BBR Chairman appointed Honorary Professor of Optometry at world-leading university

30 January 2019

Hereford optometrist Nick Rumney has been appointed Honorary Professor of Optometry at one of the world’s highest-rated optometry universities.

Mr Rumney, who is senior optometrist and chairman of BBR Optometry at St Owen Street, Hereford, has been appointed by The University of Manchester in recognition of his work within the profession, including his commitment and work with the university in its Masters in Optometry (MSci Optometry) qualification.

“I feel very honoured and privileged to have been made an Honorary Professor,” said Mr Rumney, who is passionate about the development of training, practices and technology used in clinical optometry not only in the UK, but globally.

“For many years the qualification as an optometrist was achieved by completion of a university-based three-year degree course followed by a period of time in pre-registration practice, which was then followed by a series of professional examinations run by the Optometry professional body College of Optometrists,” said Mr Rumney.

“At the successful completion of the four years, the new graduate could register with the General Optical Council.

“However, in the 1980s Manchester University developed a new approach, more in common with other optometry jurisdictions such as Australia and New Zealand, of a four-year registrable degree. This ensured that there was a structured placement involving both hospital and practice experience.”

Manchester University is amongst the highest rated optometry schools in the world and has a very strong teaching and research background.

It has a £4 million optometry facility and works closely with the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe.

In 2007, BBR Optometry became one of the chosen placement practices to deliver the universities MSci Degree.

At the end of their second year at the university, prospective students are selected via interview and to date BBR Optometry has supported 22 students to their Masters in Optometry.

“They can be found in many places, in independent or multiple practice, in hospital, industry or academia. In fact, one of our full-time optometrists at BBR Optometry is Laura Williams who undertook placement with us,” added Mr Rumney.

Commenting on her placement in 2013, Laura said: “I was incredibly lucky to be able to be involved in a programme that allowed me to experience clinical and dispensing optometry in both an independent and hospital-based setting and have training amongst considered experts in the profession.

“The different skill sets that I gained during this time really did shape the way that I practised optometry and my further clinical progression following graduation.”

Photo: Nick Rumney

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