Meet Dean Roberts, Ophthalmic Partner
What was your background before joining Specsavers?
After completing my pre-registration year at an Independent Opticians, I joined Specsavers Lichfield as a newly qualified optometrist. I had an 18 month hiatus with a well-known competitor and came crawling back! I then worked at Birmingham New Street’s flag ship store before joining Specsavers Worcester as Ophthalmic Partner.
Tell us a bit about your career journey at Specsavers?
My first role within Specsavers at Lichfield enabled me to gain experience as a clinician, become accredited to perform Glaucoma refinement, as well gain an understanding of the ‘Specsavers Way’. Whilst working for a competitor I gained management experience but soon realised it was not for me! Joining Birmingham New Street store, alongside completing the Pathway Development programme, gave me a great insight into all areas of the business, both clinically and commercially.
How has Specsavers supported your development?
Specsavers have supported my development in every which way. Clinically, CET is readily available and PAC is always a success. Whilst working for Specsavers I have been able to complete further accreditations in Glaucoma refinement and MECS. Commercially, I progressed through the Pathway programme. I found this extremely eye opening and informative; a great platform to prepare you for starting life as a Partner.
What clinical advances have you seen lately?
Enhanced Optical Services are a great step forward for Optometry; a great utilisation of the clinical skills we have within our businesses. OCT is on the horizon and is an exciting proposition for Specsavers and the relationship with our medical partners in Ophthalmology departments across the nation.
How are you driving forward optometry in your local community?
We are heavily involved with community eye-care. We provide MECS, Glaucoma refinement, and post-cat appointments to our patients. We are about to embark on an agreed pathway whereby children with vision defects picked up at school screenings will be referred to us as opposed to secondary care. A great step forward for all involved.
Where do you think you have made a real difference to someone's eye health?
I remember testing a young girl who had been experiencing headaches for over 9 months, regular GP visits and treatment were not helping. Her mother bought her in for an eye examination and when checking the back of the eye I noticed swelling at the optic nerve. She was seen in hospital clinic the next morning, a brain tumour was diagnosed and was rushed over 100 miles to a specialist paediatric surgeon for it to be removed. The family came in the following week to thank me for saving her life. That was quite an emotional and rewarding day!
In regards to training and developing yourself and your clinical teams - how do you manage to stay at the leading edge of your profession?
We are very passionate here in Worcester in this respect. We attend local events run by our LOC and by our local private hospital eye department. We all attend PAC and all eight optometrists who work here are accredited to perform Post-cat assessments, MECS and Glaucoma refinement. We are all looking forward to developing even further with OCT imminent. As a team, we embrace change and can see the positive impact it has on the local community.
What makes you most proud of your time at Specsavers so far?
From my very first interview at Specsavers Lichfield I knew I wanted to become an Ophthalmic Partner. I am proud that with the right support I have managed to achieve this. I am a personal example of why Specsavers is a great company to work for; if you work hard, Specsavers will support you in every way they can.
Describe the Specsavers culture in three words
Passion, Drive, Community!
What advice would you give someone looking to join Specsavers?
You will not regret it!
Dean Roberts with his team in Specsavers Worcester