Covid-19 guidance and support: Find out more

FODO Covid-19 guidance and support

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We are here to help you throughout the pandemic. In this section: 

A framework for primary eye care providers 

This practical framework is for practice owners, managers and clinicians and includes:

  • Assessing and mitigating Covid-19 risks in practice
  • '4Ps' framework to map out provider responses based on practice, professionals/practice staff, patients and procedures
  • Planning for variations in infection rates
  • Annexes with additional information: screening questions, considerations for face-to-face care, risk assessment template, a standard summary of cleaning advice, a summary of standard precautions and cleaning.

The framework is a living document, and we will update it as evidence and official guidance on Covid-19 evolves. Please help us improve it further by completing this short survey.

Domiciliary care - coming soon

Additional guidance to be published separately. We will update you when this is ready.

At a glance resources

In this section, we will add 'at a glance' resources and other tools to help members simplify processes and communications for staff, patients and the public to aid compliance and further reduce risks. We will tell you when we update this resource.

PPE at a glance

An overview of what PPE to use, how to use it and how to access it.

When to use PPE?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises to "only use PPE as a last resort". This is because you should first focus on safe systems and other controls (Source: HSE, PPE).

During the pandemic, this means in a typical primary eye care setting you should first focus on ensuring there are procedures in place to help people comply with:

  • social distancing guidance 
  • best practice hand and respiratory/cough hygiene
  • cleaning and disinfection protocols 
  • avoiding face touching
  • other safe systems – e.g. Perspex shields, slit-lamp breath shields etc

For example, if you can redesign a task so that it is performed at  >2m away, then this is preferable to being within 2m and using PPE. Where you cannot do this, for example using a slit-lamp, you should use a breath shield and ensure the appropriate PPE is used and used correctly. 

What PPE to use?

The College of Optometrists offers open-source guidance on what PPE to use in primary eye care settings. This covers clinical and non-clinical staff.

Read the College of Optometrists' PPE guidance.

At this stage there is no formal guidance for dispensing opticians or contact lens opticians, but they should follow the same advice as above.

To help we have created this PPE at a glance one page summary table

How to use PPE?

PHE has produced posters which explain how to use PPE. The most relevant to primary eye care settings, for non-aerosol generating procedures, are:

HPS has created a short video which explains how to use PPE in primary care settings correctly:

Alternatively, you can use the following PHE videos for health and social care settings and a guide for care homes.

How much PPE should I order?

You will need to have a new pair of gloves and apron for each patient you examine within two metres. Type IIR masks can be used for an entire session unless damaged or for example you touch it etc. A session might last four hours but could be less.

To help independent practice owner members we have created this PPE estimator. You can estimate how much PPE to order by completing the grey boxes.

Members can also contact us if they would like help estimating how much PPE they might need, for example if you have multiple sites or a different operating model. Please email: [email protected].

How to access PPE?

It remains challenging to obtain PPE, although this is improving. We will update members when there are new supply routes via our newsletter. Read the latest here.

At a glance: Covid-19 support and VAT

This short guide covers common VAT related issues for primary eye care providers during the pandemic.

Videos, posters and training

Members have asked us to pool free resources from trusted sources so they can quickly find what they need.Access posters, videos and training material from trusted resources based on where you are based.

What's next?

You decide by emailing [email protected].

Employment law and health and safety

As a member, you can sign up to the Coronavirus Advice Hub for sample letters, policies, risk assessments, FAQs and additional guidance documents

Access our employment support hub for extra support, or by emailing us at [email protected] or calling us on 01244 688422.

Enhanced support and care

Whether you are an individual practitioner, manager, or provider organisation, we know this is an incredibly difficult time for you. That is why a senior member of the FODO team will be on hand to help members seven days a week during this phase of the pandemic. Please contact us by email at [email protected] or 020 7298 5151.


Originally published: May 2020

Update log:

Version 1 of the framework was published 17 May. On 18 May the official case definition of Covid-19 in the UK was updated by the all UK CMOs and members updated via a member alert on the same day. Annex 1 of version 1 was updated to include a new question about anosmia and explaining how to get tested for coronavirus. Version 1.1. was published on 21 May.