News > A coronavirus update from The Wimpole Eye Clinic
We are very pleased to confirm that The Wimpole Eye Clinic has remained open for patient appointments during the second and third lockdowns. During the first lockdown (March to June 2020) The Wimpole Eye Clinic was only open occasionally for essential post-operative and urgent appointments. In preparation for the lockdown lifting we underwent an official, and extremely detailed, two hour on-site risk assessment in order to make sure that we were well within the CQC and government guidelines on minimising the risk of coronavirus transmission. This gave us confidence to reopen in June (2020) and everything that we put in place then, and continue to put in place now, helps us to ensure the safety of our patients, our staff, and our visitors.
What can you expect as a patient?
We continue to schedule our appointment times to ensure that our patients are kept safe. Fortunately, as former patients will confirm, The Wimpole Eye Clinic is very spacious and it has been straightforward to maintain social distancing.
Every patient will be asked to bring a mask to wear when in the building.
Patients are asked to arrive on or only a few minutes before their appointment time and should only be accompanied by friends or relatives if there is a good reason (for necessary support, interpreting, or for help with sign language for example). This will minimise the numbers attending the clinic at any given time.
We will screen you before being seen in the clinic. This will involve completing a COVID risk questionnaire (preferably by e-mail in advance) and recording your temperature with a digital non-contact thermometer on arrival. A sanitising gel is available on the left hand side just inside the main door which patients are asked to use on entering the building.
Clinical staff will be wearing hats, masks, eye protection, surgical scrub uniforms, single use gloves and single use plastic aprons.
We will maintain social distancing by using both of our spacious floors (ground and basement), our large main waiting room on the ground floor, and three secondary waiting areas.
We have limited numbers of carefully spaced chairs and therefore social distancing measures are easy to achieve and no patient will be waiting within two metres of another at any time. Often patients will be waiting entirely on their own in one of the waiting areas.
As our existing patients know, the clinic is very airy with a patio garden on the lower floor (basement). Air-conditioning units in each room bring fresh filtered air from outside (there are no freestanding fans recirculating air) and, weather permitting, doors and windows will be kept open to allow circulation of fresh air (as fresh as central London permits!).
Each slit lamp microscope (the instrument used to carefully examine the eye) has a large transparent plastic screen separating the doctor/optometrist from the patient.
We have installed clinically approved soaps and sanitising hand gels throughout the clinic for patient and staff use.
All surfaces are cleaned with approved 70% alcohol wipes between patient visits and extra cleaning rotas have been arranged.
Combining all of the above we believe that we are protecting our patients and visitors (and ourselves) as much as is physically possible. Although it might seem rather dramatic, we have adopted exactly the same PPE measures for our staff at The Wimpole Eye Clinic as at Moorfields Eye Hospital itself (where Professor Gartry took part in emergency only NHS clinics and operating theatre sessions throughout the lockdown periods). Moorfields Eye Hospital, as many will know, is a large National Health Service teaching hospital (the largest eye hospital in the world) and has been at the forefront in adopting and adhering to the necessary Government measures to ensure safety of patients and staff. We are pleased to announce however that, following the easing of the most recent lockdown which began in early January 2021, Moorfields Eye Hospital is once again offering clinic and operating theatre sessions for both its NHS and its private patients.
If you would like to book an appointment please call us on 0207 490 7222 and we can answer any questions you may have or, if you prefer, you can contact us via our booking form.
We very much look forward to seeing you.
Thank you from all of us at The Wimpole Eye Clinic, and especially many thanks indeed for the patience of our existing patients, especially if the COVID restrictions have caused any delay in your treatments.
Best wishes and stay safe
David Gartry and team at TWEC