Code of Practice

HomeSight Opticians subscribes to the following Code of Practice. The Code is from the Domiciliary Eyecare Committee and is governed by the Optical Confederation. The Code is endorsed by the AOP and the GOC.

Domiciliary eye examinations

Regular sight tests are important for everyone to ensure they benefit from optimal vision for daily living and to prevent avoidable sight loss. These sight tests should be at an interval advised by an optometrist unless the customer is experiencing problems. Eye problems can develop rapidly. Customers and carers should particularly look out for symptoms. Professional help should be sought when necessary.

NHS entitlement and preparation

  • NHS domiciliary sight tests are provided on request to those who cannot access community optical practices unaccompanied due to a mental or physical disability and who are eligible for NHS.
  • Providers will establish the customer’s eligibility for an NHS domiciliary examination and optical voucher (if applicable)> The reasons will be noted in the customer record.
  • Private domiciliary sight tests may be provided to those who request them. To ensure this is in the patient’s best interests, providers will make clear if having a private sight test will mean that the patient loses entitlement to NHS benefits.
  • Providers will advise customers when their next sight test is due. Providers will contact Care Homes to arrange a sight test for a customer if there has been a specific request by or on behalf of the customer.
  • Providers will respect the right of each customer to choose a provider for both clinical services and optical appliances.
  • Each customer will be treated as an individual and providers will conduct sight tests in such a way as to protect the privacy and dignity of the customer at all times.
  • Practitioners will also be mindful of the Equality Act 2010 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 when performing sight tests.
  • Practitioners will assess each customer’s competence to make a decision. Where a customer is unable to make a decision, providers will seek where possible, consent from the customer’s next of kin or primary carer regarding any decisions to be made.
  • Sight testing will be conducted in the most appropriate location and circumstances for the customer.
  • Providers will make clear in advance the likely costs of any spectacles, contact lenses or low vision aids.
  • Providers will make clear the specific costs of spectacles, contact lenses or low vision aids before an order is placed.

Eye examination

  • Providers will provide a sight test that is in accordance with the customer’s individual needs, the regulations and the duties of care by the optometrist towards the patient.
  • The reasons will be noted in the patient record when it is not possible to conduct the full range of procedures as is normally done for the customer, due to physical and or mental (or cognitive) impairments.
  • Providers will comply with the guidelines of the College of Optometrists and the Association of British Dispensing Opticians to determine what is in the customer’s best interests.

Continuing care

  • The first duty of the eye care providers are to the patient, their eye health and vision.
  • Providers will therefore ensure that any follow-up eye care required or requested is provided efficiently and professionally.
  • Providers will ensure that any spectacles dispensed are fitted individually to the customer. Tolerance problems will be addressed by appropriately trained staff.
  • If the customer opts to be cared for by another provider and the customer or their authorised representative gives consent for the transfer of information, the previous provider will make available relevant information (e.g. spectacle prescription and date of last sight test) to the new provider.
  • Providers will make clear in advance whether care will be provided free of charge under the NHS or at a cost to the customer.

Communication

  • Providers will ensure that all staff understand and have the necessary skills for effective communication with customers, particularly those with cognitive impairment.
  • Communication (including written communication) will be with the customer where possible.
  • Providers will respect customer confidentiality and will seek the customer’s consent (where possible) before disclosing any information regarding their eye care and eye health to the customer’s relative, primary carer or the care home representative.
  • If the customer lacks the capacity to understand, providers will leave information in confidence summarising the outcome of the sight test with the customer’s relative, primary carer or the care home representative. This will enable them to support the customer and intervene where necessary.

Service standards

  • Providers will provide high quality, personalised and professional eye care and optical services.
  • All practitioners will carry identification and show it on request. Practitioners will make themselves known to each individual customer/carer (as appropriate).
  • Providers will comply with the Equality Act when supplying domiciliary services.
  • Providers will ensure that all staff providing domiciliary eye care are trained in and practise proactive infection control (eg hand and equipment cleansing, appropriate dress).
  • Providers will ensure that all staff providing domiciliary eye care are aware of the Optical Confederation’s safeguarding guidance and know what to do in cases of concern.
  • Contact details of the providers will be left with the customer at the end of the appointment. This may be in the form of a standard leaflet.

Probity (Integrity)

  • Providers are committed to the highest standards of probity.
  • Providers will not offer or supply optical services including sight testing services, optometric products or other inducements (including any services or products) to third parties including the owners and staff of care homes for gain or retaining of domiciliary business. This will not prevent legitimate advertising consistent with the regulations or generalised guidance to all care homes.
  • Providers are not permitted to enter into agreements with care homes or care home chains which restrict in any way the customer or their next of kin’s choice of provider.
  • Providers will not compete in other ways that are inappropriate and will not comply with care homes or care home chains who seek such advantages to enable the provision of eye care services.
  • It is accepted that care home managers may have providers which they know and trust but these providers should only be invited to visit a customer once it is ascertained that the customer or their relatives have no other preference of provider where it is in the customer’s best interests.????

When providing NHS sight tests providers will comply with the NHS requirements and regulations of the relevant UK country.???

Complaints

If you have a complaint please contact HomeSight Opticians directly on freephone 0800 0806095 or email info@homesightonline.co.uk or write to us at

The Manager, HomeSight UK Ltd,
261 Hale end Road
Woodford Green
IG8 9NB

If the complaint relates to an NHS sight test or to the offer of inducements, the local Primary Care Organisation can be contacted?•

If the complaint relates to spectacles or contact lenses the OCCS can be contacted:??Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS)?P.O. Box 219, Petersfield GU32 9BY?Tel: 0844 800 5071?E-mail: postbox@opticalcomplaints.co.uk?• Complaints can also be raised in confidence with:?Domiciliary Eyecare Committee?199 Gloucester Terrace, London W2 6LD?Tel: 020 7298 5151?E-mail: optics@fodo.com