Staff at a Haverfordwest opticians are helping to fight the COVID-19 crisis by delivering the vaccine at a local vaccination centre.
Andy Britton, store director at Specsavers Haverfordwest and dispensing optician, Kate Hooper, recently completed their first shift at the vaccination centre in Tenby, administering it to about 60 people.
They responded to an advert by Optometry Wales and completed the training and accreditation provided by Hywel Dda University Health Board. The process included completing online learning modules in a range of topics such as life support, infection control and immunology. They also learned more about the Pfizer BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines as well as how to administer them, along with telephone interviews and formal inductions at Withybush Hospital.
Mr Britton and Ms Hooper aren’t the only optical staff in store doing what they can to tackle the virus. Optometrists Angharad Bowie and Owain Jones are also in the process of completing their training to be become accredited vaccinators in the next few weeks.
Mr Britton says:
“To be in a position to deliver this much-needed vaccine is a privilege.
“My colleagues always go above and beyond for our customers so while I can’t say I’m surprised they’ve volunteered, I am certainly proud.
“We are all passionate about serving our community as best we can and offering the best possible care to the people of Haverfordwest – and what better way to support the community than by doing our part to help deliver the vaccine that will eventually see the end of this pandemic.”
Mr Britton is no stranger to going to extra mile for his community. He has previously completed a postgraduate diploma that allows him to directly prescribe medication to his patients, significantly reducing the number of referrals to GP surgeries and hospitals, helping to ease the pressure on the NHS.
Last year, he was named a Fellow of Optometry at the College of Optometrists in recognition of his hard work and vast experience, and was only the third optician in Wales at the time to receive such an award.
Stores in Wales currently remain open for all eye and hearing needs. Specsavers will adhere to each country’s industry guidance if and when changes to local rules are made.
To find out more information, request an appointment or browse the online store, visit https://www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/haverfordwest