Coronavirus Updates

Some key documents are available to download at the bottom of the page.
There are links to information from a variety of the professional bodies.
Some of the referral paths have been updated – please see the relevant referral pathways tab above.

31/10/20 – OFNC FAQs for October 2020 NHSE
27/10/20 – OFNC statement October NHSE letter
26/10/20 – NHS COVID SOP Update
6/10/20 – OFNC COVID19 funding update
13/9/20 – OFNC statement on delays in COVID-19 funding
21/8/20 – NHS Mail and PPE Comms
20/8/20 – Media Q&A- antibody testing
20/8/20 – West Essex – Antibody testing for optometry staff
17/8/20 – PPE Portal for Optometry
13/7/20 – AOP Covid triage form
13/7/20 – AOP do i need to see them flow chart
9/7/20 – Details of antibody tests are available to Optoms and DOs in North Essex – Info leaflet NHS FAMILY STAFF v3 16th Jun 2020
6/7/20 – Details of antibody tests are available to Optoms and DOs in Mid/South Essex – MSE Covid phlebotomy info
24/6/20 – Business Continuity Checklist
24/6/20 – Test and Trace Essex CC
24/6/20 – Test and Trace Southend & Thurrock
17/6/20 – OFNC statement on return to work letter 17.06.20 final
17/6/20 – C0601_Reopening of optical services letter 17 June 2020 – NHS England letter regarding resumption of services
17/6/20 – fr NHS E I RWebb to Gateway Optical providers re Resumption of Optical services June 2020
17/6/20 – Guidance for primary care contractors on reducing risk of staff acquiring Covid-19 June 2020
17/6/20 – C0601_COVID19_OPTICAL_SOP v1 17 June 2020
17/6/20 – Risk Assessement for Resumption of GOS services for Opthalmic contractors
17/6/20 – C0542-IPC-Board-Assurance-Framework-v1-2

12/6/20 – OFNC statement on support
11/6/20 – AOP advice of cleaning and disinfecting
11/6/20 – NHSE letter about track and trace – Track and Trace. Nosocomial_infections_System_letter
8/6/20 – COVID-19-traffic-light-guidance-table – College traffic light guidance. Currently in red
5/6/20 – OFNC statement on resumption of work
29/5/20 – OFNC statement on dentistry – implications for optics
27/5/20 – OFNC statement on essential care – Update
13/5/20 – OFNC routine sight testing
12/5/20 – College / ABDO advice – continue urgent/essential eyecare only. Joint Statement CoO and ABDO
17/4/20 – Mid & South CCG’s information about COVID swabbing for symptomatic practitioners
10/4/20 – LOC COVID 19 Update
9/4/20 – NHSE Improvement & Engagement Webinar
1/4/20 – NHSE advice and response from OFNC.

LOC Advice
Next steps if you’re staying open or closing.
A list of practices remaining “available” in West Essex – Mecs practice list for West 070520
A list of practices remaining “available” in Mid & South Essex – Pracitces open in Mid and South as at 050420
A list of practices remaining “available” in North Essex & doing MECS – List of working Practices for NEE – 110420

A list of some locums who are still available and willing to work: COVID-19 Locum List 010420
Covid 19 Questionnaire before seeing a patient face to face
A test College test chart for remote testing – visual-acuity-chart-for-remote-consultations-14-April-2020
LOC guidance on Protocols – Infection control, Hygiene and PPE
NHS Email application
Zeiss cleaning advice for Humfreys –

PPE for Purchase across England
Please read the following from LOCSU regarding their online ordering of PPE.
It is acknowledged that the NHS funded stocks of PPE are limited and the info below is a way to purchase PPE for your practices.  We do still have stocks of NHS supplied PPE for Mid and South Essex (Contact Sheila on and North Essex (Contact Emma on and also Face Shields for all Essex practices.


LOCSU Update:
6/5/20 – PPE ordering from LOCSU
27/3/20 –
25/3/20 –
20/3/20 –
AOP advice:
COVID19 – how to provide a sight test
PPE guidance
Guidance for employers on furlough
ABDO advice:
ABDO Essential Worker template –
College of Optometrists advice:
The College have advised: “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.
Advice from college on PPE –

College recommendation to only offer ‘essential’ eye care.
Links to all COVID19 advice


Business support information:
Self Employment & Universal Credit –
Employment & Support Allowance –
Covid-19 Small Business Government Grant –
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan –
Citizen’s Advice –
Emergency Funding –

Entertainment for Visually Impaired during coronavirus:
The National Theatre is streaming some of their performances for free:
Andrew Lloyd Webber has a selection of musicals that are being shown for 48 hours:
Vocal Eyes has a comprehensive list of accessible arts/culture that you can access at home:
British Blind Sport has a list of home workouts you may want to try
Odette Batterel who has Stargardt’s has devised her own “Baked Bean Workout”. All you need is 2 tin cans to hand!
The BBC are now providing daily lesson plans for every year group:
The Department of Education have set up Oak Academy, which is a resource hub of comprehensive online lessons.
Alice Cadman who has Stargardt’s runs a music school called Sing Education and has provided great online music resources you can use at home.
Victa has produced links and ideas to do whilst staying at home: