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Opticians still providing emergency eyecare


By Andrew Dixon

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Opticians can still provide emergency and essential eyecare services.
Opticians can still provide emergency and essential eyecare services.

Optometry Scotland is urging people in the Highlands who require eyecare during the Covid-19 crisis to contact their optician, rather than seeking help from GPs, pharmacies or hospitals.

The majority of community opticians across Scotland, while not open for routine community eyecare in line with direction from the Scottish Government health department, are still available for emergency and essential eyecare while minimising Covid-19 infection risk.

This means their services are still available to key workers or anyone whose wellbeing or sight might be damaged if they have to wait.

David Quigley, chairman of Optometry Scotland, the body which represents opticians across the country, said: “Opticians are absolutely still here to help.

"The overriding direction for all eyecare professionals is to follow government guidelines in reducing infection risk, so it’s vital that patients in the Highlands, and beyond, contact us directly for eyecare advice during this period, to ease pressure on GPs, pharmacies and the NHS.

“While routine eye examinations are rightly not available at the moment, communities are still being served by opticians, who can be telephoned for general advice on arranging emergency and essential care and attention.

“Opticians across the Highlands, and all over the country, are working together as a network to ensure we can support eyecare in our communities, so if patients need help they should call their own optician first or others near them if directed to do so.

“It’s crucial that we avoid putting additional strain on other primary care services and the NHS at this time, so we want people to know that for eye issues, contact your optician first.”

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