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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.