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Volume 465: debated on Thursday 19 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the fact that, under the National Health Service Act, two identical pairs of spectacles may now be secured without payment, one through a hospital and one through an ophthalmic optician; and what action he is taking to prevent such abuse.

I am considering whether any steps ought to be taken to prevent the possibility of abuse.


asked the Minister of Health what is the reason for the delay in replying to the letter sent to him on 28th February by the hon. Member for Finsbury regarding the case of Mrs. Elizabeth Carr, 6, Ashby Street, E.C.1, who complained about the refusal of her optician to supply her with spectacles; and in view of the fact that the eyesight of this lady is rapidly deteriorating and that she has been waiting over seven months for these spectacles, what hastening action it is proposed to take.

I very much regret the delay. Mrs. Carr's complaint has been brought to the notice of the London Ophthalmic Services Committee, who have been in touch with the optician concerned. The cancellation of the order for Mrs. Carr's glasses resulted from a misunderstanding. The order was reinstated and I understand that Mrs. Carr's glasses are now ready.


asked the Minister of Health when Mr. R. W. Mann, of 100, Highbury Hill, for whom fresh glasses were prescribed by his doctor in November last, may expect to receive them.

These delays, which I naturally regret, are due to the very high demand for spectacles. Opticians are able to give priority to the most urgent cases such as a badly affected child at school, or a person totally incapacitated without glasses, etc. But such arrangements can naturally only apply to a very small percentage of the total. All possible steps are being taken to increase production. The best course for those whose spectacles are long delayed is to keep in close touch with their opticians.