AN AWARD-WINNING optician's practice has reopened with extended hours.

Benjamin Opticians in Skipton is now open from 8am until 6pm daily and is now testing on a Sunday.

A spokesperson said: "It’s not quite business as usual at Benjamin Opticians – so what does the new normal look like? You can expect the highest standards of hygiene and safety, yet still receive the great service you have come to expect from Benjamins."

During lockdown the optician's was only seeing patients in an emergency and owner Liz Ellis manned the fort alongside optometrist Hannah Cutler.

Liz said: “Our team continued to offer emergency eye care. I am pleased to say that we helped many key workers to continue their valuable work and Hannah was available every day to diagnose problems and help save sight. We ensured patients continued to receive contact lenses and carried out many spectacle repairs, emergency appointments and delivered each evening to vulnerable patients, as best we could with a very reduced team.”

While the practice was all but closed, they have been working behind the scenes to make sure the practice is safe under the new normal and have investing in new equipment to improve eye examinations and make them safer too.

Liz said: “We wanted to minimise the risk of infection once we reopened and have invested in state of the art machines which allow us to distance from the patient with the added bonus they are more accurate than traditional test. We’ve also got rid of the air puff glaucoma test, which many patients disliked. It’s been replaced with a hi-tech device which the patients don’t even feel, and again is much more accurate.

"This investment puts Benjamin’s at the top of the optical world, one of only 10 in the UK to have these advanced vision refractors. It's a huge leap forward in eye testing that hasn’t changed for 120 years. For the patient that means a far more accurate examination, which translates to more accurate spectacle prescription and better vision.”

Liz said patients' wellbeing is a priority: “We now expect all patients to come wearing a face mask and sanitise their hands on arrival. Our team are fully trained in wearing PPE and our aim is to make sure our patients feel safe when they come to see us.”