Skip to main content

Eye Tests

Volume 174: debated on Monday 18 June 1990

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people on family credit or income support received free eye tests in England (a) in each quarter in 1988–89 and (b) in each quarter in 1989–90.

Statistics prior to 1 April 1989 were not broken down by patient group. Since then, family practitioner committees have collected data on sight tests paid for under the general ophthalmic services on a six-montly basis. A tota of 530,660 national health service sight tests for adults receiving income support for family credit were paid for in England during the period 1 April to 30 September 1989. This figure is based on a 2 per cent. sample of NHS sight test application forms processed by family practitioner committees. It does not take into account sight tests paid for after 1 April but conducted before that period.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what method statistics relating to the collection of information on the number of (i) national health service eye tests and (ii) non-national health service eye tests have been collected.

Information on NHS sight tests is collected from family practitioner committees. The data are obtained from a count of the forms signed by patients at the time of their sight test and forwarded by the optician to the family practitioner committee for payment. Routine statistics on non-NHS sight tests are not collected. The NOP survey, the results of which were made available to the House on 6 June, was commissioned by the Department to provide an independent measure of total volume during the first quarter of 1990.