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ABDO supports move to “Green Phase”

ABDO supports move to “Green Phase”

Each nation’s health system has confirmed that they support a move to the green phase on Tuesday 10 May 2022. From then, the College of Optometrists’ COVID-19 Amber phase guidance will no longer apply in all UK nations.

Dispensing opticians should follow ABDO’s ABDO Advice and Guidelines along with your nation’s infection prevention and control guidance for healthcare settings, which have all been recently updated.

General Optical Council amber phase easements will no longer apply.

The following COVID specific measures should be stopped:

  • COVID-19 specific decontamination protocols.
  • Physical distancing (already stood down in England and Scotland, TBC in Wales and NI).
  • COVID-19 modified eye examination, although the College of Optometrists continues to encourage a needs-led approach in the Guidance for Professional Practice.

‘Living with COVID-19’ does not, mean a return to practice or business as it was before the pandemic. Your new normal for practice should incorporate good practices established over the past two years which the College of Optometrists (CoO) has set out in its Guidance for Professional Practice. Coronavirus continues to be a serious disease with new variants, and future waves are predicted to continue for many more years.

The following measures will continue to apply: 

  • Universal masking. All staff should continue to wear a fluid-resistant face mask. UKHSA recommend that all people/ patients visiting health care settings should continue to be recommended to use a face covering.
  • Regular asymptomatic lateral flow device testing, as recommended by your nation’s health system.
  • Maintaining high standards of infection prevention and control procedures, including good hand hygiene, decontaminating equipment after use or contact with a patient and keeping up to date with the recommended immunisations.
  • A mechanism is in place to enable people with symptoms of respiratory infection to postpone their eye care unless it is urgent or an emergency.

ABDO’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs Debbie McGill says, “We support the move to green phase in line with the lifting of restrictions throughout the UK.

“As ABDO members are aware we have been working with the CoO and UK wide public health bodies to provide support to the profession on the safe delivery of eye health care throughout the pandemic and we will continue to do this and monitor the worldwide situation.

“As we move to green phase whilst still living with COVID, it is important to note that the new normal will include the continued use of PPE and IPC processes as specified in the CoO guidance.

“ABDO will also continue to work with all UK representative bodies on the supply of PPE and LFDs. We will be updating the ABDO website, including our FAQs to reflect this.”

ABDO members with questions should email policy@abdo.org.uk

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