World Health Organization seeking optometrists’ experiences of COVID-19

The information gathered will be shared with the Government’s COVID-19 inquiry and used to inform future policy

Cartoon shows various silhouetted people wearing COVID-19 masks against a black, green and purple background
Getty/Ada daSilva

World Health Organization (WHO) Europe is encouraging UK optometrists to take part in an anonymous 15-minute survey that will help inform the UK Government’s COVID-19 inquiry. 

The multiple-choice survey seeks to gather the experiences of healthcare professionals, including optometrists, from five European countries.

Originally set to close in mid-October, the survey will now remain open until early November so that as many responses as possible can be gathered.

After a statistical analysis, the findings will be presented to the ongoing COVID-19 inquiry.

It is hoped that the information shared by optometrists and other healthcare professionals will help to inform future emergency responses.

Data is being gathered from the UK, Italy, Poland, Georgia and Armenia.

Optometrists can complete the survey on their phones.

They are also being encouraged to share the survey as widely as possible with colleagues, in order that as much data can be collected as possible.

Early results have shown a strong prevalence of both long COVID and post-pandemic burnout in the healthcare workforce.

Justine Gosling, technical specialist at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, encouraged optometrists to engage with the survey.

“The survey results will be seen by the highest authorities in health, including the UK Government, and can contribute towards the COVID-19 inquiry,” she said.

“Within the report we will also make recommendations for future response and emergency planning. The results will also be presented at global WHO and external conference.”

Gosling added that the study will be published the Lancet regional journal for Europe, and that she would be “delighted” if enough data was collected to allow for a sub-specialty paper focusing on those working in eye health.

Take the survey here.