One of the leaders behind Scotland’s drive to achieve the highest standards of eyecare in the world is to receive an OBE in the 2019 Queen’s New Year’s Honours.
Lifelong Edinburgh resident Donald Cameron, 64, was delighted to learn that he had been nominated by colleagues for the prestigious honour in recognition of his services to Scottish eyecare.
Donald was one of three leading optometrists who formed Optometry Scotland, the profession’s organisation which lobbied the Scottish Government and successfully negotiated the landmark Scottish General Ophthalmic Services Contract 2006, resulting in higher service levels and free eyecare for all in Scotland.
Donald was managing director of Cameron Optometry in St Vincent Street, which was one of the first in the UK to invest in and develop new imaging and interpretative technology.
This specialism was further developed as he was concurrently a practising hospital optometrist, working at eye clinics and managing patients at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion
In 2002, Donald was elected to the General Optical Council in London and began discussions with the UK Government for safe optometry prescribing of therapeutic drugs. This resulted in optometrists having access to all drugs used in the treatment of eye disease and the ocular adnexa. This continues to be supported by the fully funded Independent Therapeutic Prescribing Course at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Donald, a father to Ian and Lorna and husband to Libby, was one of the first to pass the exam in 2009 and prescribe eye medication – a significant step in the clinical practice and professional responsibilities of optometrists.
In 2010, he established the first UK Teach and Treat clinic in Edinburgh. Patients with acute eye disease were seen and treated by optometrists under the supervision of a consultant ophthalmologist.
His most significant educational achievement came in 2014 with his founding of a Masters online course in Primary Care Ophthalmology for optometrists through the University of Edinburgh Medical School. A second course was created in 2015 and the courses jointly have over 80 global students, winning the Queen’s Award for Education the same year.
Donald said: “Being named on the Queen’s Honours List is a real privilege. I can’t count the number of wonderful people who have helped me along the way and helped build what is now Optometry Scotland– the OBE is a testament to them as much as me.
“It’s also a great honour for optometry in Scotland. It shows that we’re making significant progress and our efforts are being recognised more widely.”
Samantha Watson, chair of Optometry Scotland, said: “Today, Scottish optometry is leading the world in the design and delivery of community eyecare.”