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Prominent Specsavers figure returns to Australia

Mr Peter Larsen, who was instrumental in bringing Specsavers to Australia 13 years ago, has returned to Melbourne after moving to the company’s UK headquarters to serve as its first-ever group eye health strategy director.

In his new role, Larsen will continue to work on eye health strategies across the Specsavers group, maintaining a special focus on glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and other sight threatening conditions.

He will also assume other roles with third party organisations. Initially, this will include forming a new Health Services Research Unit at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and working with equipment suppliers to explore and test eyecare technology.

Last year, Larsen moved from Melbourne to take up the group eye health strategy director position. In that role, he was based in Guernsey in the UK to implement the eye health model pioneered in Australia and New Zealand in Specsavers’ other markets.

He has returned to Australia – where much of his family is located – due to COVID-19.

Commenting on these developments, Specsavers co-founder Doug Perkins said: “We are all excited for Peter and his new role where he continues to bring energy to eye health advancement at Specsavers while embarking on some exciting projects within the industry focusing on how optometry continues to evolve to meet the needs of patients and stakeholders in the future.”

Specsavers co-founders Doug and Mary Perkins.

Larsen was instrumental in bringing the company to Australia in 2007. In this time, he has implemented a systematic eyecare model across Australian and New Zealand markets encompassing use of OCT as part of the standard eye test, and collaboration with RANZCO to develop a series of patient referral pathways.

Alongside this, he has developed professional benchmark reporting on customer centric commercial outcomes in parallel with all eye conditions, including detection and referral rates per condition down to each individual optometrist. This is said to have created an environment for self-directed training and professional development for optometrists to improve patient outcomes.

As a board member of CERA from 2012 to 2019, he worked on the ideation and seeding of the e-referral Oculo platform and other key health initiatives.

Larsen added: “I am excited to continue to help Specsavers evolve its group-wide eye health strategies whilst working with other industry bodies on developing sustainable care models and eye health outcomes for patients of the future.”

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