§ Mr. Patchett
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has on the impact of charging for eyesight tests in Trent regional health authority.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The number of national health service sight tests paid for in 1988–89 and 1989–90 by family health services authorities in Trent regional health authority was as follows:
- NHS sight tests
- 1988–89: 1,166,700
- 1989–90 (after entitlement was restricted to certain groups): 514,960
After 1 April 1989, many patients in Trent, as elsewhere, will have had a private eye examination.
Departmental statistics are not kept on private sight tests. An independent NOP survey commissioned by the 79W Department indicated that the national total number of sight tests (private and national health service) during the first quarter of 1990 was at the level that would have been expected if trends up to 1987 had been projected forwards.