When top-ups pop up

19 August 2022
Summer 2022

Léa Surugue asks how optometrists should broach clinical top-up fees in the consulting room, and how to avoid alienating patients with the “hard sell”.

Very few people like selling. In fact, many business owners describe it as “uncomfortable” and “awkward” – and plenty of optometrists would agree.  

In recent years, optometry has gone through major changes. The advent of technology has meant that there is scope for new, advanced investigative procedures to help prevent vision loss by spotting eye conditions in their early stages.

There are many investigations that fall outside the scope of an NHS eye exam. This means that, as optometrists take on more clinical roles, they must also open up a dialogue with patients about the value of additional tests and their associated fees. In other words, they must start selling their services, but always with patients’ health as the primary consideration.

So how can they get the balance right – ensuring patients have all the information they need to make a clear choice about their health and to benefit from valuable technologies, without feeling they are being sold to?

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