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Optics at a Glance

News posted: 16/11/2013

The Optical Confederation has published the 32nd annual edition of Optics at a Glance – the key source of information about optometry, opticians, the optical market and services available to patients in the UK – for the year ending 31 March 2012.

The statistics are drawn from:

  • The annual survey of Optical Confederation members for the year to 31 March 2012
  • Government data for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland
  • The Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM), College of Optometrists and the General Optical Council (GOC)
  • Key Points – Government StatisticsOpen
    • The number of NHS sight tests carried out in the UK in 2011-12 rose (by 3.4 per cent) to 15.42 million (from 14.9 million in 2010-11)
    • A comparison of national data sets indicates that there was a shortfall between the number of patients with a potential entitlement to NHS domiciliary eye care and the actual number of patients receiving the service, as in previous years
    • In Wales domiciliary testing increased 7.3 per cent to 23,817 in 2011– 2
  • Key Points – Optical Confederation Members SurveyOpen
    • 63.5 per cent of sight tests in the survey resulted in a changed or new prescription (62 per cent in 2010-11)
    • 11 per cent of patients chose contact lenses (a considerable increase from 6 per cent in 2010-11)
    • 5 per cent of patients were referred to a GP or hospital (an increase from 4 per cent in 2010-11)
    • The average charge to patients for a private sight test, excluding ‘no charge’, discounts and special offers, increased to £22.24 (from £21.67 in 2010-11)
    • The average interval between sight tests increased to 27 months (from 26 months in 2010-11).
    • 100 per cent of optical practices stocked a range of spectacles within voucher values for children and 93 per cent for adults
    • The proportion of re-glazed spectacles increased slightly to 6.8 per cent (from 6.5 per cent in 2010-11)
    • The annual contact lens care fee was £34.95 and the contact lens fitting fee £40.89. This was a new category in the survey and the figures had not previously been requested
  • Key Points – Contact lensesOpen
    • The Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM) report that contact lens wearers remain at 9.0 per cent of the adult population (aged 15-64) in 2012

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