The Boots Opticians team at Queensway in Stevenage, invited local MP Stephen McPartland to visit their practice and spend some time learning all about community optometry and the importance of good eye health and regular eye checks.
During the visit which took place in September, Mr McPartland gained further insight into how community optometry provides a high quality service and discussed ways in which community optometry could be better utilised to ease the issues of demand and capacity in GP clinics and secondary care. Mr McPartland also gained first-hand experience of community optometry’s offering when he took the opportunity to receive an eye test with resident optometrist Fatma Lilani.
Mr McPartland was given additional information about the importance of regular eye checks and maintaining good eye health from an early age. Mr McPartland who is also chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Literacy, was provided with a copy of Zookeeper Zoe, an
interactive story book produced by Boots Opticians in partnership with the National Literacy
Trust. The book contains a range of eye check activities for parents to read with their child to help understand if they might need support with their vision, enabling earlier detection to ensure every child reaches its full potential. Half a million copies of the book have been given away for free and an online version of Zookeeper Zoe can be found at: https://www.zookeeperzoe.co.uk/#ok76zHZuXmHbU7Sg.97
Stephen McPartland MP comments; "The NHS funds free eye tests for children and it is important to take up this opportunity. It really could make the difference between a child enjoying and doing well in school."
Ritu Mohan, Retail Director for Boots Opticians adds; “It is estimated that there are over one and a half million school-aged children in our country who have an undiagnosed issue with their vision and there are clear indications that the number of children affected by poor vision and eye health will increase. We know that around 80% of what children learn comes through their eyes and that vision problems can have a negative impact on children’s literacy and educational attainment. It is therefore vital to identify an issue with vision as early as possible so that children can fulfil their potential.
I am delighted to see Mr McPartland tackling this important health issue, and raising awareness of promoting children’s eye health in Stevenage.”
1Estimated using 2016 DfE School Census data and school vision survey conducted by Professor D Thomson, City University. Median estimates used for purpose of this calculation
2Pagliano (1994) http://complexld.ssatrust.org.uk/uploads/sensory-info.pdf
About Boots Opticians
Boots Opticians is one of the leading opticians in the UK with around 637* practices, of which 177* operate on a franchise basis. Around 30% of practices are located in Boots stores with the balance being standalone optical practices.
In August 2013, Boots Opticians became the first multiple optician in the UK to include digital retinal photography as a standard element of its eye test for customers of all ages.
De Rigo, a world leader in the design, production and distribution of high-end eyewear and sunwear, owns a 42% minority interest in Boots Opticians which it obtained in 2009 after Boots Opticians merged with Dollond & Aitchison to create the second largest optical chain in the UK.
* As at 31 August 2015 excluding equity method investments.