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30 July 2021

Optical sector issues updated covid guidance for domiciliary providers

The Domiciliary Eyecare Committee (DEC) has today published
updated guidance for domiciliary eye care providers and practitioners for the next phases of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It updates guidance originally issued in June 2020 and takes account of latest knowledge about infectivity, the availability of PPE, vaccination and lateral flow testing.  

The guidance includes advice for everyone involved in the domiciliary eye care pathway and what patients, carers and care homes can expect in terms of safety from the domiciliary service.   

It emphasises the importance of regular eye care for people who are unable to leave home unaided and how compliance with rigorous infection prevention and control should make this possible for most patients in most settings.  Even where it is not, remote care should be provided to support daily living and quality of life and prevent visual impairment and sight loss.

Commenting DEC Co-Chairs Dawn Roberts and Gordon Ilett said: "This updated guidance reflects latest government and public health advice and College of Optometrists and ABDO professional guidance.  It should help improve access by reassuring patients, carers and care homes about the importance of regular eye care and that they will be safe in using domiciliary eye care services."

DEC member, Steve Clark, who led the review of the guidance added: "It is vital that domiciliary patients can access to regular eye care again so we can maximise their vision and quality of life and prevent impairment and lasting damage.  This guidance is intended to help us do that as safely as possible through the next phases of Covid -19 and the winter flu season."

Domiciliary Eyecare Committee

30 July 2021


Note for editors

The Primary Eye Care Sector's Domiciliary Eyecare Committee (DEC), established in 2004, is an open forum bringing together representatives from domiciliary service providers, the optical bodies (ABDO, AOP, FODO, Optometry Scotland, Optometry Wales, Optometry Northern Ireland and the College of Optometrists) and the NHS.   It is committed to promoting the highest standards of care for domiciliary patients and is active in lobbying for equal access to eyecare. The DEC encourages all providers of domiciliary services to follow its Code of Practice and guidance.  

The Committee's previous guidance 'Meeting the eye health needs of shielding, isolating and domiciliary patients during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic is here

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