To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to automatically include a free eye test and ophthalmic equipment for people who already hold a valid prescription exemption certificate.
Free national health service sight tests are available to people diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma in response to their increased risk of developing eye disease.
Free NHS sight tests are also available to:
those under 16 years of age; students in full-time education aged under 19; those aged 60 or over; individuals considered to be at risk of glaucoma; people that are registered blind or partially sighted or who require a complex optical appliance; and individuals on low incomes including those receiving income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance and pension credit guarantee credit.
Eligible patients also receive an NHS optical voucher, which they can use to meet (in whole or in part) the cost of these glasses or contact lenses.
The groups eligible for optical vouchers are:
those under 16 years of age; students in full time education aged between 16 and 19; individuals who have been prescribed complex lenses; and individuals on low incomes including those receiving income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance and pension credit guarantee credit.
People with a valid prescription exemption certificate who fall within the above categories would be entitled to NHS sight tests and optical vouchers. There are currently no plans to change eligibility criteria for free NHS sight tests or for NHS optical vouchers.