew Matheson is a therapeutic optometrist practising in Portsmouth