Masking the problem
Insight into patient attitudes when things in practice don’t go to plan should be essential reading to all members of staff, so when the Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS) annual report is published, it’s well worth seeking out. The top line statistic from this year’s report was a 12% fall in the number of complaints referred to the OCCS – 1,411 in total.
Like most things in our professional lives, the prism of the pandemic has to be considered. The early stages of the pandemic in March and April 2020, with emergency-only care and many closed practices, could be seen as a possible reason for that decline. Fewer patients mean fewer complaints. But the OCCS is quick to highlight that within the context of overall sector activity, the number of complaints actually indicates an increase in the volume of referrals received.
Luckily, this isn’t unique to optics. The OCCS has engaged with dispute resolution bodies in other sectors, and the general perception is that increased tension among consumers as a
response to the pandemic is widespread, with common complaint trends in communication, emotive responses and confusion over social distancing measures.
The past few days have seen practices up and down the country taking to social media to promote their new policies on face masks and social distancing ahead of ‘Freedom Day’ earlier this week. As seems to have been the way during the pandemic, clarity on whether optometric practices would be included in policy for mandatory face mask wear in healthcare settings came at the 11th hour, but I can’t help but feel this will be a key area of patient complaint in the short term.
For many, face masks are an overly emotive issue and represent a symbol of restrictions rather than a method of reducing the R number. Dealing with these patients will be a challenge in the next few months. Good luck.
6 Job prospects for the blind
14 Succession planning
NEWS 4 7 Days The news from the past week 6 In Focus Seeing skills, not sight loss
OPINION 8 Mentoris
Preparing for growth
PRACTICE 10 Showcase
The latest fashion and frames
MANAGEMENT 12 HR File
Avoiding employment tribunals 14 Time to succeed Planning a smooth succession
CLINICAL 16 Comment
I don’t want your freedom 18 CET: Low Vision Aids 5
Adaptive technology 24 Compact and bijou
Optelec’s portable EVES 26 Electronic vision
OxSight’s Onyx system 27 Low vision case studies 3
Eye care without specialist equipment
CLASSIFIED 30 Recruitment 32 Services
Editorial enquiries 020 7501 6660 email@example.com Display advertisements 020 7501 6668 Classified advertisements 020 7501 6686 firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriber enquiries 01722 716997 email@example.com opticianonline.net
Optician is the weekly, paid-for information source for optometrists, dispensing opticians and the optical industry. For 129 years Optician has been the independent voice for eye care professionals, students and business owners offering breaking news, analysis and education. In print and online, Optician provides an array of clinical, business and technology articles, comprehensive CET
coverage along with the very latest in contact lenses, frame fashion trends and spectacle lens technology. Optician offers advice on careers and carries hundreds of job opportunities every week. Optician provides its readers with essential business help and offers a forum for eye care professionals and others in the market.
23 July 2021 OPTICIAN 3
You have no current subscriptions in your account.
Would you like to explore the titles in our collection?
You have no collections in your account.
Would you like to view your available titles?