§ Mr. Meacher
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if his Department's form G11/April 84 is correct in stating that someone cannot have private lenses fitted to National Health Service frames and that it is necessary to pay the full cost of new spectacles.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Yes, and that has been the position since the introduction of the NHS ophthalmic service.
Patients can obtain any lens through the NHS to meet their clinical needs and it has not therefore been considered necessary to permit the supply of private lenses under the NHS. Private lenses may be fitted to a NHS frame but the transaction would be a private one and the charge for the frame would be for agreement between the optician and the patient.