New ways to be flexible

Finding a safe path in an alien landscape


It is an old familiar tension; theory versus reality. So often it is the case – be it personal or work-related – where a good idea is conceived, but when it comes to applying the concept some work is needed. But I find that it is because of, and not despite, these limitations that smart, creative solutions can be born.

As a member of a team currently working from home during the coronavirus crisis, I admit that there have been times when I have scowled at my computer as my wifi connection dips in and out, or scratched my head as the person you are talking to via Microsoft Teams disappears into pixilated gobbledygoop.

And yet... the experience has also led me to reconsider processes, to pilot new ideas, to think differently. Crucially, to respond to the crisis, and to provide the support you, our readers, need, we at OT have had to become acutely flexible and hyper-reactive to the situation that to be described as "fast-changing" is an embarrassing understatement.

Over the last month, the OT team has continued its COVID-19 focused 'On the ground' series. These interviews with eye care practitioners and business leaders in the UK and beyond are a powerful reminder of the way the profession has adapted, but also how far we are from recovery. We would love to hear from you as you move towards your version of a 'new normal.' What are the first steps you are planning to take on the long road back to routine practice? We welcome your insight and perspectives through our newsdesk.

Yesterday, OT launched a new CET video, Infection control and prevention – the latest resource on offer from the AOP. It explains how to protect staff and patients in optometric practice during the coronavirus pandemic, including how to control the spread of the virus through screening patients for symptoms, hand washing, social distancing, and the correct use of PPE. On successful completion of the MCQs, members will be able to download a personalised paper certificate from MyAOP/CET to display on your practice wall or show an employer.

OT’s coverage of suppliers to the eye care industry also continues, highlighting the desire where possible to provide meaningful support to optometrists, and that includes simply being a voice at the end of the line for customers. Read about some of the work taking place here. 

Next on the list? OT has been working with its student and pre-reg readers to understand the key issues they face and to go in search of much-needed answers. Look out for our exclusive feature, which will be online shortly. A special thanks to Luke McRoy-Jones, AOP student councillor, for his passion and support on this important project.

OT  asks...

When do you think your practice is likely to have the equipment and processes in place to feel prepared to start seeing patients in a form of routine practice?
  • We will be ready next week

    15 9%
  • We are ready now

    52 33%
  • We will be ready this month

    33 21%
  • We will be ready in the next one to three months

    26 16%
  • We do not have enough information yet to make a decision

    28 18%