Video highlights new guidelines for visiting opticians

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RNIB Scotland has collaborated with optometrists to ensure the safety of staff and visitors. 

15th July 2020 by Gavin Stuart 1 Comment

RNIB Scotland has joined forces with optometrists for a video explaining what blind and partially sighted people can expect when visiting their local practice.

The video details new procedures that will ensure the safety of anyone who needs to attend for examinations or treatment such as social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Currently, opticians are only open for emergency treatment and visits must be pre-arranged. In all other cases, people are asked to asked to phone their local practice which will decide if cases can be dealt with over the phone or via tablet or laptop.

In the video, Alastair Duff, an executive committee independent member of professional body Optometry Scotland, explains that those who do need to attend in person will first be asked some questions to ensure they and the staff in the practice won't be put at risk.

"The measures that are in place in practices include social distancing and requesting patients not to speak when an optometrist is in close proximity," he says.

"All staff will have personal protective equipment and consultation rooms will be disinfected after each visit. Spectacles and any other low vision aids will be delivered so patients won't have to come back into the practice."

Blind or partially sighted patients will be allowed to take a guide-dog or sighted guide with them as long as they let the practice know in advance. All other patients are asked to attend by themselves.

James Adams, director of RNIB Scotland, said: "The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted health care across the board, so it's very reassuring that people, especially those with a visual impairment, can still access treatment in a safe environment.

"Maintaining eye-health remains as important as ever to detect any problems early enough to arrest or hopefully reverse any sight-threatening symptoms. Left untreated, some conditions could eventually result in permanent deterioration in sight, so we don't want anyone to neglect eye-health."

It is expected that optometric practices will reopen to the general public in August depending on the advice given by the Scottish Government.

21st July 2020 by Angie

It's a shame that the text on this article is not clear, nor is the link to the video. For partially sighted people they cannot see that the word video is a hyperlink.