A consultant ophthalmologist at the James Paget University Hospital has been elected president of the national organisation which represents his profession.

Professor Ben Burton will become the new president of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists next year after securing the most votes in an election involving seven candidates.

He is the Gorleston hospital's clinical research and development director and an honorary professor at the University of East Anglia and trains students from Norwich Medical School.

Prof Burton said: “I am absolutely delighted but the news still hasn’t really sunk in.

“Colleagues have been so supportive, and it has been so nice to receive messages of congratulation not just from ophthalmologists locally but across the world.

“I am sure it will help put both the James Paget and Norwich Medical School on the map.”

Prof Burton’s election pitch focussed on investment to ensure sustainability of NHS ophthalmology services.

Prof Burton will take over from the current president, Professor Bernard Chang, at the college’s AGM in May.