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|Russell Ambrose (CEO)|
Overview and history
Established in 1991 by US based ophthalmologist Claus Fichte, optometrist Andrew Bell and business man Christopher Neave, Ultralase were the first to introduce a national network of laser eye surgery clinics in the UK. Following the success of the world's first refractive surgery clinic, opened by US-based investors in Toronto (1989), the UK's first ever laser eye surgery clinic was opened at Clatterbridge hospital, Wirral in January 1991. This clinic was the first to perform laser eye surgery in the UK, and expanded to become the Ultralase network.
Ultralase in the House of Commons
- "Laser eye surgery was developed by the ophthalmologist Dr. Steven Trokel in 1987, and first used on a patient in Germany in 1988. The first laser eye treatment clinic using Dr. Trokel's laser was founded by US-based investors in Toronto in 1989. Following the success of the US operation, the first UK clinic was opened at Clatterbridge hospital, in Wirral, in January 1991. It grew into a string of clinics now known as Ultralase, one of Britain's foremost laser eye treatment providers."
- "...While researching the subject, I have become aware that there are those who exemplify the best practice, which I feel needs to be rolled out across the sector. Ultralase—whose chairman, Christopher Neave, is also chief executive of the relatively new industry body, the Eye Laser Association—is one of the larger independent health care providers in the laser eye surgery sector. It does not simply operate within company standards, which appear to be more severe than those required at the statutory level at present. Indeed, during a recent meeting I was most impressed to note that certain changes that I recommended are to be added to its guidance as a direct result of our meeting."
On 8 October 2015 Ultralase was subject to criticism by the BBC programme Watchdog. The story covered the change of company ownership, the administration and reformation of the company and the lifetime guarantee not being honoured.
Laser eye surgery services
Ultralase perform the following forms of laser eye surgery:
- LASIK - Where a corneal flap is surgically created and lifted, allowing the laser to reshape the layer underneath.
- LASEK - Similar to LASIK, except a solution is used to soften the surface cells, which are lifted back.
- Intraocular lens (IOL) - Implanting a type of lens inside the eye rather than on its surface.
- Ultra-CK - Reshaping the cornea with the use of radio waves.
- Westminster, Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons,. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 4 Feb 2004 (pt 33)". publications.parliament.uk.
- Thompson Reuters (2007-12-27). "Dermoestetica to sell eye unit Ultralase to 3i".
- David Challinor (2005-05-20). "Ultralase sold for £30m to Valencia-based giant".