We have changed the way we work
Like all businesses, we have adapted and introduced changes to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for our patients and staff. Here is an outline of the changes we have made.
Changes were initially introduced in May 2020 covering lock down and continued to evolve as we entered phased easing of restrictions. We update procedure as time goes by, following what is recommended by the Government, GOC (General Optical Council) and the College of Optometrists, plus any additional measures uniquely required by our patients.
Attending the Practice
Eye tests and contact lens appointments
As before, all eye tests are done by optometrist appointment only. We do operate a triage system whereby appointment wait times can be prioritised depending on need. Infrequently there are appointments available on the day but our advice would be to phone or email your preferred practice in advance to check availability.
Glasses: new, repairs, adjustments, collections or children’s specs.
Previously, dispensing opticians were available on a walk-in basis. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have introduced a dispensing optician appointment system. This remains in place despite the easing of restrictions as staff and patients have found this to work well and feedback has been positive. There are often walk-in and same day appointments available so always worth contacting us or dropping by if in the area. Please remember, although both practices are able to undertake spectacle repairs, our on-site lab is based under our Elder Street practice so we would recommend this as your first port of call.
Online virtual testing
Virtual eye tests were introduced in 2020. This has revolutionised access to eye care if you have a problem with your eyes, vision, glasses or contact lenses. Access can be found on our home page by selecting the green bar labelled “Virtual appointment” or one of the options in the red box approximately half down the page. You then select the most appropriate form based on your problem, answer the questions and this is then sent straight to us. The form is then given to an optometrist or optician depending on the nature of the problem, who will then contact you directly or make arrangements for an appointment to be made once triaging has taken place.
In order to minimise the staff in the practice we have receptionists from home. They have access to our computerised systems but this does limit the phone line.
If possible, we would ask you to Book your Appointment online.
NB: New patients can register online. Returning patients will need your patient ID number, this can usually be found on your reminder letter (please do not register as a new patient when returning for a visit, as new duplicate records will not contain your full medical and spectacle history).
Face coverings and masks
In line with government advice, It is recommended you wear a mask as long as you are happy and able to do so.
General advice when visiting
We ask that all patients and relatives attending the practice are well. Please let us know in advance of your appointment, if you are unwell for any reason and we can rearrange. We must also reschedule an appointment if on the day, you have developed a cough, cold or Covid-19 type symptoms.
Please remember if you are over the age of 60 or have Diabetes, the optometrist may need to use dilating drops (to allow better examination of the retina), but after which you are not supposed to drive for a number of hours. Please plan your visit accordingly.
If you have any further questions, please contact your branch.
We very much look forward to seeing you again.
Additional changes to our service
Lateral Flow Testing: all staff, as mandated, test twice weekly with lateral flow tests and will continue to do in line with Scottish Government recommendations.
Eligible staff, unless medically unable, are fully vaccinated and boosted as required.
Enhanced infection control
We updated our infection control education to staff and procedures throughout the service. Despite easing of regulations, enhanced infection control measures remain in place.
We ask you to use our hand sanitisers on arrival to the practice. Hand sanitisers are available throughout both practices.
Frames and instruments will be UV sterilised prior to supply and adjustment. Display frames will be UV sterilised between each handling. Frames that need cleaned will be done so ultrasonically in a sterilising solution before UV treatment.
Exceeding the most recent guidance issued by the College of Optometrists, staff will be wearing appropriate PPE for their contact with you. This will include masks in clinical areas.
We have upgraded our ventilation and have a large number of medical grade air purifiers located strategically throughout both practices and in all clinical rooms.
We use the latest technology during your visit either for an eye test to take measurements for glasses, helping to capture extremely accurate information.
In line with GOC, College guidance and Lothian health board guidance, we continually assess and update our procedures while maintaining optimal clinical care.
The health and well-being of our patients and staff is our number one priority.
We thank you for your continued loyalty over the years, and especially at this time.