There were some eyebrow raising findings in a couple of surveys released this week. A comprehensive survey commissioned by Braemar Finance looked at how optical businesses were trading during the pandemic. Eight out of ten people said they were very positive (36%) or somewhat positive (46%) about the post pandemic economic outlooks for their businesses.

I was encouraged greatly by this, as from speaking to practices about how businesses were performing at different points over the past year, I would honestly have guessed that the figure would have been significantly lower. Still, always nice to be pleasantly surprise.

What wasn’t such a nice surprised was the number of practitioners that had concerns about Covid-19 vaccinations. Nearly a third (31%) said they were uncomfortable about taking a vaccine. Given how so many members of the optical profession have stepped up to help with the vaccine rollout in recent months, I was genuinely shocked to read this. As a profession, we’re used to dealing with clinical trials and interpreting results, but that hasn’t translated into trust in the available vaccines. What made the figure harder to believe was that 40% of practitioners said that they would only agree to see a patient after being presented with evidence of being vaccinated. It’s the sort of thing that might make the people at the Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS) wince.

But the staff at the OCCS have heard and dealt with most complaints, and you’ll soon be able to find out more about the work it does, and some of the more unusual complaints in the first episode of Optician’s brand-new podcast, Talking Optics.

Talking Optics will be available across all podcast platforms on April 14. I hope you enjoy it.