Following the latest changes in COVID-19 measures that came into effect in Scotland on Monday 18 April 2022, and which are set out in more detail on the Scottish Government website, the Scottish Government would like to clarify to the community optometry sector that:
- There has been no change in the PPE requirements for healthcare staff, and as such you should continue to follow the Winter (21/22) Respiratory Infections in Health and Care Settings IPC Addendum Guidance and in particular section 5.15 of that guidance which sets out PPE measures. This applies to relevant staff working in community optometry practices and domiciliary care providers who visit care homes etc.
- There is no longer a legal requirement for patients/visitors to wear a face covering (unless exempt). Instead, the position as set out on the Scottish Government website is that it is strongly recommended that such individuals continue to wear a face covering. Where a patient/visitor declines to wear a face covering, staff should apply judgement and consider if other Infection Prevention and Control measures, such as hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and ventilation, are sufficient depending on the patient/visitor’s condition and the care pathway.
Steps should be taken to communicate in an accessible way to patients/visitors (such as a written notice on the practice’s door/window and website, and verbally if/when speaking to the person over the phone) that it is strongly recommended that they wear a face covering (unless exempt) when they visit the practice.
The Scottish Government has made digital assets (including posters which can be printed off) available for use by community optometry practices in helping to promote this message to the public. These are accessible online at: https://sgmarketing-newsroom.prgloo.com/news/covid-sense-for-healthcare-workers-updated-assets. In particular, the ‘Healthcare Toolkit – COVID sense – UPDATED – April 2022’ slide pack may be of help.
As always, you can continue to find links to all key COVID-19 information (and other general information) on the Eyes.Scot website.