§ Mr. Normanton
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many representations have been made to her about the design and quality of frames supplied under the National Health Service to those who require glasses; and whether she will initiate an immediate inquiry into ways in which the quality and character of frames could be improved.
§ Dr. Owen
Only a handful. National Health Service spectacle frames are required to comply with the appropriate British Standards which are kept under review. Subject to this requirement, and to specified descriptions of each type of frame, the manufacturers are free to produce their own designs and opticians to supply them. The Department's Standing Ophthalmic Advisory Committee was invited in July 1973 to comment on 489W criticisms of National Health Service spectacles and its advice will be published shortly.