Here’s how we are going to look after your eyes – safely
Re-opening of our practice
We will be re-opening for routine eye examination and contact lens check-up appointments on Monday 29th June.
Your safety and that of our staff is at the heart of our decision making as we plan our re-opening. We’ve had many things to consider not least social distancing, disinfection and PPE for patients and employees.
You will find below our Practice Reopening Guide which follows advice given by HM Government, Public Health England and the General Optical Council and explains how we will guide you through our COVID 19 ‘Zero Transmission protocol’ when you attend for an eye examination.We are planning a phased re-opening. Initially we will have limited appointments available. This is to ensure that we are able to adequately disinfect our practice and equipment between seeing patients.
Initially, we are only going to offer eye examination and contact lens checkup appointments on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
However, we will be open for business 5 days per week from Monday to Friday for spectacle dispensing, repairs and collections of glasses. An appointment system will operate and we would ask patients to contact us to arrange a time prior to visiting. We will not be open for business on Saturdays until August.
The good news…
We are lucky to have a very spacious practice with two consulting rooms over two floors as well as large waiting areas. Whilst we will have to restrict patient numbers for safety, we will nevertheless be able to accommodate 3-4 visitors plus staff at any one time.
As many of you already know, Paul Whiteman Optometrists has always invested heavily in the latest eye examining instruments. We believe they are an essential element of a good, professional practice. Looking ahead, we believe the ‘new normal’ will become the ‘normal normal’ and we are pleased to say this equipment will be coming into its own as it is going to allow us to perform faster, more accurate eye examinations that allow safe ‘distancing’ from the operator.
Obviously, there are several fundamental changes we are having to make to the way we perform eye examinations in the future and our staff will be on hand to guide you through the process when you attend for your appointment.
Our practice is ‘going private’
We have decided that if we are to continue to offer the level of patient service we aspire to, following the COVID-19 confinement period, it is no longer financially viable for us to perform eye examinations on behalf of the National Health Service.
Therefore, it is with regret, that from Wednesday 24th June, Paul Whiteman Optometrists will no longer examine patients with new appointment bookings under the National Health Service, except for children and students under 19 years of age.
If you are one of our patients who had already booked to have your eyes examined under the NHS at the time of ‘lockdown’ in March, then we will honour that appointment and we will perform the examination, on this occasion, under the NHS.
For the majority of our patients these changes will make no difference to the eye care services they receive. It will, unfortunately, mean that our previously NHS patients will, in the future, have to pay privately for them.
After 34yrs of practice in Reigate and following the COVID 19 lockdown period we have found that it is no longer financially viable for Paul Whiteman Optometrists to perform NHS eye examinations. From Wednesday 24th June 2020 we will continue to support children and students under 19yrs but will no longer be able to perform examinations for adults over 60yrs, diabetics, glaucoma patients and their close relatives. Our decision to ‘go private’ was not an easy one and we would like to thank all of our loyal NHS patients for their support in the past. We hope that you will continue to support us in the future and join the largest majority of our patients who have always paid privately for their eye care services. As in the past, we plan to continue to invest in instrumentation to measure your eyes in ways that were previously impossible thereby allowing us to diagnose eye problems at a much earlier stage and
Following the latest announcement and guidelines on 17th June 2020 from the General Optical Council, the College of Optometrists and NHS England we intend to re-open our practice to the public for routine eye examinations from Monday 29th June. We will be available to make appointments from Wednesday 24th June. We are planning a phased re-opening. Initially we will have limited appointments available due to increased safety precautions. Initially, we are only going to offer eye examination and contact lens checkup appointments on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. However, we will be open for business 5 days per week from Monday to Friday for spectacle dispensing, repairs and collections of glasses. An appointment system will operate and we would ask patients to contact us on 01737 223202 to arrange a time prior to visiting. We will not be open for business on Saturdays until August.
OUR SERVICES DURING THE CORONA VIRUS (COVID 19) CONFINEMENT PERIOD I wish to summarise Paul Whiteman Optometrists position on supporting our patients and the wider community who may need our advice and assistance in the coming weeks as we hopefully emerge from the COVID 19 lockdown. Eye care services We will be continuing to provide essential or emergency eye care services during this period. Anyone who feels they have a serious eye problem and wishes to seek our advice should use one of the ‘Contact Us’ methods below. We are able to give you advice or conduct a ‘remote triage’ consultation via phone, FaceTime or Skype and if necessary, give you information on how to proceed with seeking treatment. Spectacle wearers Spectacle wearers who require assistance e.g. broken, damaged, lost spectacles should contact us, to explain their problem using one of the ‘Contact Us’ methods below rather than attending our practice. Contact lens wearers Patients who have eye problems
Practice Re-opening Guide
Our ‘Zero Transmission’ protocol
During the first stage of re-opening we will only be open 5 days per week, Monday through to Friday 9.00am – 5.30pm. We will therefore be closed on Saturdays until 1st August 2020.
For your safety, we are only going to offer eye examination and contact lens checkup appointments on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
All necessary PPE items will be available for all patients requiring them when attending our practice.