College of Optometrists publishes updated guidance

Remote consultations, myopia and collaborative care pathways are among topics covered in the refreshed Guidance for Professional Practice

A female optometrist adjusts a white device with dials obscuring a patient’s face. 

The College of Optometrists has published updated Guidance for Professional Practice for optometrists. 

The fourth edition, titled Good Practice Better Care, contains four new sections covering: remote consultations and the delivery of virtual care; assessing and managing children with myopia; collaborative care pathways; and visual field and retinal structural terms.

Significant updates have been made to pre-existing sections, including: instilling eyedrops, principles of the routine eye examination, ethical research and the equipment list for the routine eye examination.

The development of the guidance was overseen by an Expert Review Group, with representation from across the UK, and was subject to a six-week public consultation.

Expert Review Group member and vice chair of Optometry Scotland, Eilidh Thomson, highlighted that a collaborative approach was taken to creating the guidance.

“The review group have applied lessons learned from the pandemic and beyond to provide robust guidance which should provide every practitioner clarity and confidence moving forward in their clinical practice for years to come,” she said.

Lead clinical adviser at the College of Optometrists, Daniel Hardiman-McCartney, shared: “The fourth edition has many updates and contains new sections that enable optometrists to innovate the ways eye care can be delivered, whilst still ensuring good practice and protecting the public.”

The College of Optometrists is hosting a webinar for members Thursday 11 January 2024, where the main changes to the guidance will be discussed and questions can be addressed. Registration for the webinar can be completed online.

Dr Peter Hampson, AOP clinical and professional director, said: “We’re pleased to have been working with the College of Optometrists on this new suite of advice for optometrists as part of the guidance review group. In particular, we welcome the guidance on remote care as a valuable reference point for practitioners working in this emerging area of practice and to ensure the best standards of care for patients.”