Following today’s COVID-19 review the Government has confirmed that “As health care providers and essential businesses with safe and appropriate Infection Prevention and Control measures already in place, community optometry practices are exempt from the protection measures in all tiers and can therefore remain open and provide a full range of services”. This means we will remain open and operating as planned into the new year despite Oldham’s move to Tier 4. There are some restrictions on travelling into Tier 4 areas for those in other areas who may live in lower tiers. Travel from other areas is allowed for necessary medical treatment so if you feel that your eyecare concerns are essential, then please call us to arrange an appointment. If you feel your eyecare can wait and you are not having any problems it’s best to put it off until restrictions are eased. If you have an appointment booked and you feel it’s better for you not to attend, please do let us know as soon as you can. We are still extremely busy catching up with overdue appointments, and there is currently a long waiting list. So if there is no problem or if you’d prefer not to come for whatever reason right now – we will have no trouble filling your appointment.
Routine appointments are allowedSince the middle of June, we have resumed the provision of routine eye care, following General Optical Council and the College of Optometrists guidance. In November we began to recall those clients who would have been seen routinely in the period we had been operating a limited service. Clearing the backlog is well underway, however, we expect it to be well into the New Year before we have fully caught up. The social distancing rules and additional hygiene measures mean that we are unable to see as many people in a clinic as we used to. If your recall is due now, there may still be some delay until our backlog has been cleared, although you can always contact us if you are having a more urgent problem and require an appointment.
What to expect when you visitWe already have rigorous hygiene standards in place as outlined by our governing bodies and the Government. Please feel reassured that we are taking all the precautions we can to safeguard our clients and staff. Prior to visiting, we will send you a text with details regarding what you can expect when you visit. One of our team will call you the day before your appointment and conduct a pre-appointment COVID -19 symptom check. We are operating a locked door policy, so when you arrive please ring the bell and a member of the team will let you in. With a strict capacity policy, we are limiting the number of clients in practice at any time. Please do not arrive early or late for your appointment. If you would rather wait outside or in your car until you can be seen, please come to the main door a couple of minutes before your appointed time. A member of the team will record your temperature on arrival and ask some questions, they will then check your current glasses (if you wear them) and record the prescription so that our optometrists can tell you if your prescription has changed or if it is stable. Our optometrists will conduct your eye examination wearing full PPE, including surgical scrubs, aprons, gloves, masks and when appropriate visors or eye protection. The test room is thoroughly cleaned between appointments and all equipment sterilised. We appreciate some patients have unique requirements, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you require any further information.
Dispensing of glassesUsing appropriate PPE our Dispensing Opticians we are able to dispense, fit and repair glasses as normal. Our full frame selection is available to view and a member of our team will be on hand to assist you. All frames once handled are cleaned and sterilised before being put back on display. Our normal lab service is still running so just give us a call if you need any adjustments or some new frames.
Emergency and essential eye careThese clients will continue to be prioritised. Emergency and essential eye care include:
- Clients we have continued to treat throughout the pandemic.
- Clients we consider to be emergencies such as those who have specific issues have experienced a change to their vision or those that we feel require urgent investigation.
- Clients who under normal circumstances would not normally be considered to be emergencies, but where, in our view, a delay in an examination may be detrimental to sight or wellbeing (called ‘essential care’).
- Clients who were due to be seen during the period of lockdown for a review of a specific issue (not a routine check-up) In our view reviewing an ongoing condition is ‘essential’.
- Clients with any other issues classed as an ‘essential situation’. Particularly if they have lost or broken their glasses or contact lenses and require a replacement to function.