With the upcoming reform to Welsh healthcare, all optometrists looking to work in Wales will need to be accredited through Eye Health Examination Wales (EHEW).
Priya Patel is a locum optometrist who practises in Specsavers stores throughout the UK. She shares her experience of the process to become registered to practise in Wales.
‘I have been a qualified optometrist for 23 years and have worked for Specsavers in New Zealand as a director, as well as running projects and clinical training in the UK as a permanent member of the team. After Covid, I decided to work as a locum – although only for Specsavers practices as I just love everything the company stands for.
I’m from Birmingham originally and I try to choose practices along the coastal lines as it’s an opportunity to see other parts of the country that I haven’t seen. I really enjoy going to stores where I can be booked for blocks of time, to get to know the team and customers. Especially in the summer, when I can go and visit mountains, national forests, or the beach on my days off. It works well and there’s a lot of demand.
It’s easier than you may think
Wales has always appealed to me because of the variety of city, coastal, and rural locations to work in and the broad range of patient pathology that will bring. When I first looked at the Welsh registration and EHEW accreditation I thought it looked very long-winded, but it was actually very straightforward.
If you’re thinking of starting the registration gather all the information you need beforehand: your personal details, work history, qualifications, and degree certificate – I had to get my DBS renewed however even that was just a quick zoom call showing my ID to renew it. It was really easy, and I received it within seven days because the link they provide is connected to the application for Welsh registration, so it’s sort of fast-tracked.
Don’t delay, it’s not as daunting as you think it is. I’m excited about the availability of work in Wales and the opportunity to learn about Welsh practise. Locum work is a great way to test an area you may want to move to.’
We’ve just launched our new ‘Locate a locum app’ making booking your locum shifts even easier.