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Spectacle Frames

Volume 894: debated on Monday 23 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if she will state for the last three years for which statistics are available the total number of National Health Service spectacle frames supplied, and the percentage of these manufactured within the United Kingdom; if she will list the four main countries from which National Health Service spectacle frames are imported and the quantities involved; and if she will state the number of National Health Service spectacle frames imported from Australia;(2) what, for the last three years for which statistics are available, was the total financial value of imports of National Health Service spectacle frames, the number involved, and the value and number of spectacle frames exported for the corresponding years from the United Kingdom.

I am not aware of any imports of National Health Service spectacle frames. Supplies of all National Health Service frames are purchased to British Standards from approved suppliers, none of which is outside the United Kingdom.United Kingdom exports of all types of frames and mountings, and parts thereof, for spectacles, etc., amounted to £0–284 million in 1972, £0·511 million in 1973 and £0·527 million in 1974. Information as to the numbers of frames involved is not available.Exact figures of the number of National Health Service spectacle frames supplied are not available but, excluding frames supplied under arrangements made by the hospital eye service, and on the basis of statistical sampling of the general ophthalmic services, it is estimated that 1·5 million were supplied in 1972, 1.6 million in 1973 and 1·7 million in 1974.