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Eye Testing

Volume 929: debated on Monday 28 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) in what different light conditions field of vision is tested for the purpose of completing form BD8; and if he will give his assurance that it is the minimum field of vision that is entered on the form;(2) what factors affecting vision when assessing eligibility for certification as blind or partially sighted are taken into account additional to those described in form BD8.

I am advised that the visual field is measured objectively and recorded on form BD8. Where the field of vision varies with environmental or other factors, the field recorded takes account of those factors which the patient would expect to encounter in his daily life. For example, tests would be carried out in daylight and at customary night time illumination levels. It follows that it is not the "minimum" field of vision which is recorded. In this matter, and in any other arising from the examination for completion of form BD8, the consultant ophthalmologist concerned will exercise his judgment and draw attention to any unusual features.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when form BD8 was last revised; and what arrangements are being made for its further revision.

Form BD8 was last revised in 1968. My Department is at present in consultation with representatives of the British Medical Association and of the Faculty of Ophthalmologists about a further revision. It is not yet possible to say when the revised form will be available for distribution.