SPECSAVERS has announced that it will remain open throughout the new national lockdown.

The opticians and audiologists, which has branches in The Mall, Blackburn and in the Charter Walk Shopping Centre in Burnley, as well as in Accrington, Nelson and Chorley, is considered an essential healthcare service and as such will remain available.

The chain will also be offering home visits for customers who cannot leave their homes for eye tests.

Specsavers CEO John Perkins said: "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."

He added: "‘It is also important that people attend their appointments to ensure that their eye and hearing 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."

Each store is owned by an independent partner who will make decisions about policies such as opening hours based on the needs of its community, however Mr Perkins has insisted that Specsavers' national headquarters will do whatever it takes to support each outlet.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Protective measures have been put in place

Safety measures include restrictions on the number of customers allowed in a branch at any one time, social distancing, and bank card instead of cash payments, where possible.

The company has said that employees will also use personal protective equipment throughout the stores, wear face masks and other PPE during tests, and all testing equipment and frames will be sanitised before and after each use.

Meanwhile the opticians asks that customers request an appointment in advance by phone or online through the Specsavers website to help manage social distancing and minimise time spent in store.

Mr Perkins said: "I would particularly like to wholeheartedly thank our colleagues on the front line in our stores who, as providers of an essential health service, 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 Specsavers."

A full list of Specsavers services includes:

  • Comprehensive eye examinations
  • Hearing tests and hearing consultations
  • Home eye examinations for people with a physical or mental disability who are unable to leave their home
  • Contact lens consultations
  • Enhanced optical services for people experiencing any eye problems
  • Frame repairs and the provision of new glasses
  • Hearing aid repairs and the provision of new devices
  • Purchase of vision care products, such as an anti-fog lens solution for glasses wearers through to dry eye drops

Services available to people who are unable to leave the home 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