Latest advice from the College of Optometrists regarding Covid-19.

As a result of the public health advice coming from the UK’s governments to avoid social contact where possible, the College of Optometrists recommends that every optometrist and practice owner stops providing routine sight tests and routine eye examinations and offers only essential services. Essential services would include sight tests based on a clinical need, and urgent eye care pathways.

There are several reasons for this:

  1. Practices now need to contribute to the public health endeavour of ensuring that people only go out when necessary. Routine sight tests can be safely delayed.
  2. It is essential we help to keep the nation‘s sight healthy – from NHS frontline staff to those in self-isolation. Our communities still need essential eye care, and secondary care may need our support to see urgent cases. We therefore need to ensure our members, and all optical staff, are able to protect themselves and maintain the safety of their communities.

What is essential? 

Examples of essential optometric practice would include providing replacement spectacles for a key worker who has broken their current pair or seeing patients with acute eye- or sight-related symptoms. It would not include seeing patients who are attending practice for their routine sight test without eye- or sight-related symptoms.

We will post more details of our plans in the next few days.