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Submitted by anonymous on 26/02/2015

A businesswoman from Bristol has made it through to the finals of a prestigious national business award.

Lynne Fernandes, an optometrist who runs three successful practices across Bristol and Nailsea, has been shortlisted for Optometrist of the Year in the Optician Awards 2015.

The annual Optician Awards are run by Optician magazine, the leading journal for eye care professionals in the UK and the leading provider of continuing education and training for the profession. With 17 separate categories, the awards are designed to recognise and reward excellence, as well as honouring those in the profession who have made an outstanding contribution to eye care and retail optics.

Lynne says, "I am absolutely delighted to make it through to the final of the Optician Awards 2015. The organisers received more than 200 entries this year and the standards were exceptionally high. I'd like to congratulate all the other finalists - just to get this far is so rewarding. It means so much to me, as it is recognition of my absolute commitment to my profession and my patients. Obviously I'm keeping everything crossed for 18 April, when the winners will be announced!"

The Optometrist of the Year award is designed to recognise the optometrist who has best used their optometric skills to enhance the lives of patients, colleagues and the community. This includes clinical techniques, interaction with other practice staff and, most importantly, patients. The judges shortlisted those entrants they felt demonstrated true commitment to patient care and who have made an effort to further the eye care of their patients and enhance their practice's reputation.

Lynne owns and manages three optometry practices in Nailsea, in Knowle and on the Gloucester

Road in Bristol. She has been practising in Bristol for more than 15 years and is passionate about helping patients obtain the best vision and eye health. Lynne's philosophy puts high quality dispensing and clinical optometry at the heart of her business.

Her teams offer value for money, personal service and the highest quality products, and at each practice the focus is on developing links with the local community and improving eye care services. Her teams are known in the local eye care community as problem solvers, helping patients who have been unable to get on elsewhere. They regularly receive referrals from GPs and the Bristol Eye Hospital.

As well as keeping up to date with latest research, clinical information and eye wear, Lynne works to deliver the best eye care through developing her practice teams and through her roles with the Local Optical Committee, Bristol Eye Hospital, the Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Local Professional Network.

Lynne also promotes optometry at secondary school careers fairs and takes students on work experience. She organises primary school visits to her practices, to educate children, teachers and parents about the importance of looking after their vision and having regular eye examinations.

The winners of the Optician Awards will be announced at presentation ceremony and awards dinner on 18 April 2015 at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham.

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