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Eye Consultants

Volume 227: debated on Monday 28 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information she has regarding the number of referrals by opticians to eye consultants in each year since 1990.

Ophthalmic opticians do not, except in an emergency, refer patients directly to consultant ophthalmologists, but do so through general practitioners. In 1990–91 there were 599,520 referral attendances at consultant ophthalmologists' out-patient clinics in England, of which 478,141 were written referral requests from GPs. In 1991–92—the last date for which figures are available—there were 663,192 referral attendances, of which 529,243 were written referrals from GPs. We do not collect information about the proportion of referrals initiated by ophthalmic opticians.