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Coronavirus – COVID-19: latest guidance from the DHSC and PHE

18 Feb 2020

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The General Optical Council is reminding its registrants to remain up to date with all public health statements and guidance issued in light of the developing situation in relation to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) have developed guidance specifically for healthcare professionals, along with information for the public and patients. The NHS have also developed a briefing for primary care providers.

We recognise that in highly challenging circumstances, such as this, professionals may need to depart from established procedures and find new ways to care for patients and service users. Our regulatory standards are designed to be flexible and to provide a framework for decision making in such situations. We encourage registrants to assess risk and to isolate and/or redirect patients to a designated specialist area if patients meet the PHE criteria for a possible case. The PHE have created a flowchart which outlines a step-by-step process to help with the management of a suspected case of coronavirus COVID-19.

The information and guidance are being updated regularly as the situation develops, and we recommend that all registrants remain alert for any updates. 

For up-to-date information on what to do outside of England, please visit: 

Health Protection Scotland

Public Health Wales / Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru

Northern Ireland

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