As it has for everyone, it’s no exaggeration to say that the arrival of Covid-19 has totally transformed our world. Like all businesses, we have had to look at our day to day operations with a magnifying glass and make changes to virtually everything, always keeping the safety of our staff and clients at the forefront of every decision from the relatively small (more hand sanitiser) to the large (re-modelling the practice).
Hygiene and Sanitation
As primary healthcare we already upheld a strict level of hygiene, but even this has been changed in ways previously unimaginable.
Staff have been kitted out with new uniforms and of course wear PPE, of which we have in plentiful supply. All surfaces are sterilised throughout the day and we have replaced fabric-covered furniture with more hygienic wipeable styles throughout. Medical grade hand sanitising stations have been situated at doors and in the consulting rooms and lab, and we have a portable hand washing unit. To eradicate the risk of contamination, all frames are available to look at but will be handled by staff and sanitised before and after being tried on. To do this as thoroughly as possible we have invested in UV sterilising units, which we also use to sterilise equipment between clients. That’s some seriously clean rulers and pens!
To facilitate this strict cleaning regime we have reduced the amount of tests performed each day to allow time for thorough sanitising in between each client; this has of course impacted our revenue but we consider it to be of the utmost importance. We have, and always will take our duty of care to patients extremely seriously and are certainly prepared to put our money where our (mask-covered) mouth is.
Perhaps the largest change we have made is the layout of the practice. We have rearranged the furniture and brought in large partition screens to create individual areas and walkways for different services. This means clients attending an examination can access the consulting rooms without entering the shop area. Those choosing glasses are also separated, and so is the reception area. Clear signage has been placed throughout so everyone knows what to and where to go, a relief if you’ve ever walked the wrong way down a supermarket aisle.
To control the number of people inside we are operating a strict appointment-only service and the door is locked in between. This means we can keep everyone apart and safe and maintain the scrupulous sanitising! To aid with this we have taken on a new staff member, Isaac; he oversees the reception area and admits patients to the practice, screening for symptoms and making sure face coverings are in place. He’s ever so nice, honest! We have also set up new contactless pay terminals.
We’ve all experienced that feeling of uncertainty when visiting establishments throughout this pandemic. To help ease this we are telephoning patients set to visit the practice to check for symptoms of COVID, and explain the procedures we have in place beforehand. Up to date information can always be found on our website and social media channels.
Staff have of course had to get used to all these changes and we are so proud of the resilience and can-do attitude they have shown. Working in primary healthcare during these unprecedented times does not come without a degree of risk and the whole team have risen to the occasion admirably, with passion and poise. It is important to us that we create an experience that is safe, as risk free as possible, but still feels like the premium service our customers have come to expect.
All these new measures have been really well received by patients who say they feel safe, which is music to our ears. So if you need some new glasses for all that lockdown reading and zooming but are worried about safety, we really are doing all we can do make it as risk free as possible.
From the whole team, stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you soon.