This is a difficult one. Common sense would say a qualified person could do this but the legislation is unclear. It implies that no-one, other than the person who carried out the last contact lens check-up, may sign a duplicate specification. This cannot be correct as it disadvantages a patient who genuinely misplaces their specification. Discussion between the professional bodies has led to an interpretation that may be helpful.
An addition to the section on the ABDO website now says: “If a duplicate specification is issued it shall only be signed by a dispensing optician on the specialty register or an optometrist”. The fact of giving out such a duplicate document must be recorded on the patient’s record explaining what was done and by whom, and the date the duplicate specification was issued. There is a theoretical danger that a patient will use two specifications, the original and the duplicate, to purchase two supplies of contact lenses from different sources, taking them over the time limit for their recheck.
I think it is probably only a trick that could be pulled once, as the records would clearly show that a duplicate specification had been issued. Losing a second specification would make you question the patient carefully and suspicions would be raised as to their truthfulness.