The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


Welcome to the Optometry department

The Optometry department is the largest provider of specialist hospital Optometry services in the Yorkshire region.

At present our team is made up of nineteen full time and part time Optometrists, one pre-registration optometrist and two dispensing opticians as well as a small administrative support team. There is more information about our team on the meet the team web page 


Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are once again providing optometry clinics in the eye clinic in Chancellors wing having temporarily moved out on Monday the 6th of April 2020 to release space for the emergency department during the first National lockdown.

Due to continuing social distancing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements each clinician is seeing fewer patients in a clinical session and we are continuing with telephone assessments and follow ups for some patients where that remains appropriate.

Access to the Optometry office and dispensing area in Chancellors wing continues to remain limited at this time, however we  continue to provide telephone support as usual on 0113 2064742 for urgent queries

and through our email for non urgent queries.

We thank you for your understanding.



There is more information on the coronavirus on our Coronavirus web page


What we do

The Optometry department provides a range of specialist hospital optometry services to patients from Leeds, Yorkshire and from across the North of England.

The Optometry team consists of highly qualified optometrists and dispensing opticians who deliver a range of modern optometric core and enhanced services.

Non medical prescribing

The Optometry department has now supported the Consultant Optometrist, Principal Optometrist and nine of our Specialist Optometrists to gain Optometric independent prescribing qualifications. Allowing them to prescribe medication for eye patients in the Acute Referral (Eye Casualty) clinics, Glaucoma, Anterior segment clinics, Iritis, Medical retina and YAG laser clinics at the main eye clinic based at St. James's University Hospital as well as in Glaucoma clinics at Seacroft Hospital and clinics at Wharfedale Hospital.

There is more information on Optometric Independent prescribing on the Independent prescribing web page

Glaucoma, Medical Retina, Low Vision and Paediatric qualifications

All of our Specialist Optometrists now have higher qualifications related to the enhanced clinical roles they perform. These include diplomas and professional certificates in contact lenses, Glaucoma, Medical Retina, Low vision and paediatric eye care.

These form part of a range of post graduate higher qualifications developed by the College of Optometrists.

There is more information on Optometric higher qualifications on the higher qualifications web page 


 Hospital Optometry

Consultant Optometrists and Heads of Optometry Services across the country discuss their experiences of a career in Hospital optometry in a video filmed by Optometry Tomorrow at the 2015 Hospital Optometrists Annual Conference.

Please note that this video will play from the Association of Optometrists YouTube site

Here is the YouTube video of Hospital optometrists talking about why they love Hospital optometry 

Dispensing service

We are the only hospital department in the Yorkshire area able to offer a specialised hospital based spectacle dispensing service to the Trust's Optometry and Ophthalmology patients, as such we also receive tertiary referrals for complex spectacle dispensing from other hospital eye departments around Yorkshire.

Please be aware that we are offering an appointment only dispensing service at present due to the present COVID-19 situation.

There is more information about our dispensing services on the dispensing opticians web page



Pre-Registration Optometrist

Our newest pre-registration optometrist began his thirteen month training contract with us at the beginning of September 2021 and has now successfully completed his first two external assessments as part of the PRP (pre-registration period). There has been a delayed start for all pre-registration optometrists last year and continuing into this year due to the suspension of the PRP  due to the on-going COVID-19 situation in 2020. 

Our previous pre-registration optometrist began her thirteen month training contract with us at the beginning of September 2020 and has now successfully completed her PRP and is now working for us as a Resident Optometrist.

Five of our previous Pre-Registration Optometrists having successfully completed their Pre-registration period (PRP) continued working for us as a qualified optometrist in our fixed term two year Resident Optometrist role. The Resident Optometrist post is designed to provide experience and opportunities to develop skills in enhanced optometric roles for newly qualified optometrists. This has allowed three of our colleagues to move on to permanent full time positions within the Hospital eye service in Optometry departments in the South East of England, the North East of England and Scotland. Whilst one of our previous Residents now has permanent part time sessions here at Leeds Teaching hospitals NHS Trust and at Calderdale Foundation NHS Trust.

In order to become a registered Optometrist you must successfully complete a degree in Optometry followed by a period of supervised training in an Optometry practice, with a number of assessments and a final practical examination.

The Optometry department at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is one of only a few hospital Optometry departments that employs a Pre-registration Optometrist annually. At present on a fixed term thirteen month training contract, usually from August to the end of September of the following year.

There is more information about our Pre-registration year on the Pre-registration Optometrist web page


IRIS award

Joshua Smith one of our Senior Dispensing Opticians was awarded an IRIS award, on the 2nd of December 2021, for his support for a patient in our Low Vision service.

The IRIS Award (Inclusive Recognition of Inspiring Staff) is an opportunity for patients or carers to say ‘thank you’ by sharing their story of how a member of our team has made a difference that they will never forget.

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Joshua Smith with his IRIS award

Low Vision service

We were pleased to be recognised for good practice in a recent healthwatch Leeds report in 2020  "Staff who work at the busy low vision clinics in both St. James's and Seacroft hospitals were helpful to patients."



Wetherby Eye Clinic wins National Opticians Award 

Appleson Optometrists/ Wetherby Eye Clinic have been awarded the prestigious national 2020 Opticians Award for Best Enhanced Optical Service.

The Enhanced Optical Service Award is given to the practice that has shown how it has responded to the challenge of providing enhanced community eyecare and specialist services within the NHS, through working with Clinical Commissioning Groups, the Hospital Eye Service and other providers.

Wetherby Eye Clinic was set up as a unique partnership between Appleson Optometrists and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, providing a community ophthalmology service in the practice, delivered in part by specialist optometrists with Higher Diplomas in Glaucoma and Independent Prescribing status. Patients can be seen locally rather than attending the hospital eye clinics.

The judges praised "a near flawless entry which highlighted methods the whole of the profession should be developing. This practice provided the widest range of enhanced services and works well with all allied professionals".

Owner and optometrist Paul Appleson received the award on behalf of the practice. "We are delighted to win the award, as it recognises the value of our innovative business model that doesn't rely on sales of products, bringing together the drive of the NHS to move services into the community, with utilisation of our higher specialist qualifications in the practice. Patients have really appreciated the convenience and quality of the service."

The clinic provides consultant led glaucoma and general ophthalmology services for patients in the Wetherby and North Leeds areas, as part of the Leeds Community Ophthalmology Network.

The video of the ceremony can be viewed at with this award showing at 28 mins 10secs.

For further information contact: Paul Appleson

Appleson Optometrists/Wetherby Eye Clinic

43 Market Place

Wetherby LS22 6LN

07855 289214