Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.
|17 Jan 2018, 5:15 p.m.||Eyesight: Testing||Neil Coyle|
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons people who (a) have a learning disability and (b) are homeless are not specified as eligible for NHS sight tests under the Primary Ophthalmic Services Regulations 2008.
Answer (Steve Brine)
For those entitled to a National Health Service sight test, the service is free at the point of need. There are no costs to patients to form a barrier to accessibility. All children under the age of 16, those under the age of 19 in full time education, as well as all adults aged 60 or over are entitled to an NHS sight test. Those on a low income and defined categories of people at particular risk of developing eye disease are also entitled to NHS sight tests.
The eligibility criteria are long standing and target help on those most at risk of eye disease or least able to pay for a private sight test. This will include most people with severe learning disabilities or those who are homeless. There is recognition however that there are particular practical challenges for these groups in accessing services. NHS England is responsible for commissioning NHS sight tests. NHS England advises it is currently looking at the accessibility issues those with learning disabilities may face and is considering similar work in the future on the impact of homelessness on accessibility.