A NEWPORT optometrist has been nominated for a national award after exceptional patient praise.

Mike Watkins of Wanglers Opticians, is in the running for the ‘Optometrist of the year’ award as part of the Macular Society’s Awards for Excellence.

The nomination recognises his exceptionally good practice in the care of people with macular degeneration and is open to practitioners working in any environment.

Age-related macular degeneration and is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK.

Mr Watkins said: “When I first found out I had been nominated it came as a complete surprise and a bit of a shock.

“I have been in Optometry for 25 years and it was a bit overwhelming and humbling to find out that my name had been put forward.

“The rewarding part is knowing that as a director and team member of an independent opticians, we have the ability to change and adapt to the needs of the local community that has entrusted us with their eye care for over 54 years.”

Mr Watkins’ nomination will now be handed over to the judges, who will decide on the overall winners and present them with their awards at the Society’s annual London conference on September 27.

Mrs Pamela Chambers, who nominated Mr Watkins, said: “Mike Watkins is an exceptional optician.

“He knows a great deal about Macular Degeneration and spends a long time asking questions and listening to his patients.”

For information, advice or support concerning macular degeneration, contact the Macular Society’s helpline on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org