Many thanks for your message. This is already doing the rounds via WhatsApp.
I would like to break down our professional fees so we all understand our roles and our worth.
Firstly, our fee is based on a sight test fee. It’s a correct assumption that the majority of the tests we do are nhs, the practice is paid £21.31 per nhs test. They may charge a different rate for a private test from free all the way up to £70! I have worked at places that do both ends of said spectrum.
Let’s say we do 30 minute testing or 40 minutes due to cleaning regimes in between tests. That will be anywhere between 12-16 tests a day. Let’s average 14, let’s assume 10 are nhs and 4 are private and let’s also assume a private sight test fee is the same as an nhs fee (£21.31). That makes a grand total of £298.34. This is the professional fee that we have brought and hence deserve as our salary.
Let’s argue that 10 people buy specs, on average £150 per px. That’s £1,500. This would suggest that post lockdown practices will do quite well as the dispensing percentage will be quite high as people will not want to delay a spectacle purchase in fear of another lockdown or they may want spare specs or reading glasses etc.
So based on this, I personally feel that the rates should not change at all. We must hold out for the highest rate. If we take a pay cut now, when sales will be higher, it is economic devolution and the recovery will be extremely harmful for our own careers in the near and distant future.
The final part that is the sting in the tail and is so despicable that the greed of practices is vivid. The nhs have agreed to pay all gos1 fees for each practice that they would have missed out on during the lockdown. So the practices are getting money from the nhs that they would normally use to pay a locum and have kept this for themselves and have the audacity to ask for a lower fee from us all in the interest of being “team players”. I’m afraid to say we will not accept this shocking behaviour. Please vote with your feet, turn away work. If you have bills do 3 days a week or less if you can afford it. I understand and sympathise if you can’t due to financial commitments. However, if you can say no, please say no. Then they will understand our worth going forward. Don’t take less.
I can’t wait for things to return to normal. The chains and individual franchises that took advantage will get punished for their greed. Please all never let the greedy owners forget.