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05 January 2021

College of Optometrists issues guidance on eye care provision

The College of Optometrists has published more detailed Covid-19 guidance following its
initial update on 4 January.

In an update on 5 January, the College confirmed that primary eye care providers should:

  • Follow its amber phase guidance
  • Continue to provide needs and symptoms led healthcare in line with other primary care services
  • Only provide routine appointments if capacity permits and if it is in the patients’ best interests.

It has said that “access to an optometrist is critical in ensuring the preservation of vision and prevention of sight loss” and helps reduce pressure on the hospital eye service.  

The College has reiterated the importance of following IPC guidance and clinical guidelines, which includes rigorous adherence to standard precautions and following College Covid-19 guidance.

Commenting on changes since the first national lockdown, the College said: “Practices are at a very different level of preparedness than in March, with IPC procedures in place, changes to clinical practice now embedded and lateral flow tests and PPE readily available.”  

The College explained that the red phase of its Covid-19 guidance would “be initiated if and when the national governments and respective health systems suspend routine primary health care services”.


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