Our Opticians

  • Mr Charles P Bill BSc MC Optom

    Charles graduated from Glasgow University in 1996 and followed in his mother’s foot steps by training with the Ophthalmic Department in Exeter, which is now part of The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. Charles still runs a paediatric clinic at Torbay Hospital and so if you are worried about your child’s eye sight we would recommend you book an appointment to see him.

    Charles is also meticulous when it comes to spectacle dispensing so if you have a strong prescription and have never been happy with your glasses Charles may well be able to solve your problems.

  • Mr James W Bill FBDO (CL)

    James first qualified as a dispensing optician in December 1993 and then went on to gain The Association of British Dispensing Opticians’ specific Contact Lens Practitioners qualification.

    Before returning to Devon James managed a number of prestigious practices in London’s West End. These including fashionable outlets in Covent Garden and Kings Road, as well as a Contact Lens Clinic in Wigmore Street, considered by many in the industry to be the home of optometry in Britain.

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    When it comes to contact lenses we are totally independent, this means we have an infinite range of contact lenses at our disposal – so whatever your prescription it is worth booking an appointment to see James, you may be surprised at the vision and comfort achieved with modern contact lenses.

  • Roland Ling BM, Bch (Oxford); FRCOphth

    Roland Ling read Medicine at Oxford University and qualified in 1994. He started his career in Ophthalmology in 1996 and had most of his ophthalmic training in the South West of England.

    In 2002 he was awarded a prestigious Retinal Fellowship in the University of Toronto, and spent a year specialising in Retinal Diseases in one of the top centres in North America. He returned to England in 2003 and was appointed Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon in Exeter.

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    Mr Ling performs Cataract surgery to a high standard using the latest small incisional technique and Intraocular Lens Technology. He also specialises in treating Retinal Disorders. He was the first Retinal Specialist in the South West Peninsula to introduce anti-VEGF treatment (Avastin and Lucentis) for Wet Age-Related Macula Degeneration (ARMD) and Retinal Vein Occlusions (RVO), and amongst the first in England to use Telescopic Intraocular Implant to treat Dry ARMD. He is an acknowledged expert in the treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy, and leads the Exeter and East Devon Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service.

    Mr Ling is a specialist Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon, and has bought innovative vitreo-retinal technologies to Exeter. He was the first Retinal surgeon in the South West Peninsula to transition to the 23-Gauge small incisional sutureless vitrectomy system, resulting in vast improvement for patient comfort and visual outcome in surgery for retinal detachment, macular holes and epiretinal membranes. The audited result of his Retinal surgery is consistently above that of National Standards.

    Mr Ling combines his consummate professional skills with his amiable personality. He is sensitive to the treatment needs of his patients, and place great emphasis in cultivating understanding and involvement of his patients in their treatments.

    Mr Ling is married with three children. He is keen amateur violinist in his leisure time, and enjoys making music with his children who are also budding young violinists.

  • Mrs Sarah Mansfield FBDO

    Sarah started her career with six years in two high street multiples and then moved to a family run independent in Dorset. Over the seventeen years she spent with them, Sarah managed three of their branches and attained fellowship as a Dispensing Optician in 2002. In 2013 she qualified as a Diabetic Eye Screener for the English National Programme which was enjoyed hugely as she has great interest in health and the eye including diabetes, blepharitis and dry eye.

    Moving back to Devon in 2016, Sarah feels proud to be able to practice within an ethical, highly experienced team, believing Independent practice provides the best care and greatest range of optical choices for patients.

  • Mrs Alex Wood FBDO

    Alex started her career in optics as a trainee Optical Assistant when she left school in 2002. After gaining experience in a busy high street multiple practice, she embarked on the distance learning course through the Association of British Dispensing Opticians at Godmersham Park and qualified as a Dispensing Optician in 2008.

    Alex is married with two children and works part-time in our Tiverton branch. She particularly enjoys the family-run nature of independent practice where she is able to build strong working relationships with patients and offer the most professional eye care.

  • Amy Shears BSc (Hons) FBDO

    Having worked in a number of multiple high street opticians, Amy began her journey with Bill Opticians in 2010 wanting to experience a more personalised, patient centred approach to optics. Amy’s passion for dispensing led her to enrol in the Dispensing Optician Degree Course through the Association of British Dispensing Opticians and Canterbury Christchurch University.

    Amy qualified in 2014 graduating with a First Class Honours Degree in Opthalmic Dispensing and is currently working out of our Tiverton branch.

    Amy has a keen interest in varifocal and occupational lens design so if you’re new to varifocals or are wanting spectacles for specific visual tasks, Amy can advise you on the best lenses to suit all your requirements.

  • Mrs Joanne Mitchell (Hons) MCOptom

    Joanne left Devon briefly to study Optometry at London’s City University.  She has been practicing locally for over ten years.  Joanne spends her time when not working as an Optometrist; bringing up her three young daughters with her husband.  She welcomes all types of patient, providing a thorough test to meet each and every individual need.

  • Mr Ian Pieterse B.Optom, RAU, M.Optom

    Ian qualified over 15 years ago and worked in South Africa before moving to London but has now settled in Devon with his wife.

    He enjoys the outdoor life that Devon has to offer, cycling and hiking in his free time.   He enjoys all aspects of optometry and finds giving patients a thorough eye examination and appropriate advice very rewarding.

  • Mr John Campbell BSc MC Optom

    John has been an optometrist for more than twenty years after graduating from Cardiff University with honours. For sixteen years he was a senior optometrists with Boots Opticians with the special responsibility of training their graduate students to become fully qualified optometrists.

    John is now working in our Newton Abbot and Dawlish practices with the emphasis on a more personal style of eyecare. He feels that the independent practice approach at Bill Opticians offers a superior service than the corporate spectacle retailing now found on most high streets.

  • Miss Karolina Jablonka BSc (Hons) FBDO

    Karolina is a Dispensing Optician based in our Dawlish practice. She joined Bill Opticians in 2012 and since graduated from the Canterbury Christ Church University with a first class honours degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing. Karolina’s interests lie in the field of presbyopia correction. Therefore if you have struggled with multifocal spectacles in the past Karolina might be able to dispense progressive lenses that are best suited to your visual needs and lifestyle.

    Karolina believes that ageing eye sight should not lead to a diminished quality of life. She enjoys Bill Opticians’ innovative approach to preventive ocular health and recently embarked on the British Association of Dispensing Opticians College’s specialisation in Contact Lens Practice.

  • Mrs Katherine L Meathrel BSc (Hons) MC Optom

    Katherine is one of the longest serving members of Bill Opticians; first arriving in the practice in 1999.  Initially Katherine was with us for work experience and then became one of Newton Abbots key optical assistants before qualifying as an Optometrist.  She has probably done every job in the practice.

    In 2005 she graduated from Cardiff University with an honours degree in optometry and has been testing eyes with us ever since.

    Her commitment over the last decade has allowed her to provide the highest standards of care to our patients.  Katherine has gained valuable experience through the Hospital Eye Service and undergone further training in cataract, glaucoma and minor eye conditions.  Katherine enjoys working with a broad spectrum of patients and eye conditions.

    Outside of the practice Katherine enjoys Modern Jive, playing the French Horn and running.  Feel free to wave if you see her jogging through town.

  • Mrs Louise Green FBDO CL

    Louise is a qualified Contact Lens Optician and Dispensing optician, with 25 years experience in optics. Having qualified in 1995 Louise has worked in both independent and multiple high street practices, in a variety of roles including Practice Management.

    Being a keen cyclist and enjoying keeping fit, Louise has been able to link them into her optical work with a specialist interest in sports vision. Louise also has a specialist interest in dry eye management and paediatric contact lenses.

    She has been with BILL opticians since March 2013 and feels this is where she is most able to use her skills and experience, giving a professional and personalised approach to both her contact lens and spectacle patients.

  • Mrs Lesley Anne Baxter FBIOS, PgDip, BSc (Hons) DBO, Cert Ed

    Lesley was the non-medical clinical lead for ophthalmology at Torbay Hospital until 2010 . Previously she worked at Moorfields Eye Hospital ,where she trained and graduated, Great Ormond Street, the London Hospital and Barts where she was head of service and worked in the retinoblastoma (eye cancer) clinic.

    She has worked at Queen Square Neurological Hospital in London and has a special interest in neurological disease. Her second degree was in dyslexia and colour and she has a post graduate diploma in Orthoptics. In 2013 she was elected as trustee of Vision 2020 and co-chairs the Community and Primary Eye Care group.

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    She is a member of the children’s and young peoples committee From 2010 to 2014 she was chair of her professional body and was also elected as Vice Chair of the Allied Health Professions. In 2014 she was given a fellowship of the British and Irish Orthoptic Society.

    She has spoken at many international meetings including in Toronto and Kyoto, covering subjects from the legal aspects of the extended role to astigmatism in the Bangladeshi population of East London.

    Previously she has been involved in charity work in Romania.

  • Mrs Susan Merrick BSc (Hons) McOptom

    Sue has been an optometrist for more than 20 years, having graduated with honours from Aston University in 1989. The early part of her career was spent in independent practice in Wiltshire and doing sessional work at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

    Since moving to Devon 18 years ago she has continued to build up experience in all aspects of optometry and particularly enjoys contact lens work.

    Sue joined the BILL opticians team in November 2014. She enjoys working in an independent practice because of its flexibility for patient care and personal service.

  • Mrs Jenna Holmes FBDO BSc(Hons)

    Jenna joined the team at BILL opticians in 2006 as a trainee Optical Assistant. The realisation of a passion for optics led her to enrol in a distance learning degree course through the Association of British Dispensing Opticians and Canterbury Christchurch University.

    In 2011, Jenna became a fully qualified Dispensing Optician, graduating with First Class Honours. She currently works at the Newton Abbot branch with a special interest in children’s spectacles and complex prescription requirements. Jenna feels that trust and confidence in your optician is of paramount importance, especially for patients with more challenging prescriptions.

  • Miss Paula Noble FBDO

    Paula qualified as a Dispensing Optician with the Association of British Dispensing Opticians at Godmersham Park in 2007, after starting as an Optical Assistant and eventually advancing to Practice Manager for two high street multiples. She has 17 years of experience in optics, both on the shop floor and in the laboratory, and has gained valuable communication and management skills.

    Paula joined BILL opticians in Newton Abbot after realising the importance of establishing strong working relationships with patients. She believes the independent and family-run nature of BILL opticians gives an incomparable advantage.

  • Miss Philippa Sheldon

    In 2014 Philippa joined the team at BILL opticians after graduating from Cardiff University in 2011 and completing her training with Boots Opticians in both Devon and Cornwall. Having gained experience in various aspects of optometry within a busy practice setting, Philippa decided it was time to take the plunge into independent optometry and deliver a more personalised approach to eye care whilst further developing her skills.

    She now devotes her time between the Totnes and Exeter branches. As an active person outside of work, Philippa spends her spare time playing volleyball competitively.

  • Mrs Tamsin Crossland BSc McOptom

    Tamsin trained at Aston University in 1994. She worked in East Midlands before moving to Devon in 1997. Whilst gaining valuable experience in a High Street opticians she realised that her passion lay in providing the highest level of clinical care.

    Tamsin took the opportunity to join Bill Opticians in 2010. She feels that our strong links with the eye department at Torbay Hosiptal and our reputation for clinical excellence has allowed her to practice in the most professional way.

  • Mr Michael C Sheppard BSc McOptom

    Michael joined Bill Opticians in May 2015. In his 30’s he decided on a change in career and he graduated from City University in London in 1997 with first class honours. His pre-registration training was with Dollond and Aitchison, and he continued to work with them in London. He moved down to Devon in 2001 and worked in Newton Abbot, Torquay and Honiton. Michael worked for Boots when they merged with Dollond and Aitchison in 2012. He feels that it is important to give every patient a personal and tailored approach. He welcomes the greater flexibility of customer care an independent practice allows.

  • Mrs Laura Ashworth

    Laura is a dispensing optician and works at our Totnes practice.

    She first started working in optics in 1996 at an independent practice in Preston, Lancashire.

    She feels working in an independent practice affords her time with patients. This is essential to be able to listen to what people are expecting from their glasses and to find out specific information about what tasks they will be used for. Once this has been established time is also needed to choose the frame, a poorly fitting frame can undo everyone’s hard work when it comes to lens performance.

  • Mrs Helen Taylor

    Helen joined the Tiverton practice as a receptionist in 2003 and then subsequently decided she would like to pursue a career in Optics, the driving force being patient care and interaction.  She qualified as a Dispensing optician with the Association of British Dispensing Opticians at Godmersham Park in August 2007 and has been working in the Tiverton practice ever since.

    Helen particularly enjoys the personal approach to eye care that working in an independent practice allows, priding herself on giving every patient the best possible advice and care.  She especially enjoys paediatric dispensing, being committed to making a visit to the practice a positive and enjoyable experience.

    In her spare time Helen can usually be found in her garden!