Optometry Company Ending Health Centre Contract

The Health Centre

The Health Centre

The company that’s been providing eye tests in Scilly has decided to pull out of the contract.

Lead GP John Garman told members of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee that Reynolds Opticians, a small family-run firm based in Penzance, had lost money since they’d started the work and he said it was clear that it’s not financially viable for them.

John says the Health Centre has built a special room and bought the equipment needed so they’ve decided to offer tests in-house instead. They’ll now be employing a mainland optometrist directly.

A commitment to provide optometry services was part of the contract signed by the GP practice to run the Health Centre.

Committee Chairman Cllr Dr Adrian Davis said problems with eye tests have been going on for many years adding “the sooner it’s sorted the better.”

After the meeting, Dr Garman told Radio Scilly that Alison Williams from Reynolds has agreed to come back as an employee of the practice, rather than as a partner in her own business.

And after a short gap over the summer period, they’ll be starting to see patients again in November. Alison should be over for three days from the 18th November and will then provide two to three days of testing every eight weeks, depending on demand thereafter.

John says eye practices on the mainland sell glasses and other products to make the service viable and the Health Centre will also be offering spectacle sales as part of the package.

He says Reynolds has done a “brilliant job” getting the waiting list down. When the new contract started in February they had nearly 300 people booked in for tests and that’s now down to around 70.

John says if anyone would like to check whether they’re still on the waiting list or would like to be added, they should phone the Health Centre.