§ Mr. Pavitt
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the price of lenses supplied by the hospital service and those payable to opticians before and after 1st July 1978; what advice he has given to health authorities on methods of dealing with claims around this time: and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Moyle
A circular giving area health authorities full details of the hospital prices changes effective from 1st July 479W 1978—which are the same as those in the general ophthalmic service—was issued on 13th June 1978; I am sending my hon. Friend a copy. Family practitioner committees, which are responsible for administering the general ophthalmic services, were warned on 2nd June 1978 that the prices would change on 1st July 1978. Unfortunately, because of printing delays, the normal printed amendments to the prices in the statement were not sent to FPC's for distribution to opticians until 4th July 1978. When it was clear that there would be delay, full details of the changes were sent to FPCs on 26th June 1978, so that opticians could be paid accordingly from 1st July. Arrangements are being made to prevent a recurrence of these difficulties.