A jolly good fellowship

Andy Britton, optometrist and store director of Specsavers in Haverfordwest, Wales has been awarded a Fellowship of Optometry by the College of Optometrists – the college’s highest award, which recognises exceptional individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of their profession.

Nominated by his peers, Andy joins just 80 other clinicians across the UK in receiving the honour since its inception 12 years ago in 2008.

The award for Fellowship by portfolio recognises Andy’s career achievements, including a Higher Certificate in Glaucoma, Professional Certificate Medical Retina, Independent Prescribing postgraduate diploma that allows him to directly prescribe eye medication to his customers, significantly reducing the number of GP referrals.

Andy has also worked in the primary care at Withybush Hospital and Singleton macula and glaucoma clinics. He was a pioneer on a scheme to monitor patients with age-related macular degeneration who had received treatment. Andy is passionate about investing in the next generation of optometrists and has authored a Specsavers pathology training course, which he delivered to hundreds of pre-registration optometrists.

Andy says: ‘I feel very humbled to be awarded this Fellowship. My aim has always been to push the boundaries and perceptions of optometry – as well as guiding other optometrists. I’ve been a member of the College since 1997, so to be recognised as a Fellow is a true career highlight.

‘It’s immensely gratifying to have your work recognised on a national scale and particularly at a time when there’s so much unpleasant news. Diagnosing and managing eye conditions in a pandemic has made me more grateful than ever for my colleagues and for being able to help our community with their eye care needs.’

Specsavers director of professional advancement and long-time friend, Paul Morris says ‘I have admired Andy’s tireless pursuit of clinical excellence for many years. His dedication to better serve his community is nothing short of inspirational. As well as his high street and hospital optometry, Andy has had pivotal roles in optometry education and governance and so leads the profession in local and national arenas. I cannot think of anyone more deserving to become a Fellow.”

The achievement is usually marked at the College’s Diploma Presentation Ceremony in London, however, the event has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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