§ 47. Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has any proposals to increase fees for eye examinations.
§ Dr. Vaughan
There are two rates of fee payable for an NHS eye examination depending on whether the practitioner concerned is an ophthalmic medical practitioner or an ophthalmic optician. Increases in each fee are determined separately by well established methods which are agreed between the Department and representatives of the two professions concerned.
I expect negotiations on fees for ophthalmic opticians to begin within the next few months when the results of periodic joint inquiries into opticians' actual costs and practices become available.
The remuneration element of the fee for ophthalmic medical practitioners is determined annually by the Doctors and Dentists Review Body, so that a revision will not be considered until the 1981 review body report becomes available. The expenses element of their fee is due to be determined in negotiation when a recently begun inquiry into actual costs incurred by ophthalmic medical practitioners is completed. It is too early to forecast when this might be.