About Us

June 2013 will be the 25th Anniversary of C&A Hurst Opticians, an independent optometric practice started by Optometrist Caroline Hurst, and Dispensing Optician Alan Hurst. Their aim has always been for professional, high quality, personal service in caring for the optical needs of the community. Caroline and Alan regularly attend continuing education courses, and Caroline is also involved in clinical research and teaching.

Caroline Hurst

Caroline Hurst

Caroline graduated from Bradford University in 1977 and completed her Optometry qualification in 1978.  She practised in several practices in the London suburbs before managing a practice in Letchworth in 1984 and then opening a house practice with her husband Alan, from their home, in 1988.

Caroline has been practising as a Behavioural Optometrist since 1997 and was Chairman of the British Association of Behavioural Optometrists (BABO) from October 2004 to September 2011. Caroline gained her Fellowship of BABO in April 2007 on the first occasion the Fellowship programme was completed. Caroline has lectured in the UK, Australia, USA, Denmark and Holland on binocular vision, Behavioural Optometry, Primitive Reflexes and Optometric Vision Therapy.

Caroline was Chairman of Cambridgeshire Local Optometric Committee (1999-2007) and was involved in developing the Hinchingbrooke Direct Cataract Referral scheme, Hospital Optometrist post and Community Glaucoma monitoring scheme.  Caroline is an Optometrist with a Special Interest in Glaucoma (OSI) for Hinchingbrooke Hospital CHANGES Scheme.

Caroline was a volunteer with the first Opening Eyes programme of the Special Olympics in the UK at the National Games Cardiff 2001. She was then a volunteer at the World Games in Dublin in 2003, and at the UK National Games in Glasgow in 2005.  From September 2008 Caroline has been the Clinical Director for the Opening Eyes programme of the Special Olympics GB, and ran the screening at the SOGB National Games at Leicester in July 2009 seeing over 800 athletes in four and a half days.

Published Papers

Hurst, Caroline M. F., Van de Weyer, Sarah, Smith, Claire & Adler, Paul M. (2006) Improvements in performance following optometric vision therapy in a child with dyspraxia.

Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics 26 (2), 199-210. Download here

Hurst, Caroline M.F. (2003) The Hurst Model of Vision Balances, Behavioural Optometry 9 (1) 10-17

Alan Hurst

Alan Hurst

Alan graduated from Bradford University in 1976 with an honours degree in Chemical Engineering with Management Economics. After working for two years and being based in Liverpool, he moved to London and worked for the Engineering company, Alfa Laval. Here he worked as a thermal design engineer, designing heat exchangers for the process industry, and becoming involved with energy recovery. After a couple of years he was promoted to be a Field Sales Engineer, and spent time both designing equipment, and discussing customer requirements. Alan then had a short spell working as a Sales Executive for GEA Ahlborn – a German company also manufacturing heat exchange equipment before having a complete change of occupation.

In 1984 Alan entered into the world of optics, and enrolled with the Association of Dispensing Opticians, to become a Dispensing Optician. Alan qualified as a Dispensing Optician in 1986, and has worked in practices in Letchworth (with Caroline) before both he and Caroline started their own practice in June 1988.

Sarah Pike

Sarah Pike

Sarah gained a BTec National Diploma in Childhood Studies in 1999 and worked in a nursery in Somersham for two years before joining the practice in 2001.

She initially worked as a nanny to Caroline and Alan’s children, as well as working as receptionist in the practice.  As the children have grown, Sarah is now full time in the practice and one of her roles is to make the equipment for Caroline to use in Optometric Vision Therapy.

In 2006 Sarah gained her Level 2 in Optical Practice Support from The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. In 2009 she assisted Caroline in her role as Clinical Director for the Opening Eyes programme at the Special Olympics National Games in Leicester.


Toby Hurst

Toby is our two year old, Golden Retriever, house pet, and he welcomes many of our patients to our practice. If you are not happy with dogs please let us know and we’ll be sure he’s tucked up in bed when you arrive.