New Specsavers store opens its doors to shared care opportunities
Specsavers in Hemel Hempstead are improving patient care in their local community with their new SPECTRALIS SPIRIT, which was installed on the 24 th May 2018. The store recently moved to new premises in Hemel Hempstead to increase the number of services they provide, which now include OCT, enhanced optical services and hearing care – “We have gone from five test rooms to nine, plus we now have a dedicated hearing care room and have expanded our team to 48 members of staff”, explains Daniel Harris, Optometrist Director, Specsavers Hemel Hempstead.
There were several considerations for the store when choosing which OCT to purchase, so Daniel took advice from another local optometrist –
“I am the Vice Chair of the Hertfordshire Local Optical Committee (LOC), so when I was considering which OCT would be best for our store, I spoke to Wendy d'E Vallancey, who is an independent optometrist and Chair of the Hertfordshire LOC. She has a SPECTRALIS at her practice, Aves Optometrists, and is extremely happy with it, so she had no hesitation in recommending the SPECTRALIS to me.”
Clinical credibility and the opportunity to take part in shared care schemes with local ophthalmologists was also a key consideration in their decision to purchase the SPECTRALIS SPIRIT –
“The Clinical Director, Shane Abbas Bhimani, and I will shortly be completing our Independent Prescribing qualifications and Shane has completed the Professional Certificate in Glaucoma. This will enable us to provide a greater number of clinical services to our patients. The challenges the NHS face with an aging population are considerable, so we need creative solutions. We believe we are perfectly placed to take part in shared care schemes with ophthalmologists that will improve the patient experience and relieve pressure on the hospital, particularly as Specsavers are now partnered with Newmedica, who are one of the leading providers of NHS-funded ophthalmology services in England. The OCT will enable us to refine our referrals and reduce unnecessary trips to hospital for the patient, whilst ensuring patients who do need to be referred receive the right treatment at the right time. For all of this we needed to choose a hospital-grade OCT and the SPECTRALIS SPIRIT was the clear choice as it is highly regarded by ophthalmologists and offers the clinical credibility and quality of images that we need, whilst being really easy to use.”
Daniel had previous experience with the SPECRALIS when his wife was imaged on the platform recently and the high resolution images and unique TruTrack Active Eye Tracking technology caught his attention –
“My wife suffers from posterior uveitis and has been imaged on the SPECTRALIS a few times. The resolution of the images is fantastic, and they are not affected by eye movements. The ability to track tiny changes in the eye to within 1 micron over time was one of the main reasons we chose the SPECTRALIS SPIRIT. Visual field tests aren’t always dependable but being able to demonstrate true loss of retinal nerve fibre layer tissue over time really gives us the edge in glaucoma diagnosis, particularly in those patients where you are just not sure what is going on based on their eye pressures and visual fields. Knowing the eye tracking system is so accurate gives me confidence that I am seeing real change over time. I love looking at the images; I saw a patient who had recently had surgery on their retina and seeing how the retinal layers had been affected in such detail was amazing. You simply don’t get that degree of detail on a fundus photo.”
The purchase of the SPECTRALIS SPIRIT comes with a comprehensive training package from Heidelberg Engineering to include operator, interpretation and front of house training. Daniel has been impressed with the quality of service they have received –
“The training has been really good. Even our non-technical members of staff have picked it up very well and have already started training other members of staff themselves. We are really fortunate to be located in the hometown of Heidelberg Engineering UK and it is nice to know that they are literally down the road if we require support, and that we have such easy access to the courses at their training centre.
Daniel Harris, Optometrist Director
Specsavers Hemel Hempstead
SPECTRALIS SPIRIT owner since 2018