FAQs & ADVICE
ABOUT OUR APPOINTMENTS
Accepting new and existing NHS patients
From May 2022 all Opticians across the nation are now back testing on the COVID Green phase, which means all social distancing restrictions have been lifted. However, due to the close contact nature of the basic NHS test, all our Opticians do recommend upgrading to the enhanced test.
This allows the Optician to obtain high definition full retinal health checks without close contact between themselves and the patient.
I am an NHS patient and I wish to have the free test. What can I expect?
We are happy to see NHS patients providing eligibility criteria is met. In most cases this means the interval period between the last sight test is 2 years, irrespective if the last test was private. Click here for free NHS eye tests and optical vouchers link. Anyone who wishes to be tested or examined outside their recall period will need to pay privately for their checks. Close contact methods of examination may be used to adequately assess eye health. For contact free please see enhanced test.
What is the difference between the free NHS test, the Enhanced tests and the Eyecare plan?
The free NHS test
Is a one off examination, with no digital imaging and no digital record only available for patients that fulfil the NHS criteria. The examination will involve tests at close contact distances.
The enhanced eye examination
£60 (or £40 upgrade for NHS, £15 for under 18’s. will include an Optomap retinal scan which allows the optician to see approximately 85% of the retina in a single capture without the need for drops.
The enhanced eye examination plus OCT
£80 or (£60 upgrade for NHS, £35 under 18’s) also includes a 3D OCT scan which is useful in detecting and monitoring conditions such as macular degeneration.
The eye care plan
(£4.95 per month)
includes all the tests, scans and care which are clinically needed and you can return whenever needed to have repeat tests or scans at no further charge.
Also includes 10% off glasses and accessories.
What do I do if I am an NHS patient and have a problem with my eyes and I am not due a test?
Current rules under NHS general ophthalmic services (GOS) allow an eye exam at the correct recall period unless strict criteria apply. If symptoms such as red eyes or flashes and floaters need checking within recall, this would not fall within the category of an NHS eye test. We would recommend either the patient pay privately to have their eyes checked immediately with us, go to their GP or eye emergency, or we can advise which opticians may provide a PEARS service in the local area.
If there is a loss or change in vision the Optician may be able to claim back for the eye exam under the NHS however the Optician will not know if they can until the examination has been completed. If a patient is told by their GP to see their Optician for another NHS eye test within recall, this is allowed under NHS rules but we will need to write on the records the name of the GP and what has been recommended.
Please note that under NHS rules, we would need to complete the whole eye test again and not just investigate the symptoms.
If you are on our eye care plan we will see you as much needed under the £4.95 per month plan. This means we can act as the first point of call for any issues or concerns that arise within your recall period. On the £4.95 per month plan you will not be required to pay any more for any repeat checks or scans.
I have had my NHS test and it is recommended I have something monitored within my normal recall. What are the charges?
Any repeat tests or scans are not NHS funded. Repeat Optomap scans are charged at £30. If something shows on the scans which needs monitoring within the standard recall period, this does not come under conducting another NHS eye test. The options open to the optician will be a referral to hospital to allow monitoring there or recalling the patient for a private scan or follow up check at a cost of £30. Alternatively we offer the eye care plan which covers the cost of all appointments at the cost of £4.95 per month on direct debit.
I wish to have an NHS eye test. What do I need to bring?
The NHS now need to see proof of eligibility which means you will need to bring ID with your date of birth. If you are on benefits we need to see valid and in date proof of the benefits before we do the eye test. We also need to know the exact date of the last sight test- irrespective if this was paid for privately or not. Without the date of the last sight test we are unable to do the eye test as the NHS will not allow the sight test to be submitted for claim. If the date of the last sight test is within the accepted recall period of NHS patients you will be required to pay for the test unless you have a referral from your doctor or you meet other criteria. Please ask if in doubt before booking.
I wish to book an NHS test for a child. What is expected?
We can see children under the NHS providing the criteria are met. This means that unless exceptional circumstances the recall interval between the last test has to be over 1 year. For the ages 15 years and onwards, the recall category will be every 2 years (up to 18 years old providing in full time education).