NIOS President Richard Gilmour and Council Members would like to congratulate Sinead McGurk and Patrick Richardson on their recent awards.  Richard said, “A fantastic achievement and well deserved, and it’s great to see the skills of local optometrists represented and acknowledged.”


Sinead McGurk Opticians received the Practice of the Year award in recognition of its outstanding clinical care and a strong focus on the patient journey.  Commenting on the accolade, Practice owner and Optometrist, Sinead McGurk said: “It’s an absolute honour to be a winner in the AOP Awards 2018.  We never dreamed that we, as a practice in rural Northern Ireland, would be at this pinnacle.  I’m very proud and grateful for all of the hard work put in by everyone.  I regard our awards as being a positive for Optometry in NI.  It is an accreditation of our ethos, and also of our dedication to practicing our chosen profession at the highest standard.  I am proud to have brought this home to Co Derry.”


Patrick Richardson has been named Lecturer of the Year 2018.  Lecturer and Clinical Director at Ulster University, Patrick Richardson, uses an evidence based approach to bring optometry to life and prepare students for practice.  Having worked part-time in three academic departments and a large teaching hospital, Patrick says his clinical experiences play a central part in his teaching, explaining: “I believe my main role is to take my experience to the students and make them understand the direct links between a theoretical knowledge of optics and clinical work.”


Patrick added, “I appreciated the support that I had from the profession within NI.  It is good to have NI represented in the wider picture and lift our profile.”