COVID-19 UPDATES


During the Covid 19 pandemic we are working with LOCSU, Primary Eyecare Services Limited, all the London Local Optical Committees, NHS England and Clinical Commissioning Groups to implement the Covid Urgent and Emergency Service (CUES) for the benefit of the public delivered by optometrists in practice.

LATEST NEWS

Current guidelines and FAQs from the College of Optometrist of Optometrist can be found here. (27/11/2020)

For more information on regional tiering in the UK see TIERING ALLOCATIONS_


#LookingAfterYouToo: Coaching support for primary care staff

The NHS wants to ensure staff feel supported to maintain psychological wellbeing and resilience during this time by having access to individually tailored coaching support. It’s a space for staff to offload the demands of whatever they are experiencing and be supported in developing practical strategies for dealing with this, including:

  • process experiences
  • develop coping skills
  • deal with difficult conversations

It is available 7 days a week: 8:00am – 10:00pm Monday to Friday and 10:00am – 6:00pm Saturday and Sunday and slots can be pre-booked with experienced coaches at a convenient time. Coaching sessions will continue until at least March 2021.

More information on this initiative can be found at https://people.nhs.uk/lookingafteryoutoo/


OFNC have released a statement on COVID-19 funding for optical practices in England OFNC Update on COVID FUNDING  31/07/20
 OFNC update on funding 20.07.20

NHSE have now given the go ahead for optical practices to reopen and begin resumption of provision of GOS services under risk management. This now means resumption of both private and NHS eye examinations.  C0601_Reopening of optical services letter 17.06.20

BEFORE commencing routine GOS care, practices need to declare that they are following  Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)  C0601_COVID19_OPTICAL_SOP v1 17/06/2020

Statement highlighting key areas which need to be addressed before practices re-open can be found in; IMPORTANT UPDATE – NHSE Declarations 19/06/20


GOC have released a statement on re-opening optical practices during COVID-19 emergency GOC Statement – reopening practices 12/06/2020

Please help get this worthwhile service up and running by recording your activity as described this Communication from LOCS. 28/05/20.

Recent updates from LOCSU discussions can be found here. 15/06/2020

NHSE announced all dental practices to commence opening from 8th June. Implications for optical services can be found on OFNC statement on essential care 27.05.20

Recent statement released by the ONFC on meeting essential eye care needs during the pandemic can be found on the OFNC statement on essential care 27.05.20

The ONFC have released a recent statement on Routine Eye Exams UK 13/05/2020

Updated OFNC guidance for optical practices in England OFNC 2nd April

OFNC guidance for optical practices in England can be found here. (01/04/20)

The OFNC has issued COVID-19 advice to all Optical Practices and Practitioners, which can be read here.

Specific advice on essential opening arrangements is also available here.

Latest changes to GOS vouchers, CET and Supervisor Grants can be found here 02/04/20

Please find attached an update with regards the provision of GOS Optometry GOS Update – Covid-19.

Joint professions have come together to address the lack of financial support for the Self-Employed, recent Graduates and Directors of Limited Companies,  Joint professions open letter to Chancellor 080420.

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including eligibility can be found  here. 08/06/20

The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy published and updated 12/05/2020

Important Information

Please note that ALL practitioners can now access PPE through LOCSU.
Kindly only order the quantity you need so that as many practices as possible can get access. PPE for Optical Practices Available Now 08/06/2020

Practices are now able to order and view latest updates on access to PPE equipment including FAQs  Update from Department of Health & Social Care_PPE 31/03/2020

Latest advice on Risk Stratification and Referral Guidance can be found in the   Guidance Letter 8th April2020

Further guidance by NHS on managing patients with urgent and sight threatening eye conditions can be found in Optom decision risk stratfication doc

Details on GOS funding for practices which remain open can be found on NHSE Confirmation of Financial Support 29/04/2020

NHS England have produced The Directory- Ophthalmology Service Provision in London-21/04/2020. Practitioners are advised to check and direct ocular emergencies to relevant departments in their area.

General Government Coronavirus advice for clinicians is available at https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/

Social distancing is explained here.
Isolation notes are available here.
Please log on to the following link for UK GOV guidance on business closure here.
A poster with recommended PPE for primary, out patients and community care is available for practices Poster-Recommended PPE.

Other Sources of Current Guidance 

FODO have created a framework which aims to help members forward plan and respond to Covid-19 as the pandemic progresses, details can be found on PrimaryeyecareFramework 17/05/20 (V1)

The College of Optometrists have released an update on testing for Optometrist during COVID-19 available here. (07/05/20)

The College of Optometrists have produced a document to help optometrists understand how to adapt their working practices as we move into The Amber Phase 29/05/2020
The College of Optometrists are hosting an FAQ which can be found at;

The Royal College Of Ophthalmologist have released a statement on Reopening-and-redeveloping-ophthalmology-services-during-Covid-recovery-Interim-guidance13/05/2020

Royal College of Ophthalmologists about Viral Conjuntivitis and COVID-19
A poster from the college regarding essential and emergency eye care is available to download 24-March-2020-Essential-services-poster

It is advised that where possible remote consultations can be available to triage symptoms and prevent the need for patients to attend practices. Telephone consultation record sheet is available for phone/video consultations here.

New guidelines on personal protective equipment is available here.

The  GOC has issued a couple of important statements:
1) A joint  with the other healthcare regulators recognising that professionals may need to depart from their usual procedures at this time found here.

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

The AOP have announced a fee reduction for members amidst the coronavirus crisis, details can be found here.

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians have created a Covid-19-Practice Risk-Assessment-Form-20/05/20
Recommendations and resources for practices wishing to re-open can be found on Covid-19-Exit-Phase-Recommendations-20/05/20

Home Counties COVID-19 Updates 

Details of Eye Casualties in and around London can be accessed at London Eye Casualty Service

A patient questionnaire has been designed to screen patient symptoms before agreeing to see them for an eye examination.Covid 19 Questionnaire for patients 30032020

Practices offering MECs during COVID-19 may wish to display this guidance poster in their practices Covid19 A4 Poster 30032020

A MECs plan is available for practices offering Emergency appointments MECS Plan for Optometrists 31032020

All Emergency HES referrals should contact the relevant departments before sending patients to HES. Contact details can be found below