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COVID 19 ‘lockdown 2’

Business As Usual

Paul Whiteman Optometrists will remain open and continue providing essential eye care services following the Government reinstatement of ‘lockdown’ measures on Thursday 5th November.

Here’s how we are going to look after your eyes – safely

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 Safety 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. This is to ensure that we are able to adequately disinfect our practice and equipment between seeing patients. 
However, we will be open for business 6 days per week from Monday to Saturday 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. 
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 has ‘gone private’
Since returning from the first Government ‘lockdown’ in June 2020 we have decided that if we are to continue to offer the level of patient service we would like to,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.
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 their eye examinations.

Opening hours change 5th November 2020

Changes to Opening Times during ‘lockdown 2’ Following the latest Government ‘lockdown’ announcement on 31st October 2020 and from the General Optical Council, the College of Optometrists and NHS England we will be open for business providing essential eye care services on Thursday 5th November and for the foreseeable future. During ‘lockdown 2’ we will be changing our opening days. We plan to be open 5 days per week, Monday through to Friday 9.00am – 5.30pm and will be closed on Saturdays from 28th November 2020. We will return to Saturday opening on 9th January 2021. We will be able to provide essential eye & contact lens examinations, spectacle dispensing, repairs and collection of glasses appointments. An appointment system will operate and we would ask patients to contact us on 01737 223202 to arrange a time prior to visiting. 

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We’re no longer performing NHS eye examinations

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

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Important – COVID-19 emergency eye care & contact lens service

OUR SERVICES DURING THE SECOND 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 emerge from the second COVID 19 lockdown. Eye care services We will be continuing to provide essential eye care services during the period 5th November – December 5th 2021. 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 an appointment to attend our practice to consult a practitioner. 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 initially before attending our practice. Contact lens wearers  

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Practice Safety Guide

Our ‘Zero Transmission’ protocol  

During ‘lockdown 2’ we will be changing our opening days. We plan to be open 5 days per week, Monday through to Friday 9.00am – 5.30pm and will be closed on Saturdays from 28th November 2020.
We will return to Saturday opening on 9th January 2021.
During ‘lockdown 2’ we will be closed for lunch everyday 12noon to 1.00pm.
We will be able to provide essential eye & contact lens examinations, spectacle dispensing, repairs and collection of glasses appointments.
An appointment system will operate and we would ask patients to contact us on 01737 223202 to arrange a time prior to visiting. 
All necessary PPE items will be available for all patients requiring them when attending our practice.

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A forehead non-contact infrared thermometer will be used for anyone attending our practice to check their temperature is less than 37.8C. If your temperature is above this level you will be asked to remake your appointment for a future date. 
Our practice will be kept clean by staff throughout the day to ensure all surfaces and points of touch are regularly sanitised.
In addition all spectacle frames, equipment and testing instruments will be cleaned and disinfected by staff between each patient usage. 
We will no longer issue appointment cards or any other paperwork. If necessary we will email you appointment details, receipts or copies of your spectacle and contact lens prescriptions. Reception will be fitted with a protective screen and the credit card payment device will be disinfected after each usage.
Staff will wear masks or face shields and gloves when attending to patients.
Patients will be asked a small number of COVID 19 related screening questions prior to having your consultation.
Patients are requested to attend on their own unless they are accompanying a child or elderly relation.
We will be stagger appointments when there is more than 1 practitioner holding a clinic in order to limit the number of people in the practice at one time.
Relevant signage has been introduced to ensure appropriate social distancing can be observed as much as possible. When not possible, such as in consulting rooms, appropriate PPE will be provided and measures taken to minimise risk. 
We have re-arranged and removed seating to improve social distancing. We have also removed all reading materials such as magazines and leaflets in the interests of safety.
Patients are asked not to bring pets, excess clothing, luggage or shopping into the practice at this time. Hand bags, wallets, car keys, mobile phones, spectacle and contact lens cases will be placed in sanitised boxes during consultations.
We would ask that payment for services and goods is made only by credit/debit card.
Out toilets will be closed to patients unless attending for longer than 45mins. All will be expected to use the supplied gels, paper towels and disinfection sprays to ensure they leave all surfaces clean and safe.

It's business as usual

during 'lockdown 2'

From Thursday 5th November 2020 our business will be operating as normal. 
We will, of course, be taking all appropriate precautions to look after your health and that of our staff, but we will be providing ‘essential’ eye care for all.
We have decided to modify our Opening Times slightly in the run up to Christmas. If you plan to visit us on Saturdays we would ask you to check with us first.