Supporting Scotland’s community optometrists

Following the Scottish Government daily briefing on Thursday 18 June, the First Minister announced Scotland’s move into Phase 2 of its recovery plan. Among many things, this further lifting of restrictions enables community optometrists across Scotland to re-open and provide face-to-face NHS emergency and essential eye care. Our National Procurement and Practitioner Services teams have been helping the optometry community to respond to the changing situation.

To support community optometrists preparing to re-open, National Procurement have been working in partnership with the Scottish Government and health boards to ensure optometrists have the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they need.

A range of essential PPE supplies such as aprons, fluid-resistant surgical masks, visors, gloves and hand sanitiser will be delivered to health boards for onward distribution to local practices throughout Scotland. This latest distribution again demonstrates National Procurement’s commitment to support the wider health and social care community. It follows recent large scale deliveries of critical supplies to partner groups such as GPs, adult care homes and dental practices.

Our Practitioner Services team is also continuing to work with Scottish Government colleagues to ensure that payments are made to optometrists currently providing telephone triage and consultation service for essential and emergency eye care – and that the right payments are made as community optometrists open up further as a result of the COVID recovery plan. This is part of the work they’ve been doing to support primary care practitioners through this time, including work to support community pharmacists, dentists and GPs.

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