The UK’s largest opticians and audiologists, Specsavers, will stay open for all eye and hearing needs now most of the country is in lockdown.
Under current government guidance, people are allowed to leave home to attend medical appointments, including eye and hearing tests, which are considered essential healthcare services. If customers can’t leave home unaccompanied for an eye test, they can request a home visit from Specsavers instead.
‘This is such a difficult time for everyone but it is essential that we remain open to continue to provide care, especially for key workers and to help support our partners in the NHS to provide critical care where it is most needed,’ says Specsavers CEO John Perkins.
‘It is also important that people attend their appointments to ensure that their eye, hearing and overall health is not at risk during this time. We understand that customers may have concerns about coming into store but the safety and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues is paramount and, in line with NHS recommendations and Public Health guidance, we have numerous safety measures in place.’
These include restrictions on the number of customers allowed in store at any one time, social distancing, and bank card instead of cash payments, where possible. Specsavers’ colleagues use personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the stores and frames are thoroughly sanitised before and after each use. Customers are also asked to request an appointment in advance by phone or online through the Specsavers website to help manage social distancing and minimise time spent in store.
Specsavers will also continue to offer its remote services for people who are self-isolating, vulnerable or unable to leave their home. These services include:
- RemoteCare – a free nationwide consultation service offering advice and care via video and telephone link
- Ask The Expert – a Facebook group designed to give people access to professionals seven days a week, who can answer questions about general eye and hearing health concerns
- Remote tuning – Fine tuning compatible hearing aids from afar without customers needing to come into store
- An e-commerce service so that glasses and contact lenses can be bought online with a current prescription for those who can’t attend a store
- An online replacement service for lost or broken glasses
Mr Perkins thanked customers for their patience and understanding and paid tribute to Specsavers’ store partners and their teams, who, as part of the key worker cohort, are keeping essential services going for customers and supporting their NHS colleagues.
Mr Perkins says that throughout the pandemic store partners and their teams have done everything they can to retain their level of service to the community.
‘I would particularly like to wholeheartedly thank our colleagues on the front line in our stores who have played a key role in looking after people’s eye and hearing health throughout the pandemic where it is most needed – at the heart of the community. These are particularly stressful times in which to work in healthcare and their continued service under difficult circumstances is a great source of pride to me and to the Specsavers group.’