I was previously an NHS patient at your practice. Can I still come and what are the charges?
All patients are welcome as before. We can do an enhanced private eye test for £60 (£45 for under 18’s and children) and this includes an Optomap retinal scan, enhanced glasses check called R800 which can be safely done from 2 metres away and an eye pressure check without an aerosol if needed. Alternatively we offer an eye care plan at £4.95 per month.
What are the benefits of the eye care plan compared to pay as you go?
The eye care plan covers all the eye care you may need. Whether you want a check on your prescription or have any change to your vision within your test date, you will not be required to pay any more.
Could I still not have a free test and pay the difference for the extras I need?
The enhanced tests we are now doing on everyone were chargeable even with the NHS contract. We used to offer an opt in or opt out of enhanced testing. However all of our enhanced tests limit close contact between the patient and optician therefore making it safer for everyone. Our top enhanced eye test is £90 to pay privately. Even if we were still an NHS practice, the NHS contribution to it would only be £21.31. On our eye care plan you can have as much care as you need for less than £60 per year and also get a discount on your glasses, which would be cheaper compared to having an NHS test and paying the upgrades.
What tests are different compared to before?
An optomap retinal scan is done on everyone which allows us to see much more of your eye limiting close contact. We also can do an OCT 3D scan if needed which is useful for diagnosis and monitoring of conditions such as macular degeneration. We can also check your glasses using a device called a VISION R800 which can be operated at 2 metres away. It is not only more accurate than using a metal trial frame but a lot more hygienic too. The icare Eye pressure check is done when needed without aerosol generation.
Previous methods to examine the eye involved close contact, but also are very difficult to do accurately with PPE. For the safety of all our staff and patients we feel the current enhanced testing is working much better.
Can I still be referred into the NHS if a problem is found during the eye test?
We can still refer to G.P or local hospital as before even though we are a private practice.
It says on the leaflet that on the Eye care plan there is no need to wait for 2 years until my next test. I thought that on the NHS I could be seen as and when I wanted?
The NHS allowed an eye exam every 2 years unless certain strict criteria applied. Often patients who attended for an eye exam within their recall period would have to pay privately for it as the NHS would not fund it.
Do you still see children and how do they manage with the new tests?
We see children from any age and we have found they manage very well with the new enhanced tests. We already have many children on our family plans so we will cover the cost of the lenses in their glasses, subject to terms and conditions. We can see children on a pay as you go basis, or offer unlimited care on an individual plan or family plan.
The college of optometrists guidance allows for us to remain open to take bookings for our contact free eye examinations, glasses orders and emergencies on an appointment only basis.
We have invested heavily in new equipment over the past year to provide our customers with the safest and highest standard of testing and care possible
Our hospital grade retinal scanners and cutting edge sight testing equipment mean we can keep a safe distance from our patients during the exam whilst still providing an enhanced service.