ABDO welcomes Public Health England (PHE) new guidance on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which now includes the optical workforce who are providing face to face appointments for essential and urgent care where clinically necessary. The new guidance recommends that clinicians should assess the risk of infection to themselves and their patients. If they consider there is an infection risk, then for the direct care or assessment (within 2 metres) of a patient who is not a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case they should wear gloves and an apron, and consider wearing a surgical mask and eye or face protection.
ABDO recommends that all clinicians conducting a face to face appointment within 2 meters of a patient should choose to wear the recommended PPE. ABDO is working with AOP, FODO, LOCSU and NHS England to acquire PPE for optical practices through the NHS supply chain. PPE has already been provided to some optical practices throughout Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Watch this video for how to add and remove PPE.
Members who do not have a current contract with NHS supply chains to dispose of PPE through that channel should follow the advice here: Disposal of PPE
For further information on infection control please see UK Government information on coronavirus infection prevention and control.
The “donning and doffing” of PPE is now part and parcel of eye care practitioners’ daily working lives and the British Contact Lens Association has teamed up with Alcon to produce a series of videos detailing handy hints for making face coverings work better for you.
The set of three videos, presented by critical care nurse Sally-Anne Bradbury and BCLA President, Indie Grewal, look at ways of resolving many of the issues associated with regular wearing of PPE.
The videos have been specifically created to provide guidance for the benefit of all eye care practitioners and those working within a practice environment. They are available via the BCLA website and on YouTube and can be downloaded to share in practice.
Luke Stevens-Burt, chief executive of the BCLA, said: “We know that for many of our members, they need to adjust to PPE as they return to full delivery of services and care.
“It’s vital we come together as a profession and industry to do all we can to help eye care practitioners adjust to the demands placed on them to help keep both themselves and their patients safe.
“This series of videos shines a light on best practice and shares top tips for how to wear PPE most effectively and with the best possible degree of comfort. We’re grateful for Alcon’s support on this project and we are confident it will make a real difference to ECPs and the way they work.”
The issue of PPE in practice was also the subject of a recent BCLA podcast, with Nick Howard and Luke Allen teaming up to discuss their experiences of carrying out procedures while wearing face masks.
The pair discussed everything from surgical masks and video slit lamps to boiling kettles to prevent Volk lenses from steaming up – as well as sharing tips on how to stay safe and improve communication with patients while wearing protective equipment.
For more details, and to access both the videos and the podcast, visit www.bcla.org.uk.