Meet the Team

Cath Gray

Cath Gray

Cath Gray

I am the department’s Head Orthoptist managing the Orthoptic and Optometry services for Blackpool Fylde and Wyre. I have worked at Blackpool Victoria Hospital since 1996 having previously worked in East Lancashire and at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital as a Clinical teacher.

My role includes working in the Orthoptic Clinics at Victoria Hospital on Tuesday mornings and I work with the Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist at the paediatric clinic in the Women and Children’s Unit on Friday mornings. On Thursdays I am in the community at Fleetwood Hospital, where I also have a refraction clinic on alternate Thursday afternoons with David Barras, Optometrist.

Conrad Beacham

Conrad Beacham

Conrad Beacham

I am the Deputy Head of the department and have worked at Blackpool Victoria Hospital since 1997.

I see non-urgent patients on a Tuesday and Thursday.

Cath Jukes

Cath Jukes

Cath Jukes

I have worked in Blackpool Teaching Hospital since graduating from Liverpool University in 1997.

I am the department lead for Stroke, Thyroid Eye Disease and Neuro-ophthalmology. On Monday mornings I run a paediatric clinic in St Annes. My working days are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rebecca Smart

Rebecca Smart

I graduated from Sheffield University in July 2016. My first job was at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust before moving to Blackpool Victoria Hospital in January 2017. I assess both adults and children in clinics at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. I also work on joint adult motility and paediatric clinics on Wednesday afternoons.

In the community I run clinics on alternate Tuesday afternoons at Thornton and South Shore Primary Care Centre. More recently, I was appointed as the Vision Screening Lead for Blackpool as part of Lancashire’s Vision Screening Service. Within this role I am responsible for the training of vision screeners and the auditing of the service.

Ammarah Patel

Ammarah Patel

I am an Orthoptist and I started working for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals in May 2018. I have worked at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals, Sunderland Eye Infirmary and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust before starting my role here.

I undertake paediatric and adult Orthoptic clinics throughout the week, including the emergency Orthoptic clinic and adult motility clinic. I run a paediatric Orthoptic clinic at Garstang Medical Practice once a month.

As well as my Orthoptic clinics, I am also involved in the delivery of the Lancashire Vision Screening Service and visual screening in Blackpool.

Suhaylah Bapu

Suhaylah Bapu

I am an Orthoptist and I graduated from the University of Liverpool in July 2017. I joined the team in Blackpool in July 2018.

I take part in a range of paediatric and adult Orthoptic clinics. I am also part of the Medical Retina team and help with macular and biometry clinics.  I run a paediatric Orthoptic clinic at Whitegate Drive Health Centre twice a month. I am also involved in the delivery of the Blackpool Vision Screening Service for children aged four to five years at school.

Katherine Sullivan

Katherine Sullivan

I have worked full time for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals since September 2019. I previously worked as an Orthoptist in Edinburgh, Blackburn and for five years in Bolton prior to starting my role here.

My current role includes me working in Orthoptic Clinics at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Monday mornings and Wednesday mornings and working with Consultant Ophthalmologist, Mr Aly, on Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings.

I also run paediatric Orthoptic clinics in the community at Kirkham Health Centre every Monday afternoon, on alternate Tuesday afternoons at South Shore Primary Care Centre and Thornton clinic and every Friday afternoon at Cleveleys Health Centre.

I will also be attending special schools this year to carry out vision screening and I have recently been appointed as the lead clinical tutor for undergraduate Orthoptic students.

Maria Brand

Maria Brand

I graduated from Liverpool University in July 2019. My role involves working in both adult and paediatric clinics at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. During these clinics I work with Ophthalmologists and Optometrists. I am involved in work on the Medical Retinal Unit on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  I will also be involved in the adult motility and paediatric clinics with Mr Aly.

Iqra Altaf

Iqra Altaf

I am an Orthoptist; I started working for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals in February 2020 and graduated from the University of Liverpool. My role as an Orthoptist consists of me assessing a variety of different patients in the adult and paediatric clinics. I also assess paediatric patients in the Women and Children’s unit on Friday mornings.

In addition to this, I also undertake five clinics a week in the Medical Retinal Unit where I assess patients with AMD, DMO and other conditions that have disrupted the patient’s macula.

David Barras

David Barras

David Barras

I work as an Optometrist at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and work together with the Orthoptists in the Children’s Orthoptic clinic.

My role is to determine whether a child requires glasses or not. Glasses can play an important part in the development of children’s vision. My clinics are held on Mondays and Thursdays at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. I have been part of the team since September 2015.

Graham Robinson

Graham Robinson

Graham Robinson

I have worked at Blackpool Victoria Hospital for more than 30 years.

My role as an Optometrist involves testing children’s eyes for glasses. I work closely with the Orthoptists in the department on a Tuesday morning. My role is to determine whether a child requires glasses or not.

Karen Wright

Karen Wright

I started working as an Ophthalmic Technician in the Orthoptic department in May 2017.  My working days are Monday to Thursday.

My role as an Ophthalmic Technician involves undertaking the clinical testing of visual fields, using the Humphrey Visual Field Analyser. I also help with administrative duties within the department.

I recently completed the BIOS (British Irish Orthoptic Society) Vision Screening Training Programme, along with my colleague Gail, and achieved the standards of competency in Vision Screening for children aged four to five years. We visit schools in the Lancashire area and perform vision screening tests for Reception children.

Gail Swarbrick

Gail Swarbrick

I started working in the Orthoptic department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in January 2018.

My role as an Ophthalmic Technician involves undertaking the clinical testing of visual fields, using the Humphrey Visual Field Analyser. I also assist with the numerous administrative duties within the department.

I recently completed the BIOS (British Irish Orthoptic Society) Vision Screening Training Programme, along with my colleague Karen, and achieved the standards of competency in Vision Screening for children aged four to five years. We visit schools in the Lancashire area and perform vision screening tests for Reception children.

Cheryl Morley

Cheryl Morley

I work part time as an Ophthalmic Technician within the Orthoptic department, at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

My role is to assess patients' visual fields using a Humphrey Visual Field Analyser. The Analyser provides information to assist in both diagnosis and monitoring of certain eye conditions.

Dale Martin

Dale Martin

I am an Orthoptist and I started working for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals in April 2020. I graduated from Liverpool University in 2013 and then I went on to work as an Orthoptist in Guernsey for 6 years.

I take part in a range of paediatric and adult Orthoptic clinics throughout the week and I am also involved in providing visual screening for Stroke patients. On Thursdays, I am seeing Orthoptic patients in the community at either Fleetwood Hospital or Garstang Medical Practice.

As well as my Orthoptic clinics, I am also involved in the delivery of the Lancashire Vision Screening Service and visual screening in Blackpool.