19 June 2020

COVID-19: NHS England and the GOC support the College's guidance in the recovery period

NHS England/Improvement and the GOC have given a clear directive that optometrists in England should follow the College’s guidance for the amber phase of the COVID 19 pandemic. NHS England has said that from 15 June 2020, 'routine' services can be resumed. However, patients should be prioritised based on their urgency of need and managed remotely first, which would include assessing their risk of developing eye disease, as well as their risk related to COVID-19 infection. Optometrists can recall, or see, asymptomatic patients if capacity permits, as long as they have PPE and appropriate infection control measures in place. See our guidance for more detail.

We know that optometrists in England are seeking clarity on how to manage private and NHS patients, and what “routine” means in relation to the amber phase guidance so, we have developed some new FAQs to help clarify how our guidance can be applied to the latest changes in policy and how practice should still be adapted.

This article was correct at time of publication. For the latest COVID-19 information, please visit the COVID-19 page.

Related further reading

One thing is certain: I wasn’t expecting the events of the last 10 weeks to take place when I wrote my last Optometry in Practice editorial in February this year.

From ocular allergy, through cosmetics and genetic disorders of the anterior eye, to driving without spectacle correction.

A message from Colin Davidson, College President.