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Welsh GOS changes will assist Pre-Reg Optoms

Wales GOS contract changes: ‘Exciting time’ to be a pre-reg optometrist

“PRE-registration optometrists will benefit from changes to the Welsh General Ophthalmic Services contract, according to a senior clinical leader at Specsavers.”, says Paul Morris.

Paul Morris, Director of Professional Advancement, says that the changes will mean that pre-reg optometrists will see lots more interesting cases and that ultimately patients will benefit through the provision of enhanced eye care services in the community.

It’s a really exciting time to be a pre-registration optometrist in Wales. You’ll get to see a wider breadth of things.

You’ll be then in a really, really good place to not only kickstart your career by building up that level of experience with all those patients early on,’ says Mr Morris, ‘You’ll also be inspired, I think, to go on and do those additional qualifications that will turn you into an optometrist that is future proofed to have a long, healthy happy career that ultimately serves lots and lots of patients in the community.’

He adds that the contract changes in Wales are exciting because it gives optometrists the opportunity to work at the top of their licence. ‘We can see more people for enhanced optical services in the community than have ever before been seen. That comes from people working more closely with ophthalmology.

‘The new contract will allow us to make sure that we can care for them on a number of levels. So, there can be care in the community for things like glaucoma, referral refinement, Independent Prescribing and of course when you are working within Specsavers the opportunities to do those higher qualifications and professional certificates, etc, will absolutely be made available to you.

‘Just look at Scotland where IP and other higher qualifications have become “the norm” for optometrist development. This should be the same everywhere with optometrists training to provide services at the top of their licence even where they aren’t yet commissioned – if we build capability, those services will come.’

Mr Morris notes that there are a variety of health economies across the UK with devolved governments, while there is a ‘postcode lottery’ in England. But he stresses that there are opportunities for pre-reg optometrists across the UK, not least with Specsavers providing more than one million enhanced optical services appointments last year

‘Wherever you go in the UK, there is the opportunity to look at that type of case and really learn and be boosted by it because I think it is really inspiring to see what optometrists can do in the community,’ he says.

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