The College of Optometrists

Key points

  • You must decide on the best course of action for patients who present as an emergency. This will depend on the situation and you must use your professional judgement to decide what is in the best interests of the patient.
  • If you conduct an emergency examination of a patient who presents with an acute condition, you should make it clear to the patient that it is not a statutory sight test or full eye examination and that you are only addressing the presenting symptoms.
  • If you decide not to conduct an emergency examination of a patient who presents with an acute condition you should direct the patient to an appropriate healthcare professional and indicate the degree of urgency.
  • You, or your employer, should make sure that practice staff understand the protocol to follow when a patient presents as an emergency.
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This Guidance does not change what you must do under the law.

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