As we move away from lockdown and the easing of measures associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) has set up a working group consisting of members from all areas of the industry to consider the impact and ongoing situation.

This group has been developing ABDO’s advice to the membership for the safe delivery of eye care in optical practices for both patients and practitioners as we enter the recovery phase.

The first action should be to carry out a practice risk assessment: an example of this can be found on the ABDO website. ABDO’s current guidance is to pre-book all appointments including spectacle collections. ABDO has also developed examples of patient leaflets and practice posters to make it easier for members to advise patients of the changes.

PPE is an area of key concern for everyone working in optics: some tasks will need to be carried out at close quarters. Staff should be provided with the correct PPE when working within the two-metre radius with patients or dependant on risk factors of the staff. This can include a surgical mask or full face visor, gloves, apron and protective eyewear, with the correct CE markings. Hand washing before and after every patient is essential and changing into uniforms when working in practice could be considered depending on individual practice set up.

ABDO has developed a useful form for pre-screening patients over the phone before their appointment to check for symptoms, and again on arrival.

Lastly, for those in shielded groups, we have recommended
a separate dedicated day, morning or afternoon be offered for them to attend for their eye care, minimising risk as far as
possible.