Covid-19 Latest Updates
MONDAY 22ND JUNE 2020
MOVING BACK TOWARDS NORMALITY
A start towards normality starts on Monday 29th June 2020 when we are allowed to start examining more routine type patients.
There is still an emphasis on prioritising patients who have problems with their eyes or their vision and we are now allowed to book GOS "NHS" and Private Eye Examinations for all.
We will not be sending out reminders for routine eye examinations as requested by HSCNI until later in the summer. However - if you had been asked to attend earlier than normal for a follow up appointment at your last eye examination, you can now contact us to arrange that.
Phone lines will return to normal from Monday and we will start booking appointments that week. Some of our Optometrists may remain on furlough at times depending on need. Practices will return closer to normal operating hours.
If you are coming to one of our practices for whatever reason you will need to make an appointment and follow guidelines about socially distancing where possible and hand hygiene. There is a limit on the number of people allowed in each practice at once .
Please wear a mask if you are coming for an eye examination
MONDAY 15TH JUNE 2020
Although many retail shops are now open, Opticians/Optometrists are still only allowed to do emergency and essential eyecare at this stage in Northern Ireland.
England is moving towards allowing NHS eye examinations again and we hope that we will have word soon about ourselves but we expect a 7-10 day "warning" period before things are opened up again.
Our best guess is probably 29th June 2020 unless things change this afternoon with the latest statement from the NI Assembly. Please note that most of our Optometrists are still furloughed as a result.
You can order replacement spectacles and sunglasses, contact lenses and we are available for repairs and collections.
Opening hours have been lengthened at many practices depending on need and availability of staff etc. Please note you should always phone ahead for an appointment to come to one of our practices.
New Opening Hours:
Bangor - open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 to 5:30pm - direct line 07554212840
Holywood - open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 2:00pm - direct line 07554515366
Newtownards - open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:00am to 5:30pm -
Arches (Newtownards Road, BT4) - open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 2:00pm -
Woodstock Road - open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:00am to 2:00pm
Yorkgate - open Monday to Friday 9:00 to 1:00pm
Haypark Avenue (Ormeau Road) - open Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2:00pm to 5:30 pm
Glen Road - open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00am to 1:00pm
Church Lane - by appointment
Carrickfergus - by appointment
Carnmoney - by appointment - Michael Allen at 07966 692427
Portadown - by appointment, Tuesday mornings for collections and repairs
Cookstown - by appointment, Geraldine at 07500 530581
Phone the normal practice number and it will redirected and answered. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct to the practices - please see https://www.mackeyopticians.com/mackey-opticians-practices/ for contact details.
We are available for emergency care throughout the working week.
FRIDAY 5TH JUNE 2020
We will be opening more hours from Monday 8th June but we are still only allowed to offer emergency (NI PEARS) and essential eyecare.
We can also offer replacement spectacles and contact lenses as well as repairs.
We are looking forward to offering you 1 2 1 Eyecare with more time planned to give you quality individual care.
All visits to the practice will be by appointment to control access and keep you safe. All visitors are asked to wear masks and hand sanitiser is available on entrance.
We have all been busy studying Infection Control and Prevention.
Please call your local Mackey Optician’s practice for more information - find it at mackeyopticians.com.
THURSDAY 4TH JUNE 2020
Please note that Belfast Eye Casualty is currently a referral only clinic with referrals from optometrists and GPs. This means that if you have a problem with your eyes you should contact your local optometrists first - we may be able to triage you over the phone, bring you in to check your eyes under NI PEARS and refer you if required to Belfast Eye Casualty at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Belfast Eye Casualty is only open office hours Monday to Saturday as well as Sunday morning. if you have a true sight threatening emergency then you can present to the reception area during these hours.
General Casualty is available outside these times with an Ophthalmologist on call.. Please read the poster below for more advice.
WEDNESDAY 27TH MAY 2020
We are still available for essential eye examinations and emergency eyecare (NIPEARS) at all of our practices although we still have limited opening hours. Replacement spectacles, repairs and repeat contact lenses are also available. Essential Eyecare includes eye examinations for key workers where necessary and also annual renewal of HGV licences - please call for advice.
Please note that while we try to cover emergencies as much as possible, NIPEARS is limited outside regular office hours and not a 24 hour service as much as we would like to try and look after everyone. We are also limited in that Eye Casualty is also only open during office hours Monday to Friday, and Saturday and Sunday mornings so onward referral is restricted. General Casualty at the RVH with an ophthalmologist on call is the norm outside these times - also note that this hasn’t changed from Covid-19.
Phone lines are still diverted to 2 mobile phones at present currently manned by Mark and Richard Mackey. Please don’t expect to speak direct to your practice although we will try and phone you back from there if necessary.
More opening times:
We are still restricted at present in what we are allowed to do and opening times are therefore all limited. We are trying to expand our offering as things hopefully start to get back to normal. Our phone lines are all available from 9:00am to 5:50pm Monday to Friday and outside these times for advice and emergencies (where possible - see above).
Yorkgate is now open regularly each morning from 9:00am to 1:00pm Monday to Friday. Our Newtownards Road (Arches) practice Is open longer hours on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday And the beginning of the week as required.
Nwwtownards is generally open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:00 to 1pm. Bangor is open early before this while Holywood is open in the early afternoons. Please note you need an appointment to attend and that times can differ due to emergencies elsewhere etc. Woodstock Road is open as required,
We are opening our Portadown practice regularly on Tuesday mornings for appointments, collections and repairs and at other times as necessary. While the High street Mall is closed, you can access the mall to get to the practice via the car park entrance with one of our members of staff in attendance. Pleas phone when you arrive.
Glen Road will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from Monday 1st June 2020, while Ormeau Road will be open on those afternoons. Our other practices are available during the week depending on need.
Ordering of contact lenses is getting more regular although there can still be difficulties with post and courier at times and a longer delivery time than normal. Please call your regular practice
Ni PEARS SIGHT TEST CHART
Whilst there has been a lot of humour and anger about a certain gentleman travelling 30 miles to test his eyesight on a castle - please click to download the attached when requested to use it by one of our optometrists. Please note that this is very rough and not a true reflection of a proper eye examination with proper lighting etc.
MONDAY 27TH APRIL 2020
Please note mobile numbers have been updated below to have a separate direct contact number for our Newtownards Road (Arches) practice. The Arches practice is open Monday to Friday and is available for emergencies at weekends.
Our other practices are open at times most days by appointment.
Mark Mackey is travelling to Portadown each Tuesday for any appointments or dispenses. Emergencies for Portadown at other times will be looked after in Cookstown or Belfast.
Opticians have been distributed PPE to wear during consultations - we would ask all patients coming into our practices to also wear masks until further notice
THURSDAY 2ND APRIL 2020
WEDNESDAY 1ST APRIL 2020
We hope that you are all staying safe and at home as much as possible. Over that last week we have tried to deliver or post out as many pairs of spectacles and contact lenses as possible. This is being organised primarily from our head office at 422 Newtownards Road, BT4 1HJ supported by Bangor, Carnmoney and Cookstown as before. Our spectacle lab has reopened and is getting deliveries again from our lens suppliers so that any ordered spectacles that you may have been waiting for, should be finished soon. Payments can be organised over the phone by debit or credit card before delivery.
We are still able to do replacement spectacles and repairs (although limited as some other workshops are closed). We are also available for emergency eyecare as below. We are also still able to order contact lenses for you with delivery direct to your house.
All of our practice telephone lines are now being redirected to 2 mobile telephones held by Mark and Richard Mackey. Please allow for delay.
DIRECT MOBILE PHONE NUMBERS:
For Bangor, Newtownards, Holywood, Woodstock and Portadown patients in particular - If you want to talk to Mark Mackey directly, please text (or phone) 07554212840 or email email@example.com and he will try to get back to you asap.
For other Belfast practices and Carrickfergus - Richard can be contacted directly at 07500530299 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We would recommend texting your query and details rather than leaving answering phone messages.
For Carnmoney - Michael Allen at 07966 692427 or email email@example.com
For Cookstown - Geraldine at 07500 530581 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For Arches (Newtownards Road, BT4) - 07554 501290 - please note this is only available when the practice is open
TUESDAY 24TH MARCH 2020
Please note that most of our practices will be closed from today until the foreseeable future. Four practices have been chosen to stay open to serve the widest catchment coverage for our practices. Our other practices may be open at times over the next few months to help facilitate local services where necessary.
If you still need to collect spectacles from any of our practices, please contact them asap - most have organised delivery to you already
If you have still glasses that have been ordered and are being finished off, we will organise delivery to you or possibly collection from one of the four practices below which will remain in service as well for emergency and essential services - this does include repairs and replacement glasses. These four practices will not be open as normal either, but operate at different times to try and respond to your needs as much as possible.
ENTRY TO ANY OF THESE PRACTICES IS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY - You will have to phone ahead to organise a time for repair, replacement or emergency eyecare.
Examples of emergency eyecare can be found on our NI PEARS page. We recommend that you text the emergency mobile number listed below for your area initially instead of phoning as they will not be being monitored 24 hours per day - please send a short message outlining your query or problem and leave your name (and possibly date of birth to help identification) and we will contact you as quickly as possible. NIPEARS appointments are normally seen within 48 hours.
We will phone you to discuss any emergency eyecare before organising an appointment. We have been advised that we are allowed to do consultations and give recommendations on the phone as well if possible, maybe via photographs from your phone, Facetime or other technology where available.
Please text/phone Mark Mackey at 07554212840 or email email@example.com and Mark will call back as soon as possible.
We will cover our fellow practices in Holywood and Newtownards in particular for emergency eyecare cover under NI PEARS, repairs and replacements. If you have spectacles or contact lenses to be collected from Holywood or Newtownards, we can organise collection (or delivery where possible) from Bangor instead.
Arches, Newtownards Road, Belfast BT4 1HJ
Over the next week (s), this practice will be open each day from 10am to 1pm to help service spectacles that are still in production. However please call in advance for an appointment if you need an emergency appointment or you need your spectacles replaced or repaired.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone James at 07554 501290.
Belfast Practices and Carrickfergus
Any Belfast practices or Carrickfergus should order new contact lenses, spectacle collection and repairs or replacement spectacles etc via Richard with the above contact details
Please phone Richard at 07500530299 or email email@example.com
Please text/phone Optometrist Michael Allen at 07966 692427 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries, emergency eyecare, replacements or repairs. Michael will phone you and organise an appointment as required as soon as possible.
Please text/phone Optometrist Geraldine at 07500 530581 or email email@example.com for any queries, emergency eyecare, replacements or repairs. Geraldine will phone you and organise an appointment as required as soon as possible.
Portadown patients should contact either Cookstown or our head-office at Holywood Arches as above.
MONDAY 23RD MARCH 2020
From this morning we are now only seeing appointments for essential and emergency eyecare.
If you had a routine eye examination booked with ourselves, you will probably have been contacted by now and advised of such - we will call to let you know when normal service resumes as soon as we can.
If you have spectacles or contact lenses to collect please arrange collection as soon as possible. It is likely that our practices will have very limited opening hours from tomorrow. This is a very fluid situation and as yet we do not know what arrangements will be allowed or have to be put in place - hopefully we will know better by the end of today or tomorrow.
We may try and organise delivery to your house where suitable, leaving your spectacles or contact lenses by your front door - please phone the practice to arrange payment in advance as we cannot take payment at your house.
If you need to contact us for an emergency appointment - please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our emergency mobile number on 07554212840
If you have a cough or high temperature and an eye emergency, please let us know and we can organise examination at a suitable regional centre.
Please stay at home except for essential items and stay safe.
18th March 2020
What are we doing at Mackey Optometrists?
In these unprecedented times. we would like to reassure our patients that we are maintaining the highest standards of hygiene, with regular hand washing and strict cleaning of equipment, spectacles frames and surfaces with disinfectant.
We’re are also spacing our appointment times throughout the day to help against unessential contact with other patients.
We’re contacting people prior to their appointments with the latest Public Health Northern Ireland and College of Optometrists advice i.e. if they have travelled recently within the last 14 days or have a new continuous cough or high temperature, not to attend their appointment and self-isolate with the rest of their household for 14 days. We will be very happy to see you again once this period is over.
We will continue to serve all our patients with the highest standards of care and if we can provide any further information or support please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We have added this advice to our website, to telephone messages, appointment reminders and recall texts and emails with a link to NHS 111 Online for any further patient queries.
We wish you and your families all the best over the next weeks and look forward to the end of this crisis. Please stay safe.
Advice for spectacle wearers
It is important to try and keep your glasses clean and wash them regularly like your hands. People often touch their faces and their glasses during the day (more than 20 times per hour) - habits that are being discouraged during the outbreak of COVID-19.
You can clean your glasses with your regular lens cleaner - however these do not contain alcohol anymore as this can affect lens coatings and some frame materials if used regularly. Beware of hand sanitiser that can also affect lens coatings and be painful in your eyes if you get it in there accidentally. If you do wash your eyes continually with lots of fresh running cold water.
Instead you can clean your glasses (frames and lenses) with warm soapy water for 20 seconds similar to your hands when required and then use a lens cleaning cloth to ensure your lenses aren't smeared.
Advice for contact lens wearers
Contact lens wearers can continue to wear their lenses ensuring that their hands are clean (washing for 20 seconds with warm soapy water) when putting lenses on and off your eyes.
Clean your case regularly as directed with clean solution each day. Do not use tap water!.
A very small percentage of patients with COVID-19 have reported conjunctivitis - it is unlikely that if you have a red eye that COVID-19 is the cause of it.
However you should not wear your contact lenses if you have red or irritable eyes and there is advice that you shouldn't wear contact lenses if you have the flu or cold either.
Please ensure that you have an up to date pair of spectacles available if you have to cease contact lens wear.
NIPEARS and EMERGENCY EYECARE
Our practices will continue to be open over the coming weeks unless we get alternative advice. NIPEARS and emergency eye examinations are available - please phone ahead to your local Mackey Opticians and book an appointment - more information about NIPEARS here
If you have a cough or temperature or at risk of COVID-19 and need an emergency eye examination, please call NHS 111, who will direct you to a regional centre that can provide the eye care, in an environment equipped to manage the infection control risks. Primary care staff - optometrists and the RVH Eye Casualty - have been advised that they should not be seeing patients who have COVID-19 and will have to isolate you and call NHS111 if you visit our practice or them.