Coronavirus (COVID-19): Accessing community eyecare services

From 29 June 2020 community optometry practices (opticians) will resume providing face-to-face emergency and essential NHS eyecare services.

This is part of Phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s coronavirus recovery route map

Getting help with an eye problem

Routine eyecare services remain suspended at the current time.

If you have an emergency or essential eye problem you should continue to phone your usual or local opticians in the first instance. An optometrist will triage your problem over the phone and if they feel you need to be seen, you will be offered an appointment.

You should always tell your optometrist if you or someone you live with has any signs or symptoms of  . This will help them ensure the safety of you and others when you receive care.

Getting to your local opticians

If you have difficulty in travelling safely to a local opticians, you should tell the optometrist you speak to on the phone. They will investigate whether your health board can help with travel requirements.

If you’ve broken or lost your glasses

Phone your usual or local opticians and they will give you some advice. People at high risk of losing their sight will be given priority at the current time.  If the optometrist thinks that a delay in replacing or fixing your glasses would be detrimental to your sight or wellbeing then they will be able to see you in person where necessary.

Eyecare for people who are shielding and/or housebound

Face-to-face eyecare provided to people in their own home, care home or residential centre by an optometrist remains suspended at the current time. This will be reviewed ahead of Phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s coronavirus recovery route map.

If you have an emergency eye problem and you can't leave home unaccompanied because you are shielding or have a physical or mental illness/disability you should phone your local opticians.

An optometrist will triage your problem remotely and, if they consider that you need to be seen in person, they will arrange for you to be seen in line with local health board arrangements.

When will community opticians resume providing routine eye care?

Scotland is working towards a phased reopening of community eyecare services. Routine eyecare is not expected to resume until Phase 4 of the Scottish Government’s coronavirus recovery route map.