BBR optometrist Jessica MacIsaac (pictured) is working on developing a better eye care treatment plan for vulnerable groups of patients as part of her studies for a PhD at Aston University.
Jessica, who joined the Hereford-based practice in July 2015, having graduated from the University of Guelph in Canada with a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences, and from the University of Bradford with a first class honours BSc (Hons) Optometry in 2012, is now studying to become an Independent Prescriber.
As part of a three-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the Birmingham-based university, she is aiming to enhance BBR’s position as a practice of choice for delivering eye care to people with conditions such as Dry Eye, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and dementia.
Jessica said: “I am looking at the existing care pathways for these most at risk patients and seeing how they can be improved to provide better outcomes for them, including transferring them from hospital settings so they can instead be treated in high street practices such as BBR.
“This will be more cost-effective, reduce hospital waiting lists and ensure the people who most need treatment are seen more quickly.
“Once developed, the new pathway will then be embedded at BBR which will become a centre of excellence in treating sight issues for vulnerable patients.
“We are also going to develop an accreditation training package which will be jointly delivered by BBR and Aston University so other independent optometry practices can offer the same service,” she added.
Jessica has recently entered a poster competition where she has to illustrate her project. Her entry (pictured below) will be judged against other KTP associates from different disciplines at the University and winners will be announced in April.
BBR chairman Nick Rumney said: “As a company, we have always encouraged our staff to develop their skills and this is the second collaboration we have worked on with Aston University.
“Jessica has already passed module one of her Independent Prescribing course and I’m sure her work will result in real eye care benefits for those patients who are most at risk.
“Following our recent major refurbishment, we also now have a dedicated Dry Eye Assessment Room and will be offering specialist services in this field as well as developing other services to support vulnerable patients,” he added.