Further clarification on interpreting essential care has been provided by the Association of Optometrists (AOP) following the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee’s (OFNC) statement on May 27.

Mike George, chairman of the AOP, said that it is for practitioners to decide on a case by case basis whether a patient requires essential care and if they should be offered a face-to-face appointment.

‘Since the lockdown began over two months ago, and your patients may not know that you are currently able to offer essential care, in our view it would be reasonable for you to contact your patients to check their care requirements and see if they require any assistance,’ he explained.

George recommended recording the reasons for providing a face-to-face appointment and that the safety of patients and staff should be the primary concern.