|What happens if I have already completely closed my practice, or want to close it now or in future? (Source : LOCSU)|
If your practice is completely closed and you are not providing any essential care (e.g. remotely), you will not receive GOS support payments for the duration of the closure. You will be able to claim any general Government business support for which you are eligible, such as business grants and payments under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
|Do I need someone to be physically present in my practice throughout my normal opening hours to qualify as open and receive NHS Financial Support? (Source : LOCSU)|
No, you do not need to be physically present in the practice. Government advice is that all unnecessary travel should be avoided and person to person interaction (even if social distancing) minimised to help reduce risk for patients, staff and the wide public. Open in these circumstances means providing essential eye care in accordance with College of Optometrists and government Covid-19 guidance. These services could be provided from home locations wherever possible.
The key to being open is that patients must be able to contact the practice during normal opening hours, but this can be by phone or email - for instance you could divert your practice landline to an alternative number, or provide an answerphone message asking patients to contact a mobile phone or to send you an email. Calls and emails should be managed promptly and efficiently in line with the importance of providing an essential service.