Meet our Team
Staff Roles at Oakwood
An Optometrist (formerly known as an ophthalmic optician) performs the eye examination. This is more than just a vision check, it involves assessing the health of your eyes, prescribing glasses and contact lenses where necessary.
Optometrists have extensive training for at least four years and must be registered with the General Optical Council (GOC), the governing body. As well as performing eye examinations, Oakwood Eyecare optometrists fit contact lenses. The practice offers more specialist services, such as home visits and orthokeratology.
Your Optometrists at Oakwood
Liz Jackson – BSc (Hons), MCOptom
Liz went to Aston University and qualified as an Optometrist in 1991. Having worked in hospitals, independent and multiple environments for a few years before opening Oakwood Eyecare Centre with her husband, Tom in 1994. She loves her gadgets so was in her element when we got the OCT eye scanner in 2013. Liz is known for her caring nature, she excels with young and old alike, but this is why having the “time” to spend with her patients is vital. Liz is responsible for all the practice admin, accounts and processes. She has also led many charity trips abroad to Africa and India testing eyes with Vision Aid Overseas (VAO). In her spare time, Liz is an avid reader and loves cooking.
Tom Jackson – BSc (Hons), MCOptom
Tom went to Aston University and qualified as an Optometrist in 1990. He worked as a locum in an independent and multiple environment before opening Oakwood Eyecare. Tom is known for his thorough and patient nature and does the majority of the home visits for all practices. He is also responsible for marketing at Oakwood. As health and safety lead and a varifocal wearer he has a good understanding of the needs of VDU users, whether at home or at work. Tom has also done a VAO trip to Africa testing eyes. He particularly appreciates working in his own independent practice so he can give the care he feels his patients deserve. In his spare time Tom will be found in the garden or singing; or often both!
Charlotte Wainwright – BSc (Hons), MCOptom
We are pleased to welcome Charlotte to the team, she started working in 2009 as a Saturday girl, developed an interest in Optics and has since completed her degree in Optometry at Cardiff University. She then returned to us full time in 2015 for her Post Graduate studies. Now fully qualified, she is covering Laura’s maternity leave from December 2016.
Laura Durand – BSc (Hons), MCOptom – On Maternity leave from December 2016
Laura worked during holidays while studying Optometry at Bradford University and she did her pre-reg with Oakwood. She successfully graduated in 2007 and moved to join the Oakwood Team. Laura helped set up the Ortho K contact lens system and also covers all aspects of testing – including home visits. She is part of the Derbyshire Childrens Screening Programme and laughter is a common sound emanating from her test room. Laura is also responsible for clinical governance ensuring we always monitor and exceed the regulatory requirements. She loves working with people every day and no two days are ever the same, with different people and challenges each day. Laura also enjoys coming across new and interesting cases. In her spare time she does amateur dramatics and singing.
Your Dispensers at Oakwood
When you need glasses the dispensers are trained to provide you with the most suitable lenses, coatings and frames for your requirements. They will measure the distance between your pupils and give you advice on the best use and how to care for your glasses. To make sure your glasses work as well as possible they also consider the length of the side, angle of the front and bow of the frame.
Elaine – Senior Optical Assistant
Elaine has worked in opticians from the age of 16 and started at Oakwood Eyecare from it’s opening in 1994, having worked previously with Liz at another practice, She has probably dispensed most of our patients at one time or another. With over thirty years of dispensing experience, Elaine has seen all the changes in frame styles and lens design – nothing can shock her! This experience is such a benefit for continuity of care and she has a following of patients who have seen her for years. Elaine has been a cricket widow for many a year now! She enjoys meals out, socialising with family, friends and holidays abroad.
The Dispensing Opticians
Andy Farrall – FBDO
Started with us in May 2016, he qualified as a dispensing optician having studied at both the Bradford and London colleges back in 1989. He has worked in multiple and independent environments with over 18 years experience. Much preferring the independents to spend time with each patient as an individual. He is also a seasoned varifocal wearer and so can lend an empathetic ear to getting the best use out of your glasses. In the past Andy has done school visits and presentations for the community. In his spare spare time Andy loves popular science ,reading, digital arts and plastering to name a few .
Meghan Spencer – FBDO
Meghan started at our Oakwood practice in 2007 as a “Saturday girl” and went on to become a Dispensing Optician. She now proudly manages our Kimberley branch. Meghan’s favourite part of her job is getting to work with a variety of very different people and advising patients on the best products available to them. To her no one day is ever the same as the previous one and she thrives on its diversity. In her spare time she enjoys family, friends, cinema and walking with her dog.
Ben Donkin – BSc (Hons). FBDO
Ben started with us in Aug 2016 – With a broad insight into the world of optics, Ben understands the importance of patient care and professionalism. When he isn’t helping people find the perfect pair of glasses, you might find him at your local pub singing and playing guitar in his band, or out in the hills of the peak district exploring with his dog!
Lesley Pass – FBDO
Lesley joined us in 2010 having worked for independent and multiple chains. She qualified as a Dispensing Optician in 1997. She has a keen interest in the latest products, especially spec lenses, researching how they address previous limitations to make sure we have a complete repertoire for all situations. Lesley has been in Optics for over twenty years and enjoys finding the best products for individual patients to help achieve a happy customer. She enjoys days out with her daughter in her spare time.
Optical assistants work under the direction of the practice manager and make up a vital part of the practice team. They ensure that any necessary paperwork is completed before you see the optometrist, are highly trained and can advise on suitable glasses and lenses. They will often instruct you on how to use your contact lenses safely and perform the pre-screening tests which are then looked at by the optometrist.
Carla has worked in opticians practices since leaving school in 2004 and with us from 2013. She has an administrator role and also helps patients choose glasses so “no two days are the same”. She enjoys socialising with family and friends as well as reading, swimming and going on occasional Spa days. In her spare time Carla spends evenings in with her partner and 2 step children.
Nic started working with us in 2016 and enjoys learning new things every day. She had no previous optical experience before joining the team as she worked in a bank for 10 years before going on maternity leave. Her daughter Amelia was born in 2015 and now takes up most of her time. She also enjoys taking Amelia to the farm and swimming. Nic enjoys catching up with friends over a takeaway and a glass of fizz.
Sam has worked in Optics since she left college in 2007. After working at both little independents and multiples practices she now has an NVQ in Optics. She had a year out to have her baby boy, Cole in 2016 who is now her world. Since then she has worked here at Oakwood one day a week as an Optical Assistant / Pre-Screener.
Contact Lens Department
In 2016 we rotated some other roles at Oakwood so Myrilla and Angela now both work upstairs in the office. Their focus is making our contact lens systems run smoothly. Even though you might not see them they will often answer calls, book appointments and deal with other patient queries
Angela has been with us since 2005 as an Optical Receptionist. She keeps the appointment book in order- not a mean feat when co-ordinating the twenty+ types of appointments you can make with us! Known for her calm and organised approach, reception is a well-oiled machine. She enjoys the variety of work and is always willing to take on new challenges.
Myrilla started here as an Optical Receptionist in 1996 and has seen us through many changes as we have grown from a seeing very few after building the premises to a database of over twenty thousand patients. According to Myrilla the best part of her days at work is seeing people come back to the practice for our professional services year after year. She is renown for her attention to detail at work and in her spare time started producing artwork in 2012 (initially with help from the practice “worklife balance” fund). She enjoys spending time with family and friends, going for meals, to the cinema and concerts.
Administrators support the practice management and are essential with the day to day running of the business. They deal with suppliers, marketing and by doing this free up more time for opticians to spend with patients.
Emily started working with us in 2006 as Receptionist, she has since worked at our Alvaston practice for a couple of years and then moved back to Oakwood full time to take over the Admin for our group (Oakwood, Alvaston and Kimberley Opticians) in 2012. When not at work Emily spends time working with her local Brownie & Guides units and enjoys time with her daughter Ellie!