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Sadly I voted against running the campaign this year.Social distancing restraints mean we have limited capacity and as a business we have to concentrate on maximizing our income to make up for the reduced turnover during Lockdown.I am concerned about the public safety concerns but a delay of a few months may be wise at present.
I work in Hospital practice and encourage patients to take control of their sight with respect to driving. They just don’t take it seriously enough! Part of that control will require seeking a community eye test, I’m afraid.
So much is already going on and this is such an important topic. Give people the chance to return to a feeling of normal/consistently. The nation needs this to be taken seriously and not seen as further scare mungering
With reduced capacity and businesses still having to prioritise appointments according to clinical need in many areas it is probably not the time to be promoting routine check ups unfortunately. We need to give businesses the best chance of still being around to provide routine eyecare in years to come, and filling up their diaries with asymptomatic check ups that likely won’t buy glasses is not going to make up for massive reductions in turnover during lockdown.
Optometry practices need patients through the door to survive. The professional bodies need to encourage the drive of footfall as much as possible because tough times are here, and will be throughout the foreseeable future. By all means run the campaigns.
It's not just about checking a person's acuity, it's about considering the person's visual deficits in sub-optimal lighting conditions, hand-eye co-ordination, visual fields, overall ocular health and how such factors may impact on others. Not just for drivers but all road users (cyclists, scooters, motor bikes, motability clients etc)
I think this campaign is imperative
In light of the current situation with Covid, I don't think people will take the campaign seriously. It is definitely a very very important campaign but postponing it for a while would do no harm and be more worthwhile.
This is a imperative issue for public safety and the profession.However practices are under financial stress due to being closed due to government directives and social distancing/cleaning requirements having reopened.This is at a time when we are also being asked to take on more Enhanced /Shared Care Services as the HES cannot cope with demand.Driving more footfall into practices which have reduced capacity will not enhance public safety or the profession if it puts practices under more more financial stress and results in some having to close.
Definitely go for campaign
I don't agree that seeing a driver for an eye exam is an unnecessary clogging up of appointments- the campaign should go ahead, drivers should be tested regularly and new glasses, with additional features to aid driving vision, should be prescribed. It's an essential service.
Within the last month I have advised 2 people with seriously defective vision (VA 6/60 and intermittent uncontrollable diplopia) that they must not drive. These were both routine appointments. If we don't promote this campaign we are at risk of even more drivers like this on the road. It is our responsibility to be doing everything we can to promote road safety irrespective of our own concerns; the more so if we as a profession want to be taken seriously but other health professions and government.
With the current delay in hospital treatment including that for cataracts, I really feel it is crucial to remind our patients coming out of lockdown that their vision may have changed, their condition may have altered and it is still an important consideration that they have vision good enough to drive.
I think that we should continue to run the campaign to build on the success of previous years. Having said that, I agree with some of the comments left by members on the site that we do not need healthy asymptomatic individuals attending eye examinations and clogging up the diary. So, perhaps a more targeted campaign at the older people would be preferable, also highlighting the need to ensure the prescriptions are up-to-date.
Reading some of the comments, this shouldn't be about capacity / business needs at all. It's about public awareness, public safety, and getting a very serious message across. It's such an important campaign and should carry on.
I think it is important to continue the campaign if there is not another nationwide lockdown to help remind patients to prioritise their ocular health. If this campaign can play a role in reducing the amount sight loss that will occur as a consequence of the pandemic, then I believe it will be greatly beneficial.
It's a delicate balance. Whilst it is obvious to those within the profession that an ocular examination is vital for numerous reasons, including the ability to detect systemic conditions, anecdotal evidence suggests that this is not well appreciated outside of optics; therefore, any campaign that highlights the importance of optometry in health care is a good thing. However, in the current climate the difficulties of maintaining a successful business must be considered, whilst any campaign has to indicate that clinical care is being provided in a safe environment. For three months people were advised to stay at home. With the easing of lockdown restrictions in some places, I have examined a number of patients with acute conditions who did not want an appointment during lockdown because they were too scared to go out, whilst the majority of patients I have examined were unaware that many optical practices remained open during lockdown for essential and emergency care only and have been surprised to find this out. Therefore, any campaign that advises people that they can now have an ocular examination and encourages them to do so in a safe environment, whilst highlighting the role of Optometry in health care and assessing the visual ability to drive safely, is in the best interests of both the general public and the profession. Despite obvious concerns due to the pandemic, I feel that the Don't Swerve A Sight Test campaign should go ahead.
I used to think the campaign was important, but now I have moved to the countryside, I no longer do. Country folk ignore my advice about correction for driving, saying "They wouldn't catch me anyway, and I'm much too old to put in jail" Unfortunately, they are correct...
I think a targeted campaign around having an eye exam if you feel your visions changed aimed at all older people including drivers.
I sympathise with both sides of the argument. However if, as I was, you are knocked off your bicycle/have an accident on the way to work because someone didn't see you (resulting in two weeks off work) then it doesn't matter how full or empty your appointment book is. In these uncertain times people are concerned about going out. Financial corners are also being cut, often through necessity. These will both result in our roads becoming more dangerous with an increased risk (see above). I therefore vote for the campaign and will triage those who want an appointment.
I agree the campaign should go ahead. We are not in total lockdown and people are driving on a daily basis. The need is there.