A Concept Story

Our story began in the North East of England with one man’s vision to provide the best possible experience in eye care.

The Concept brand was inspired by the elegance and attentiveness of the continental luxury consumer experience. On return from his travels, the stage was soon set to offer a distinctive approach to eye examinations by integrating clinical excellence with a relaxed ambience for the patient journey. The Concept brand carries the strap line: ‘the art of the optometrist’ blending a clinical focus with style, to offer a new standard in patient care. The Concept ‘look’, it’s art work, visual design and photography is all created in-house. The Concept experience at the time, was seen as a bold departure from the traditional image of the high street optician.

In 2008, the flagship Concept clinic opened it’s doors in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne. In it’s wake, a second Concept Eye Clinic was launched in Tynemouth in 2013. Further developing it’s ethos in optical care and, whilst upholding the respected legacy of new acquisitions, J.H Wilson Opticians in Melrose in 2016 and the prestigious Turners Vision Care in Somerset in 2017 proudly became part of the Concept family. The company is also the umbrella for Tynedale Eye Clinic situated in Byker in Newcastle upon Tyne and Houghton le Spring near Durham. Both these practices provide an NHS focused optican’s service with the same exacting standards of Concept’s signature patient care.

Technology

Concept was one of the first independent practices in Newcastle upon Tyne to invest in digital photography, computerised automated phoropter, equipment for detecting anterior and retinal eye problems and optical coherence tomography. This allows the optometrist to conduct a detailed eye examination for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and the detection of glaucoma. Other clinical areas include a paediatric service, which helps detect early problems in children, such as amblyopia and squints, as well as problems with the front of the eyes for adults suffering redness, dryness, itchy eyes or a stinging sensation. In 2015, Concept introduced an advanced screening system to check the health of your eyes. The 3D OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) scan analyses the retina and is progressive from digital photography to detect common and uncommon eye conditions such as glaucoma, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration and vitreous detachments. In 2015, Concept introduced further Zeiss instruments to take precise optical measurements and an advanced screening system to check the health of your eyes. Concept’s investment in lens technology is predicated on accuracy and optimum results. We mainly advocate Zeiss because of it’s reputation for offering excellence in optical performance across a wide range of prescription.

Eye narrative

The ‘story behind the frame’ is a central narrative premise in promoting spectacles by our dispensers, where special features and character inspiration are ingrained in our philosophy. Our frames are chosen with you in mind, and, it’s the ‘story behind the frame’ that sets Concept apart. Oliver Peoples featured ‘anniversary’ limited edition spectacles to commemorate artists such as the soloist, Takahiro Miyashita, or the actor Gregory Peck in his depiction of Atticus Finch. Concept frames are avant garde, retro, luxury and often hallmarked by a unusual design feature such as featherlight, hingeless technology of Orgreen. Vinylize spectacles are handmade from upcycled vinyl records and presented in a 45” case. February 31st is made from beautiful sustainable wood. Whether it’s the minimalism of Lindberg or Gotti, the old school glamour of Saint Laurent and Chopard, or edgy vibe of Paul Smith, Tom Ford and Oliver Peoples, each frame has a personality to complement yours.

Recognising that contact lens and spectacle wearers are increasingly becoming discerning about value for money in the optical market, and with the increase in supermarket and online offers, the Concept Club was launched in 2010. Essentially a tiered and interest free membership scheme, it is ideal for the style savvy and cost conscious. Moving away from the ‘conveyor belt mentality’. The club, and now ‘care plan’ model is designed to provide an integrative and affordable eye care and style package.

Community

The spirit of Concept is bold, creative and indefatigable. Our objective is to provide you with the best possible experience in eye care. Behind our boutique scenes, the company’s founder developed an innovative model of providing clinical care to those living in the shadows of society, experiencing health inequalities, with the belief that access to eye care is not just a privilege, but a human right.

Concept was the first independent optometrist practice in the North East of England to raise awareness with NHS commissioners regarding the importance of access to eye care and preventative measures to tackle eye pathology in ‘hard to reach’ communities experiencing poverty, health inequalities and isolation from mainstream services. Directors Shehla Naqvi and Founder Vik Kumar developed the social model ethos of the company emanating from work with dementia sufferers in Nursing and Care homes to inner city projects with the belief that making a difference to a person’s vision inevitably impacts on their quality of life, place in society, dignity and emotional well being. Over the years, Concept has worked with user groups including, mental health sufferers, people experiencing learning difficulties, drug addiction, asylum seekers and refugees, sex workers and the homeless. It has also funded translated eye care resources and it’s own health interpreters to aid clinical outreach sessions. Concept has worked with 37 community and regeneration funded projects including The Millin Centre, The Chinese Healthy Living Project and Places for People, the Salvation Army and Tyneside Cyrenians. In 2012 the company became a ‘top supporter level’ member and a globally recognised ‘Associate Practice’ with the international charity, Optometry Giving Sight to help fund clinical expertise and resources to countries in Africa and Asia diaspora.

In 2009 Concept introduced a family ‘healthy eyes’ awareness campaign now established as the ‘Kids Campaign’. This runs for six months each year in partnership with local schools and parents to promote the importance of regular sight checks and healthy vision in children and young people. By the summer of 2018, over 115 schools took part across Newcastle, Durham, North Tyne & Wear, Bridgwater in Somerset and Melrose in the Scottish borders. Head teachers working in North East IMD (index of multiple deprivation) schools were also keen for their pupils to benefit from this initiative. Concept’s optometrists recognised that poor eyesight can have a significant effect on a child’s ability to learn and on their behaviour and confidence, yet often goes unrecognised by teachers, parents and by children themselves. The sooner vision problems are detected – the better the outcome and quality of life.

The Concept story is inspired by great design, people and vision. The story is also human one, with a vision based on relationship, courage, a passion for making eye care accessible, and trust. There are no barriers at Concept, because the privilege to serve you is ours.

Testimonials

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