Mackie Opticians has eye on community this World Sight Day

A simple telescope was all it took for one Lanarkshire optician to provide a lifeline connection to the local community for a patient living with visual and mobility impairments.

Dr Scott Mackie – owner of Mackie Opticians, which has branches in Bothwell and Lesmahagow – reached out to the patient after he received a call to say she could no longer attend the practice in person.

Commenting on World Sight Day (October 14), Dr Mackie said: “When the patient called, she explained that her reduced mobility meant she found leaving her cottage difficult. She enjoyed looking out at the nearby park – but as her eyesight was failing, she was no longer able to make out anything in great detail, leaving her feeling isolated from the community.

“The patient has no remaining family and had no visitors for over a year due to the pandemic – so I arranged a home visit, to ensure she was receiving the support and treatment she required. We provided her with a new telescope that could help her long-distance vision, so she could once again feel that connection to the people in the park close by.”

Mackie Opticians has formally pledged to continue its support of the community by signing up to Sense Scotland’s #SharedVision campaign, which enables and celebrates opticians who go above and beyond for their patients.

Dr Mackie continued: “Looking after those in our community is incredibly important to us at Mackie Opticians. We strive to be more than just somewhere people go to get their eyes tested every couple of years, and we’re delighted to be able to genuinely help improve our patients’ quality of life.”

Following his home visit, Dr Mackie also liaised with social services to provide the patient assistance with preparing meals and household tasks, ensuring that she was receiving the care and attention she needed.

Angela Bonomy, executive director of Sense Scotland, added: “We can’t thank Mackie Opticians enough for supporting our #SharedVision campaign and #WorldSightDay2021. Together we can celebrate the work of opticians who go the extra mile for people with communication support needs, including visual impairment. Their fundraising efforts allow us to maintain and strengthen our vision, of a world where the people we work with live meaningful and independent lives, achieving their own ambitions.”

Update From Mackie Opticians

Lockdown Easing

All of our services have now resumed to those that we offered pre-COVID. This includes full eye examinations, the fitting of contact lenses and eye casualty clinics, such as removing foreign bodies, or Blephex treatment of the eyelashes for dry, irritated eyes.

Expansion

The new levels of patient care is now exceeding our pre-COVID clinics and as such, we have expanded our clinics to 10 sessions per week and have taken on a new Dispensing Optician with over 30 years’ experience.

Open Door

Our practices have now returned to an open door policy, and therefore you can attend at anytime to choose frames, or to get a repair. However, you may be offered a different time to collect your spectacles to reduce busy times.

NESGAT Qualification

Drs Scott and Roisin Mackie are studying for an additional qualification so that they can see more hospital patients in their practices, as part of their commitment to lifelong learning.

New Frame Ranges

During the pandemic, when we were not running as an Emergency Eyecare Treatment Centre, we used our time to restock all of our frames and expanded our range with new collections, such as Prada and Tom Ford.

New Visual Stress Clinic

With an increase in patients with reading difficulties, we have opened a specialist clinic which also includes conditions such as migraine and dyslexia. Visit our website and listen to our Ask the Doctor podcast for more information.

Private Ophthalmology Referral

With many NHS clinics having excess waiting times of up to 2 years, we can liaise with colleagues and find other solutions for you, such as fast track referrals for cataract, or new treatments for glaucoma.

Click here to arrange an appointment or call your local practice.

Remaining Open During Lockdown

The Scottish Government has stated that attending a community optician for routine, essential or emergency eyecare is classed as essential travel. 

Routine eye tests are very important, even if your vision seems fine, as this allows for screening for many eye and health related conditions in addition to assessing the need for spectacles. For this reason, NHS Scotland has directed community opticians to stay open to provide routine and emergency services.

Please be assured that it is safe to visit our practice. We have introduced new measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and help protect our patients including installation of screens, wearing of PPE, restrictions of numbers in practice and a thorough cleaning regime between patients. Furthermore, all staff have now had the COVID vaccine.

However, if you do not wish to attend at present or are isolating, please contact the practice and we can rearrange your reminder date. We can also provide a virtual consultation using your phone, tablet or computer if you have any immediate concerns about your eyes.

Please do not attend if you have a high temperature or fever, are suffering from a persistent cough or shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell.

To arrange an appointment please call the practice on the number at the bottom of this email or book online. Your appointment will then be triaged and you will receive a call back to confirm your appointment. Please attend wearing a mask (unless exempt).

Best wishes for a COVID-free 2021. We are assisting in COVID vaccinations and look forward to fewer restrictions throughout the year.

Festive Update from Mackie Opticians

Opening Hours

Throughout the pandemic, we have worked 6 days per week – so we are looking forward to our festive break which will begin on Saturday 19th December 2020 through until Monday 4th January 2021.

Eye Casualty

If you require eye casualty between these dates, please either contact other Opticians within Lanarkshire who are open and have an IP or LENS Optometrist in attendance or alternatively, you can call NHS 24.

Chosen Charity

Mackie Opticians is supporting Vision Care for Homeless People this year as we feel the pandemic could impact this vulnerable sector of our society even more than previous. Please visit their website to see what inspiring work they do or if you want to donate to their fundraising.

Lockdown

As an essential NHS service, we remain open for routine, essential and urgent eyecare including spectacles, contact lenses and eye casualty.  You can book online or call your clinic direct: Lesmahagow on 01555 893929 or Bothwell on 01698 854858.

A Final Festive Message

Going forward, we look forward to helping administer the COVID vaccine as supplies start arriving at designated NHS sites.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our patients a restful festive season and best wishes for a promising 2021.

An Update From Mackies Opticians

An Update From Mackies Opticians

 

Dear Patients,

In these unsettling times, I wanted to update you on all the things we are doing at Mackie Opticians to assist in providing you with our award-winning professional eyecare.

Opening Hour Updates:

We have increased our clinic capacity and now provide clinics every day Monday to Saturday in both our Bothwell and Lesmahagow practices. For those patients who cannot attend in person, although we cannot currently offer a home visiting service, we can offer a virtual appointment using NHS Near Me software which can be set up through our website at www.mackieopticians.co.uk . All you need to access the online service is a device with a connection to the internet, including phone, tablet, or desktop PC. Please contact us beforehand to make an appointment.

New Solutions and Services:

As well as providing all our current clinics including routine sight tests, contact lenses, eye casualty and our specialist clinics we are also providing new clinics for patients who cannot access services due to reduced NHS hospital capacity or extended waiting times. These new services include a new clinic for assessing visual stress – such as reading difficulties or migraine headaches and private fast track referrals for outpatient assessments or surgery such as cataract.

Appointments and Bookings:

Our clinics are running at full capacity with extended appointment times including emergency appointments available every day. 

You can book online using our website or call your local clinic.

We would encourage you not to be put off attending if you are feeling stressed about the current pandemic, as your eyesight is part of your overall health screening.

Please be assured we have set up protocols with your safety as our priority and we have full PPE and new seating areas to allow social distancing as well as new equipment to sterilise all areas and frames. 

World Sight Day:

World Sight Day was on 8/10/20 – a day dedicated to the 1 billion people in the world who do not have access to glasses or surgery and have avoidable blindness.

Thank you to all our patients who donate your old spectacles to us which we recycle to our partners in India and Cambodia. Dr Scott and Dr Roisin Mackie are looking forward to assisting in the cataract clinics next summer in Cambodia. For more information on our social purpose please visit https://www.mackieopticians.co.uk/why-mackies/eyecare-projects/ 

Flu Vaccinations:

We have also been asked to provide flu and later COVID vaccinations at specialist centres as part of the plan to immunise a large proportion of the population and we are wanting to help in any way we can. We are constantly in touch with other colleagues proving care and triage from our referrals and would like to acknowledge all NHS, support and key workers at this time and we are proud to be part of NHS Scotland providing your eyecare.

 

 

We hope that you are all remaining safe and well and look forward to speaking with you again,

 

Kindest regards,

Mackie Opticians Staff

Resumption of Routine Eye Checks

We are very happy to finally be announcing that from Monday 3rd August, we can resume seeing patients for routine eye care at both of our practices.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming all our patients back and trust you are all well.

It’s been a while since we saw most of you last – so we have popped some handy-to-know information below for you to read.

 

How do I book an appointment?

Appointments for both new and returning patients can be booked by either telephoning the practice, where you will be asked some triage questions or you can book online and you will be then contacted by the Mackies team for triage.

We will ask a few questions relating to your current health or potential COVID-19 symptoms – this is now routine and is for your own safety as well as the Mackies team.

What if I am shielding, or cannot physically attend?

For new or returning patients who cannot attend the practice in person – such as those in care homes or staying at home, we can organise an initial triage using a new NHS facility called Near Me* which allows remote eyecare to take place by either a phone or video call with our Opticians using your mobile, tablet or computer.

* Please contact us at the practice to organise this.

What changes might I expect to see when visiting the clinic?

Please be assured both our clinics and current work practices allows safe working conditions for our patients and staff.

We ask that you attend wearing a suitable face covering, such as a mask and that any gloves are removed prior to entering. (We do, however, understand some individuals may be exempt from wearing a mask)

The team will be wearing appropriate PPE and have extended appointment times to allow us to deliver professional eyecare.

We are phasing the return of both sight test (In practice and home visits) and contact lens check reminders.

Finally please be patient with us as our triage system will prioritise some patient groups and conditions.

Don’t forget, you can contact us if you need assistance.

 

Mackies Opticians – Celebrating 25 Years!

This week at Mackies Opticians we are delighted to be celebrating 25 years of business and customer-focused eyecare.

This is surely something to be celebrated at the best of times but being able to celebrate this despite the uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought upon us all this year, makes it extra special.

Originally founded on 17th July 1995, our first clinic based in Lesmahagow had just one sole staff member. Fast forward now to 2020 and we are proud to have two clinics running – Bothwell being the latter which opened in 1996 and a strong team of 6 staff members, all of whom have our customers wellbeing and comfort as a priority.

Throughout the last 25 years we have continuously set out to provide our customers with quality eye care and enhanced customer service and we estimate we have seen over 75,000 patients since we opened! That’s 150,000 eyes being cared for.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been busy working 6 days a week as an Emergency Eye Treatment Centre for the Lanarkshire area receiving referrals from several health care practitioners including GPs, NHS 24, Hairmyres Hospital and fellow opticians.

We have won several awards over these years which we remain incredibly proud of – including the Macular Society and Scottish Health Awards which are patient nominated. To be nominated for these is an honour and winning them even more so, especially as we endeavour to provide the best care for our patients – keeping treatment and appointments person-centred at all times.

Additionally, we were winners within the Optician awards which are peer-nominated.

 

 

At Mackies, we want to be at the forefront of patient care – this means remaining up-to-date and continuing to reflect on our practices and innovating to provide the very best for our patients.

One example of innovation and keeping up to date for our clients is our OCT devices which are available in both clinics. These incredible pieces of equipment allow us to view the eye in 3D, giving a detailed insight into any potential issues – using images taken with this innovative piece of kit, Dr Scott Mackie has gone on to deliver several lectures at annual conferences within the UK, passing on his knowledge to further clinicians.

Looking back on the 25 years, we are filled with pride and excitement, Directors Dr Scott Mackie and Dr Roisin Mackie would like to thank each and every one of our patients for supporting us and we look forward to supporting you by providing you with the best of care, for another 25 years and beyond!

If you need to get in touch with the team, you can do so here.

Now open for emergency and urgent Eyecare!

We hope this update finds you all safe and well.

Firstly, we are happy to announce we are now open for essential and urgent eye care appointments, this includes:

• Lost or Broken Spectacles or Contact Lenses
• Eye Conditions Causing Pain or Loss of Vision
• Any Other Concerns About Your Eyes or Vision

 

We have sent our risk assessment to NHS Lanarkshire and have added additional procedures which are not mandatory to ensure our patient safety such as contactless temperature checks, UVC sterilisation of frames and remote video consultations with patients. We hope this provides some reassurance at this time.

We are looking forward to welcoming our patients back!

(Please note no reminders for eye examinations or contact lens aftercare are being sent as this constitutes a routine appointment which NHS Scotland suggests may be part of Phase 3 (mid-July) or Phase 4)

 

Eye Casualty – Lanarkshire

Since we closed our doors on 31/03/20 we have been busy working 6 days a week as an Emergency Eye Treatment Centre for the Lanarkshire area receiving referrals from GPs, NHS 24, Hairmyres Hospital and fellow opticians.

This treatment centre will now close on 28/06/20 but we will still be running an Eye Casualty service for all our own patients.

Need an emergency or urgent eye care appointment?

To make an appointment for emergency or urgent eyecare, simply call your nearest practice. We will triage your symptoms and arrange a telephone or in-person appointment time.

 

 

Don’t forget, you can visit our website for further information or to contact us if you need assistance.

An update for our loyal customers

Dear Loyal Customers,

We hope this message finds you well during these times. Recently, the Government announced their route map for Scotland. From this guidance, it looks as though we may start seeing patients for regular appointments from August if all other conditions are met. With this in mind, we would like to keep you up-to-date on the steps we are taking at Mackie Opticians.

Your Safety and Well-Being

Firstly, the safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff members is our top priority.

As such, we have invested in reception screens that will act as a barrier when you visit. We have also arranged additional PPE, hand gel stations and rearranged the practice to allow for social distancing measures.

You can attend wearing your own mask, which is optional, but we ask all patients to remove any gloves before entering the practice, if you wish to wear gloves please bring a new pair to put on when entering.

If the Optometrist or staff have to get in close contact during the eye test or fitting of spectacles they will have PPE available to them including gloves, visors, masks and aprons.

Your Appointments

We are being updated on when we can offer regular appointments, which will depend on government advice, however, we feel this will be at the start of August or Phase 3 of the route map for Scotland – whichever is sooner.

Until then, we can still assess patients for essential and emergency care in the practice.

Recently, we have been seeing patients from all over Lanarkshire in our practices which were designated as Emergency Eyecare Treatment Centres for those who need emergency or essential eye care, we will continue to offer this service throughout the pandemic.

Looking Ahead

It is hard to know exactly how the future will look. But for us, we envisage more virtual assessments for eye casualties so we can assess patients in their own home, virtual assessments will also allow us to directly discuss cases with the eye department at the hospital with the patient present in the consulting room.

We will contact patients prior to their appointment to ensure no new COVID-19 symptoms are present and to pre-assess the patient to reduce contact time in the consulting room.

We may offer extended opening hours to allow social distancing and we will offer interest-free credit in both practices to allow easy payment terms on spectacles if, and when required.

We hope to see you soon, in the meantime, stay safe and well –
From all of the team here at Mackie Opticians.

Thank You – From Mackie Opticians

These unprecedented times are challenging for all of us, but we’re seeing increased activity of goodwill in our local community and around the world. It’s helping all to stay positive, so we wanted to give a special mention to those who have gone that extra mile to help us and our patients over the last few weeks.

Thank you to Thea Pharmaceuticals for supplying FREE prescription eye medications, which allows us to treat our patients quicker.

Thank you to Abbeygreen Pharmacy in Lesmahagow, and thank you to Boots Pharmacy in Bothwell for co-ordinating our deliveries.

Thank you to the NHS and D&E Products in Hamilton for getting our PPE equipment to us facilitating patient safety.

Thank you to all of the local GP Surgeries, Pharmacies and Opticians for triaging patents to us, as we have been designated an NHS Emergency Eye Treatment Centre.

And finally, a big THANK YOU to all of our patients for only attending appointments for essential and emergency eyecare, and helping to keep others safe by doing so.

We’re trying to find the positives in the everyday, knowing this won’t last forever, and the kindness shown by others to friends, family, colleagues and strangers is helping to keep spirits high.

We hope you’re all keeping safe and well, thank you for staying home.