New College Council members welcomed

  • 5 Apr 2017

The College of Optometrists has welcomed six new members to its Council at the College’s AGM, held during the Optometry Tomorrow conference in Birmingham (19-20 March).

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Laura Sweeney (MCOptom) has been elected as a College Council member for Scotland, Ceri Probert (MCOptom) will represent members in Wales, Russell Dawkins (MCOptom) will join as a Council member for the London region, Ian White (MCOptom) will represent the North West and Lucy Hall (MCOptom) and Angharad Hobby (MCOptom) will both become College Council members for the South East

Speaking about her election to Council, Angharad Hobby MCOptom said; “I’m delighted to take a place on the College Council. As a relatively newly qualified optometrist I feel I can provide the Council with a voice and views from the younger generation of clinicians. My working life encompasses practice in the community and hospital eye service, research and education and I think this give me a holistic view of the profession. I relish the challenge of this new role and will do my utmost to ensure that College members in the South East are represented proficiently.”

A further three existing Council members have been re-elected to the Council:

  • Geraint Griffiths (MCOptom) for the East Midlands.
  • Shamina Asif (MCOptom) and Francesca Marchetti (MCOptom) for the West Midlands.

Two Council members have retained their seats in uncontested elections; Barbara Watson (FCOptom) for Yorkshire and Humber and Tony Gibson (MCOptom) for the North East.

Ian Humphries, Chief Executive of the College of Optometrists said; “I would like to welcome all of the new members of Council and look forward to working with them. Council members are ambassadors for the profession; they bring members’ views directly to the College, which is hugely valuable to us, and provide leadership for the profession and represent the views of their colleagues in their region. I would also like to thank and recognise all the outgoing Council and Board members for their enormous contribution and service over the years.”

Members can contact their regional Council member via the College website.

New Council member biographies

Dr Laura E Sweeney MCOptom graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in 2008 and completed her pre-registration year at McCabe Opticians in Barrhead. Laura worked part time as a specialist optometrist in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde working in the glaucoma, cataract and paediatric clinics. She also completed the Independent Prescribing qualification in 2014. In 2014 Laura took up a post with Dundee University as postgraduate optometry tutor and she was involved in the creation of evidence based online CET materials for optometrists and helped develop the Scotland wide Peer Assisted Learning Network. In 2015 she took up a post as lecturer at GCU where she is involved in the teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate optometrists. Alongside her teaching commitments, Laura’s current research interests include binocular vision, accommodation, eye movements and Alzheimer’s disease. Laura also works as a self-employed locum optometrist, working regularly in Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire and she is part of the Lanarkshire Eye Network Scheme.

Ceri Probert MCOptom graduated from Cardiff University in 2009 and completed his pre-registration year in a busy multiple practice in West Wales. He continued to work within the multiple sector until 2014, when he started work as a self-employed optometrist. Within this role, he worked across a broad spectrum of practices across South and Mid Wales and now primarily works within independent practices. Alongside this, he works in Breconshire War Memorial Hospital assessing and injecting the eyes of patients with wet age-related macular degeneration and other medical retina conditions. He also works as an accreditation tutor with the Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre, tutoring and assessing optometrists to become accredited to provide extended services under the Eye Health Examinations Wales scheme. Ceri sits on the South East Wales Regional Optometric Committee. He holds professional certificates in medical retina and glaucoma, and is working towards Independent Prescribing qualification and a Masters in Clinical Optometry.

Russell Dawkins MCOptom graduated from Cardiff University in 1988 and worked for multiple, independent practices, and as a locum until 1999, when he became a Specsavers Director. He is currently Ophthalmic Director of three stores, although since paralysis in June 2013, he has not been able to fully practise. He has supervised over 20 pre-registration students throughout his career.

Ian White MCOptom graduated from UMIST in 2001 and began his career as an optometrist in a busy high-street multiple practice. He later moved into independent practice which led to carry out regular domiciliary visits for housebound patients. This experience enabled him to contribute to the Optical Confederation’s Domiciliary Eyecare Committee on behalf of the AOP. Ian has furthered his clinical skills via involvement in the Central Mersey Diabetic Eye Screening Programme and completion of the relevant City & Guilds qualification. He is also undertaking the Independent Prescribing programme via City University and a clinical placement at his local hospital eye department. He has regularly contributed to local optometry via membership of his Local Optical Committee (LOC) and has been the LOC Secretary since 2009. He is also an AOP Council member.

Lucy Hall MCOptom graduated from City University in 2006 and completed her pre reg placement with Dollond and Aitchison. She worked for D&A/Boots until 2014, when she joined Vision Express. Lucy is currently Optometrist Store Manager for Vision Express, a Regional Optical Lead, supporting Optometrists on a day-to-day basis, and Personal Development Tutor, supporting pre reg trainees throughout their year and facilitating courses. Since 2013, Lucy has been a Visiting Clinical Tutor at City University, supporting practical sessions and patient clinics. In 2015, she became a College Assessor. She has completed several post graduate modules and is currently studying for an MSc. She is a committee member of Kent and Medway LOC.

Angharad Hobby MCOptom graduated from Cardiff University in July 2013 and completed her pre-registration training with Davies and Jones Optometrists (South Wales) the following year. She is currently working towards her PhD at City, University of London and is part of the David Crabb Lab. Her research looks at the functional and structural assessment of retinal disease through ocular electrophysiology and optical coherence tomography. Angharad practices part time at Eastbourne District General Hospital where she specialises in Low Vision. She also works as a locum optometrist and is a member of the educational faculty at The Johnson and Johnson Vision Care Institute.



Note to Editors

  • The College of Optometrists is the professional body for optometry. It qualifies the profession and delivers the guidance and training to ensure optometrists provide the best possible care. We promote excellence through the College’s affixes, by building the evidence base for optometry, and raising awareness of the profession with the public, commissioners, and health care professionals.
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