The delivery of eye care in England is a mixture of national and local funding.

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General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) in England are contracted and funded at national level. GOS fees are paid by NHS England. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area. There are more than 200 CCGs in England. They have control over the allocation of funding for Hospital Eye Services (HES) and for extended primary eye care services.  The latter deliver services above and beyond the remit of the basic GOS sight test, e.g. repeat measures and minor eye condition schemes.

NHS funded sight tests – who is eligible?

In England, the following groups are eligible for NHS funded sight test:

  • under 16 years of age, or under 19 and in full-time education 
  • aged 60 or over 
  • registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired 
  • diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma 
  • aged 40 and over and a close family member has been diagnosed with glaucoma 
  • considered to be at risk of glaucoma 
  • prisoners on leave from prison 
  • eligible for NHS complex lens voucher
  • receive income support, or income based job seekers allowance
  • receive pension credit, income based employment and support allowance, or universal credit
  • are entitled too, or named on a valid NHS exemption certificate or a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs.

More information on the NHS Choices website.

Details of NHS general ophthalmic fees and optical voucher values.

The List of LOCSU community eye care pathways.

Ophthalmic Services Guidance: Primary Eye Care, Community Ophthalmology and General Ophthalmology (England)

This document concentrates on the commissioning and provision of eye health and ophthalmology services in England.


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