Domiciliary optometrist

Domiciliary optometrists might work for a domiciliary company, an agency or a community multiple. You will deliver eye care either to patients in their own homes or in care homes. The two types of job role require people who are well-organised, adaptable, energetic and who can work well with a largely older, sometimes isolated patient group.

Job roles

  • Domiciliary optometrist – visiting patients in their home or care home and performing eye examinations and overall eye care
  • Training roles – training staff in dispensing, equipment and efficiency
  • Professional services manager – contract management, mentoring staff
  • Professional services director
  • Director of operations
  • CEO.

Domiciliary services

Domiciliary services are delivered in a range of ways, but you will often have a support team in central or regional offices that make the patient bookings and support you with referral and clinical queries. Due to the nature of the job role there is staff support in place to shadow, monitor and assess domiciliary optometrists to ensure patient safety.

Some domiciliary optometrists will perform the eye examinations and the dispensing and others will have dispensing opticians to complete the service. Some will also be involved in offering enhanced services.

Challenges and potential

There are challenges in a role where you work remotely from the parent company or practice and carry out home visits on your own. However, there are benefits in having sometimes as much as an hour for a consultation with a patient, seeing a wide range of pathologies and being able to build rapport with your patients.

There is potential for job progression through roles in contract compliance, mentoring colleagues, management and staff training. Some domiciliary optometrists also work in other settings and this helps them maintain their skills in contact lens practice or paediatric eye care, for example.

Matthew Burford MCOptom

Job role

"I have a dual role, spending three days on clinical work and two days in professional services. It’s very different to a high street job, there are more queries and I see more pathologies. Our patients' average age is 85 and they will have mobility difficulties. I do sight tests and the dispensing of specs is delivered by dispensing colleagues.

Simon Raw MCOptom

Training and qualifications

This might include:

  • Clinical and patient management skills and topics, such as glaucoma, cataracts and diabetes.

Training and development opportunities will be offered by the company or outside suppliers and includes:

  • Dementia workshops
  • Lectures on clinical topics, eg diabetes
  • Mental Capacity Act
  • Online learning with articles on GOS or dispensing
  • Peer discussion
  • Safeguarding.

College events help you learn, network and gain CPD points. We have a blended programme of both online and in-person events which include: Optometry Tomorrow - our annual national conference and exhibition; peer reviews; webinars; CPD events tailored to Independent Prescribers; and much more.

Online learning, using College and Docet materials can be an efficient way of keeping your skills up-to-date, as well as earning CPD points. The College offers training for assessor, examiner and supervisor roles.

There are a number of College-accredited higher qualifications, covering the following topics:

  • contact lens practice
  • glaucoma
  • low vision
  • medical retina
  • paediatric eye care.

The College also offers an Independent Prescribing (IP) qualification. This enables optometrists to clinically assess a patient, establish a diagnosis, determine the clinical management required and prescribe where necessary.