Ongoing Provision of Essential Eyecare Services
Last Friday, the Scottish Government offered to maintain the structure and integrity of community eyecare in Scotland by providing each practice with average GOS payments.
This was further enhanced by the provision of additional payments for emergency and enhanced services.
Last night, SGHD secured the Cabinet Secretary for Health’s agreement in permitting community optometry practices to remain open during lockdown. These are practices providing emergency and essential eyecare under locally agreed Board arrangements.
The government has also updated its earlier ‘premises to close’ guidance and makes an exception for medical services including “opticians and audiology clinics”.
“Exceptions Medical services (such as dental surgeries, opticians and audiology clinics, physiotherapy clinics, chiropody and podiatry clinics, and other professional vocational medical services)”
Community optometry practices in Scotland providing emergency or essential eyecare services, under arrangements with local NHS Boards, are therefore not required to close.
It is confirmed that community eyecare practices are now permitted to remain open in support of primary and secondary care and the wider NHS in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic threat.
The expectation is upon us to work collaboratively in providing appropriate levels of emergency and essential eyecare across Scotland and to work together in ensuring that everybody within reasonable travelling distance has access to it. A confirmation PCA and contact from health board representatives will follow.
Let’s rise to the challenge.