21 April 2008 – for immediate release
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Bartlam from Vision Sciences at Aston University in Birmingham has won the prestigious Dispensing Optician of the Year award.
Dispensing opticians take the prescription generated by a sight test and optimise the lenses and spectacle frame for a patient. Many also take additional qualifications to fit contact lenses and provide low vision services.
Lizzie started her career in Optics as a receptionist in an optical practice. She was so impressed by the patient care shown by the dispensing opticians that she worked with that she went on to self-fund herself through her training. She qualified in 1998 and passed her Low Vision Honours qualification in 2005.
Lizzie has been in her current role at Aston since 1999. The University is one of only eight in the UK to train optometrists and it is also the largest. After training for two years, students provide a wide range of services under close supervision such as eye examinations, contact lenses assessments, and low vision rehabilitation. Aston also offers complete spectacle dispensing services.
Professor James Wolffsohn, who is Head of the Optometry Department at Aston, said: ‘What makes Lizzie so special is her passion for providing patients with the very best service and training optometrists of the future to do the same. She also enables us to accept referrals from other practices for more specialist cases which are beyond the scope of many high street optometrists, including prescribed lens tints to aid reading difficulties.
Dr Olivia Hunt, who is Principal Clinician added: ‘Just one of the reasons that I enjoy working with Lizzie is that nothing is ever too much trouble for the patients, which sets an excellent example to the final year students. As well as her role at Aston, where over 96% of students rate her teaching as excellent, Lizzie is also an examiner, tutor and lecturer for the dispensing optician profession itself.’
For further information about vision care at Aston or to book an appointment for an eye test contact 0121 204 3900.
For further press information please contact Sally Finn on 0121 204 4552.
Photo by Edward Moss Photography