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FODO update on eye care provision: GOC and College issue advice

In our third and final Covid-19 update today: 

  • GOC statement on re-opening optical practices 

  • College statement on moving to amber in England from 15 June 

  • FODO’s response to GOC and College statements 

  • Restarting GOS   

General Optical Council statement on re-opening optical practices 

The GOC has issued a statement on the re-opening of optical practices during the Covid-19 emergency. In summary, the statement confirms that 

  • Opticians have always been exempted from closure. Therefore, in the GOC’s view, this means that registrants are able to deliver private eye care including private sight tests/eye examinations and aftercare appointments in line with country-specific guidance, GOC standards and professional judgements

  • Practices working under GOS contracts will only be able to provide the services the NHS specifies. At this time, routine NHS eye care services are suspended pending further announcements by the NHS in the four UK nations.

  • Practices must follow government guidance for businesses to work safely during the Covid-19 emergency period to ensure that patients and staff are safe.

  • Practices which are open (or are looking to re-open following closure) must ensure that they conduct a full risk assessment before doing so, assess each patient’s situation on a case-by-case basis before offering care, and strictly comply with their obligations under the Standards of Practice and Standards for Optical Businesses in relation to infection control and patient safety.

Read the full statement.  

Practices in England can move to the amber phase from 15 June 

Further to our update earlier today, the College statement confirming practices in England can move to the amber phase from Monday 15 June can now be accessed here.  

FODO’s response to GOC and College statements 

With statements this evening from the GOC and College of Optometrists, we advise that from Monday 15 June members can start to meet the full range of eye care needs of patients who self-fund their eye care. 

This should be done in accordance with infection prevention and control guidance and the College of Optometrists Covid-19 guidance.  

Restarting GOS 

We await final confirmation from NHS England and NHS Improvement about the provision of NHS funded primary eye care services in England and will update members as soon as we receive this update via the OFNC. 

We will also keep members up to date with developments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 

We are here to support members over the weekend, so if you need any additional advice please contact us by emailing or calling us 020 7298 5151.      

If you have any questions or know anyone who would like to receive this newsletter, please contact us at 

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