National Artificial Eye Service

Ocularist training in the United Kingdom

The National Artificial Eye Service is primarily a national NHS Service fitting and manufacturing artificial eyes.

We do not run courses on ocular prosthetics but can provide training in the two categories of artificial eye fitter (Orbital Prosthetist) and manufacturer (Ocular Technician).

Orbital Prosthetists (eye fitters) are involved with all the direct patient contact and the fitting and aftercare of artificial eyes.  Ocular Technicians are trained to manufacture artificial eyes at our central Laboratory at the NAES Headquarters in Blackpool.  This method of working is vital for us to maintain the required quality standards as providers of Medical Devices to the NHS.  The title ‘Orbital Prosthetist’ can only be used by those trained by the NAES.

Training takes place at our headquarters in Blackpool and various sites around England. This training leads to our own qualification as an Orbital Prosthetist and/or Ocular Technician, which is not awarded by a recognised certificating body as there is no nationally recognised governing body for Orbital Prosthetists and so our training has been developed to address the needs of our Service, taking into account the Clinical Governance issues that cover the whole of the National Health Service in England

The training of an Orbital Prosthetist (OP) can take anything from 3 to 5 years.  The initial training incorporating theory, bench courses and clinical practice under supervision and continual assessment takes 26 weeks. In addition, there are various theory workbooks to be completed, covering a range of subjects, including Health and Safety, Anatomy and Physiology, Quality, Infection Control, Materials used in Prosthetics, and Health Care and Law.  The trainee is also expected to write a Case Study, following a new case patient from initial appointment to the issue of their first mould eye.

Training for an Ocular Technician takes 9 months with bench and theory courses throughout and further mentoring as required.

Excellent colour definition is a pre-requisite for both professions and a good general education, communication skills and good time management are essential.

Costs for training can be confirmed on enquiry but do not include accommodation or travel.

For more information please contact Linda Marini-Cartmell, Patient Services Manager, NAES

Tel: 01253 651136