Peter Waite


The most multi-cultural practice in the UK, with more than 30 different patient nationalities, is perhaps Birmingham’s KG Miles Opticians, in the Handsworth area.

With nearly 20,000 people on the database, the busy practice is run by a team of 15, many of whom can speak the languages of the patients –

“Our team is very diverse,” said optometrist owner, Peter Waite, born in the UK to Jamaican parents.

The ethnic diversity of the patients at K.G. Miles brings a broad spectrum of clinical considerations, and at the heart of these is the practice’s recent investment in a Heidelberg Engineering SPECTRALIS, believes Peter -

“The West Indian community is of much greater risk of developing glaucoma and to screen these patients is very pertinent. Other ethnicities have risk factors and word of mouth has soon got around the communities that we are offering this enhanced level of care,” added Peter.

With three consulting rooms, the busy practice ensures full use of the SPECTRALIS, which is located in a separate room where the scans are performed by the practice support team. Purchased just over a year ago, the screening of patients is now moving into the start of monitoring change as patients return for the second year’s scans.

The first OCT that the practice has had, Peter is convinced of the wisdom of the investment –

“About 25% of our patients aged 40+ are scanned on the SPECTRALIS, and we are charging £45 per person. If I tell patients I think it would be in their best interests to be scanned they tend to trust me – I have been at the practice for 20 years and know many of them very well. Personally, I am kept pretty busy with the team seeing just over 100 patients a week.

“I look at all of the scans personally, and often confer with the specialists at Heidelberg Engineering. We have picked up a lot of pathology – particularly glaucoma. Many patients have been referred to the Birmingham Midland Eye Hospital.

“The SPECTRALIS has given me greater diagnostic confidence. Sometimes experience tells you something is not right because of a low standard of vision, but now we can see so much more, and really examine the structure of the eye. For example small haemorrhages which would not be picked up by a fundus camera, or macular pathology. I see it as a very valuable extra dimension to my practice.”

Peter cited the example of a patient who was punched in the back of the head in 2006 and became unconscious –

“In 2008 his visual field test was showing some pathology and he was referred. We now monitor the change in his disease process annually and see the SPECTRALIS as a critical tool in monitoring change – especially small change. This patient really demonstrates just how much more sensitive the examination can be. The SPECTRALIS finds the answers to problems that you have puzzled about for years – it unravels the structures of the eye and is as significant for me as the discovery of DNA.”

Peter Waite, Optometrist, Practice Owner
K.G. Miles Optometrists
SPECTRALIS owner since 2015

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