Optical sector pulls together to help practices tackle CoVid-19
An open message from Imran Hakim

Hakim Group CEO

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To my fellow colleagues and practice owners.

It is clear that small business owners are attempting to navigate through the unprecedented challenges before them, faced with rapidly evolving information, whilst continuing to maintain a 'business as usual' environment.
 

They are having to make decisions at a pace which they have never previously had to, which makes the current landscape both daunting and overwhelming for many.
 

For the bigger businesses, they have large departments supporting the front-line practice teams through these challenges and even for them, this is an immense undertaking. However, most independent owners are attempting to curate information from the many sources out there by themselves.
 

As a group of independent practices, we have been working flat out to provide strategy and guidance to our teams.

Given the fact that the information and action needed is immediate, there is very little time for practice owners to wait around to see how things unfold and it is clear that they need to be armed with a strategy that they can work through depending on how things develop.
 

Many of you are friends and colleagues who also own practices and are facing similar dilemmas.

I am delighted that some of our industry organisations and networks have agreed for me to reach out to our collective networks, to share ideas and communication in an agile format in the days and weeks to come so that collectively we can support each other through this turbulence. I am hopeful that more networks will support this endeavour over the coming days. I will be reaching out to more of our industry leaders shortly and I would be delighted to talk to any suppliers or organisations who can help contribute towards the collective good. If there is any support you are able and willing to offer, please contact lukewren@hakimgroup.co.uk or catherinehogan@hakimgroup.co.uk
 

This isn't about commerce. Any thoughts around competition or hidden agendas need to be left at the door. We are all in this together whether it be practice owners, suppliers or industry organisations. This is about ensuring the well-being of our loved ones and those that we care about. It is about allowing us to ensure that we are well placed to support the elderly if they are in self-isolation for a considerable time and, as such, will have an increased reliance upon their vision.
 

This may require optometrists to step up as primary care providers and be ready to take care back into the community to help with capacity issues.
 

This is a time for us all to stand together, to support each other, remove any barriers to collaboration and join the heroic efforts of our other colleagues in the NHS. Together we will help pull the country through these challenging times.

 

My best wishes to your nearest and dearest,

Imran Hakim 

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