“All with a smile behind the mask:” video shines light on independent superheroes

A video tribute has showcased the work of independent optical professionals throughout the pandemic, from sight-saving care to doorstep spectacle repairs

Simon Burgess
A new video highlights the work of independent optometrists, dispensing opticians and optical assistants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The video depicts independent optical professionals holding signs describing how they have supported patients during lockdown.

Examples include repairing spectacles on the doorstep, delivering spectacles and prescriptions, helping isolated patients to retain vision, and mending broken spectacles for children.

The video showcases how independent optometrists have helped key workers, such as paramedics and nurses, saved the sight of patients through emergency appointments and offered remote consultations seven days a week throughout lockdown.

Optometrists featured in the video also supported an NHS foodbank, kept in touch with vulnerable patients through friendly phone calls, and became experts in multi-tasking - with optometrists also taking on the roles of receptionist, dispenser and delivery driver.

Simon Burgess, of Think Training and the new online optical training programme Practice Made Perfect, told OT that he made the video in his spare time to highlight the work of independent practices during the pandemic.

He added that many practitioners had continued to work during the COVID-19 lockdown, often in difficult circumstances, to serve their communities.

“I’m not a video editing expert as my day to day work is usually running optical training events and coaching practice owners, but I wanted to give something back to the industry I have worked in for 34 years,” Mr Burgess said.

He received submissions from 75 optical practices across the UK, from Aberdeen in the north to Portsmouth in the south and Lisburn in Northern Ireland.

A video showcasing the work of independent optical practices during the COVID-19 crisis