The Covid-19 news digest
Just to bring you up to speed and simplify the overabundance of sector updates since Friday.
Sight testing in England
The NHS has confirmed today that you can resume “the full range of routine GOS services”, and that this should be done in accordance with infection prevention and control (IPC) measures – including correct use of PPE.
The NHS confirms it is for practices to manage their caseload locally, although it recommends that practices consider:
Urgency of needs
Particular unmet needs of vulnerable groups
Available capacity to undertake activity.
The NHS SOP reiterates sector guidance to take a remote-first approach and use clinical judgement to prioritise patients for face-to-face care.
Guidance from the College of Optometrists and GOC aligns with this.
This means practices in England can reassume the full range of eye care services for NHS and self-funding patients, but you should give priority to those in the greatest clinical need.
Members can access all the support they need to meet IPC requirements using our Covid-19 guidance or by contacting us in the usual way.
We have also reissued our PPE at a glance guide, which now includes the Department of Health and Social Care’s list of PPE wholesalers who can supply primary eye care practices.
Non-contact tonometry safe to use
The College of Optometrists and Royal College of Ophthalmologists have confirmed that non-contact tonometry (NCT) is no longer classified as an aerosol-generating procedure (AGP). It means you can now use NCT. Learn more.
We will be updating our Covid-19 framework shortly to reflect this change.
New PCA issued
Directorate for Primary Care Scotland has published an updated PCA. In follow up to Dr Janet Pooley’s letter of 12 June, the PCA confirms that practices in Scotland will need to have the appropriate PPE as set out by HPS before they can restart face-to-face care. Read the full PCA.
Flexible CJRS guidance
We will soon publish guidance for members on the new flexible coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS). Meanwhile, if you have any questions about this please can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our 16 June update
We published our member update online yesterday. However, we did not email members as we know many were expecting the NHS letter, which we only received this morning. You can catch up with the update, which also covers remobilisation plans in Scotland, GOC and College updates on clarifying ‘re-opening’ in England, NHS support for patients who are shielding, and the first coronavirus treatment.
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