STEEL & VARLEY OPTICIANS
CARING FOR WHITLEY BAY'S EYES SINCE 1926
STEEL AND VARLEY OPTICIANS
209-211 Whitley Road
Tel: 0191 252 3549
THE EYE EXAMINATION
All our optometrists are qualified as independent prescribers which mean they are able to prescribe medications, if required, relating to ocular conditions. Our two regualar optometrists, Martin Hood & Andrea Kirton, also work part time in the eye casualty in the Eye Department at the RVI in Newcastle so we feel we can boast one of the most expert clinical teams in the whole of the North East.
We embrace the NHS but the NHS is only a route to funding the eye examination.
We offer two levels of eye examination.
We are able to offer basic NHS eye tests for the purpose of detecting signs of injury, disease or abnormality in the eye or elsewhere.
Alternatively, all of our patients are now offered our fully comprehensive eye examination which includes retinal imaging. Charges for the examination are £49 if you pay privately, or £28 if you have an NHS entitlement. The private sight test without retinal imaging is £39. (The comprehensive eye examination is included in our contact lens aftercare plan)
Children aged 16 and under and those under 19 and in full time education will continue to be seen at the practice within the NHS basic eye test. Patients under active eye hospital treatment may also not require the fully comprehensive examination.
Typically our eye examinations take around 40 minutes and possibly longer if supplementary test are required. We understand some patients may have had eye examinations elsewhere that are considerably shorter but we feel that 40 minutes is the minimum length of time needed to ensure a thorough, in depth, examination of a patients ocular health and needs.
Changes in NHS regulations since 2001 mean that we may require evidence of NHS eligibility. Please bring along your NHS card or benefits booklet as evidence of entitlement. You are entitled to an NHS Sight Test at intervals specified by the NHS (usually, but not always, 2 years). An eye examination within that interval may incur a charge.
Who qualifies for NHS spectacle vouchers?
- Children under 16
- Full time students under 19
- Those receiving Income based benefits, i.e. Income Support, Working Families Tax Credit, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance and Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
- Those holding Form HC2/3
- Complex lenses (partial help)
Persons not in the above list but on low income may still get help. Please ask for Form HC1 in advance of your appointment.
Who qualifies for an NHS sight test?
All on above list plus...
- Over 60's
- People with diabetes or glaucoma
- People over 40 with immediate family history of glaucoma
- Those registered blind or partially sighted
Most children will not require the extended eye examination. Certain simple examinations (such as after a cataract operation) will still be adequately covered by the NHS sight test. Patients under active hospital treatment (e.g. for glaucoma) may not require the extended examination. Visually impaired patients seen under the local Low Vision Aid scheme may not need an extended eye examination.
We choose to supply basic eye examinations to under 25's at £29.