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NHS Eye Care

Some groups of patients are entitled to NHS sight tests and optical vouchers to help with the cost of glasses. Patients who are not eligible for NHS sight tests will pay privately for a sight test. The section below will explain if you are entitled to a free NHS sight test or NHS optical voucher to help towards the cost of glasses.

Am I entitled to a free NHS sight test?

You qualify for a NHS funded sight test if you are:

  • aged under 16, or aged under 19 and in full-time education
  • aged 60 or over
  • registered blind or partially sighted
  • diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • aged 40 or over and you are the parent, brother, sister, son or daughter of a person diagnosed with glaucoma, or you have been advised by an ophthalmologist that you are at risk of glaucoma
  • eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher

You are also entitled to a NHS funded sight test if:

  • you receive Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (not contribution based)
  • you receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • you receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • you are awarded Universal Credit
  • you are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • you are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

Am I entitled to an NHS optical voucher?

You may get help with the cost of glasses or contact lenses if you:

  • are aged under 16, or aged under 19 and in full-time education or
  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher (your optician will advise you on your entitlement)

You may also get an NHS optical voucher if:

  • You receive Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (not contribution-based)
  • You receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.
  • You receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance.
  • You are awarded Universal Credit
  • You are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate.
  • You are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2). People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.

You will be asked to show proof of your entitlement to optical vouchers to the optician or a member of their staff.

There are currently eight voucher values. The values are dependent on the strength of your prescription. The stronger your prescription the higher your voucher value.

The voucher is used towards the cost of the spectacles. We will ask you to sign a yellow form (the voucher) when ordering the spectacles and will directly claim to cost of the voucher from the NHS. If your glasses cost more than your voucher value, you will have to pay the difference.

We recommend 3D OCT scans of your eyes as part of your comprehensive eye examination. The fee for this additional service is £35 for NHS patients.

Please click here to book your comprehensive eye examination.