In these difficult times, it is vital that you let your patients know about the range of services you still offering, if you have not still fully opened.
Some practices have chosen to close completely, some have switched to a locked-door, by appointment only service.
Your patients will naturally be frightened and scared about the general situation and if they suddenly require urgent ocular intervention, many may panic because they may assume you are closed. For the elderly and high-prescription glasses wearers, even a missing screw or nose pad, will be cause for concern.
This guide is intended to offer you some ideas about how you can maintain a minimum level of service and get the word out to your patients.
What can you still offer?
The UK Government has deemed Opticians as being exempt from mandatory closure. However, given the inevitable collapse in turnover, for most practices, trying to operate a normal service is simply impossible. You may decide to furlough some of your team and keep just an Optometrist and one support person available to deal with emergencies. Consider what you can still offer:
NHS Minor Eye Conditions Service - Find out if other local practices are pooling together to form a MECS network
Telephone Advice - Consider diverting your practice phones to a mobile so that an Optometrist can still offer non-urgent advice
On-the-Doorstep glasses repairs - Consider offering this to your patients, maybe via a Dispensing Optician who can take a repair kit home with them
Re-order of contact lenses - Consider directing your lens wearers to an email address, if they need more lenses, you can easily monitor this. Consider nominating a member of the team to take home your supplier website details, phone numbers, account numbers etc. They can then monitor your emails and order lenses
Switch to home delivery - Register contact lens patients so you can then select "home delivery"
Door-step-deliveries - Consider nominating a member of staff to pick up and drop off outstanding glasses orders, solutions, ocular supplements and repairs that could not be completed on-the-doorstep.
Suspend, don't cancel . . .
It's inevitable that you will get some members who feel unable to continue their membership payments at the moment. Our advice is to initially offer them a three month suspension, rather than cancelling altogether.
If you would like to do this for one of your members, please get in touch with us, we will do the rest.
Get the word out there . . .
Whatever you decide to do, it is vital that you communicate with your patients . . .
Practice posters - displayed in your window or on your door
To assist you, we have prepared some initial banners and Facebook Cover Images.
We hope this is of help but if you need further assistance please don't hesitate to get in touch.
If you would prefer some bespoke artwork banners for your social media or website, please get in touch. This is included in your monthly service charge and, in the spirit of cooperation, we will add them to this page so that everyone can benefit . . .
Resources . . .
Covid-19 Practice posters (300dpi) - Double click to open high-resolution poster. Click "File" and then 'Print" to print to your printer.
Website Banners (72dpi) - Right Click - Select "Save Image" to your desktop.
Facebook Page Covers (300dpi) - Right Click - Select "Save Image" to your desktop.