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Carolyn Ruston appointed as Policy Director at the AOP

Carolyn Ruston appointed as Policy Director at the AOP

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) have announced the appointment of Carolyn Ruston as Policy Director.

Ms Ruston will work with the AOP’s Executive, Board, Council, and committees to drive forward the AOP’s strategy and policy action in relation to the future of the profession and the nation’s eye health.

Ms Ruston joins the AOP from the National Physical Laboratory, having worked within the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. In her role as Strategic Lead for Health and Life Sciences, she was responsible for the development of evidence-based policy, as well as complex strategic change and research programmes across the UK’s health and life sciences systems.

Prior to this, Ms Ruston was Programme Director at the Institute of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Medicine at King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre. She was also Head of Policy for the London Health Board as well as holding multiple policy and partnerships positions across the NHS.

Ms Ruston said: “I’m thrilled to take up the role of Policy Director – particularly now, at a time where the AOP’s work in the policy and public affairs space is increasingly critical on the big issues facing optometry. COVID-19 has changed a lot of the conversations around the role of optometry in the community-led care model and its demonstrable ability to relieve pressure on the NHS through extended services for urgent and emergency eye care needs as well as in health prevention and diagnostics. Commissioning, technology, regulation of the profession as well as its education are all areas where it is crucial we have a strong voice to secure a future for our skilled, hard-working members.”


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