HC Deb 29 July 1982 vol 28 cc670-1W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in view of the fact that a qualified optician, Mr. Edward Lescroodge of Charlotte Street, Bloomsbury was able to supply contact lenses at £55 per pair, compared with the £120-£170 paid by patients under the National Health Service, he will cause an investigation to be made into the prices charged by the suppliers of contact lenses and such goods to the National Health Service.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Contact lenses may be supplied to NHS patients only when they are prescribed for clinical reasons by a consultant ophthalmologist in the hospital eye service. The only charge to patients is at present £7.90 a lens which is not paid by school children and those exempted on low income grounds. The Office of Fair Trading is at present reviewing certain sections of the Opticians Act concerned with the supply of optical appliances. The Director General expects to report before the end of the year, and I do not consider that a further investigation is needed.