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Publication, Part of

General Ophthalmic Services, Activity statistics, England and Wales - Year ending 31 March 2007

Publication Date:
Date Range:
01 Apr 1996 to 31 Mar 2007


The objective of the General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) is to provide, through community opticians' practices, preventative and corrective eye care for children, people aged 60 and over, people on low incomes and those suffering from or pre-disposed to eye disease.

This bulletin presents summary information about GOS activity in England and Wales for 2006/07 and on trends since 1996/97. The statistics are derived from data provided by Primary Care Trusts in England (PCTs) and Local Health Boards in Wales (LHBs), which contract with ophthalmic practitioners to provide NHS sight tests and optical vouchers.


  • PCTs paid for just under 10.5 million sight tests in England in 2006/07, an increase of 1.3 per cent since 2005/06. In Wales, LHBs paid for just under 680 thousand which was an increase of 0.3 per cent. For both countries, this was the highest ever level recorded.
  • Optical vouchers for just under 3.8 million spectacles were reimbursed by PCTs (an increase of 2.3 per cent) in England in 2006/07. The figure for Wales was just over 250 thousand (an increase of 0.3 per cent).
  • The proportion of NHS sight tests conducted by Ophthalmic Medical Practitioners (OMPs) in England has been falling in recent years from a high of 6.9 per cent in 1996/97 to only 1.8 per cent in 2006/07. The figure for Wales was 0.6 per cent this year compared to a high of 3.8 per cent in 1998/99. The remainder of sight tests were conducted by optometrists.
  • There were 310 thousand domiciliary visits (to patients in their home) in England in 2006/07. This was 5.4 per cent higher than the number recorded in 2005/06. For Wales, there were 19 thousand domiciliary visits which was 5.0 per cent higher than last year.
  • 425 thousand vouchers for repair or replacement were issued in England in 2006/07 which is an increase of 4.4 per cent on 2005/06. The corresponding figure for Wales was 28 thousand which was a decrease of 0.9 per cent on last year.
  • Detailed tables for the whole year are given in annex B and similar figures for the period October 2006 to March 2007 can be seen in annex C. Furthermore, detailed data at PCT and SHA level are included as an excel spreadsheet at annex D boundaries used as at 1 October 2006) and an excel factsheet tool is available at annex E which provides all the detailed information in annex D at the required PCT or SHA level.


Last edited: 11 April 2018 4:14 pm