A new eye clinic, open to the public, is coming to the University of Huddersfield after a pioneering collaboration with independent chain Valli Opticians.
In what is thought to be a unique enterprise and the first of its kind in optometry education in the UK, the clinic will offer a full range of services from eye examinations to the supply of spectacles and contact lenses.
Valli Opticians is a Huddersfield-based independent chain run by managing director Moin Valli. The group has 15 practices including branches in Meltham, Honley, Almondbury, Netherton, Lockwood and Slaithwaite.
To be called University Valli Opticians, the new eye clinic is a partnership between Valli and the university’s Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences.
It will be open to the public and university staff and students and its primary purpose is to offer optometry students at Huddersfield an unparalleled learning experience.
Well established within local communities, Valli has grown to offer a range of health care services including audiology, co-optic eye care for business and children’s vision screening.
Mr Valli said: “At Valli, we are committed to bringing back a sense of care by building long lasting relationships and actively seeking out opportunities to engage with the community through local initiatives.
“We are delighted to be collaborating in this innovative way with the University of Huddersfield, which will shape the future of optometry students by giving them substantial real-life clinical and commercial experiences of working in a proper optometry practice.
“I believe this is a fantastic unique selling point for the University of Huddersfield BSc (Hons) Optometry course.”
University Valli Opticians comprises an extensive suite of state-of-the-art computerised equipment for eye examinations and specialist vision assessments including imaging equipment.
Patients will also be able to choose from a range of contemporary spectacle frames and will be provided with a full fitting and aftercare service.
Students studying on the optometry programme at the university will gain real world experience working in the clinic whilst being supervised by experienced members of staff throughout.
Prof John Siderov, head of the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, said he was delighted to work alongside Valli and added: “By working together to develop the field of optometry, University Valli Opticians will benefit the wider community, enhance the student experience and provide placement and employment experiences for students.”