The UK is currently experiencing the worst respiratory virus pandemic for over a century. The first peak may have passed, but there might be further peaks. In any event, the disease will be with us for some years, possibly alongside seasonal flu. While doing everything to eliminate community spread of Covid-19 and keep the infection rate (R) below 1, it is also important to continue providing eye care in order to mitigate the risk and impacts of eye disease and impairment throughout the pandemic.
It has never been more apparent, vision & eye health plays a key role in mental well being through social function & staying connected. HD Eyes would like to support our patients, customers and friends who require the following:
1. Visual correction
2. A consultation to investigate ocular symptoms (disease/ visual discomfort/ headaches)
3. Repair/replace broken glasses.
We class this as essential & emergency eyecare.
Through our risk assessment, we have identified the following in order to protect our staff and our customers. We must control contact infection, aerosol infection & the risk to vulnerable patients.
1. First line of defence - Encourage people with Covid-19 symptoms not to attend. You will be asked some routine questions at the point of booking so please do not be offended. Any coughs, fever, or loss of smell in the last 14 days, please postpone the appointment. We ask that you sanitise your hands as you enter, temperature will be checked & you will be masked. We understand some people have exemptions, however, our duty of care towards our staff & other customers in store is absolute paramount. If this cannot be complied with, we sincerely request the sight test is deferred to a later time once safe to do so. Please also use the NHS app to 'check in'.
2. Maintain social distance - We will book appointments to control flow of customers; this will include sight tests, collections and adjustments. We will minimise the number of staff/customers in store & would encourage patients to attend unaccompanied. Children/ elderly patients may be accompanied by one parent/ guardian in store at one time. Any accompanying members of the family may prefer to wait outside/ in their car. Public health posters displayed to emphasise social distancing.
3. Hygiene – We have hand gels at point of entrance & throughout the practice for all to use including customers. Staff will be washing hands after each interaction & contact will be kept to an absolute minimum. We will undergo more frequent cleaning with alcohol wipes. Staff will be wearing appropriate PPE.
4. In the consulting room – Inevitably, we will need to come within a 2m distance. We will be using appropriate PPE as recommended by our regulatory bodies, no ‘puff of air’ tests to reduce any aerosol production, we may need to dilate pupils & perform OCT if clinically reqd.
5. Handling frames – All frames may be tried on, but we will ask you to set any unwanted frames to the side so they can be sanitised & returned to the display.
Stay safe & we look forward to welcoming you once again.
Dil & The HD eyes team.