Preparing for local lockdowns: College guidance

  • 6 Aug 2020

In light of measures being introduced by the government across the UK, here is our guidance on dealing with local lockdown measures.

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As local lockdowns could be announced at short notice, and may vary in the nature of the restrictions from place to place, we recommend that members and practice owners make plans for local lockdown in their area.

The College’s COVID-19 Pandemic Guidance table was written in anticipation of local lockdowns and is designed to enable optometrists to act swiftly when a local lockdown is announced. Optometrists should use their professional judgement to immediately and appropriately adapt their practices. These measures will help protect local residents from COVID-19 infection, while maintaining the community’s essential eye health and vision needs.

Check information with official local sources 

There may be a lag between a government announcement and guidance being published by the local public health and NHS/health services.  So, in the first instance, members and practice owners should verify any announcement through a trusted news or government source and then look to their local council for information on the geographic area that is included. 

Follow relevant College guidance 

If you are working in an area that returns to lockdown, we advise that you should immediately follow the guidance set out in the red column of the College’s COVID-19 Pandemic Guidance table and the detailed recommendations for practice during this phase

You should take the following actions as soon as the announcement has been made: 

  1. Face-to-face eye care should only be for patients who need essential or urgent/emergency eye care. The exact mechanism for this service provision will be decided by local arrangements such as Emergency Eye Treatment Centres (EETCs) or urgent care hubs. 
  2. Triage and eye care should be provided remotely, with patients only seen face-to-face, when necessary. Patients already booked for appointments should be contacted to ascertain their level of need. You should postpone their visit if they do not need urgent/emergency or essential care.
  3. Practice should be adapted as set out in the red column of the College’s COVID-19 Pandemic Guidance table. You do not need to wait for a College statement before following this guidance.
  4. Practices should continue to follow the College’s guidance on infection control, social distancing and PPE.

For more information and resources, please visit the COVID-19: College updates page.

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