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Eyesight: Testing

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the percentage of (a) children under 16-years-old and (b) adults entitled to free eye tests who have regular eye examinations. (197968)

The Department has made no estimate of the numbers of individuals who are entitled to a sight test and who have regular eye examinations.

Numbers of General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) sight tests paid for by the national health service per 10,000 persons in England, Wales, Scotland and Great Britain for the years ending 31 March 1996 to 2005 are available in Table 3 of “General Ophthalmic Services: Consultation tables for England, Wales and Scotland, 2004-05”. Information is available for children (aged 15 and under), students in full-time education (aged 16 to 18) and other eligible adults.

Copies of this report, published 30 November 2005, have been placed in the Library and is available at:

The Information Centre for health and social care will aim to publish a complete time series of population rates for numbers of GOS sight tests paid for by the NHS, by patient eligibility in the “General Ophthalmic Services: Activity Statistics for England and Wales—Year Ending 31 March 2008” report. This report is due to be published in July 2008.