Supporting your eye health

We can provide free eye tests where NHS regulations permit. The rules can be complicated, but we’ve listed the key ones below. If you are not sure what is available to you under the NHS, just drop in or give us a call. We will be pleased to advise you.


You qualify for a free NHS-funded sight test if:

  • you’re under 16
  • you’re under 19 and in full-time education
  • you’re 60 or over
  • you’re registered as blind or partially sighted
  • you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • you’re 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • you’ve been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you’re at risk of glaucoma
  • you’re a prisoner on leave from prison
  • you’re eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optometrist (optician) can advise you about your entitlement


You’re also entitled to a free NHS sight test if you:

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

If you’re named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3), you may get some help towards the cost of your sight test.


NHS-funded mobile eye tests

If you qualify for a free NHS sight test, you may be entitled to mobile services:

  • at home: if you’re unable to leave home unaccompanied because of physical or mental illness or disability
  • at a residential or care home: if you normally live there and you’re unable to leave the home unaccompanied because of physical or mental illness or disability


Frequency of NHS eye tests

The NHS will only help with the cost of an eye test if you have not had a recent previous test, even if you paid privately for that test. Different groups of patients have different time spans.

  • Under 16s – 1 year
  • 16-69 years – 2 years
  • 70 and over – 1 year
  • If you have glaucoma, diabetes or ocular hypertension – 1 year irrespective of age
  • Age 40 or over and close family history of glaucoma – 1 year

These time limits can be over-ridden if there are specific qualifying reasons. But these need to be acceptable to the NHS. If you ask our staff, they will explain and consider any personal situation that you report to them.

The most important thing if you think there is a problem with your vision is to contact us. It is better to be safe than sorry! We can make sure your sight is not at risk. And we will do our best to provide any NHS entitlement you may be eligible for.


For more information and to discuss your requirements or concerns, pop into our practice, or call us on 0161 794 2454or send us a message. We will be pleased to assist you.