While Specsavers Haywards Heath in South Road are closed for all routine eye and hearing tests at the moment, they are still open to provide essential care and support local key workers.
Customers are being encouraged to call the store if they need urgent support with a visual problem, or if they have issues with their glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids.
If anyone is required to attend the store, they will be asked to do so – and key workers will be prioritised. The store are seeing people by appointment only, in line with government advice, and are following all current guidance.
Last week, store director Jay Spiller took a call from a lady in her seventies who was stuck at home self-isolating after a hip operation. She needed her glasses adjusting urgently but had nobody who could drop them off to the store for her.
Jay collected her glasses from her doorstep, took them back to the store to adjust them, and had them and their case sanitised and back on her doorstep within the hour.
This week, Jay even had to help an elderly customer jump start his car after he called the store in an emergency because his normal opticians was closed.
The team have also been busy supporting fellow key workers so that they can get back to the frontline as quickly as possible. This included a hospital doctor with a high prescription who needed new glasses to be able to do her job – and who subsequently needed help again when they were chipped at work.
They also urgently referred a key worker with a corneal tear and a patient with a detached retina, and also helped another key worker who had to wear a face shield by fitting them with contact lenses as their glasses were fogging up.
The team have also fixed lots of loose, damaged and broken glasses (including for a local Sainsbury’s worker), and were able to support a grateful local woman whose normal optician had closed who even tweeted her thanks.
Jay said: ‘We are really pleased to be open for care, and to be able to support so many local people with their essential eye and hearing needs at this time. Every time we are able to help someone it reminds us why we chose to stay open to support our community – and why we are honoured to do so.
‘We want the local community to know that, while we are closed for routine appointments at the present time, we are still very much here to support people with their essential eye and hearing care needs – so please give us a call if you need us.’
Specsavers’ teams are classed as key workers to provide urgent and essential eye care to those who need it. This includes supporting other key workers who couldn’t function without their help and people who would come to harm without their health expertise, especially where the usual hospital services and NHS facilities are being prioritised for the fight against COVID-19.