Readers will be pleased to learn that I too get queries in practice. So, who then to ask for advice? My fellow members of the A&G working group were excellent in their advice, which I will pass on to you.
My query was that a Mum came into the practice enquiring about prescription swimming goggles for her daughter. Her daughter wasn’t with her and she wasn’t a patient of the practice, although the Mum did have her prescription. What regulations were there for this situation?
The general consensus was that only a registered practitioner may supply items such as prescription swimming goggles, prescription sun spectacles or other similar appliances. The principle is the same as with normal spectacles.
Another query came up at the same time regarding children’s spectacles. This time a member asked what should they do if a mother insisted that her child have a frame that the registered practitioner thought was unsuitable and that they could not adjust for a satisfactory fit.
I advised great tact; mothers, by and large, feel that they know their child best and don’t always understand the complications of choosing frames. It isn’t just a question of what ‘suits’ a child but rather what is best from a technical point of view. In this particular case, there were other issues, mainly the mother not wanting the child to have spectacles at all.
If the parent/child choice of frame is truly dreadful you can, of course, refuse to dispense it, explaining calmly and politely what the problem would be. If it is just not as good as it could be, I think a quiet word is enough, continuing with the dispensing but noting on the records what was said and why there might be a problem.