Another lovely story from our friends at Michael Offord Optometrist…

Michael Offord and Alex WilsonMichael Offord Optometrist is an award winning family optometry practice based in Kingston Park in Newcastle. Over the last few years and this year especially, the practice has expanded significantly, in terms of premises square footage and team size.

With continued investment in staff training and development, Michael Offord and his team have grown the business from its inception 1981 with one optometrist – Michael and two reception staff; to a team of three optometrists, one Pre-Registration Optometrist, one dispensing optician and 9 support staff.

The expansion has led the practice developing a further two first floor consulting rooms allowing them to offer their award winning optical services to even more patients.

Alex Wilson was employed in 2005 as the Michael Offord Optometrist ‘Saturday’ girl whilst still in full time education. After passing her ‘A’ levels, and working as part of the team for 2 years Alex decided she’d like to embark on a career in optics and started a three year course to study and train to become a Dispensing Optician passing her final exams in 2010.

In September 2013 Alex embarked on a one year BSc (Hons) Career progression degree course in Optometry at the University of Bradford, of which she gained a First Class Degree. In September 2014, she returned to the practice as a Pre- Registration Optometrist.

Alex re-joins the Michael Offord Optometrist team, of which training and professional development is of paramount importance to development of their key skills within the practice.

Alex says, “I returned to Michael Offord Optometrist because I knew it would be a good learning environment. Being an independent practice means the main focus is on the patient and not retail, which means I get to take time and really get to know the patients.”

Michael Offord Optometrist and the teamAlex adds, “The practice invests heavily in the latest technology and equipment like the OCT scanner. OCT (Ocular Coherence Tomography) is a new, completely painless and highly advanced screening system for all ages that checks for potentially serious conditions such as: Glaucoma, Diabetes and Age-related macular degeneration.

Having this technology in our practice will help us to diagnose these conditions at their earliest stage. We can investigate more at the practice and this really helps me developing my skills on a daily basis.”

Cecilia Bell, Dispensing Optician and Practice Manager at Michael Offord Optometrist says, “It’s an absolute pleasure to work in a practice which places such a huge emphasis on supporting staff development.   We currently have team members in training as a Dispensing Optician, Dispensing Assistant, Clinical Assistant, and a Customer Service Expert. As a consequence of Michael’s encouragement we have a highly committed team who know that they are valued and appreciated.”

Michael Offord adds, “Firstly I just want to say how good it is to have Alex back at the practice, and what a wonderful achievement it has been on her part to get to where she is today. Her hard work and determination have been rewarded. Who knows what else she can achieve. For my part it has been wonderful to observe her development, and be able to put a bit of “wind under her wings”. I have always been committed to investing in new technology as long as it enabled us to provide improved eyecare to the patient. In the last year we have spent a significant amount in new up to date equipment. The team is looking forward to continued growth in 2015 and Alex being fully qualified.”

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