NHS England confirms practices can remain open through new lockdown

Practices will be able to deliver care through the next phase of Government restrictions, prioritised on the basis of clinical need and ensuring PPE and infection control processes are in place

Pexels/Ksenia Chernaya

NHS England has confirmed that optical practices can remain open during the new national coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, set to start in England from Thursday 5 November and continue until December.

The AOP confirmed with NHS England that practices can remain open provided they continue to follow public health advice and ensure correct personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection control procedures are in place.

The confirmation follows recommendations from optical organisations on Monday that indicated practices should remain open for prioritised routine care along with essential and urgent care, and follow the College of Optometrists’ Amber phase guidance.

The AOP emphasised the importance of prioritising patients according to need, pointing to an update of the NHS England Standard Operating Procedure that states: “Patients should be prioritised based on their clinical need and routine patients seen only if you have capacity to do so.”

The Association added in an update to members: “At this time, it is important that all practices prioritise those with the greatest need to ensure that genuine eye health problems are detected and dealt with appropriately.”

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OT endeavours to keep the most up-to-date news on our website and this information was correct when published. However, the situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly evolving.