Covid-19 Management Advice

28th June 2020

Piers Ricketts (Chief Executive of Eastern AHSN & Chair of the AHSN Network) on behalf of East of England local authorities/local government and regional NHS working together in partnership asks ALL PRIMARY CARE WORKERS to read his letter and complete the survey mentioned. 

Anybody using NHS Optometry Services is asked to read this letter and complete the survey mentioned.  SURVEY LINK


17th June 2020 Primary Care Team NHS England and NHS Improvement East of England

issued the the following documents relating to the resumption of General Ophthalmic Services (GOS):

Re-opening of Optical Services letter

Resumption of Optical Services

Standard operating procedures (SOP)

Risk Assessment for resumption of GOS 

Guidance on Reducing risk of Covid infection to staff



For Optometrists providing NHS emergency optometry services in the COVID situation.


Dear Colleagues, 

Following assessment of your patient’s needs, please use this order form when you request that a GP prescribes the medicine that you have recommended. 

This should be sent securely – e.g. by NHS mail – to the patient’s GP. 

Kind regards


Dr Alistair Lipp

Medical Director – Professional Standards & Responsible Officer

COVID-19:- Clinical Lead Out-of-Hospital services


Government Financial Support for Businesses & Employees


Social Distancing  Government definition


NHS ENGLAND - Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19)

1. Standard Operating Procedure for Primary Optical Care settings


On 20/03/2020 17:57, GREAVES, Sharon (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24) wrote:

To All Optical Contractors: Covid-19 - Maintaining educational provision for Key NHS Workers

We have received a number of queries from colleagues in primary care following the publication of the national guidance around the school provision for key workers. We can confirm that all primary care providers and their staff are included within the NHS Key Worker definition.


 Optical Team

Optical team email:

Pharmacy Webpage:

NHS England


NHSE Primary Care Safeguarding - Covid-19 Overview CLICK HERE


3. College Of Optometrists - Covid-19 Advice to practitioners

a). Viral Conjunctivitis Advice

b). Advice on NCT use

 in the UK, the College of Optometrists guidance states:

'Where possible, avoid the use of air-puff tonometry, particularly if it means you need to get close to the patient, as this may also generate aerosols, which may be a source of infection. If you normally use air-puff tonometry you should consider whether you need to do tonometry at this time, for example if the patient has normal discs and visual fields.'

This means that with immediate effect we should stop routine NCT for all customers unless you feel it is clinically justified based on clinical signs, such as narrow anterior angles or a change to disc appearance. If NCT is not measured for those who would normally recieve this test routinely, record 'NCT not taken as per Covid-19 guidance' underneath where NCT is currently recorded.

If tonometry is clinically indicated then GAT would be the first choice, but NCT can be used in the absense of applanation equipment.

Free slit lamp breath shields
Ophthalmic societies around the world are recommending enhancing your protective protocols and to install slit lamp protective breath shields.

ZEISS are providing free protective breath shields that can be installed easily on most slit lamps regardless of make or model.

To order your free shields visit:


4. Primary Eyecare Service (PES) Covid-19 Advice to Community Service Providers


5. General Optical Council Covid-19 Advice


6. LOCSU - Covid-19 update 11 March 2020

At LOCSU we are aware that there has been a range of information in circulation relating to Coronavirus and potential risks and processes for dealing with patients who may have been exposed to the virus.
It is important that all practices work within consistent and verified advice such as:

In addition, further advice can be found on government and NHS websites: And:

 7. Optical Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC)

OFNC is working with NHSE on financial support and adjustment to contract requirements. LINK