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.

1/6/22 – Withdrawal of UKHSA infection prevention and control measures in England
31/3/22 – Living with COVID19 testing update
30/3/22 – Government to continue free COVID-19 testing for optics
2/10/21 – NHS influenza vaccination letter
13/7/21 – Joint statement guidance for primary eye care services in England
24/2/21 – – This may be a helpful aid for your decision making processes.  Please note this is a guidance only and is from Scotland.  As professionals you still have to make your own decisions whether to refer a patient and should always make those decisions in the patient’s best interest.
4/2/21 – COVID vaccination registration details  
4/2/21 – C19_Vac_Registration_help
4/2/21 – Covid-19 vaccination guide for adults
25/1/21 – PDF of AOP_member_eligibility_for_the_COVID-19_vaccine_template
25/1/21 – AOP_member_eligibility_for_the_COVID-19_vaccine_template
20/1/21 – WEST Essex CCG Staff Privacy Notice for vaccines
20/1/21 – Vaccination information for Essex & Suffolk
15/1/21 – NHSE – Operational Guidance Vaccination of Frontline Health Workers
18/12/20 – OFNC Update – NHSE cancels planned GOS grant deductions
17/12/20 – Rollout of lateral flow testing
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.

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 –

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: