Voted the best opticians in the UK

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February 2019

A justifiably proud Martin Smith Opticians, based in Saltergate, Lincoln, are celebrating after reaching the pinnacle of recognition last month, when the industry hailed the practice the best in the profession.
Winning awards is not a new experience for the practice. Their accolades already include practice owner Dr Martin Smith being voted AOP Optometrist of the Year and practice manager Sue Edwards being voted Dispensing Optician of the Year in 2018. This year the practice, with hundreds of votes from their customers, fought off strong competition from the best independent practices and larger multiples in the UK to be first over the finishing line with awards in the top three categories.

The annual AOP Awards (Association of Optometrists) Awards were held in London on 13th January. The awards ceremony celebrates outstanding talent and innovation in the profession, recognising exceptional contributions made by individuals and teams across the country.

The string of awards began with the AOP Optometrist of the Year 2019, which was won by Dr Martin Smith BSc DOptom DipTp(IP) Prof Cert Glauc MCOptom. This award recognises an optometrist who has combined a commitment to patient care with hands-on clinical expertise. Nominees are expected to be leading figures in their community practice or in a hospital setting, and will demonstrate their support for the development of colleagues. Dr Smith, as well as being owner of the practice, is one of the most highly qualified optometrists in the UK and won this individual award for the second time (the first was in 2015).

Shortly afterwards, Sue Edwards BSc FBDO was presented as winner of the AOP Dispensing Optician of the Year. Nominees for this award displayed a dedication to keeping up to date with new innovations and evidence of leadership within the practice, supporting colleagues and promoting eye health. Sue is now believed to be the first person in the UK to hold both the AOP and the Optician Awards for the Best Dispensing Optician in the UK at the same time – an astonishing achievement.

To finally complete the thrilling evening Martin Smith Opticians were announced as AOP Practice of the Year recognising the practice – either multiple, franchise or independent – that could demonstrate clinical excellence and a strong emphasis on the patient journey. Nominees must also be engaged in educating patients and the wider community about eye health, along with showing a flair for products and services, and an emphasis on looking after every patient on an individual basis.

Martin Smith Opticians can officially call themselves ‘The Best Opticians in the UK’ after being voted the Practice of the Year, the Optometrist of the Year and The Dispensing Optician of the Year 2019 – the three biggest national awards in the optical industry.

John French, CEO of Sightcare Services Ltd, said: “Dr Martin Smith and his practice is a leader and innovator within the industry, introducing technology, which whilst successful in Europe, had not been introduced into any practice in the UK. Martin Smith Opticians is an award-winning practice with five national awards in the last two years, which is clear evidence that this is an exceptional practice.”

Martin Smith Opticians have invested in excellence in staff training and the latest technology to offer advanced customer service and eye-care which could be compared in the hospitality industry to that of a boutique hotel or Michelin star restaurant. Every detail is taken care of, every need met before it is asked for. It is a business uniquely attuned to the requirements of each individual customer, from the high-tech sight test with one of the country’s top optometrists to the personal dispensing service offering the finest individualised lenses and hand-made frames from around the world, overseen by two of the country’s best dispensing opticians.

Dr Smith’s impressive list of qualifications include: Doctor of Optometry and a postgraduate diploma in Independent Prescribing. He also has a Professional Certificate in Glaucoma – a qualification which allows Dr Smith to monitor patients with suspected glaucoma and raised pressure. He is currently completing a Higher Certificate in Glaucoma for which he is working alongside the consultant ophthalmologists at the Lincoln County Hospital Glaucoma clinic and seeing glaucoma patients on a weekly basis. Upon completion of this qualification Dr Smith will be treating patients with suspected glaucoma and raised pressure in the practice, which means they will not have to attend the hospital.

Martin Smith Opticians has introduced the best of the most ground-breaking technology available to the practice to enhance each customer’s journey from start to finish. The practice also won for its outstanding customer care, professional and knowledgeable team, and clinical expertise. Technology at the practice includes the only 3D sight testing experience in the UK; a new system which has changed eye testing and has increased demand from discerning customers. Clients of the practice also receive an in-depth, 50-minute appointment which includes the latest DNeye and OCT scans, and eye examinations are always with Dr Martin Smith.

The most beautiful collection of frames is also held at the practice from independent niche suppliers and includes Blackfin, which is hand crafted from superior Japanese titanium and manufactured in the Italian Dolomites; Etnia Barcelona, a colourful and original collection very popular with customers; Bevel from Japan, and many more ranges making this one of the most exciting choices of frames in the area. A wonderful choice of sunglasses is also available from Serengeti, Rodenstock and Etnia.

After their success does this mean the practice can relax its approach? According to Dr Smith, this won’t happen. “Our goal is to continue to ensure our customers receive the best possible eyecare and clinical care that the industry can provide whilst remaining personable and friendly. There is always room for improvement and we will never stop working hard to improve our service further. Our customers tell us they are delighted and that is our main and constant motivation.”

The practice is accepting new patients but customers are advised to book ahead as the diary is booked up approximately four weeks in advance.

Martin Smith Opticians,
22 Saltergate, Lincoln LN2 1DH
Tel: 01522 521100; hello@martinsmithopticians or message us on facebook

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