C 8.1.1 Members must recognise their limitations by seeking further advice and guidance or refer elsewhere when appropriate. In particular, those wishing to practice in specialised areas must be sure of their ability to do so, by obtaining specialist qualifications or further accreditation as available.
C 8.2.1 ABDO’s professional indemnity insurance (PII) covers the procedure of fitting punctum plugs when carried out by contact lens optician members.
C 8.2.2 Any member performing the procedure must be on the GOC Contact Lens Specialty register.
C 8.2.3 Members must be adequately trained and competent in the procedure before performing it on a patient, and this training should contain a practical element
C 8.2.4 Prior to commencement of the procedure, a consent form must be signed by the patient, following a full discussion of risks and benefits, and explanation of the procedure
C 8.2.5 You should arrange to follow up the patient. Give the patient written advice about when to schedule a follow up visit and about what to do if they have new symptoms or an adverse reaction. In any event, if side effects occur, the patient must be referred appropriately.
C 8.2.6 You should ensure that you use appropriate aseptic and sterilisation techniques to ensure infection control.
C 8.3.1 Before supplying tinted lenses or coloured overlays to improve reading performance, members are advised to refer to the most recent research, and not to make claims for such products which are not evidence-based.
Patients enquiring should be informed that at the present time there is not consensus across the profession that tinted lenses improve visual function in patients with specific learning difficulties. However some clinicians do report improvement and patients can be directed to them for further advice and guidance.
C 8.4.1 Members who are practising as diabetic retinopathy screeners or screener graders will have taken a separate qualification in this area. They will usually be operating under an NHS contract, which should include indemnity insurance for this activity. They are advised to check this with their employer/contractor. ABDO professional indemnity insurance does not cover diabetic retinopathy screening or the instillation of pupil dilating drops.
C 8.5.1 Minor Eye Conditions Services (MECS) use the skills of primary eye care practitioners to triage, manage and prioritise patients presenting with a minor eye condition.
ABDO members who are practising as contact lens opticians may complete the ABDO Extended Services Accreditation to provide MECS services. They will also need ABDO professional indemnity insurance that covers MECS.
LOCSU has developed a comprehensive Clinical Service Pathways Framework incorporating Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) which you can find here: LOCSU Minor Eye Conditions Service
C8.5.2 CUES is the COVID -19 Urgent Eye Care Service: Patient Pathway.
ABDO members who are practising as contact lens opticians may complete the ABDO Extended Services Accreditation to provide CUES services. They will also need ABDO professional indemnity insurance that covers MECS.
C 8.6.1 LOCSU has produced an integrated service pathway which aims to identify patients with ocular hypertension and suspected COAG and manage them in primary care, only referring those who require specialist investigation.
ABDO members who are practising as contact lens opticians may complete the ABDO Extended Services Accreditation to provide glaucoma services. They will also need ABDO professional indemnity insurance that covers MECS.
Read on to find out more about LOCSU glaucoma referral filtering and monitoring
C 8.7.1 The integrated cataract service provides an end-to-end care pathway for people presenting with a cataract at sight test who are keen to be considered for surgery. Find out more about the LOCSU integrated cataract pathway.
ABDO members who are practising as contact lens opticians may complete the ABDO Extended Services Accreditation to provide cataract services. They will also need ABDO professional indemnity insurance that covers MECS.
C 8.8.1 All DOs can offer low vision services within their scope of practice, and this is covered by ABDO professional indemnity insurance. The LOCSU low vision pathway offers adults with sight loss quicker access to a low-vision assessment and support closer to home.
C 8.9.1 LOCSU’s model pathways for children’s eye care services allow for the early intervention and management of poor vision in an integrated service model delivered in optical practice. Find out more about the LOCSU childrens vision pathway here.
It is recommended in the pathway that all dispensing is undertaken by a DO (rather than under supervision). DOs can undertake part of the six week follow up check to ensure that the fitting and visual expectations have been achieved.
C 8.10.1 The Vision 2020 UK: Quality standards for dispensing opticians state that children and adults with learning disability or special needs should have spectacles dispensed by a GOC registered optician. Follow the link above to discover best practice recommendations and reasonable adjustments suggested to help DOs provide optimum services to people with low vision.
C 8.10.2 The SeeAbility people with learning disabilities guide provides information on how a LOC or LEHN can help provide services for people with learning disabilities.
C 8.10.3 The LOCSU pathway for people with learning disabilities, developed in conjunction with Mencap and SeeAbility, gives Local Optical Committees the basis for a proposal to improve the way eye care for people with learning disabilities is delivered in their local area.
C 8.11.1The LOCSU healthy living optical practices (HLOP) framework is focused on improving the health and wellbeing of the population and is intended to help reduce local health inequalities. All DOs can get involved if this pathway is operating in their LOC area.
This page was last updated in August 2020 and will be reviewed in August 2022. Changes due to updates in legislation, advances in clinical knowledge, or extensions to scope of practice will be incorporated as they happen.