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Eyesight: Testing

Volume 504: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pensioners in Salford constituency have received a free eye test in each of the last five years. (313562)

The information is not available in the format requested.

The number of national health service sight tests for persons aged 60 and over, in England in 2008-09 is available in Table C1 of Annex C of the “General Ophthalmic Services: Activity Statistics for England and Wales, Year Ending 31 March 2009” report.

Information is provided by primary care trust (PCT) and by strategic health authority (SHA), but is not available by parliamentary constituency. Information on the number of NHS sight tests by patient eligibility is available at a local level from 2007-08. At a national level, the number of NHS sight tests by patient eligibility is provided from 1996-97 to 2008-09. This is available in Table A1 of Annex C in the same report.

This report, published on 19 August 2009, has already been placed in the Library and is also available on the website of the information centre for health and social care:


1. From 1 April 1999, eligibility for a free NHS sight test was extended to everyone aged 60 or over. Patients may qualify for an NHS sight test on more than one criterion. However, they would only be recorded against one criterion on the form.

2. Patients are more likely to be recorded according to their clinical need rather than their age. For example, a patient aged over 60, with glaucoma is likely to be recorded in the glaucoma category only. The count by eligibility is therefore approximate. Patients may also have had more than one sight test in the specified time period.