Keeping our clients safe and well during the Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Firstly, Steve and I hope you, your family and loved ones remain safe and well in these difficult times. We’ve attempted to write this post several times over the course of the last week. But quite frankly the situation was changing quicker than we could keep up with. I don’t think any of us ever in our wildest dreams thought that we would find ourselves in a situation like this. We’ve literally been making decisions on a day by day basis.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) is having a huge impact on all of our lives. For the Allegro Optical team it has been a very stressful week full of uncertainty. On Monday morning, we made the very difficult decision to cease all routine eye examinations and we sent Steve home to self-isolate as he falls into a vulnerable group.
At that point, we still hadn’t received any specific advice or guidance from our governing bodies or NHS England. However, both Steve and I felt very strongly that by continuing to provide routine eye examinations, we would be putting our patients, our team’s and everyone’s families at risk. It is impossible to conduct an eye examination while maintaining a 2-metre distance. It isn’t that we feel that vision problems are generally not important. On the contrary, but, very few are instantly sight-threatening. Steve, Optom Amy and I compared the risks of discontinuing routine eye examination with the risks of Coronavirus (Covid-19) continuing to spread unchecked. Most things, we felt, could and should be delayed by a few weeks or months, particularly if it means saving lives.
Our skeleton team did an amazing, but very difficult job, making huge personal sacrifices to try their best to keep us safe and well. We are truly grateful and we will show our appreciation at some point in the future. But, for now, as a community, as many as possible need to stay at home, both to help protect the NHS and potentially saving 1000’s of lives.
We finally received some Coronavirus (Covid-19) stating thatguidance that we are a key service on Wednesday. But we have been advised to avoid face to face contact unless absolutely necessary. As a result, we have further reduced the skeleton team, now without a physical optometrist cover. We will still be here to support you, our community and our patients, albeit in a slightly different way to what we are all used to.
Most issues can be sorted out over the phone including helping your relatives or dependents.
We will continue to provide a telephone consultation service for anybody who has an urgent eye problem. This could be related to a sudden eye health issue such as loss of vision, a sudden change in an eye health condition or loss of glasses or contact lenses required to fulfil every day tasks. For anything of this nature, please call your local practice and one of our team will be ready to assist you.
For physical spectacle problems, we are available every day
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. While practising social distancing, we will be available to repair your glasses. We will also try to replace any essential and Emergency Services prescription eyewear.
Within the past week, we have endeavoured to contact all our patients and offer additional contact lenses. We have tried our hardest to get spectacle orders completed and delivered to patients who need them the most. If you are one of the ones we have not been able to get hold of, please call us. We will do our best to help you.
KEEP YOURSELF SAFE.
We will do our utmost to send out or deliver glasses and contact lenses currently being manufactured. We will order replacements, offer repairs, supply solutions and drops, chase up referrals and offer advice as effiently as possible.
If you have any concerns about your eyes or your eye care, please contact us by telephone on Greenfield 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 90709 or via https://www.allegrooptical.co.uk/contact/ in the first instance.
Please do not come to the practice unless you have been given an appointment to do so. When no one is at the practice, all forms of communication will be diverted to our home. This is to enable us to offer support for longer hours. If no one answers the phone, please do leave a message and either Steve or I will get back to you ASAP. However, this may take a little longer than normal. All problems will be triaged for urgency with priority given to those who are front line key workers with significant visual defects. Advice will be given to all remotely where possible, utilising photos and video calls where appropriate.
If you currently have glasses or contact lenses on order, we will contact you when they arrive to discuss options. If an order has been here for a while, please contact us. Both of our glazing laboratories are now only working with a skeleton staff to maintain distancing. Glasses and contact lenses may take longer to arrive than normal due to the reduced workforce. Any balance to pay should be paid by phone or BACs. Following payment, we are offering a doorstep collection or delivery service or alternatively can post any glasses via royal mail. Please return to the practice when normal service reviews to have the glasses fitted properly.
If you need to order any contact lenses, drops or solutions, please contact us. We can arrange for this to happen by post. Currently, any regular auto shipment of contact lenses direct to home are unaffected. If this situation changes, we will update you.
Steve or I will try to post regular updates and we will, of course, be in touch when we look likely to re-open.
Thank You for your continued support
We would like to wish all our customers and staff all the best in such difficult and worrying times. Please stay safe, follow all the government guidance relating to Coronavirus (Covid-19). Most importantly take care of yourselves and each other. The whole team at Allegro Optical look forward to seeing you again as soon as it is safe to do so.
Finally, Steve and I would like to thank our amazing teams, Amy, Gemma, Josie, Jill, and Niamh in Meltham and Sara, Claire and James in Greenfield, Audiologist Kevin, Podiatrist Anne and our often invisible but extremely important support team of Abi, Xanthe, Helen, Zac and Sean. We are very grateful and proud to have you here and to call you our friends. You have worked tirelessly in very difficult circumstances. You have all been such an amazing tower of strength over the past few weeks.
Thank you, from Sheryl and Steve