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This Survival Toolkit is aimed at the Optometry workforce across North Central London. We hope that these resources will help support individuals and teams to cope with the systemic and seasonal pressures that they face. It is the intention that this document will be continuously updated, and welcome your feedback on its contents. If links do not work or if you are aware of resources that have not been included, please provide feedback to

Workload Support

NCL Local Optical Committee: Referral pathways – NCL has many pathways across the ICB, please visit the LOC website for all information, referral template and communication around new pathways. 

Royal National Institute of the Blind People - Low Vision – The RNIB provides a wealth of resources for patients and carers of people with low vision. From finding the right assistive technology, supporting patients with education and work to accessing financial help and much more.   

There are a number of NHS Trusts within NCL who provide Low Vision Services. You can refer via the Single Point of Access to the Royal Free hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital and North Middlesex hospital.

Magnifying equipment - Available in Low Vision clinics in Hospitals. Also available from Sight and Sound Technology   who provide various visual aids and equipment which can be purchased.

See Ability - A wealth of information to support people with learning disabilities or autism, who may also have sight loss.

Wellbeing and Resilience

NCL Training Hub Health & Wellbeing page – Keep up to date with wellbeing events and resources available to the NCL optometry workforce.

NCL Schwartz Rounds  - A multidisciplinary forum designed for staff to come together once a month to discuss and reflect on the emotional and social challenges associated with working in health and social care in NCL.

NCL Resilient Team Academy Membership  - Free membership to all NCL Optometry workforce. Subscribe to access core Shapes Toolkit training, bitesize videos and team building activities.

NHSE – Support for all NHS staff - Staff mental health and wellbeing initiatives that seeks to connect and support the health and social care workforce. They include a range of support including peer-to-peer support, return to work advice, coaching and talking therapy support. 

NHS Professionals Wellbeing Hub - Resources, ideas and guidance to help manage mental health and wellbeing.

Practitioner health support – Free, confidential NHS primary care mental health and addiction service with expertise in treating health and care professionals.

Good Thinking - Resources to help Londoners improve their mental wellbeing.

Peer Led Mindfulness - This is a peer-led initiative on Teams with 15-minute sessions on Tuesdays at 12:00 and a 30-minute session on Fridays at 10:00. No need to register, simply join via the Teams Link.

Employer Support – A guided self-assessment tool to explore and embed workplace wellbeing in your organisation.

NHS England » Handling difficult situations with compassion – E-learning module available to all frontline, patient facing NHS colleagues. This programme aims to teach colleagues the skills and techniques to handle difficult situations with compassion.

Wellbeing Conversation resources and templates - Resources to support health and wellbeing conversations in your setting. Conversations are intended to be regular, supportive, coaching-style one to one conversations that focus on the wellbeing of the individual.

Flexible working: toolkit for individuals and line managers- NHS England have created two flexible working guides, in collaboration with Timewise and NHS Staff Council.

KeepingWell NCL - Coping with Challenging Behaviour towards health & social care staff  - recorded webinar, which builds practical strategies for prevention, de-escalation and support.


NCL PCAN Initiative - Admin, reception, front line, non-clinical roles. This initiative facilitates recruitment into front line roles for primary care employers. If you have any vacancies in non-clinical roles, please contact who will link you to this initiative.

Mandatory Training

General Optical Council - Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – CPD is a statutory requirement for all fully-qualified optometrists and dispensing opticians to ensure they keep their skills up-to-date and develop new ones in order to practise safely and protect their patients.

Personal Finances

Optical Benevolent Fund - Financial Assistance for Optometrists. Support with an immediate crisis such as an unexpected bill or other expense, or help by supplementing income on an ongoing basis to meet regular outgoings.

Borough Specific Cost of Living resources - There are number of services and support schemes available across NCL to support those in need. As such, each NCL council has a dedicated page in relation to the Cost of Living crisis, providing an overview of the provisions available.

Blue Light Card - Access to thousands of deals. Those eligible include, NHS staff, NHS dental teams, social care teams & more. Payment of £4.99 gives access to the deals for two years.

All Our Health: Financial wellbeing bite-sized course - An overview of financial wellbeing - including key evidence, data and signposting to trusted resources to help prevent illness, protect health and promote wellbeing.

Support via MoneyHelper Service - Free, independent support including tools and resources to manage finances.

Money Saving Expert - Discounts and offers for NHS staff - Top deals available to NHS staff and how to get them.