COVID-19 Information

Below is all the latest information available. We will update this page as we receive further information.

Useful Links 

 

The College of Optometrists   LINK

 

The AOP LINK 

 

ABDO LINK 

 

GOC LINK 

 

The College have also produced a well worded joint statement with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists about Viral Conjunctivitis and Covid-19 : LINK

 

If you provide extended services through Primary Eyecare Services (PES) then please read their guidance here: LINK

 

The NHS England SOPs for Primary care (link) have not changed since 5th March but expect an update any time now.  

 

The GOC has issued a couple of important statements:

 

1) A joint statement with the other healthcare regulators recognising that professionals may need to depart from their usual procedures at this time : LINK

 

2) Reassurance that using professional judgement we can supply spectacles and contact lenses without first requiring the patient to attend an optical practice : LINK

 

The main GOC Covid-19 page which references these and other statements is here : LINK

 

Optical Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) are working with NHSE on financial support and adjustment to contract requirements. Statement today : LINK.

 

This sector-specific advice sits on top of the Government advice to all citizens : LINK  

 

This advises risk groups, those over 70 and those with underlying health conditions (details on the site) to follow social distancing measures.

 

Social distancing is explained here : LINK

 

It has been announced that Schools will provide childcare (not education) for children of health & social care workers so they can continue to work.

 

The guidance the schools are following is here : LINK

 

Support for business : LINK

 

Guidance for employees : LINK

 

As yet there is no clarity on whether or not optical professionals are ‘essential workers’.  For now I advise that if you can’t do without the childcare support in order to fulfil your healthcare role you should assert that you are a key worker, until we are provided with a clear position on this.   The argument is especially strong if you provide MECS which we expect to be busier than usual.  We are working on a model letter you can use to reply to schools which will come out via the optical representative organisations.