Bristol & Weston Hospitals Charity has funded higher qualifications for staff at the Bristol Eye Hospital (BEH).

The funding enabled current members of the BEH optometry department to obtain specialist College of Optometrists-approved qualifications.

These qualifications demonstrate that staff have competence, skills and experience above and beyond standard professional registration and qualifications that are directly applicable to their work at BEH.

Kate Powell, Optometry Education and Research Lead at BEH, said: "The grant that Bristol & Weston Hospitals Charity has kindly provided has been a huge boost as we strive to support each member of the optometry team to develop their career. It has already helped fund many members of the team achieve a range of nationally accredited higher qualifications and continues to do so. 

This investment in our team not only helps individual staff members feel supported and valued therefore improving job satisfaction and staff retention, but also helps the team develop collectively, adapting to changes in service requirement. Ultimately these benefits help us as we strive to provide the best care for our patients, and we are hugely grateful for the charity's support.

Higher qualifications demonstrate that optometrists holding them are able to provide higher-quality patient care with greater levels of autonomy by staff that are trained and qualified to a level above and beyond that provided by those with 'typical' optometric training. Qualifications are selected as of direct relevance to their clinical duties.

These qualifications identify individuals as specialists in their specific clinical roles. They are not a prerequisite of staff members’ professional registration, or of initial NHS appointment, but show high additional value by demonstrating and accrediting additional knowledge, skills and experience in areas of practice that are extended role in nature, beyond 'core competence'.

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