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Friday / July 12.
HomeminewsSpecsavers Invests for Growth

Specsavers Invests for Growth

Specsavers has made a “significant investment” to enhance the clinical skills and scope of practice of all Specsavers optometrists, as it prepares to expand its team by more than 200 optometrists each year to keep pace with patient demand and store growth.

Paul Fussey, Specsavers chief executive officer, said Peter Larsen will rejoin the board of directors as Optometry Director having held a non-executive consulting role with Specsavers as Director of Professional Services for the past four years. Professor Harrison Weisinger will rejoin Specsavers as Director of Professional Services – Global, having worked as Specsavers Director of Professional Recruitment for Australia and New Zealand prior to founding the Deakin University School of Optometry

Speaking of Mr. Larsen’s appointment, Mr. Fussey said, “apart from leading Specsaver’s optometry and professional services agenda, I know that Peter is focussed on working with all stakeholders when it comes to the debate and the formulation of policy relating to changes and developments in optometry and professional scope of practice across the ANZ region and Medicare in Australia”.

He said Prof. Weisinger will work directly with Doug Perkins in Europe and Peter Larsen in the ANZ region “on a host of initiatives, with a focus on enhanced services and scope of practice issues. Harry’s experience as head of Deakin’s Optometry School, as a practicing medical doctor and as a Specsavers optometry partner will prove invaluable.

“These two appointments are the starting point for a much larger ongoing investment. Dr. Ben Ashby, Optometry Development Manager, will join the Professional Services team to focus on our increasingly important university relationships and ongoing clinical skills development. Another example of how we are bolstering our optometry support team relates to the recent pilot of a new ‘Clinical Support Consultant’ role in New South Wales which has been very successful and which we will now look to hone and introduce into other states and regions in Australia and New Zealand,” said Mr. Fussey.

“Looking at the range of initiatives underway it is clear why we choose to invest strongly at a time when others are pulling back from supporting their optometrists in professional development and learning. We have programs now underway that will support all our optometrists to become more proficient at detecting diseases such as glaucoma via studied optic nerve assessment; we are leading the profession when it comes to promoting better communication and referral pathways between optometry and ophthalmology via the Oculo platform. Oculo is the joint brainchild of CERA managing director Jonathan Crowston and Peter Larsen in his role as a member of the CERA board and is very much a whole-of-profession initiative.”

Specsavers was established in Australia and New Zealand seven years ago and today has a network of more than 350 stores and a current team of more than 800 full time equivalent optometrists in partner, employed and locum roles.

The organisation offers more than 100 CPD points annually via its clinical development program including the grand round roadshows and the Specsavers Clinical Conference. All stores are equipped with a Digital Retinal Camera.