The Optometry team at the Royal United Hospital in Bath has made it to the finals of a national competition and now needs help from patients and the public to scoop the top prize.
The team is on the shortlist in the Hospital Optometry Team of the Year category in the Association of Optometrists (AOP) Awards 2020, which recognise the highest levels of achievement in UK optics.
Voting is now open and members of the public can cast their votes on who they think should take the top accolade.
The 2019 AOP Awards attracted more than 20,000 votes from both optical professionals and patients.
Head of Optometry Helen Broadbent said: “Making the shortlist in such a prestigious competition is a real honour.
“I hadn’t told the team that I’d submitted a nomination so when they found out we were one of the finalists it was a complete surprise for them, they couldn’t believe it.
“I’m so proud of all the team and how we’ve pulled together with a joint vision of delivering excellent patient care, while looking at innovative ways we can improve the service we offer our patients.
“In our awards category we are up against some really excellent teams like Moorfields Eye Hospital and Sheffield Children’s Hospital, so we’re trying to stay realistic about our chances – but if the public get behind us, you never know!”
Among the reasons for being shortlisted was the team’s introduction of a new virtual clinic for patients, which has helped to free up clinical space, streamline the service and cope with an ever-increasing number of patients – ophthalmology now sees the most outpatients of any speciality in the NHS.
AOP Chief Executive Henrietta Alderman said: “Many of our members will view providing high-quality eye care simply as the norm but the AOP Awards is great way to show that optometry, even the day-to-day, incorporates exceptional performance and tremendous passion.”
Members of the public can cast their vote, and find out more about the awards, by visiting www.aop.org.uk/awards before 5pm on Wednesday 18th December.
Results will be announced at a black-tie dinner on Sunday 26th January 2020.