Health Centre To Provide Improved Optometry Services

St Mary's Health Centre

Any new service provider coming in to manage the islands’ health centre will also need to run an expanded optometry service.

That’s according to Carol Clarke from the Islands’ LINk health watchdog, who says it’s been written into the specification for the upcoming tendering process for the GP service.

Carol says any single provider running the GP practice will be expected to work with an optometrist to provide a ‘regular and reliable’ sight testing service on the islands.

She says the Primary Care Trust looked at the numbers of people eligible for NHS sight tests and realised it was large, so the NHS will now be allocating a specific budget for optometry service.

There’s currently an informal agreement in place with Specsavers but Carol says that is mainly seen by them as commercial service to existing customers.

She says the new arrangements should lead to an improvement in optometry services although it’s unlikely to happen in short term.

The NHS are due to start the tendering process in June and the new provider won’t be in place until Spring 2013.