All eyes on UCLan as it officially opens purpose-built Eye Health Clinic
State-of-the-art facilities are open to the public
The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) purpose-built Eye Health Clinic has been officially opened and is already welcoming people from the local community.
Set up similarly to a high street optical practice, the UCLan Clinic is based on the Preston Campus and works alongside Royal Preston Hospital eye department. It boasts an extensive suite of state-of-the-art computerised equipment, including an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scan, which enables the eye to be examined in greater detail, and retinal photography.
Examinations are carried out by experienced members of staff or by final year MSc Optometry students under direct supervision, while students on the BSc (Hons) Ophthalmic Dispensing course will have the opportunity to also learn within the Clinic environment.
UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin and Lancashire County Councillor Shaun Turner officially opened the new UCLan Clinic.
"Its services will not only benefit our students and University staff but also local residents, who are invited to take advantage of the outstanding eye healthcare we can provide in such fantastic facilities here in Preston."— UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin
Professor Baldwin said: “I am delighted to officially open our new Eye Health Clinic here at the University of Central Lancashire. Its services will not only benefit our students and University staff but also local residents, who are invited to take advantage of the outstanding eye healthcare we can provide in such fantastic facilities here in Preston.
“The Clinic joins a growing number of public services we offer as a University, including our Dental and Physiotherapy Clinics. Alongside the direct benefits to our community, the Clinic is, of course, also helping to train the next generation of eyecare professionals, boosting the local health economy and improving local healthcare provision.
“I am proud to say the University is now training a wealth of healthcare professionals, many of whom go on to work in the region, including doctors, nurses, dentists, paramedics and physician associates to name a few.”
"It’s important to develop, grow and retain optometry skills within Lancashire, so to see such levels of care and ambition at UCLan is fantastic for the future generations of eye care specialists."— Lancashire County Councillor Shaun Turner
Councillor Turner, who is also a member of the East Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Partnership, said: “It’s important to develop, grow and retain optometry skills within Lancashire, so to see such levels of care and ambition at UCLan is fantastic for the future generations of eye care specialists. It’s also a hidden gem for members of the public who can make use of these fantastic facilities.”
Leanne Bowles has visited the Clinic for sight tests, contact lenses and glasses. She said: “The treatment is incredibly thorough, and the staff really took the time to talk me through the whole process. The UCLan Eye Health Clinic is a fantastic asset for the University and the local community.”
Rupal Lovell-Patel, Academic Lead for Vision Sciences at the University, added: “To open a facility like this, during a national pandemic, is nothing short of miraculous. And to do it so well deserves great credit to all the teams involved.
“We are looking forward to working closely with the community and providing high-quality health care whilst simultaneously training the next generation of eye health specialists.”