In Scotland, 14 geographically based NHS Boards are responsible for both planning and delivering services.

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There are also 14 Area Optometric Committees in Scotland. Their role is to provide professional and clinical advice to Health Boards and the Scottish Government.

Two types of examination are covered by GOS in Scotland: the primary eye examination and the supplementary eye examination for extra tests or to investigate any symptoms that present themselves during the initial examination. Optometrists in Scotland are limited to performing a maximum of 20 eye examinations per day.

Enhanced services are commissioned and funded at a local level, which means that there is some geographical variation. A review of Eye Care Services, due to complete in 2018 may change this. Transferring care out of hospitals and into the community has enabled optometrists to manage a greater range of eye conditions, as well as 'freeing up' GP appointments and reducing the pressure on the hospital eye service. Optometrists can also refer patients directly to hospital eye services where they deem necessary. 90% of optometry referrals to secondary care are now directly referred.

The GOS contract in Scotland has a tiered fee structure. There is funding to support the training of independent prescribing (IP) optometrists, and the issuing of NHS prescribing pads to optometrists in 2013 ensured that the Scottish optometrist can manage ocular conditions within primary care at no cost to the patient.

NHS funded sight tests – who is eligible?

In Scotland, NHS eye tests were extended to the entire population in 2006. This means that there are no exemptions and anyone from the UK can access a sight test in Scotland free of charge.

More information on the Scottish NHS inform website.

Details of NHS general ophthalmic fees and optical voucher values.  


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