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AOP AWARDS 2015

AOP Award

 

Matheson Optometrists were proud to be nomintated runner up as Practice of the year for 2015. The nomination was a direct result of stisfied patient votes during the preceeding weeks. There were numerous applications in this category and to be accredited as a runner up is something we are extremely delighted with as it indicates that our patients are happy with the levels of service we provide.

Optician Awards Optometrist of the year 2014

Optometrist of the year

Andrew Matheson of Matheson Optometrists was away in France with his family when he won the much coveted Optometrist of the Year Award at the 2014 Optician Awards sponsored by CooperVision. ‘I couldn’t make sense of all the well done and congratulations emails, until someone told me,’ he says. ‘It was completely by chance; I only entered the Awards as colleagues suggested it.’

However, Matheson is no stranger to the limelight as he has previously received an Optometrist of the Year Award from the Macular Society for his excellence in the field of macular disease and won first prize in the Keeler Retinal Photography, both in 2013.

Qualifying in 1982 and specialising in dry eye, Matheson heads seven Sussex and Hampshire practices in Petersfield, Four Marks, Grayshott, Purbrook, Denmead and Alresford. Due to his heavy involvement in the diagnosis and treatment of macular disease, Matheson has OCT scanners in three practices and developed the company’s own autoflourescence imaging systems which enable earlier detection of macular problems.

He has also written extensively in the optical press on therapeutics, dry eye and autoflouresence and was the author of the College of Optometrists’ and DOCET’s’ Dry Eye Management training DVD.

‘I look forward to every day I go to work. I would never want to do another job. Optometry has so many facets which means that you can be learning new skills throughout your career. I believe in developing a new specialist interest or skill at least every two years.’

Loyal patients

Matheson Optometrists has a loyal patient base with many coming as a result of GP referrals as well as from all over the UK and several European countries to experience Matheson’s specialist contact lens fittings and dry eye clinics. The business is also hot on continuing professional development for staff and has so far trained 26 pre-reg optometrists and enable others to gain their therapeutic qualifications.

‘We must help newly qualified optometrists develop their university gained skills and teach them the tricks of the trade so that they can become excellent optometrists. This takes an investment of time and money but helps the status of the profession grow and is the best way of obtaining a team of excellent colleagues to work with.’

With Matheson’s emphasis on advancing therapeutic optometry throughout the practices and their communities, how does he see the future of optics progressing?

‘The skill base in optometry has improved so much in the last 20 years. However, it’s sad that the NHS is forever trying to pressurise us to see our patients less often than they need seeing and not prescribe spectacles even when they would relieve a patient’s symptoms. You wonder how much [the diagnostics of] eye disease will progress much further with this short-term penny pinching.

‘It’s also important to educate the public about their eyes and how a modern optometrist can help them. We have a website full of information which is heavily used by our patients and provide domiciliary service to those who are housebound. Above all, you should give the service that you would like to receive yourself or that you would want your granny to receive.’

Overseas aid

Matheson’s compassion also extends internationally as he has sponsored humanitarian trips to Malawi and Romania with Returning Vision as well as sending staff on the projects to help with testing and spectacle dispensing.

Even though Matheson wasn’t present to receive his award, what did his practice teams think about his success?

‘The staff were proud that we had done so well and an optometrist is only as good as his team around him. Winning Optometrist of the Year has validated all that we have been striving to do.’


Macular Society Optometrist Of The Year 2013

 

Andrew Matheson has won a national award fowllowing exceptional patient praise.

Andrew Matheson, of Matheson Optometrists, has been named Optometrist of the Year as part of the Macular Society Awards for Excellence. The award recognises his hard work in providing advice and information to patients affected by macular disease.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the central vision and is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK. There are many other forms of macular disease, including juvenile macular dystrophies.

Mr Matheson is a therapeutic optometrist, meaning he is qualified to prescribe certain treatments for eye conditions as well as being involved in diagnosis. He works closely with consultant ophthalmic surgeons in the treatment of macular disease.

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He said: “It feels great to be nominated for the award; it’s nice to know that our patients recognise the work that we do.

“I have a special interest in macular disease and have invested in equipment that helps with diagnosis as well as predicting how aggressive the progression of an individual’s eye condition might be.

“I enjoy helping people; detecting macular conditions before they have significantly developed often means more can be done for the person. This is why we have invested so much in equipment. I try to be the best in the field. This is the reason we are involved in developing new diagnostic equipment to detect changes in macular degeneration and its early detection. 

“Knowing that people appreciate my approach spurs me on to continue and to develop more methods of looking into macular disease in the future.”

There is no cure for macular disease, although there is treatment via injections for one form of the condition described as “wet” AMD.

Ann Jack, a patient who nominated Mr Matheson, said: “Mr Matheson diagnosed my AMD at an early stage and has monitored my condition very closely for the past 12 years.

“When I first developed wet AMD he referred me urgently to hospital where treatment via Lucentis injections started within 2 weeks. In addition to his work as an optometrist he gives talks to local groups about the condition to help raise awareness.”

Helen Jackman, Chief Executive of the Macular Society, said: “It is clear from his nomination that Andrew Matheson works hard to improve the lives of people affected by macular disease, with excellence in advice and information. We are extremely grateful for his efforts.”

The Macular Society was set up to support people with the condition, offering information, advice and funding research to find a cure. The charity’s annual awards are designed to recognise the wonderful work of everyone who helps the Society fulfil its goal, of building the confidence and independence of people with macular disease.

The Macular Society Awards were kindly sponsored by Dolphin and Optima Low Vision Services.

For information, advice and support about macular disease, contact the Macular Society’s Helpline on 0300 303011or email info@macularsociety.org

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