PLEASE DO NOT COME INTO THE PRACTICE IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OR TOLD TO SELF-ISOLATE.
NORMAL OPENING TIMES
Opening times: (by appointment only)
Monday to Friday. 9:00am – 5:30pm.
Wednesday : 9:00am – 7:00 pm.
Saturday: 9:00am -1:00pm
We continue to follow current Government guidance in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as that of our professional bodies. Eye care services are classified as an essential service and we would like to take this opportunity to reassure all our clients that we are able to remain open and continue to serve the eyecare needs of our community.
We are pleased to say that all of our team have received their first Covid-19 vaccination, and we are being called up now for our 2nd vaccination. In addition, we have introduced lateral flow testing with our team, testing twice a week, to ensure that we continue to keep each other safe, and in turn, keep you safe.
The practice continues to operate by appointment only – for eye examinations, contact lens check-ups, new contact lens fits, collection of spectacles and contact lenses, and repairs. Please help us to stay safe by calling and making an appointment before attending the practice.
As you would expect, we continue to operate to strict hygiene standards, and all our staff will be wearing the appropriate PPE whilst maintaining the 2m distancing wherever possible. Hand sanitiser and hand washing facilities will be available, and equipment, surfaces and handles are being regularly cleaned, and between appointments.
ALL appointments will go through a triage process to ensure that the latest guidelines are being followed and that we remain Covid-secure. If for any reason, you develop symptoms prior to your appointment, then you will be expected to notify us, and we will reschedule your appointment. PLEASE DO NOT COME INTO THE PRACTICE IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OR TOLD TO SELF-ISOLATE.
You will be required to wear a mask or face covering for the duration of your appointment (except where there is a legitimate exemption). If exempt, then appointments may be delayed since “protected” appointments are being scheduled for the last appointment of the day, where available.
The track and trace QR code displayed at our entrance lobby, and in the reception and waiting areas for all clients to use, however, as we are operating an appointment system, then this provides a track and trace system, should we need to use it.
More investments have been made in new digital equipment to enable us to maintain social distancing as much as possible. This has enhanced the already great service that you receive from us.
EYE CARE SERVICE
We continue to triage our eye care services. We are prioritising our appointments in the first instance, to clients who may be feeling anxious or concerned about their eyes and vision, have lost or broken your spectacles, or have developed new symptoms. For those where an examination is necessary, we are operating by appointment only, so please do call if you need our help.
We have been working though our appointment lists of clients from since March 2020 and have been contacting all our clients by telephone. We now working on October 2020! If you have not yet been contacted, please bear with us. Our capacity is greatly reduced to allow for longer times between appointments for cleaning and sanitising, and to minimise the number of persons in the practice at any one time.
If you are concerned about your vision and you are not comfortable venturing out, we can in the first instance, carry out a remote telephone consultation. If we do need to see you, there are procedures in place to facilitate an appointment safely.
We continue to operate with extended examination times to ensure that we maintain a minimum number of people within the practice and extend our cleaning routine to ensure all touchpoints, equipment and surfaces are cleaned between clients. If you require emergency eye-care, please phone the practice first where we can ask you some relevant questions and offer advice. We are also offering a telemedicine triage service and decide whether to book you an emergency appointment to come into the practice.
If you have any of the following symptoms, please contact us and we will look after you under our Emergency Care:
- your vision has suddenly changed or become blurry
- you have a painful or red eye
- new flashers and floaters
- recent onset severe headaches
- recent ocular pain
- you have been advised to attend this practice by NHS 111 or another healthcare professional for urgent eye care
- you have broken or lost your glasses and need a replacement pair to function
- you have a problem with your contact lenses, or you would like to order contact lenses.
We can then assess how best to meet your needs.
ONGOING SERVICE AND SUPPORT
We will endeavour to provide the service and products you may need in these testing times. We have added some additional measures for your safety and peace of mind.
If you have a repair and you do not have an appointment, please call us first on 01434 632289 to discuss the best options available for you. It may be that you can send your spectacles/drop them in to us and we will aim to repair them and then call you to collect, home deliver within Hexham, Corbridge and Tynedale or post back to you asap.
Whilst you may perceive a repair as a “quick fix” we will still need to have time to disinfect all equipment, touchpoints and surfaces prior to other appointments. Making an appointment helps us greatly in managing the number of people in the practice and keeps us all safe.
For repeat treatments such as eye drops, dry eye solutions, lid hygiene, supplements, anti-fog wipes, spectacle cleaning solutions you can call us, pay over the phone for your solutions and posted, or hand delivered to you.
CONTACT LENS INFORMATION
There is no evidence to date that contact lens wear should be avoided by healthy individuals, or that contact lens wearers are more at risk for a coronavirus infection compared to those wearing spectacles.
To help maintain healthy contact lens wear, all contact lenses wearers should follow correct lens wear and care instructions as prescribed by your professional. When you are unwell, for example cold or flu like symptoms, you may not feel like wearing lenses and this is good practice. We would also stress the importance of responsible contact lens wear and hygiene. If you have ocular irritation/redness/soreness/light sensitivity or discharge, then you must stop wearing your lenses and call us for advice. Remember to:
- Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses and lens cases.
- Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before applying a contact lens, even if the lens is new and directly from the packaging.
- Always wash and dry your hands before removing your contact lenses.
The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has some excellent guidance for contact lens wearers and COVID-19. BCLA wearing and caring guides are also available for you to download. Just click the link:
ORDERING YOUR CONTACT LENSES
If you are running out of contact lenses or solution – please let us know and we can order your items and have them delivered to your door.
We will endeavour to continue with contact lens supply as best possible, but please bear in mind that we are reliant on our suppliers so your lenses may take a bit longer than usual. Your contact lenses can be reordered using the practice main telephone number 01434 632289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are on our contact lens plan and automatically receive your shipments to your home, you will continue to receive your contact lens supply to your home.
If you are on our contact lens plan and usually collect your contact lens supply from the practice, then we are re-routing your lenses to be shipped directly to you.
If you are a “Pay as you Go” client and you order lenses as an when you need them, then you can order your lenses via email or telephone. We will ask you to make your card payment over the phone (or as some clients have done – paid via BACS). We can then order your lenses so that they are delivered to your door.
If you are under 16 years of age, your lenses will be automatically shipped to the practice. We will then arrange delivery to your door.
Our thoughts are with you and to anyone impacted by COVID-19 in our community. We wish you and your families well in what is an uncertain period.
Our priority is to protect our team, and our clients whilst providing eyecare services and meeting your vision needs. We are monitoring the situation as it evolves, so we can adapt quickly as we continue to put our customers and team first.
In the meantime, please stay safe.
From the Croft and Graves Team