Somerset Local Optical Committee
My Local Optician
COVID-19 UPDATES

We’re aware you have been receiving a lot of information recently. Below there are links to the various bits of information so they are all in one place. These link have also been mailed out to all LOC's:-

 Useful Links 

 

The College of Optometrists   LINK

 

The AOP LINK 

 

ABDO LINK 

 

GOC LINK 

 

The College have also produced a well worded joint statement with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists

 about Viral Conjunctivitis and Covid-19 : LINK

 

The NHS England SOPs for Primary care (link) have not changed since 5th March but expect an update

any time now.  


The GOC has issued a couple of important statements:

1) A joint statement with the other healthcare regulators recognising that professionals

may need to depart from their usual procedures at this time : LINK

2) Reassurance that using professional judgement we can supply spectacles and contact

lenses without first requiring the patient to attend an optical practice : LINK

 

The main GOC Covid-19 page which references these and other statements is here : LINK

 

Optical Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) are working with NHSE on financial support and

adjustment to contract requirements. Statement today : LINK.

 


This sector-specific advice sits on top of the Government advice to all citizens : LINK  

 

This advises risk groups, those over 70 and those with underlying health conditions

(details on the site) to follow social distancing measures.

 

Social distancing is explained here : LINK

 

It has been announced that Schools will provide childcare (not education) for children of health

& social care workers so they can continue to work.

 

The guidance the schools are following is here : LINK

 

As yet there is no clarity on whether or not optical professionals are ‘essential workers’.  

For now we advise that if you can’t do without the childcare support in order to fulfil your

healthcare role you should assert that you are a key worker, until we are provided with a clear

position on this.   The argument is especially strong if you provide MECS which we expect

to be busier than usual.  The Optical Bodies are working on a model letter you can use to reply

to schools which will come out via the optical representative organisations. 

..................................................................................................................................................................................

 OFNC GUIDANCE - OPTICAL PRACTICES - ESSENTIAL OPENING ARRANGEMENT - 24th March 2020


Please click here for the joint statement from the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC), Optometry Scotland, Optometry Wales and Optometry Northern Ireland regarding optical practices and essential opening arrangements.

Please also click on the link below to view the statement from OFNC:-  

.......................................................................................................................................................

COVID-19 UPDATE FROM MUSGROVE PARK HOSPITAL
 

Dear Colleagues,
 
Re COVID-19
 
We wanted to get in touch with our Optometry colleagues regarding the situation with the Ophthalmology

Service at T&ST. This is a rapidly changing situation, the situation as of Monday 23rd March is the following:
 

  • The Department is open and we are continuing to see patients who have urgent, sight threatening or potentially sight threatening disease
  • The Anti-Vegf service is running, but to a new protocol. It continues to treat patients with sight threatening macular disease
  • There are currently no plans to close the service
  • We are more than happy to receive referrals in the normal way, but are adopting a strict triage protocol
  • Senior nursing advice re triage is available on 01823 344603. (0900 to 1700 hrs Mon to FRi) and out of hours via the T&ST switchboard (01823 333444 and ask to speak to Ophthalmology first on-call – emergencies only please)
  • The purpose of all the above is to lower footfall in the department and therefore to protect our elderly patients
As the situation changes we will do our best to keep you all updated.
Thank you for your continuing efforts and support in these challenging times.
.................................................................................................................................................................................
UPDATED TABLE PRACTICE CLOSURES/REDUCED HOURS ETC


Date

Practice

Area

Note

Advised Local GPs/Optoms?

Next Nearest Open Practice

Indicative monthly activity

Variation Start Date

Variation End Date

17/03/2020

Millicans Opticians Wells

Mendip

Closed for 14 days due to Self Isolation

ü

Richard Mansfield
Specsavers Wells

37 appts

17/03/2020

31/03/2020

23/03/2020

Sarah Gibson Wincanton

South Somerset

Closed due to self isolation - duration TBC

ü

Robert Frith Wincanton

10 appts

23/03/2020

TBA

24/03/2020

Turners Eyecare Bridgwater

Somerset Coast

Closed due to government guidelines

ü

Specsavers Bridgwater
East Quay Vision

55 appts

24/03/2020

TBA

24/03/2020

David Kneebone Opticians Somerton

South Somerset

Closed due to government guidelines

ü

Specsavers Yeovil
Robert Frith Yeovil

13 appts

24/03/2020

TBA

24/03/2020

EyeTech Frome

Mendip

Closed due to government guidelines

ü

Specsavers Frome

31 appts

24/03/2020

TBA

24/03/2020

EyeTech Street

Mendip

Closed due to government guidelines

ü

Specsavers Street

30 appts

24/03/2020

TBA

24/03/2020

East Quay Vision Bridgwater

Somerset Coast

Reduced hours - 08:30 to 15:30

ü

Specsavers Bridgwater

 

24/03/2020

TBA

25/03/2020

Boots Yeovil

South Somerset

Closed due to government guidelines

 

Specsavers Yeovil
Robert Frith Yeovil

68 appts

25/03/2020

TBA

25/03/2020

Boots Frome

Mendip

Closed due to government guidelines

 

Specsavers Frome

8 appts

25/03/2020

TBA

25/03/2020

Boots Taunton

Taunton

Closed due to government guidelines

 

Earlham & Christopher Taunton
Specsavers Taunton
Watson and Smith Opticians

88 appts

25/03/2020

TBA

25/03/2020

Specsavers Bridgwater

Somerset Coast

Reduced hours - 10:00 to 16:00 Mon-Sat

ü

East Quay Vision

 

25/03/2020

TBA

25/03/2020

Martock Opticians

South Somerset

Closed due to government guidelines

ü

Specsavers Yeovil
Robert Frith Yeovil

10 appts

25/03/2020

TBA

26/03/2020

NK Opticians Cheddar

Somerset Coast

Closed due to government guidelines

ü

Richard Mansfield
Specsavers Wells

8 appts

25/03/2020

TBA

26/03/2020

Specsavers Minehead

West Somerset

Closed due to government guidelines

ü

Cranmers

13 appts

27/03/2020

TBA


........................................................................................................................................................................................

  
UPDATE POSITION FROM SOMERSET LOC AND THE LOCAL HOSPITALS

 
As you are all too aware, we are in unprecedented times. The Hospital system is under more pressure than ever to try to manage demand and keep vulnerable patients out of their clinics. We are currently working closely with the local eye departments to try and organise systems to help the flow of patients. They have asked us under these circumstances to consider our current actions as follows:
 
1. We need to send as few patients in to the hospital as we can, to reduce the risk of infection to them and to the staff.
 
2. Routine referrals will still be accepted but they are unlikely to be seen for at least 6-9 months.
 
IF REFERRING TO MUSGROVE:
3. They have specifically asked if we can accompany any referrals we are making with any imaging where possible. This will help them better triage patients and cut down on unnecessary hospital visits. Therefore we are asking to please send any referrals where imaging triaging is appropriate direct to the email address: 
 
OphthalmologySecretaries@tst.nhs.uk (with a normal copy of the referral to the patients GP but specify that you have emailed referral to hospital on the GP letter so the patient does not get referred twice)
 
They have also specifically stated: "Whilst preferable to come through secure e-mail. If unavailable unsecured should be acceptable with patient consent. The red tape should be set aside at this time."
"Patients may need a monitoring visit eg a pressure check or OCT whilst routine hospital appointments are suspended. We are trying to set up an NHS funded mechanism for this – initially it may be on a patient self-pay basis. We will update you on any developments."
 
IF REFERRING TO YEOVIL;
4. Yeovil will provide increased telephone support for patients and optoms with queries to help reduce unnecessary referrals. The telephone number for this is 07584 312399 or 01935 475122 extension 6198. if you have a referral which may be able to be managed in practice or need advice then phone the number for support.







 

 

 

 

 

OFNC STATEMENT
Download