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.

More on what we do

Core Optometry services include:

  • 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 as part of the “Children’s Rapid Access Clinic”, ophthalmology children’s clinic, and the Orthoptic screening programme
  • Specialist children’s contact lens fitting
  • Specialist glasses dispensing for children
  • Special school clinics at WESC foundation and other centres
  • DVLA Goldmann visual field testing
  • Arranging and managing  hospital placements for Pre-registration Optometrists and visiting undergraduates from the University of Plymouth Optometry School

Extended role services include:

  • Macula and Medical Retina clinic: working with the consultant ophthalmologist to examine patients referred by their local optician. We help to diagnose their eye problem and arrange treatment if required, as well as monitor patients who are having treatment
  • Cornea clinic: working alongside the consultant ophthalmologist to monitor patients who might need or have had a corneal graft, treat corneal infection, and diagnose corneal conditions
  • Ectasia monitoring clinic: assessing patients with keratoconus and similar eye conditions to detect any progression in the disease and to refer for treatment with corneal cross linking if appropriate
  • Glaucoma clinic: managing patients with unstable glaucoma to consider further treatment with eye drops, laser, or surgery.
  • Laser clinic: performing laser to clear debris off the back of the implant after cataract surgery or improve drainage from the eye in patients with glaucoma.


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

Our team

Louise Frost: Head Optometrist. BSc (Hons) MCOptom Dip (Tp) IP

Kieran Loft: Specialist Optometrist. MSc BSc (Hons) MCOptom Dip(Tp) IP

Elizabeth Sullivan: Specialist Optometrist. BSc MCOptom Dip(Tp) IP Dip Glauc Prof Cert Med Ret Prof Cert LV

James Isaac: Specialist Optometrist. BSc (Hons) MCOptom

Louise Isaac: Specialist Optometrist. BSc (Hons) MCOptom Dip(Tp) IP

Adam Jones: Specialist Optometrist BSc (Hons) MCOptom

Andy Laird: Optometrist. BSc (Hons) FCOptom

Laura Kelly: Dispensing Optician. FBDO

Jane Ibbeson: Orthoptist. DBO

Where to find us

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

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

Contact us

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

Tel: 01392 406037

Email: rde-tr.optometrysecretaries@nhs.net 

Community services

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

Children and young people

We work closely with the paediatric ophthalmology team and orthoptic department to provide glasses, contact lenses, and low vision support for children as appropriate.


Optometry General Clinic – OPTGN
Patients are referred from internal clinicians, GPs or Opticians. This clinic is specifically for refractions, Marfan’s ocular screening, providing and looking after patients with specialist contact lenses. All of our Optometrists and Specialist Optometrists work within this clinic.

Scleral Contact Lens Clinic – OPTSL
This clinic is for patients who wear scleral contact lenses. Louise Frost and Kieran Loft run this clinic and look after the patients.

Ectasia Monitoring Clinic – OPTEM
Patients with Keratoconus and corneal problems are referred to this clinic from the Consultant Corneal Clinic. All our Optometrists and Specialist Optometrists also work in this clinic.

Low Visual Aid Clinic – OPTLO
This clinic provides support to patients with 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. Referrals to this clinic can be made internally, by a GP and also by an Optician. Our Specialist Optometrists Elizabeth Sullivan, Louise Mason and James Isaac and Jane Ibbeson, Orthoptist, run these clinics.

Dispensing Service – OPTDO
Laura Kelly our Dispensing Optician runs this service for patients, mainly children, with particular prescription needs. Referral to the Dispensing Service is internal only.

DVLA Visual Field Clinic – OPTLA
This Clinic runs once a month with James Isaac. 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.


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