I am so grateful for saving my daughter's life
"I took my daughter here for a second opinion. Thank goodness I did as she needed brain surgery after my original opticians failed to refer her to the hospital. The level of professionalism and care I received from Alisdair has been outstanding. We were made to feel very welcome, things were explained in a calm fashion and I am so grateful for saving my daughter's life. Alisdair called me after returning home from Kings College Hospital to see how my daughter was doing. I cannot recommend Buchanan Optometrists enough." Elizabeth
Paul McKenna - First time varifocals and I love them
Designing the frames with Alisdair was a very enjoyable experience. I believe life is art and what we wear says a lot about us. When I wear these glasses, not only do I feel really good as they are a statement about me but I also feel a little more confident as well.
This was the first time I had tried varifocals and I love them! I can now see clearly at distance and close without having to constantly remove my spectacles.These lenses will change my life!
Paul McKenna- Britain's bestselling non-fiction author. Famous for his hypnosis TV shows and live appearances.
If you want glasses then go to the best, I did!
This is only the second time I have been to Buchanan's. As before excellent service. Although I was very early for my appointment Katherine made me feel very welcome offering Tea or Coffee while I wait. I wanted time to look at the enormous selection of frames which I could do in my own time with no sales pressure.
During the eye test I felt very relaxed and was made to feel totally at ease with the odd bit of banter.
Now for the good bit, choosing the frames and lens type. This was no contest as last time I had chosen the best of the best with their help.
Must admit went to "specsavers" last year and literally threw them back, not worth the effort.
If you want glasses then go to the best, I did!
review from opticianuk
We are always made to feel so special
For most of my life, I thought double vision was normal, 12 years ago my previous optician had sent me to the hospital but they could not sort out the problem and I constantly saw two of everything. I can still remember what a delight it was, thanks to Alisdair Buchanan, to put on my new glasses and be able to see straight and with only one image for the first time! I loved my glasses for the first time in my life and have loved every pair ever since. As a family we have been patients of Buchanan Optometrists ever since they started. Since our very first appointment, Alisdair Buchanan and all at Buchanan's immediately made us feel welcome, at ease and reassured. On every visit we are made to feel so special. The atmosphere in the practice is so soothing I often want to pop in after a busy day just to relax! When you go to Buchanan’s you know you will receive skill and expertise but you also know that you are cared about. This year I saw Kathryn for my eye test and Gill measured me for, and helped select my new frames and lenses. They were both so skilled at their job and made me feel really at ease. I’ve just collected my latest spectacles and once again I can see superbly. You and your eyes are always in good hands at Buchanan Optometrists. I never hesitate to recommend them to anyone.
Mrs Elizabeth Woodger, Miss Alison Woodger and family
I flew 500 miles to Buchanan Optometrists because I want the best
On Monday I got on a plane, flew 500 miles from Cork to Heathrow, then drove 60 or so miles to Snodland in Kent.
"So?", I hear you ask.
Good question. And the answer is... it was to get my eyes tested.
But why would I go all that way and brave the horrors of air travel, airport security and the awfulness of the M25, all in two directions, for something as mundane as an eye test and a new pair of specs?
Easy: because I want the best.
See, I run a small business from an isolated farmhouse in the South if Ireland. I am either writing and reading as part of my work for maybe 14 hours a day, and when I'm not doing either of those I'm writing or reading about my work. As you can imagine my eyesight is utterly crucial to my work.
In fact, the only time my glasses come off is if I'm showering, sleeping, or making love.
The moment I walked in to Buchanan's, I knew the entire trek had been worth it. The place was empty but for Alisdair and his small team of polite, efficient and knowledgeable eyeball experts. The place was bright, light, clean, and airy, and utterly calm and serene (helped in part by the tasteful classical music in the background).
Contrast that with the narrow, hot, crowded and busy "chain store" opticians I have locally where you're jostled by hassled mothers with hundreds of badly-behaved kids in tow at every stage of your visit, and you'll begin to see why making that journey was worth it.
But wait... there's more!
Because the full battery of tests I went through found I am almost certainly going to develop glaucoma in the near future. Not news I wanted to hear, but definitely new I needed to hear (and Alisdair broke it to me with a perfect 'bedside manner', making is as easy to take as these things ever are).
The thing is, the typical and routine tests I'd have got at other opticians simply wouldn't have picked it up anywhere near this early. That alone has made the entire trip worthwhile.
As it happens, though, I'm about to take delivery of a pair of awesome glasses that will utterly change my life. If you've never has to cart around two pairs of glasses all the time, one for reading and one for distance, then I can't explain the frustration to you; if you have, then no explanation is necessary. Varifocals have never worked for me, but this time the extreme high quality and precision of the workmanship and design mean the frames and lenses will be a perfect fit.
Me, I'm sold. I'll need to make that trip twice a year now to keep my eye on that approaching glaucoma (pun intended).
But it'll be worth every moment and every penny. I've been wearing glasses for 45 years, since the age of 4. And I've been to dozens of opticians, from small private practices to the big chains... and I can honestly say Buchanan's has given me by far the best experience of them all.
Thank you for your superb manner with my young son
I just felt I had to write and thank you for the exceptional care we have received from you and your team. I was really quite concerned about the lump on George's eye that appeared when he was about 3 months old, and I am very pleased that I followed my friends recommendation to come and see you. I am so grateful, not only for your support and understanding during our visits to your practice, but also for the extremely efficient way you dealt with the referral to my GP, ensuring that they acted quickly so that we received an appointment with the consultant very promptly.
It was very kind of you to call recently to get an update on George's eye. It is fair to say that you have exceeded my expectations in terms of your superb manner with my young son, your knowledge and expertise, and the state of the art equipment you have at your finger tips in the practice. We shall certainly always use Buchanan Optometrists for our family's eye care.
Many thanks again for all your help,
If it wasn't for Alisdair, I wouldn't be alive today
It is fair to say that if it wasn’t for Alisdair, I wouldn’t be alive today. I had been experiencing poor vision for a while, and whilst other opticians could not solve my problem, I visited Alisdair after a recommendation from my brother. Within an hour of seeing me, he suggested I go to the hospital, who then diagnosed a tumour, which was subsequently removed. The hospital since told me that if it hadn’t been discovered I would have been dead within three weeks. Thank you Alisdair.
Mrs Heather Clifton
Unique service surpasses anything I have experienced with high street opticians
I am a Practice Manager for a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at a local hospital. When my boss discovered that I have a strong family history of glaucoma, both my parents have the condition, he insisted that I was regularly monitored not only by himself, but with an optometrist – he recommended Buchanan Optometrists.
Not only do Buchanan’s have the most up to date state of the art equipment, which can monitor my condition and avoid any deterioration, long before it would be noticeable to me, but they offer a professional, caring service.
Alisdair is always on hand to offer explanations; he is personally involved with his patients ensuring their treatment is individually tailor made. I am cordially reminded by letter each time I am due for review and am offered a fantastic level of care and an impressive variety of glasses to choose from.
The service that Alisdair offers is unique and on a level that surpasses anything I have experienced with High Street opticians. I regularly recommend his services to patients, friends and family secure in the knowledge that the care they will receive is the best available.
Alison Ludgate - Patient and practice manager to Consultant Ophthalmologist Ejaz Ansari
Neil's dyslexic symptoms are gone
Neil is a seven and a half year old lovable boy and twin. Since starting school he has struggled with reading and writing, falling behind not only his twin brother but his peers also. Despite repeated concerns raised with the school only to be told ‘it’s his age , he will grow out of it’ and ‘he’s a boy, boys develop slower than girls’ I knew something wasn’t quite right. Opening the reading books or comparing writing with his twin brother only reinforced the differences between them. Failure to meet the Year 2 School Attainment Test (SATs) national target resulted in Neil being independently assessed by a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENco) and an independent Dyslexia screen which showed ‘High probability’ of dyslexia. I had almost resigned myself to the fact that Neil was Dyslexic as he showed the common traits of: lack of concentration; muddling letters such as ‘p’ and ‘q’ and ‘b’ and ‘d’; missing words out of a sentence; skipping lines in text; and a general apathy towards learning.
It was by chance that I was recommended Buchanan Optometrists for a Dry-Eye condition (which I would like to add they sorted and changed my blurry world into a clear one stopping my headaches and ability to read clearly) and whilst in the waiting room I read a leaflet all about colour overlays and thought ‘that’s my Neil’. The test was worth every penny and Neil was made to feel relaxed and cared for. I must admit I cried due to the relief a reason for him falling behind at school could easily be helped and also from guilt at having never heard of this before and not asking the right questions regarding words moving on the page and others.
Within 24 hours the teacher had made the whiteboard blue (Neil’s colour) and he could see what was on the board (not just a jumble of patterns). The colour overlay make an instant difference in Neil’s reading and I invested in coloured blank and lined paper for his writing and worksheets. Two months on, all Neil’s dyslexic symptoms are gone, he has reached the national reading target; in fact, Neil is overall a different child, more confident now he can participate in learning and is like a sponge soaking it all up. We have invested in the glasses with colour tinting in order to make Neil’s world a better place and help him with television, the computer and the world in general clearer.
It is the best investment we ever made and I now have an amazing child made even more amazing and much happier. Buchannan Optometrists are experienced at testing and helping children like Neil and they have been more than great through supporting both Neil and I through this difficult time. - Caroline Russell, Neil's mum
Our daughter actually enjoys her visit to a health professional team
Dear Mr & Mrs Buchanan,
We wanted to write to you to express our sincere thanks for the superb friendly and very professional service that you and your staff have provided for both ourselves but in particular our daughter.
As you are aware our little girl has Trisomy 21 and it is not always easy to obtain the specialist help required, you however, have gone over and above the ‘duty of care’ to ensure that Beatrix’s needs in eye care have been met whilst providing a safe and extremely welcoming and delightfully friendly environment.
It really is so refreshing for us to see our daughter actually enjoy her visits to a health professional team.
We look forward to your continued care and wish you all the very best for 2014.
John & Claire Bateson-Cooper
My eye test at Buchanan Optometrists saved my life
I was referred to Alisdair Buchanan by my doctor after I was suffering eye problems which couldn’t correctly be diagnosed. As soon as Alisdair examined my eye, he transferred me to the hospital, where they found out I was suffering from Mucormycosis – a rare flesh-eating disease with an extremely high mortality rate. The hospital subsequently removed my eye before any more harm could be done, but it is fair to say Alisdair saved my life.
The very best possible customer service and professionalism
I have been a patient of Alisdair's for 15 years and was first introduced on recommendation from a friend as my daughter had eye problems and been discharged from Moorfields Hospital and I needed to feel comfortable moving forward to a new optician.
My daughter was then 7 and was a little difficult with a strong personality and with the eye issues she had, needed to be handled well! Alisdair was first class with this and she immediately liked him, his humour, and he put no pressure on her at all, but most importantly she trusted him and was relaxed and so was I.
This was when Alisdair worked in an opticians in Strood and quickly all my children (I have four) were tested and along with myself have been his patients ever since, sometimes at inconvenience as we followed him to a practice in Bluewater, Maidstone and was delighted he then set up his own practice in Snodland. In Snodland he had the best technical equipment to test us which meant if there had been any further issues with my daughter Megan's eyes it would have been quickly spotted.
Alisdair is a darling and always gives us the very best possible customer service and professionalism, he is fair, he is loyal, kind, generous hearted and I would never want to use another optician.
You have given me back my life
Thank you very much for what you have done for me, I cannot put a price on it.
Before the treatment, I could hardly open my eyes because of the dryness. I couldn't drive the car or watch the television and I was at my wits end because the doctors, opticians and hospital consultants offered no help and left me thinking that there was nowhere else to turn.
You have given me back my life and for this I am extremely thankful.
Glasses have changed her life completely!
I just wanted to tell you how happy I have been with the care you have given Holly. And thank you for being wonderful!
Having been in for eye tests myself I never realised you would be able to test Holly’s eyes so young until you spoke to me about bringing her in. At just 3, I thought she may have been frightened by the experience but this couldn’t be further from the truth- she loved her first eye test. You were so kind and patient with her and made the experience really fun. The special children’s tests were much more fun and easier than what you do with adults so I really shouldn’t have worried. The eye test was completely stress free. She couldn’t wait to come back for her follow up visit and to collect her glasses. You explained every thing in appropriate language to Holly and answered all my questions in a reassuring manner, giving me all the information I needed. We have both learnt a lot about eyes! I have been to other opticians in the past who have been cold mannered, hurried and not forth coming with information but you couldn’t be more different.
I thought Holly’s clumsiness could be due to her feet but since you diagnosed her eye problem and gave her glasses it has changed her life completely. She can run around without fear of an accident. She finds playing easier because she can see what she is doing. Her teachers at pre-school have noticed she is more confident and sociable and she is much happier in herself. She can see things we point out and is not losing things out of her view. I am so pleased you detected her problems so early as she is about to start reading and I realise an eye problem at this age could really have affected her learning. She’s already has more interest in books and uses her computer pad easily.
Holly loves wearing her glasses. She only takes them off when she pretends she’s broken them because she wants to come in and see you all!! And when she has really broken them you fixed them so quickly on the spot. Your choice of children’s glasses is excellent and we appreciate you getting in some special flexi ones for her. All your staff have been great with all the family and the service we receive is exceptional each time we visit. All the children will sit happily entertained in your waiting area for as long as needed. I would never go to another optician. I’m really pleased you encouraged me to bring Holly in and I tell other mum’s at pre-school to make sure they have their children checked at too.
Kara Ford - Mum to Holy age 3, Lilly 2 and Jenny 5
Friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. What a treat!
I visited Buchanans recently, for the first time. My husband has been a customer for years and wanted me to have the tests for glaucoma that he had undergone on his last visit. I privately thought, 'all opticians do tests for glaucoma', but I went along to see what he was talking about. The tests I had were additional to the usual pressure tests. They were very thorough and Kathryn explained what was happening and took me through the results. Consequently, as a result of what she picked up, I am having them repeated in six months. I then chose some lovely glasses, with the help of Gill who gave some really good practical advice. It was only after all this that I was approached by Alisdair who congratulated me on being their 10,000th customer! What a surprise. Whilst I didn't do a supermarket sweep, I did receive a gorgeous bunch of flowers and £100 shopping vouchers. What a treat! However, in all honesty it is a treat coming here. Alisdair. Kathryn and all the staff are so very friendly, helpful and knowledgeably. They explained everything and patiently answered all my questions. They are totally professional, have a good sense of humour and made my visit very pleasurable .I have been wearing my glasses for some weeks now and they are excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit, I'm very glad I had the glaucoma tests and will definitely be returning.