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All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘COVID-19’
We are pleased to advise that we will be reopening on Monday 18th, but unfortunately be aware that it will not (cannot) be business as usual.
Due to safety requirements we will have to impose the following “rules”.
To ensure social distancing we will only be able to accomodate one client at a time. For this reason we will be running with the door closed and are asking that all wishing to visit PLEASE CALL US IN ADVANCE. We will have a door bell, but for your convenience, please call us to arrange a time to come in – it may just be a case of suggesting you postpone for 5 or 10 minutes.
Please come alone, unless you require a carer to accompany you. If the person with you is only a “driver”, they should not attend.
Unfortunately it is not possible to perform a routine eye test at a social distance, so the Association of Optometrists is recommending that all routine tests be postponed at this time. In cases of sight loss, pain or other issues we will happily see you, but it will not be a full normal test for the moment.
If you need new spectacles, we will do what we need to arrange that, and schedule the remainder of the eye test at a later date.
Contact Lens checks should be a legal requirement before we can issue repeat contact lens prescriptions, but again under these unprecedented circumstances these have been allowed to be postponed, assuming there are no issues.
All visitors should be COVID symptom free and not aware of having been exposed to anyone who may be infected, but we all know that! Anyone who wishes to be examined should bring a mask with them to wear in the test room. We have masks and other PPE on order, but predictably they are well beyond their expected delivery date. They also cost a significant amount of money, so we are not able to give them away – we suggest you bring your own. We will call you before your appointment to check your health and also do the normal “history and symptoms” which would is usually done at the start of the test.
Every visitor will need to give us their details – name, address and a contact telephone number, so that we can record this for tracing purposes, should it be necessary. This even applies if you are only droping in a relative’s frame to have screw inserted, or collecting something on behalf of someone else.
These “rules” are subject to change at any time – no-one has dealt with a situation like this before, but between us we will get through this.
For the foreseeable, I do not think that there is too much point in us being open normal hours – there just will not be the demand for testing, or perhaps not the ability!
We are going to go with Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 4pm.
We will have an answering service for the rest of normal business hours – leave us a message and we will get back to you.
After careful consideration over the last few days, I have decided that the practice should close until March 29th.
There is little point in trying to split routine eye testing into 15 minute blocks, unless you are an “Optical Chain”, where it can all be done in less than 15!
I cannot (could but, will not) do testing that quickly – I tested my daughter last night in 12 minutes, but there were no issues except for blurry vision, and I didn’t need to be nice to her….
The diary in the next couple of weeks is busy, though how many people will arrive is a different matter….
Eye examinations are important – everyone should have one regularly, but they are not often time critical – a week or two here or there likely will not matter?
So, without consulting staff, I have decided that we should not open until March 29th. I feel that Neasa and Sandra will not be unhappy with this decision, but as I say, I have not asked them, yet.
So…… If you have an emergency (a vision/ eyesight emergency) please call Ian on 0838080371. Given my poor mobile coverage at home, and slightly better, but at this time “spotty” internet connection – it drops every few minutes (thanks Three), better to try me on WhatsApp? I am personally not a regular Facebooker, but if you try to contact us that way, I reckon Neasa or Sandra will alert me.
If you have a “spectacles emergency” such as a lens falling out or you sat on them (they seemed to become “somehow” strained), all of a sudden!!
Yeah, give me a call, and I will do what I can, but in the circumstances, try a pin, or a piece of thread – try to fix them yourself?
Obviously this is a very poor business decision – it would be much better to attempt to remain open – businesses which are closed only lose money after all! But in the “Grand scheme” of things, I think that this may be better for the population as a whole?
Tough (and scary) times!
The global pandemic introduces many difficulties to daily life and Optometry is no different!
Optometrists cannot perform any work at a distance greater than 2 metres – their arms are too short after all! As anyone who has had an eye exam will know, examination of the back of the eye is a very close procedure, with very little distance between the client and the optom.
Professional and regulatory guidance suggests that because Optometrists cannot work with the “self distancing” suggestions, we will have to attempt to go by the 15 minute rule. For the foreseeable, eye tests may need to be split into more than one session – the suggestions are that refractions and history and symptoms will be visit one and there will need to be another appointment for eye examination and (if necessary) collection of spectacles.
Obviously, depending on symptoms and issues, things may need to be done in a different order, depending on priority.
This is a not ideal situation, but in these circumstances, which are not ideal, we will have to roll with it.
We are going to have to instigate an appointment only visiting plan – no visitors without an appointment, at all. All appointments made by telephone will have to be screened, “triaged” to ensure you have no symptoms of COVID-19 and to determine why you require an appointment – if you have an emergency, such as loss of vision, we will see you no problem, but a red and/or sticky eye associated with a cough could be a sign – we will direct you elsewhere – best to call the HSE?
Routine eye examinations are the most likely to be disrupted – we plan to split those up as previously described, but, unfortunately, at this time do you really need your eyes tested? If you broke your specs and need a new pair, for the moment, if you could see OK with the previous pair, it might be better to go with the old prescription? We will absorb the costs involved here – should it later become “clear”, after a test down the line, that the correction was not ideal, we will change the spectacle lenses at no further charge to you. But maybe just wear your spare pair until this current crisis has passed?
Teaching clients how to apply and remove contact lenses is a time intensive and close proximity task which will have to be suspended until further notice.
For those folks who are past their contact lens prescription “in date time”, we will (as per recommendations) extend the contact lens prescription validity time, until things improve – no contact lens check mandatory at the moment!
For the same reasons, all home visit appointments are cancelled until further notice – there is no point in visiting a housebound person and exposing them to unnecessary risk!
Tough times for all of us – none of these measures are necessarily just to protect the staff of the practice, though that is of course an issue, but it is moreso to protect the wider community, to ensure we do not cause community spreading.
Pubs, Clubs and other venues, where large numbers may be in close proximity have been advised to close for two weeks by the government. We also see that certain local businesses have chosen to close for the next few weeks – that is their choice and we make no inference on whether that is the correct choice, but life goes on, as will COVID-19. It will still be in the wild in 2 weeks from now, likely more widespread, so we will hold off from even more drastic measures until absolutely necessary…..