Optometry involves examining the eyes to check for eye disease before providing treatment. Sometimes that treatment includes glasses, contact lenses, or magnifiers.

Optometrists (sometimes known as opticians) are eye-care professionals who train at university to examine the eyes.

All the specialist optometrists in the eye unit support consultant ophthalmologists (eye doctors) in macular/medical retina, cornea and glaucoma clinics. They also work independently in eye injection follow- up clinics and perform some laser treatments. Our dispensing optician provides a full glasses service for children coming to the eye hospital.

Information and about us

We offer a wide range of services within our optometry departments. This includes:

  • Glasses tests for adults with complicated eye problems
  • Complicated contact lenses (when sight cannot be improved with glasses) e.g. Keratoconus, corneal distortion, very high prescriptions, and scarred eyes
  • Adult and children low vision assessments (magnifiers and other aids)
  • Children’s glasses tests and checking the back of the eye
  • Other paediatric referrals
  • Specialist children’s contact lens fitting
  • Specialist glasses dispensing for children

We also run a number of clinics for specialisms such as:

  • Macula and Medical Retina conditions
  • Cornea conditions
  • Ectasia monitoring
  • Glaucoma management
  • Laser clinic

Northern services specific

  • Children and adult refractions
  • Post Cataract refractions
  • Contact lens fitting and Aftercare
  • Low Vision Assessments
  • Glaucoma Assessments
  • Stable macula degeneration assessments
  • DVLA visual fields
  • Ocular Imaging Service
  • Specialist Optometric assessments at Pathfield school

Eastern services specific

  • Arranging and managing hospital placements for Pre-registration Optometrists and visiting undergraduates from the University of Plymouth Optometry School
  • Children’s Rapid Access Clinic
  • Special school clinics at WESC foundation and other centres
  • DVLA Goldmann visual field testing
  • Tiverton Children’s refraction clinic: Do a glasses check and check the health of the eyes

  • WESC Foundation refraction clinic: Do a glasses check and check the health of the eyes

  • Optometry General Clinic – OPTGN - refractions, Marfan’s ocular screening, providing and looking after patients with specialist contact lenses

  • Scleral Contact Lens Clinic – OPTSL - for patients who wear scleral contact lenses

  • Ectasia Monitoring Clinic – OPTEM- Patients with Keratoconus and corneal problems are referred to this clinic from the Consultant Corneal Clinic

  • Low Visual Aid Clinic – OPTLO - low vision including loans of magnifying aids, signposting to support groups within the area and onward referral to Devon Sensory Team. The clinic is also supported by an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) who patients can speak with for emotional and practical support

  • Dispensing Service – OPTDO - service for patients, mainly children, with particular prescription needs. Referral to the Dispensing Service is internal only.

  • DVLA Visual Field Clinic – OPTLA - patients are referred to us for a specialist Goldmann visual field test from the DVLA. The patient’s visual fields are tested and reported back to the DVLA


Contact us

Northern services

The department can be contacted on 01271 311714.  Please note that at times when this phone is not manned there is an answer phone facility that is checked on a regular basis.

Eastern services

You can contact Michelle Thornley and Annika Bohan, Specialist Medical Secretaries, on either:

Tel: 01392 406037

Email: rde-tr.optometrysecretaries@nhs.net 

Where to find us

Northern services

North Devon District Hospital, we are based within the main Ophthalmology outpatient department.


Eastern services

RD&E Wonford, Barrack Rd, Exeter EX2 5DW

From the main hospital reception, turn immediately right for the West of England Eye Unit.

Meet the team

Northern services

We have a multi-discipline team of Optometrists based at North Devon District Hospital. 

Eastern services

  • Louise Frost: Head Optometrist
  • Kieran Loft: Specialist Optometrist
  • Elizabeth Sullivan: Specialist Optometrist
  • James Isaac: Specialist Optometrist
  • Louise Isaac: Specialist Optometrist
  • Adam Jones: Specialist Optometrist
  • Andy Laird: Optometrist
  • Laura Kelly: Dispensing Optician
  • Jane Ibbeson: Orthoptist

Services and treatments

We can provide:

  • Glasses prescriptions
  • RGP contact lens fitting
  • Soft contact lens fitting
  • Cosmetic contact lens fitting
  • Bandage contact lens fitting
  • Scleral contact lens fitting
  • Low vision aids such as magnifiers

Information for healthcare professionals

We accept referrals from various sources, including General Practitioners and Social Services but mainly from other departments within the Eye Clinic such as ophthalmologists or orthoptists.

Last updated: December 06, 2023.