Further to the announcement from NHS England & Improvement on the 17th June 2020, routine General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) can resume.
From this point optical practices can now resume delivery of the following locally commissioned diagnostic and monitoring services
- Cataract Services – Pre and Post-Op Follow Up Service
- Glaucoma services – including referral filtering services (i.e. repeat readings, enhanced case finding) and monitoring
- Children’s Post Vision Screening Service
- Low Vision
Patients that have been postponed due to COVID should be contacted and can be booked in to receive their care.
Optical practices should deliver these services in line with the service specification while maintaining the same precautions for all patients. This includes;
- Infection control procedures
- Use of PPE
- COVID screening questions
First Contact Services (MECS or CUES)
Due to COVID-19 there is a need for us to minimise the risk to patients and staff.
- Patient identification – Follow NHS England Standard Operating Policy (SOP) for primary care optical practices (we await updated versions please follow current government guidance on screening):
- Please see additional Triage Form to determine outcome for patient contact, this contact will be either via telephone / video consultation in the first instance or advise to contact the local urgent eye care department for discussion about next steps. Guidance on this Telemedicine Assessment and how to carry out is linked below.
- COVID-19 Additional Triage Form Download
- Telemedicine Guidance V4
- Virtual Conference Guidance – Which Platform & How?
- Where a patient has recent onset mild red eye related symptoms encourage self-care wherever possible by directing patient to purchase appropriate over the counter medications.
- A practitioner should be ensuring that they clean down slit lamp and wash hands before and after each patient.
- Slit Lamp Shields – practices should consider the use of slit lamp shields to create a barrier between patient and practitioner as contact area with patient is less than 1 metre. These can be purchased but also made, see helpful links:
- Ensure you check your practice Infection control measures against the QiO Infection Control audit if you have not done this recently.