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Health

Information from North Cumbria Local Optical Committee regarding the use of opticians during the COVID-19 pandemic

Following advice from the General Optical Council, NHS England and other optical professional bodies all opticians in the area are open for urgent and essential eyecare only. This means that they will not be doing any routine eye appointments.

However, patients can still contact their optician in the following circumstances;

  • Their vision has suddenly changed or become blurry
  • They have a painful or red eye
  • They have been advised by NHS 111 or another healthcare professional to attend for urgent eyecare
  • They have broken or lost their glasses and need a replacement pair to function
  • They have a problem with their contact lenses
  • They are a key worker and require eyecare
  • Any other urgent or essential eyecare queries.

Opticians are trained to help patients with many different eyecare needs. So, in this period when GP surgeries and pharmacies are very busy, patients should consider contacting their optician first.

Patients should initially ring the practice, or visit the practice website, as many optical practices are offering phone advice initially to reduce how many people need to travel to the practice.

Some practices may need to close due to staff shortages and other concerns. If so, patients should contact a different practice.

Main points

  1. High street opticians are only open for urgent and essential care
  2. Patients should ring the practice first

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