Cardiff Optometrist attends NHS celebration at Downing Street

9 July 2018

Downing street image

Last week, Dr Barbara Ryan, Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes at the School of Optometry, received a last-minute invitation to a reception at 10 Downing Street to celebrate 70 years of the NHS. The intimate celebration was held by the Prime Minster on the eve of the NHS’s milestone birthday with a select few NHS staff in attendance.

In her speech at the event, Prime Minister Theresa May described the celebration as a “very special birthday of a very special institution; In a world that has changed almost beyond recognition.”

Barbara was honoured to be invited to such a prestigious ceremony, however, she nearly didn’t make it! “Originally I thought the invitation was a scam, explained Barbara, “so I reported it to Downing Street -they immediately replied and said that it was real!”

There were attendees from all parts of the UK and all parts of the NHS who were told that each person represented 8000 people in their specialism.

Barbara who has worked in hospital and community optometry, WOPEC Cardiff University and Welsh Government said ' it was a real privilege to be invited to celebrate the NHS because it is an institution I truly believe in. It was great to meet fellow health care professionals and support staff. Best of all was the fact that Theresa May, in her speech, mentioned optometrists alongside doctors and dentists.”

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