The member had asked if he might supply a patient with ‘ready readers’ he’d glazed himself. The background was that he had in stock a supply of good quality ready readers but not the required power. The patient had requested +2 but he had run out of that power, having only +1.50 or +2.50 in the chosen design. He had in-house glazing and a supply of +2 blanks; could he re-glaze a pair of ready readers with the requested power?
At first I thought, “Why would you want to?”, but our member went on to explain that this patient was a local businessman whom he wished to impress with the service on offer in his practice. To make him wait even a few days for more stock to arrive wouldn’t look good, but making up a pair there and then would be a gesture he’d remember.
Now, anyone may supply ready readers, registered optician or not, as long as certain rules are obeyed. The spectacles must be single vision, of equal positive power, and no more than 5D. They must also be solely for the correction of presbyopia. We agreed that this situation ticked all the boxes: the patient was already wearing +2 reading spectacles so there was no question of a sight test being conducted; he’d had a recent eye examination and was more than happy to wait a little while for a bespoke service.
The frames were of sufficient quality to withstand re-glazing (not all are that well-made). I agreed that he was behaving in a professional way – putting the welfare of the patient before all other considerations. It would be nice to think that such effort was rewarded, and I guess time will tell.
There was another query on a similar subject soon after this one. On this occasion, I was asked if a registered DO may sell surplus stock of ready readers online. Again I asked myself, “Why would you want to?” The background to this story was that our member had made the decision that stocking ready readers in his practice was more trouble than it was worth, and he wished to dispose of a dozen or so pairs but had concerns that such a sale would be unprofessional.
We discussed the pros and cons for a little while before coming to the conclusion that the amount of money at stake wasn’t worth the worry that someone might be offended or, indeed, endangered by such a sale. At my suggestion, the surplus stock could be donated to Vision Aid Overseas where it would be very gratefully received and no-one could accuse anyone of unprofessional conduct.