Martin Smith Opticians celebrates ten years
OPTICIAN’S DECADE OF CHANGING VISION
Dr Martin Smith BSc DOptom MCOptom was only in his early twenties in 2004 when his name went above the Saltergate, Lincoln premises of his optician’s practice. He spent a short time working with the previous owners, but their retirement gave him the opportunity to strike out as an independent optometrist.
For six years of this past decade, Martin has been conducting research and studying to become a Doctor of Optometry. He qualified in July and is one of only five people nationally to hold this award. His research was into cataracts and the causes of macular degeneration, using subjects chosen from the patients of his practice.
Martin has also recently been accredited as a Practitioner With a Special Interest, part of a small team of optometrists working for the NHS across Lincolnshire. “In this clinical role,” Martin explained, “we accept referrals from opticians and GPs and can diagnose, treat and monitor conditions which can be dealt with quicker and more appropriately in the community than a hospital setting.
“There has been great progress in picking up eye problems earlier, for example diagnostic machinery such as our Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanner which gives a high definition map of layers of the retina. Early diagnosis and the new treatments for conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration have made a huge difference to conserving sight over the past ten years.”
INDEPENDENT EYE CARE TEAM
Martin and his team pride themselves on offering outstanding customer care and clinical guidance to their clients which others might struggle to achieve.
Sue Edwards, the practice manager and dispensing optician said: “We are very different from the high street chains. Martin sees all our clients and has the depth of knowledge and time to explain conditions, and carry out necessary additional screening, on an individual basis.”
Sally Newman, the contact lens practitioner and dispensing optician, has worked in the Saltergate practice for more than twenty years and loves the challenge and variety of her work. “There have been great changes in optics over the years with many more lens options becoming available. Our private dispensing room enables me to spend time with our clients in order to discuss the best possible solution for their particular needs.”
Clients are welcomed by Mandy and Rachel, both experienced receptionists and optical assistants who also advise on frame styling and are key members of the team.
FREEDOM TO CHOOSE
Operating independently has allowed Martin to offer remarkable care, supported by very qualified staff. There is also the opportunity to search the UK and beyond for well-designed and original eyewear styles.
There are fashion inspired collections from Europe by Max Mara and Salvatore Ferragamo. Etnia from Spain and You’s from the Netherlands offer some intriguing styles that accent colour, braver lines and a wider variety of materials. Two new urban brands will be joining the collections soon.
“We like to invite our customers to additional events,” said Sue, “such as Colour and Style Days when clients come along for personal colour analysis. This can help them not only be more adventurous with their choice of eyewear but also in their everyday styling. The next session is being held on 12th November.
“We have also set up days with brand representatives who bring along their complete range for customers to try. It’s like a fashion show for eyes.”
A NEW STYLE
As part of the tenth anniversary celebrations, the Saltergate premises itself is being given a makeover. New branding will feature in the reception area and the two consulting rooms have been decorated and refurnished in soft green and brown, contemporary colourways.
“It is important that customers recognise that not only do we invest to keep our skills and equipment up to date,” said Martin, “but we also are continuing to evolve our presentation and the eyewear styles we can offer as the business moves forward.
“Quality customer service plus cutting edge diagnostics can be matched with a choice of exclusive style as we enter our second decade of business.”