Hakim Group provides free guidance to independents during Covid-19 crisis

The support includes advice on the reopening of practices, and remains accessible as lockdown restriction ease

laptop and glasses

The Hakim Group has been providing free resources to independent practices outside its portfolio during the lockdown, including guidance on how to prepare for reopening.

As part of the group’s #StrongerTogether initiative, hundreds of independent opticians in the UK and Ireland have benefited from access to Hakim’s financial blueprints, marketing campaigns, team training, patient information videos and advice on personal protective equipment (PPE).

These resources are still available to independent practices as they navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Daska Barnett, the owner of a long-established independent, Specs of Kensington, in London, said: “The main benefit I found of being part of the ‘Stronger Together’ community was that, in extremely challenging times, you didn’t feel like you were on your own. As the owner of a single practice, with a limited infrastructure, to have the Hakim Group so generously share their resources and expertise was incredibly helpful.

“I found the amount of information being thrown at us and the rate at which advice was changing, to be overwhelming. The way that Hakim Group collated and disseminated practical advice, whether it be financial, operational, or pastoral, was excellent.”

female optometrists
The Specs of Kensington team, pictured before the lockdown

The Hakim Group also ran webinars over a ten-week period during the lockdown, which were open to all and offered independent practice owners an insight into the group’s strategy to support its own practices. The webinars had a personal development theme, and saw guest speakers from around the world share their unique perspectives.

Nicholas Rumney has also used the Hakim Group resources, supporting his role as senior optometrist and chairman of BBR Optometry in Hereford, after reading about the programme on Optometry Today online.

Mr Rumney said: “The team at BBR Optometry and I are extremely grateful that the Hakim Group were hitting the ground running. It’s fair enough for the professional bodies to have been working on guidance, but we needed hard business ideas and a sanity check that our own ideas were sensible. We are grateful for the speed and quality of the information provided along with the inspiring webinars.

“They have been extremely supportive for the independent sector during this trying time for businesses, so I want to thank them for what they have been doing to support optometry through this global crisis.”

The Hakim Group wants to remind independent practices that these resources are still available, despite lockdown restrictions easing in recent weeks. Independent practice owners who want to access this support should visit