The Galashiels store continued to look after the optical needs of the community, ease pressure on the NHS, by remaining open for emergency and essential care to those in need.


The team in Galashiels adapted their services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The store offered telephone and video consultations with customers, via its RemoteCare service, instead of face to face appointments.


Cases included a foreign body removal, a retinal detachment and emergency eye pressure assessments at the request of the Borders General Hospital. Staff delivered such treatment in store while wearing full PPE to minimise the risk of virus spreading.


The team was also out in the community helping those who were shielding at home. Staff helped an elderly lady in her eighties, who was self-isolating alone, after she broke her glasses. Being too high risk to visit the store, staff drove to her house with a kit and did the repair on her doorstep so she didn’t have to leave the house.


Additionally, the store provided several pairs of glasses to essential workers from the Borders General Hospital, who needed them to continue to work.

A word from the store director


Iain McFadyen, store director at Specsavers Galashiels, said:  ‘Video appointments and customers sending in pictures of their eye ailments have become the norm under our RemoteCare service. We even had a customer turn up at the store without an appointment and I inspected his eye through the window while he was on speakerphone with me. By adapting and utilising technology, it has allowed us to inspect and diagnose eye issues remotely.’


Iain added: ‘Our work has understandably changed over the last few weeks, but we want people to know that we are here if they require eye care.


‘If you need an urgent consultation because your condition is causing you distress, or preventing you from functioning as you normally would without our help, please call the store in the first instance.’


A range of services, such as home delivery of glasses, contact lenses and hearing aid batteries, was still available for those customers who didn’t require urgent care. Glasses and contact lenses could also be purchased online for customers with a current prescription.

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