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Publication, Part of

General Ophthalmic Services, Activity statistics, England and Wales - Year ending 31 March 2006

Publication Date:
Date Range:
01 Apr 1996 to 31 Mar 2006


This report presents ophthalmic activity statistics for 2005/06 and on trends since 1996/97. PCT/LHB results showing the number of sight tests and vouchers are given in an annex to the report. Another annex shows the figures collected relating to October 2005 March 2006 which contribute to this report. The results relating to the first half of the year were published in February 2006.


  • The number of NHS sight tests in England and Wales in 2005/06 was the highest recorded since eligibility was extended in 1999.
  • There were just over 11 million sight tests paid for by Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in England and Local Health Boards (LHBs) in Wales in the year to 31 March 2006. This was 2.1 per cent higher than in the previous year. There were 3.9 million vouchers towards the cost of spectacles or contact lenses paid for in 2005/06. This is an increase of 1.4 per cent on 2004/05. The number of vouchers supplied fell from around 4.3 million in 1996/97 to a ten-year low of 3.7 million in 2002/03 and has risen in each year since.
  • Optometrists, who are qualified to test eyesight and to prescribe and dispense spectacles and contact lenses, conduct the majority of NHS sight tests. The remainder are undertaken by Ophthalmic Medical Practitioners (OMPs) who are qualified doctors who specialise in eyes and eye care. The proportion of NHS sight tests conducted by OMPs has been falling in recent years and was only 2.6 per cent in 2005/06 from a high of 6.7 per cent in 1996/97.
  • There were 312,000 domiciliary visits (to patients in their home) in 2005/06. This was only 0.6 per cent higher than the number recorded in 2004/05 though it is over 22 per cent higher than in 1996/97.
  • Over 435,000 vouchers for repair or replacement were issued in 2005/06. This is an increase of 1.1 per cent on 2004/05.


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Last edited: 11 April 2018 4:14 pm