§ Lord Hoyle
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many pensioners have received free eye tests in each of the past two years; and what was the cost. [HL3588]
§ Lord Warner:
From 1 April 1999, the Government restored eligibility to free National Health Service sight tests to everyone aged 60 or over regardless of income. Eligibility is therefore for all over 60s, not just those who are pensioners.
The total number of NHS sight tests paid for patients aged 60 and over in England for the years 2001–02 and 2002–03 (the latest years for which figures are available) are detailed in the following table, as is the estimated cost of those sight tests.
Year Sight tests for those aged 60 and over Cost of sight tests for those aged 60 and over 2001–02 4,012,950 £65 million (E) 2002–03 4,135,710 £69 million (E)
(E) = Estimate
The number of sight tests cannot be equated to the number of patients. Although most people do not come back for a sight test within the year, some patients suffering from medical conditions are advised to have re-examinations sooner.