14 April 2020

COVID-19: The NHSEI statement on redeploying the optical workforce

NHS England/Improvement has produced guidance on utilising the optical workforce to respond to patient care and service delivery needs in the context of Covid-19. The guidance highlights a range of ways in which optometrists can contribute to NHS service delivery in this time of urgent, large-scale demand. This includes on a remunerated and voluntary basis, and across a range of NHS settings.
 
We are disappointed that the guidance does not make more explicit reference to optometrists’ existing clinical skills. The College continues to engage in UK-wide discussions with key stakeholders on how workforce capacity within the optical sector can most appropriately be drawn upon and how members can best be supported in contributing to NHS service delivery at this time of need. Informed by this we will produce guidance for members if needed. 

This article was correct at time of publication. 

Related further reading

Here we summarise three research papers from a recent issue of Optometry in Practice.

This article provides practical tips for assessing and managing eye health in people with varying degrees of hearing loss.

This article describes an audit to evaluate how the COVID-19 pandemic affected hospital contact lens services.