Nick Herbert joins 'open session' at local opticians

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert visited a local opticians practice on Friday afternoon (12 February) to view some of the latest technology available for diagnosing eye conditions.

Mr Herbert was the principal guest at an ‘open session' event organised by optometrist Martin Steels of Arundel.

The MP was given a tour of the practice to see the range of specialist equipment available and listened to the concerns of staff and patients about the future of optometry in England.

Mr Herbert was also given an eye examination by Mr Steels using a ‘fundus' camera that took digital images of his retinas and displayed them on a computer screen.

With branches in Arundel, Storrington and Emsworth, Martin Steels Limited is an independent opticians providing sight testing and dispensing services.  It also has the latest equipment for digital retinal imaging, glaucoma screening and colorimetry.

Martin Steels commented: "The open session was a great success and I'm delighted that our local MP Nick Herbert was able to join us.  It was a good opportunity to demonstrate the skills that UK optometrists possess which could be used to far greater effect in reducing the numbers of patients currently swamping hospital eye departments up and down the country.  

"I hope everyone who attended the event will have gone away with a better understanding of the work we do to improve the health of our patients and spot any potential problems early on."

Nick Herbert commented: "It was great to meet up with Martin Steels and his team who I know provide an excellent service for the local community in Arundel and Storrington.  It was interesting to see some of their new equipment for diagnosing eye conditions and to hear about the opportunities for providing services for patients closer to home.  There is a lot of expertise in some of these small local practices and it's a reminder that big isn't always best."

Mr Herbert added: "It was fascinating to see the detailed images of my retinas taken with the fundus camera.  I was especially pleased to be told that they were in good shape!"

Mr Herbert was joined at the event by Mayor of Arundel Wendy Eve, Arundel Town Councillors Colin Heriot, Michael Godfrey and Bill Beere, Chairman of the West Sussex Local Optical Committee Lynn Stacey and representatives of 4Sight (West Sussex Association for the Blind), the Macular Disease Society and Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).



Notes for Editors

1. The ‘open session' was held at Martin Steels Limited, Optometrist & Contact Lens Practitioner, 39 Tarrant Street, Arundel, West Sussex BN18 9DG. For their website, visit

2. For the website of 4Sight (West Sussex Association for the Blind), visit

3. For the website of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), visit

4. For the website of the West Sussex Local Optical Committee, visit

5. For the website of the Macular Disease Society, visit

Christopher N Howarth