LOC Members


Chris Newall

Originally from Dover, Chris Studied Optometry at Aston and graduated in 1990. He has worked at Newcastle General Hospital, The Eye Clinic (Newcastle and Manchester) where he undertook Pre-op and Post-op laser refractive surgery consultations. Currently Director of Specsavers in Bridport, Chris enjoys general practice and diabetic retinal screening both photographic and Slit lamp biomicroscopy (undertaken at Bridport, Dorchester, Weymouth and Swanage). A member of the LOC since 2009, Chris took over as Chair in September 2012.


Jonathan Bedford

Jonathan studied at City University, qualifying in 1977 and is in independent practice in Bournemouth. He has a keen interest in Low Vision Services, Diabetes and Glaucoma, developing many of the shared care schemes that have now been adopted nationally. He has served on the Dorset LOC for over 20 years and is the AOP Local Secretary.

Jane Bell

Jane has been a member of Dorset LOC since 1990 and was Chair from 1994 to 2012, having lived & practiced in Dorset since 1980. Jane is a self employed optometrist with over 30 years experience in numerous different types of practice including multiple, hospital, health centre, independent optometry owned and dispensing owned practices. She has provided a Community Ophthalmology Service within a Medical Centre since February 2002.
The College of Optometrists Diploma in Therapeutics, Additional Supply, was awarded to Jane in July 2006 & Independent Prescribing in July 2010.
Jane was an examiner for the College of Optometrists from 1997-2006 and has been an AOP councillor since 2006, being elected as a director in 2009. Jane has worked for the LOC Support Unit as an advisor since January 2008. She has Chaired the Wessex Local Eye Health Network since June 2014; this is a strategic role encompassing eye health issues across Hampshire & Dorset.

Peter Beverley-Smith

Peter Chairs the Dorset LOC Paediatric sub-committee and has been a Self Employed Locum since January 2012. He was Ophthalmic Director at Specsavers Poole from October 1999-December 2011. Having a business background he returned to his studies in his mid thirties where he attended Aston University.

While at Specsavers he was a member of the in store test room software, (Socrates) development team, long serving regional IT user group representative, represented region on various forums, worked with PCT to set up electronic submission and practice based diabetic screening.

Jane Fisher

Jane has been in optics for 25 years, starting out as a dispensing optician before qualifying from Cardiff in 1997. Eleven years ago she moved to Dorset with her husband and two daughters. She lives in a very rural part of Dorset – six miles from the nearest shop.
She has worked for multiples, franchises and independents and has a good knowledge of the struggles and the successes in everyday practice.
She would like to represent the rural side of Dorset. She has been a member of the LOC for a few years now and is currently representing the LOC in a hard to reach sub group.

Grace Haine

Grace is a dispensing optician with her own practice in Stalbridge in Dorset. She has worked in optics for over 30 years for both independent and multiple practices.

She has had her practice for just over a year and is very interested in seeing more of a shared care role being developed in areas outside of Bournemouth and Poole, as the outskirts of the county can feel isolated to work in.

Helen Haslett

After doing her pre-reg with Boots Helen has worked in the independent and multiple sectors. She now works for Scrivens where she has been a pre-reg supervisor taking a general interest in training both professional and support staff. She is on the professional services committee for Scrivens and has shared responsibilities in peer review and companywide clinical audit.

Rob Jones

Rob studied Optometry at City University, London and graduated in 1997. His pre-reg position was in Portsmouth but he settled to the Bournemouth area in 1998, when he qualified. Rob started his own independent practice in 1999, where he spends most of his working week. He is also currently a pre-reg supervisor. He works at the Eye Unit at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital for one session a week, in the Glaucoma clinic where he sees new referrals and follow ups. Rob’s special interests are Glaucoma, Diabetes and contact lenses. He is also a retinopathy grader and accredited Slit Lamp Examiner for the local diabetic screening service.

Julian May

Julian qualified as a Dispenser in 1987 and was manager of a multiple practice for two years. He studied Optometry at City and qualified in 1993. Eighteen months after qualifying Julian bought and ran a franchise which he sold in November 2006. He opened his own independent practice in June 2007 and works there full time.

Louise Philp

Louise is a mother of two who has lived and worked in and around Bournemouth for the majority of her time since graduating in 1998. For the past 6 years she has been a resident optometrist in a high street Independent Practice. Prior to this she had several years experience working for multiples and a period working in the field of laser refractive eye surgery.

She is heavily involved in the Dorset Diabetic Eye Screening Programme both with capture and grading. She also partakes in green form glaucoma monitoring scheme, IOP refinement in Hampshire, DVLA visual field and acuity assessment, contact lens fitting and aftercare along with all general aspects of optometry practice including dispensing.

Maria Roberts

Maria was born and raised in Bournemouth. She has been involved in optics for the past 12 years starting out with a Saturday job at Vision Express whilst she was still at school. She knew she wanted to be an optometrist from a very young age. After training at Cardiff University she returned to Bournemouth VE to do her Pre-reg, qualifying in Jan 2009. She remained there for another 2 years as the only registered optometrist which was as steep learning curve especially overlooking a large team.

Two years ago she joined Ian Underwood at Perry’s working between Ferndown and Poole. She is involved with diabetic retinopathy screening, Low vision, DVLA and glaucoma monitoring. She is particularly passionate about children’s eye care and does coloured overlays, colorimetry and she is currently undergoing the School vision diploma. She would like to see all children having regular eye tests from a young age as difficulty with vision can be so detrimental to a child’s development and ability to learn and yet they won’t know to tell someone there is something wrong as they don’t realise it.

She has also been involved with Vision Aid Overseas on a trip to Zambia in 2011 to help those who really need it.

Ian Underwood

Graduating in 1986 from City, Ian completed his pre-reg with Melson Wingate. He worked in all types of practice as a locum until 2000 when he became a partner at Perry Optometrists. In practice Ian has a keen interest in the shared care schemes and also specialises in Colorimetry and reading difficulties. He has been a member of the LOC since 1990 and treasurer since 1993.