Richard N Roberts CBE, OBE awarded an Honorary Doctorate from UWTSD Lampeter


Richard N Roberts CBE, OBE has today been awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Science) from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter.

Richard Roberts, CBE, has served as a senior examiner for the British College of Optometrists since 1982, having previously been an examiner there since 1979 and also as an examiner for the British Optical Association from 1972 to 1978.

He was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours List in 1998, and in July 2000 he was appointed Consultant Optometric Adviser to the National Assembly of Wales. Mr Roberts was elected a Life Fellow of the College of Optometrists in April 2004 in recognition of his contribution to the profession of optometry in the UK, and in October 2006 he was conferred Honorary Membership of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians for his contribution to the furtherance of the profession.

UWTSD’s Dr Jane Davidson, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor and Director of Inspire said: “Dick has a fundamental philosophy in life – to improve the quality of life for his patients. ‘To evaluate yourself as a clinician’ he says, - you have to ask yourself every day if you’ve treated each one of your patients as you’d want to be treated.’ He will not focus on meeting a target in the interests of the service, if it does not also meet the needs of his patient.

“His influence and expertise were particularly effective when he was appointed Chief Optometric Adviser to the Welsh Government  - serving 4 health ministers – where he was instrumental in establishing the Wales Eye Care Scheme and the Wales Low Vision Service – the first of its kind worldwide. Because of his work, Wales is the only place in the UK where patients can get aids from their optometrist funded by the Welsh Government. He is a man driven by altruism and values of service personally and professionally, who sets himself high standards and encourages collaboration for the most effective outcomes.”

Mr Roberts said he was immensely pleased to receive the award, adding that : “There is no greater honour one can achieve than being bestowed an honour by your own university. I would like to congratulate all those honoured here today. I would urge all graduates to maintain the principles of integrity and ask that you add value to the work that you go on to do and in the contributions you will make. You have the chance to shape the society in which you live. You are the custodian of the future. And you have great opportunities to rise to the challenges that come your way.”

Llanelli-born and bred Mr Roberts, who attended Llanelli Grammar School, was awarded a CBE in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours and in 2012 he was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the Optical Confederation.

Mr Roberts is a self-employed optometrist, who graduated from UWIST in 1966 and was a part-time lecturer in UWIST Department of Optometry from 1969 to 1997. He has held a number of positions and memberships, including; an elected member of the General Optical Council since 1981, Chairman of the Investigating Committee of the General Optical Council since 1986, Chairman of the Welsh Optical Committee (1981-2000) and a member of the Directorate for Continuing Education and Training in Optometry since 1985

Mr Roberts was also Vice-Chairman of the Cardiff Local Health Group (1999-2003) and is a Fellow of the British College of Optometrists (FBCO) and the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO).


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