Minister keeps an eye on world-first Optometry Education Centre
20 January 2012
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Lesley Griffiths, has visited the first postgraduate education centre for optometry in the world – based in Cardiff.
The Welsh Optometric Postgraduate Education Centre (WOPEC) is accommodated within the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences at Cardiff University.
The Centre provides a dedicated facility for eye care education, a wide range of postgraduate courses, and short courses for eye care professionals. It also provides the flexible training and accreditation for optometrists in Wales to support the Welsh Eye Care Initiative (WECI), which aims to preserve sight through the early detection of eye disease and to give help to those who have low vision and whose sight is unlikely to improve.
The Welsh Government’s support means the School of Optometry can deliver all of the training and accreditation to the 450 optometrists across Wales who are responsible for implementing the Initiative.
Lesley Griffiths said: “The Welsh Government’s continued commitment to fund WOPEC’s work to implement the Wales Eye Care Initiative means eye patients across Wales can get the best treatment.
“There are two key aims of WECI, the first to preserve sight through the early detection of eye disease and the second to provide help to those who have visual impairment for which further treatment is not appropriate.
“WOPEC provides a dedicated facility for eye care education for a diverse range of optometrists, related professionals, healthcare commissioners and companies in the UK, Europe and across the globe and is yet another example of Wales leading the way in health care.”
Head of Cardiff University's School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Professor Tim Wess said: "Cardiff University is pleased to work in partnership with the Welsh Government to support the development of WOPEC. It is having an obvious impact, bringing education for optometrists in line with other health care professionals to ultimately ensure excellence in eye health care."