Optical Express invests over £3m in new Belfast eye clinic

Claire Hanna MP has officially opened a new Optical Express eye clinic and treatment centre in central Belfast, improving access to eye care in the city and across Northern Ireland.

Eye care experts, Optical Express have invested over £3 million into the new facility – one of the largest investments the company has made in a single clinic. The clinic will bring the latest eye care technology to the city, and will create new highly skilled, specialist jobs in the area as the company recruits new members to join its expert clinical team.

Optical Express is the UK’s only complete eye care provider and the leading private provider of laser eye surgery, lens replacement, and cataract treatment. Having established their first treatment clinic in Belfast over 20 years ago, the provider has a long-term commitment to the city and the new state of the art surgery clinic in Belfast city centre will meet growing patient demand for both its private and NHS/HSC services.

It is anticipated that the new clinic will treat patients on HSC waiting lists, in addition to private patients. Both HSC and privately funded treatments at the clinic will alleviate demand on existing local NHS/HSC services at a time when they have come under increased pressure due to COVID-19.

The clinic has the capacity to significantly reduce eye care waiting times in the city, particularly for those in need of cataract surgery. Cataracts worsen over time and can cause blindness without proper care, meaning timely treatment is vital. If left untreated, patients with cataracts are at risk of losing their independence, unable to undertake many everyday tasks which can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing.

Claire Hanna, MP for Belfast South, said:

“As Belfast recovers from the pandemic, it’s great to see businesses like Optical Express investing in the city. It was a pleasure to meet the Optical Express team and hear about the work they do to support HSC and private patients in Belfast. Increasing access to community healthcare is a priority in Northern Ireland, and this new clinic will make an important contribution to that goal.”

Optical Express CEO and Founder, David Moulsdale, said:

“Optical Express has looked after patients’ eye care in Belfast for over 20 years and this new treatment clinic is an exciting next step for us in the city. We want to play our part in supporting the city’s recovery from the pandemic, through investment in a new clinic and new jobs, as well as helping to reduce the backlog for ophthalmic care on the HSC.

“As part of our nationwide investment plan, we’re aiming to retain and attract the very best local talent, and are recruiting for a variety of roles, including ophthalmic surgeons, optometrists and clinic managers, across the country.”

The clinic is offering every patient a free consultation for laser, lens replacement and cataract surgery which includes a comprehensive eye health check, using the latest diagnostic equipment.

The Optical Express clinic team will educate patients and the wider public on the many benefits, particularly environmental, of vision correction surgery and ultimately help reduce the carbon footprint created by the eye care industry. Optical Express’s own research shows that every year in the UK alone, over 750 million contact lenses are thrown down the drain or into landfill, leading to a build-up of microplastics in our oceans [1], and the carbon footprint created by the manufacturing, shipping and supply of glasses is significant. Like all Optical Express clinics, the new Belfast clinic will also provide a specialist recycling station for plastic contact lenses and their packaging. 

[1] Optical Express survey of 3,104 Contact Lens wearers. 2016 ABDO statistics.

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