§ Baroness Fisher of Rednal
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will state the professional difficulties that would arise if ophthalmic opticians were permitted to undertake tests for glaucoma; and
Whether they will state the resource consequences that would arise if tests for glaucoma were included as part of the National Health Service eye test.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Security (Lord Glenarthur)
One of the best tests for glaucoma, ophthalmoscopy, is already a routine part of the sight test under the General Opthalmic Service. If ophthalmic opticians were required to carry out further tests, the additional cost of the time and equipment would have to be reflected in the sight test fee. The amount would be a matter for negotiation with the profession. The present view of the Faculty of Ophthalmology is that comprehensive screening for glaucoma is not cost effective for the population generally. However, there are no strictly professional difficulties to prevent an ophthalmic optician carrying out the further tests if he so wishes, and the patient consents.