Bedford sees new era in practice ethos

Hemel Hempstead, UK – The grand opening of optometrist Jude Edwards’ new practice in Bedford was an opportunity to share his excitement with the local community.

HEALTHY U, is designed to be much more than a place for eye examinations and specs, believes Jude, who has been planning his new business for two years.

“Being an independent optometrist I have had free reign to put all my ideas into practice and am looking to change the mould of High Street eye care: clinical excellence linked to education, with plenty of co-operation with other healthcare providers,” he said.

He is investing for the future, with a Heidelberg Engineering SPECTRALIS® to build business around the management and monitoring of patients with chronic conditions.

“The SPECTRALIS fits in well with the modern design of the practice and the way we are aiming to catch conditions early and monitor patients with a family history of glaucoma or AMD. The 4D capability of the SPECTRALIS is wonderful for this. I went on a course at Heidelberg in Hemel Hempstead and instantly fell in love with the technology – it fits in very well with our business.”

Jude is committed to the technology, offering free SPECTRALIS Eye Health Checks throughout the open day, along with lunch and mocktails. Visitors also heard Emily Malbon of Heidelberg Engineering speaking about the benefits of the SPECTRALIS Eye Health Check.

The 2,000 sq foot practice is in the upmarket St Peter Street area and so Jude is optimistic about footfall for the new venture. He won’t be leaving anything to chance, though, as the former Specsavers franchisee has a clear plan of action.

The lounge doubles up as a 20 seat seminar room and Jude will be drawing on his experience as a writer and presenter of many optical lectures to educate patients. No less than nine 40” TV screens around the practice are set to entertain and educate patients at every turn.

“I aim to have the best selection of children’s frames in Bedford, and to make children very welcome with their own seating area, a magnetic puzzle wall, and cartoons on TV. I’ll be running lectures for mums with tots telling them the key milestones for their children’s vision and what to look out for. The seminar room will also be very useful for regular diabetic and AMD talks,” he said.

Jude, who qualified 14 years ago at Anglia Ruskin as an optometrist, is also a qualified nurse, dispensing optician and contact lens practitioner.

Despite several other Bedford practices Jude is not concerned about competition:

“There are 176,000 people living in the town and many more come into the area to work – there are plenty of patients for us all. The fact that we have ample parking just 40 seconds away is another bonus.”

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