Ophthalmic services

Optometry services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Community optometry practices (opticians) have resumed providing routine eyecare services in all settings. This includes regular eye examinations and contact lens check-ups.

You should always tell your optometrist if you or someone you live with has any signs or symptoms of coronavirus. This will help them ensure the safety of you and others when you receive care.

Opticians make arrangements with their NHS Board to provide only NHS eye examinations. When you visit an optician and pay for spectacles or contact lenses, you're entering into a private transaction.

Patients don't register with opticians. Patients can attend any optician and don't have to return to the same one. An optician can, however, refuse to treat you, if they wish.

Everyone is entitled to a free eye examination under the NHS. Some people may be eligible for a NHS Optical Voucher, to assist with costs.

Monitoring & Payment Verification

NHS NSS Practitioner Services monitor and verify payments made to optometry practices. This is part of the routine audit process of NHS Boards, to make sure public money is being spent appropriately. This includes contacting a sample of patients to confirm that a service has been provided. By carrying out these checks, we are able to establish the accuracy of claims made by practices.

It must be stressed that these checks are routine and do not imply that anyone has done anything wrong.

You may receive a letter from NHS NSS Practitioner Services asking you to confirm certain details of the treatment you received. Simply fill in the questionnaire and return it to NHS NSS Practitioner Services in the freepost envelope provided.

If you've any queries, contact NHS NSS Practitioner Services at the phone number at the top of your letter.

Your assistance with this is greatly appreciated and helps to protect public expenditure.