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Articles in Category: News Archive

Free NHS Eye Examinations for All

Optometry Scotland has warmly welcomed the introduction of free eye examinations for everyone in Scotland on 1st April 2006. The traditional NHS sight test is primarily designed for those who require spectacles, has been replaced by a comprehensive eye examination appropriate to a patient's needs, symptoms and general health and which may not necessarily include a sight test for spectacles. The new examination is free at point of use to all patients, whereas previously certain categories of patients were required to pay for the old sight test.

Through enabling legislation in the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill, Optometry Scotland has formulated a New NHS Eye Examination. It has the following key benefits:

  1. A free eye examination for every person in Scotland
  2. An examination that is appropriate to their needs and symptoms
  3. Refraction is not a mandatory part of the New NHS Eye Examination
  4. Optometrists can manage more eye conditions in the community
  5. It will reduce inappropriate referrals to hospitals by the introduction of repeat tests and procedures
    i.e. a supplementary examination
  6. It will encourage the use of dilation, contact tonometry and full threshold fields
  7. It paves the way for an increase in co-managed care between hospital ophthalmologists and local community optometrists
  8. It reduces health inequality by making rural and low volume practices more viable

A link to The Scottish Executive Press Release is available below.

SNP Conference 2006

Optometry Scotland (OS) was prominent in the exhibition hall of the SNP party conference held in the Glasgow Science Centre on 17-18 March. With the SNP flying high in the polls in the run up to the Scottish Parliamentary elections due to be held on 3rd May, the OS presence at their pre-election gathering was designed to remind party delegates of the great strides taken by the profession in Scotland over the past few years. The OS stand attracted a great deal of attention from MSPs and ordinary party members alike. Topcon kindly lent the use of their demonstrator fundus camera which proved a great hit with visitors to the stand.

Vice Chairman Gillan Syme said: "We were very pleased to be able to take a stand at the SNP conference to keep the profile of the profession firmly in the minds of party members in the run up to the elections. There is every chance that the SNP might form the next administration in Scotland and we were delighted to see how interested party members and MSPs were in OS and its ongoing campaign to improve the delivery of eyecare in Scotland. In fact all political parties have been very receptive to our message and we are looking forward to having a presence at other party conferences in Scotland over the coming months and years."