Infection control policy

The use of appropriate hygiene procedures and precautions to prevent exposure to and reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases within the testing area is essential.

Strict hygiene is observed when dealing with patients – particular attention is paid to any equipment with which they come into contact.

Chinrests and headrests on slit lamps, field screeners, keratometers, tonometers, autorefractors, fundus cameras or any other equipment are cleaned with a sterile wipe before use by each patient. Similarly, the bridge and sides of trial frames and forehead and cheek rests of refractor (phoropter) heads are cleaned anew for each patient.
Items coming into contact with a patient’s eye are not reused.
Disposable tonometer prisms are used when performing contact tonometry using either a Perkins or Goldmann tonometer, and any permanent tonometer prisms are removed from the domiciliary set.

Alternatively, in accordance with College of Optometrists guidelines, permanent tonometer prisms may be soaked in 2% sodium hypochlorite (Milton) solution for 60 minutes between uses, although this does not guarantee protection against the transmission of vCJD. Disposable sleeves must be used with Tonopens and a new probe is used for each patient when using an i-Care.

Liquid antibacterial soap and paper towels, if available, are recommended. Alcohol based hand cleansers are used in the absence of soap and water. Fabric towels are not used.

Diagnostic solutions such as sterile saline or contact lens soaking solutions are clearly marked with the date first used. They are always  stored with caps on and not used beyond the recommended dates.

Single-dose eye drops such as minims are only used once and then discarded.
It is the responsibility of all our healthcare professionals to comply with the above instruction.

For further information please call our Patient Services Team on freephone 0800 854477.