We are very much aware that these are challenging times for contractors and performers alike and your LOC would like to help you if we can. We are trying to setup a contact person to whom queries, moaning or just a request for a sympathetic ear can be directed and I am happy to do this as an interim contact and you can email me anytime.
It would be especially helpful if you could send me your concerns and practical problems as we can collate these and send them to LOCSU who will be lobbying government on our behalf.
Some practices are struggling to replace stocks of cleaning and disinfecting products, for example, without which it would be unsafe to operate . If this is the case please let me know and we will lobby NHS Trusts to see if they can help with supplies.
We know that Optometry Wales is proposing to continue to pay practices a monthly amount (irrespective of current activity) based on their average monthly claims which help with cash flow a bit and we hope that NHS England will do the same.
Many of you with children will be wanting to know if optometrists or dispensing opticians come under the category of ‘ essential workers’. Our understanding is that this is being clarified by our professional bodies. However Tom Mackley’s opinion (LOCSU Optical Lead) is that if your practice would not be open without your presence, and especially if you are providing MECS services at a time when we are likely to see an increase in demand for such services, then for until such time as clarity is given it would be reasonable to assert that you were an essential worker.
Thanks and keep well and safe.