My name is Sarah Gibson and I own and manage Sarah Gibson Optometrist, an independent optical practice in Wincanton. I graduated from University of Wales College of Cardiff (UWCC) in 1993 with a BSc Hons. in Ophthalmic Optics and undertook a year of compulsory pre-registration training in an independent practice in Bristol before passing my professional qualifying examinations in 1994. I regularly attend conferences to keep up to date with advances in Optics and, like all my professional colleagues, undertake regular continued education and training.

Member: The College of Optometrists

The practice has been in Wincanton since 1996 when it was opened, as Eyetech Opticians, in what was once the Sports Shop. Eyetech Opticians is a small partnership which owns and runs several independent practices, mainly in the South West. I worked for Eyetech for 10 years as a mobile optometrist covering several practices, including Wincanton, before making the rather scary decision to go it alone....

I bought the practice in May 2004 and changed the name to Sarah Gibson Optometrist shortly afterwards. In 2015 we updated our computer software and our records are now fully computerised.

We use online lens ordering where possible which means that the lens laboratories start work on your new spectacles almost as soon as you leave the practice. This means that your new spectacles are ready even quicker.

We are also a Varilux Consultant practice, meaning that we source the majority of our lenses from one of the world's leading lens companies, Essilor, but we retain our Independent status in that we can order from any laboratory that we choose if a different lens is more suitable.

(Comfortable chairs and children's play area)

The practice has undergone some significant changes since May 2004 with the introduction of computerised test charts, a revamp of the waiting area and the introduction of a children's play area in 2004 and the purchase of a digital fundus camera in 2005 and our first Optical Coherence Topography (OCT) scanner in 2010. The OCT scanner was updated for a fully integrated model in 2015.

I am keen to promote a high standard of eye-care and the practice aims for clinical excellence in everything that it undertakes. To help us achieve the highest standards of eye-care more advanced clinical equipment is on the shopping list.

The practice offers an eye-care scheme through EyeplanTM and members benefit from significant savings on spectacles and contact lenses plus free eye care, including OCT scans.

Because we are independent we can fit and supply all types of contact lenses and I am a registered Chromagen TM practitioner. We are not limited to specific manufacturers and can choose to stock and supply whichever brands of spectacle frames and lenses we choose.

We now employ two Dispensing Opticians, Jo & Katie G, and three Front-of-House staff, Laura, Sarah BA and Katie T. They assure me that without them the place would grind to a halt and nothing would get done! They are probably right...