AN AMMANFORD opticians has been nominated by the Hywel Dda University Health Board to stay open as an eye care hub to help take pressure off the NHS.

Specsavers Ammanford will remain open for urgent care only, as directed by the Welsh Government, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Eye care hubs are being set up across all the different health boards in Wales where optometrists will manage patients without having to refer them to a GP or hospital for many conditions.

Kevin McCarthy, director of the Ammanford store, says: ‘These are testing times for everyone so it’s more important than ever to help ease the pressure off our amazing NHS and support our local community. This is a fantastic initiative set up by the Welsh Government and the health boards, which will, no doubt, save a great number of visits to a GP or the hospital.’

All 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 otherwise couldn’t work or function without their help, and people who would come to harm without care, especially where the usual hospital services and NHS facilities are being prioritised for the fight against COVID-19.

Mr McCarthy continues: ‘We’re prioritising key workers and people with urgent and emergency eye care needs and the team has been going above and beyond for our customers.

‘We want the local community to know that, while we are closed for routine appointments at the present time, we are still very much here to support people with their essential eye care needs – so please give us a call if you need us.’

Customers must call the store first on 01269 590190 if they need urgent support with a visual problem, or if they have issues with their sight, glasses or contact lenses. If anyone is required to attend the store, they will be asked to do so. Any face-to-face contact will be minimal, and will be handled in line with current government guidelines.