Andrew Bridges

Director of Professional Services

Andrew has worked for Leightons Opticians for 9 years first an optometrist and then as Manager of Professional Services, before becoming Director in July 2011. After qualifying as an Optometrist, Andrew developed his experience in a variety of different environments, within the Hospital Eye Service, in independent practice and for Boots Opticians.

Andrew helps to create and steer clinical standards and practices at Leightons, with a focus on continuous development, learning and improvement.

Favourite book: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Loves: He is a qualified rugby coach and referee.

Favourite contact lens : 1 Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal

Why did you choose to work for Leightons?

I first joined Leightons as a resident optometrist from Independent practice. My purpose was to gain wider experience and the professional support from a larger group. Back at that time there were limited progression options so having gained management experience elsewhere in the sector I returned to Leightons to have the opportunity to have both the freedom and responsibility to make a real difference and to lead some of the key clinical strategic developments to advance the company which was vital in modern optometric practice.

How does the culture of working at Leightons differ to other places?

It may be a cliché but within Leightons there really is a family culture throughout the business with an aim to nurture and grow all employees in every aspect of both personal and professional development. This ensures there is thriving culture across the board to deliver excellence in both clinical and customer care within every branch across the group and within the head office teams.

How does Leightons stay at the forefront of the optical industry?

Leightons stays at the forefront by investing in all our people and branches. The Leightons Academy has delivered training to over 200 of our employees to ensure everyone can all develop in a wide range of subject areas. We are investing in our branch infrastructure to create the right clinical and retail environments. We are also investing to expand and enhance our care clinical services from for example in recent times computerised clinical records and digital retinal photography, dry and watery eye clinical services and more recently investing in OCTs to provide a high standard level of clinical care in every Leightons branch.

We are continually researching and piloting a number of options to ensure the next developmental steps roll through to be vital components for quality and ranges of care, products and services evolve on a continual basis.

What do you value most about being a Leightons employee?

The key factor is having the freedom and permission to question, challenge and deliver on every aspect of the business – the answer to a question or suggestion is never no but rather to be challenged to demonstrate a return on investment be that quality of care and service or in pure profitability.