BBR’s chairman is delighted to have been awarded a Research Excellence Award from the College of Optometrists – adding to a growing list of accolades in his 25th year at the Hereford-based practice.
Nick Rumney received the Philip Cole Prize for practice-based research, cited in the areas of dry eye practice and macular services, at the College’s Diploma Ceremony which was held in London.
The Philip Cole Prize is named after the first President of what was then the British College of Ophthalmic Opticians (Optometrists), Dr Philip Cole, who held the role from 1980 to 1982. The prize is given to recognise excellence in practice-based research by College members, and the important contribution that practising optometrists continue to make to the optometric evidence base.
Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt MCOptom, President of the College of Optometrists, said: “It is such a pleasure to honour those who are contributing to the evidence base with our awards for Research Excellence.”
Nick said: “Research underpins our profession and is at the heart of patient care. I strongly believe that research starts with observations by clinicians working with real patients. Sometimes we are lucky to carry this through to conclusion, more often it finds its way into universities and research institutes. Here at BBR we pride ourselves on offering the best possible care for all patients and I am a firm believer in practice-based research so I am delighted that our work in this area has been recognised in this way by the College of Optometrists.
“Dry eye affects up to 30% of people aged 50 or over, so I felt it was important that we were able to offer treatment for this condition and we were only the second UK practice outside of London to offer patients TearScience® dry eye treatment. This uses two ophthalmic technologies, a LipiView® ocular surface interferometer and LipiFlow® thermal pulsation, to treat dry eye.
“This work is being advanced by BBR optometrist Jessica MacIsaac who is currently on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership at the practice working towards a PhD in association with one of our partners, Aston University.
“Since the major practice refit earlier this year, BBR Optometry has also been able to offer patents a dedicated dry eye treatment room,” he added.
As regards macular services, BBR Optometry offers the latest in retinal imaging technology and was the first practice in Herefordshire to introduce an Optos Daytona and first in the UK with the latest Swept-Source (2015) Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) having pioneered OCT in 2007.
Nick adds: “OCT is the next generation in imaging the internal structures of the eye and enables us for the first time to can actually see below the surface of the retina and view the microscopic layers beneath. This is of profound importance in determining the precise diagnosis of visual problems such as macular hole and guiding patients on the treatment options possible.
“We recommend that every eye examination carried out at BBR includes retinal imaging as early detection can significantly improve outcomes for patients,” he added.
This latest accolade follows Nick being awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) in recognition of his services to the profession of Dispensing Optics, an award that has only been given to 17 individuals since the Association was founded in 1986.
He is also in the running, along with fellow BBR staff, chief executive Nick Black and optometrist Laura Reece, for a prestigious Association of Optometrists award for which voting is now open – please vote for them all here.
The Philip Cole Prize was awarded on Tuesday, November 8 at Westminster Hall, site of the first ever meeting of the United Nations in 1946.