Specsavers Sunderland’s essential and urgent services have already proven invaluable for several key workers and frontline staff during the pandemic.

The opticians, located on Athenaeum Street at Waterloo Place, has suspended routine testing in line with government guidelines but is open for those in need of urgent or essential eye care – including key workers and NHS frontline staff.

Key workers

Over the last week, staff at the store were on hand to advise and treat key workers including a medical receptionist and lorry driver who had broken their glasses and urgently needed replacements in order to continue working.

Originally the store was manned from Mondays to Fridays however in special circumstances, the Sunderland directors would deal with patients at the weekend. Directors have now added Saturdays to their working hours due to demand and to ensure they can speak to and get back to everyone in need of eye care.

A word from the store director

Store director and optometrist, Andrew Garvey, said: 'We are closed for business such as routine testing but remain open for care to ease the burden on GP’s and hospitals and to take as much as pressure off of frontline staff as possible.

'Two thirds of our customers have been key workers in need of urgent eye care consultations or guidance. I am glad that we are able to play our part and ensure everyone in the community who really needs our help is able to get in touch.

'Any key workers should know that we will do our utmost to help them as we cannot thank them enough for their valuable work during this pandemic, and we are also here for the wider public in the case of eye care emergencies.'

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 help and people who would come to harm without health expertise, especially where the usual hospital services and NHS facilities are being prioritised for the fight against COVID-19.

Anyone who needs advice or consultation should phone the store to speak to a member of staff in the first instance. Please contact Specsavers Sunderland on 0191 514 2939. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm.

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