Domiciliary services

Domiciliary services

C 3.1.1 A domiciliary service is intended for those who are house-bound. A registered dispensing optician offering this service should ensure that the required high standards of care, conduct and professional responsibility are provided.

C 3.2.1 Registered dispensing opticians carrying out domiciliary visits should be readily identifiable by name to the patient. As patients retain the right to freedom of choice of dispensing it is important that, should a dispensing be requested, a range of spectacle frames and/or other appliances (such as magnifiers etc.) appropriate to the patient’s need, be made available.

C 3.3.1 Proper patient records must be made, kept secure and confidential. Domiciliary visits should not be viewed as a ‘one-off’ service. Specific arrangements must be made for a contact address and telephone number so that patients have access to a local contact for queries, advice and any necessary aftercare service in connection with the dispensing.

C4.4.1 Registered dispensing opticians, optometrists, and medical practitioners are allowed to dispense spectacles to a prescription that is more than 2 years old. They may also make up spectacles without a prescription e.g. by duplicating an existing pair of spectacles. Practitioners should be aware that if the patient has not had a recent eye examination, they may – by making up spectacles to an out of date prescription – inadvertently encourage patients to delay having another eye examination. This should only be done in exceptional circumstances and the practitioner should consider what is in the best interests of the patient, and the reasons recorded on the patient’s record card.

C 3.4.1 The UK Domiciliary Eyecare Committee advises that the new statutory cooling off period of seven (7) days applies to all goods and services ordered/contracted for in the home or a place of work for over £35 including the supply of spectacles, contact lenses and other optical devices. For example, when a provider takes an order from a domiciliary patient to supply spectacles to the patient’s prescription, the patient is entitled to a seven day “cooling off period”. This means that he may cancel the order for the new spectacles at any time within 7 days of the order being placed. The provider may start the ordering process before the 7 day cooling off period is over but at their own risk of the patient cancelling unless the patient gives written permission. If the patient has given written permission then he/she is liable for the costs of any work carried out after that permission is given.

C3.5.1 The Optical Confederation’s Code of Practice for Domiciliary Eyecare may be accessed here: