Opticians in West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland
This factsheet gives information about opticians, pharmacies and footcare in the West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland area.
Opticians who visit you at home
This factsheet also includes details of your entitlements to free eye care services, how to obtain help towards payment for eye care services, and details of services for people who need to be seen at home. Most of the opticians listed will only visit you at home if you are completely housebound. Districts covered: Bournemouth, Christchurch.
You are entitled to a free NHS sight test if you are:
• Aged 60 or over
• Registered blind or partially sighted.
• Diagnosed as having diabetes or glaucoma, advised by an ophthalmologist that you are at risk of glaucoma, or aged over 40 with a first degree relative (parent, sibling, son or daughter), with glaucoma.
• Eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher
You are also entitled to a free NHS sight test if you (or your partner) are receiving the following benefits or credits:
• Income Support or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
• Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
• Income – based Employment and Support Allowance
• Universal Credit
• Entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
• Named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)
If you are named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) you may also get help.
NHS Optical Voucher – for help with the cost of glasses and contact lenses
You are entitled to help towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses if you:
• Are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher
• Meet the same income criteria listed above for free sight tests, or are named on an NHS certificate (HC3) for partial help with health costs, then you may also get help.
There are eight voucher values, dependent on the strength of your prescription. The stronger your prescription the higher the value of your voucher. You will be asked to show proof of your entitlement to optical vouchers to the optician when you purchase you glasses or contact lenses. Vouchers can be used at any opticians who accept NHS vouchers. If the value of your selected glasses or contact lenses is higher than your voucher’s value you will be expected to pay the difference.
Help paying for eye care costs due to low income
How do I make a low income claim?
The NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS) may be able to assist you with NHS costs. The scheme covers:
• Prescription costs
• Dental costs
• Eye care costs
• Healthcare travel costs
• Wigs and fabric supports
You can apply for the scheme if your income, savings, investments or property (not including your home) do not exceed the qualifying capital limit of £16,000, or £23,500 if you live permanently in a care home.
Depending on your circumstances you will qualify for help based on a comparison between your weekly income and assessed requirements at the time the claim is made. You can receive “full help” (HC2 certificate) or “partial help” (HC3 certificate). You will qualify for full help if your income is less than or equal to your requirements, or only exceeds your requirements by no more than half the current prescription charge. If your income exceeds these limits, you may be entitled to partial help. The HC3 certificate will show how much you need to pay towards your prescription charges.
The rules governing who is eligible are broadly the same as those for Income Support. However, the assessment also takes into account council tax support and housing costs, so you may also get help even though you don’t qualify for Income Support.
You don’t need to apply if you or your partner:
• Get Income Support
• Get income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Get income-related Employment and Support Allowance
• Get Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
• Are named on or entitled to an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
as these benefits will already entitle you to help with NHS costs.
To apply for an HC2 or HC3 certificate you will need to complete an HC1 form and send it off in the envelope provided. You can obtain an HC1 form from Job Centre Plus offices, hospitals, your GP surgery, your optician or dentist. You can also make a claim and find further information by contacting 0300 330 1343 to speak to an adviser who can help you complete the form, send it to you to sign, and then return in the envelope provided to:
NHS Business Centre
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Information and online forms are also available at:
http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcosts/Pages/nhs-low-income-scheme.aspx . Certificates are valid for between six months and five years, depending on your circumstances.
How to claim a refund for eye care services
Sight test refunds: Ask your optician for a receipt to show that you have paid for the test and the date of payment. You will then need to complete an HC5 form (available from your optician). This is particularly relevant if you are applying for help with eye care costs on low income grounds via an HC1 form also available from your optician.
Refunds on the cost of glasses and contact lenses: To obtain a refund on the cost of glasses or contact lenses you will also need a receipt from your optician showing the amount paid and the date of payment. You will also need complete and HC5 form, making sure that you enclose a copy of your optical prescription with your receipt when you send off the form. Once again this is particularly relevant if you are applying for help with eye care costs via an HC1 form. The maximum refund you are likely to receive will be the voucher value which matches your prescription. You cannot claim a refund on the difference between a voucher value and the actual cost of your glasses or lenses if they cost more than the voucher value.
If you have already used a voucher towards the cost of your glasses or lenses you cannot get a refund unless it was a voucher for a “complex lens”. If you have lost or damaged your glasses or contact lenses and have paid for replacements or repairs, you will only be considered for a refund if you are entitled to a voucher.
Post your forms off to:
NHS Business Centre
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Home visiting optician services – whole of Dorset
Healthcall Optical and Hearing Services
Unit 5, Titan Court
Unit 3 & 4 Arena Business Centre
9 Nimrod Way
Tel: 0845 601 7241
A full and comprehensive eye examination within your own home using the most up-to-date equipment specifically designed for home visits. Our teams carry a large variety of spectacle frames, ranging from budget styles (provided free to those entitled to an NHS voucher) to the latest designer frames, plus all types of lenses at highly competitive prices. (Please note the lenses are not carried by our clinical staff).
When the spectacles are ready they are delivered to the patient’s home and expertly fitted by one of our dispensing opticians or trained clinical assistants. For further details and to book an appointment call 0800 089 0166.
Healthcall are also able to carry out hearing tests in your own home if you require one, for details and appointments for the hearing test contact 0800 032 9755.
Home Care Community Opticians
Unit 21 Old Yarn Mills Business Centre
Sherborne DT9 3RQ
Telephone: 01935 813800
Privately run community optical service. Visits made to client’s homes across Dorset.
The Outside Clinic
Old Town Court
10/14 High Street
Tel: 0800 95 49 100
Eye care services in the home for over 60s, housebound people and their carers.
Vision Right (Home visits only)
17 Marina View
17-18 Abbey Hill
Telephone: 0845 6023842
Fax: 02380 560390
Please call Vision Right for current home visiting prices. When visiting clients who do not have capacity to make their own decisions we will always provide a report for the Power of Attorney and gain their approval before going ahead with any spectacles.
Making a complaint about an optician or eye care service
If you have a specific complaint about an optician or eye care service that you cannot resolve by speaking to the optician or service themselves there are other agencies able to help you:
• If you have paid for your glasses using NHS vouchers then NHS England will be able to help with your complaint, contact them at:
NHS Commissioning Board
PO Box 16738
Tel: 0300 311 2233
Opening hours: 8am – 6pm – Monday to Friday, excluding English Bank Holidays.
• If you would like totally independent advice and help with your NHS complaint then contact:
Dorset Advocacy – Help with NHS Complaints
13-15 Jubilee Court
Tel: 0300 343 7000
Dorset Advocacy – Help with NHS Complaints can:
• Help you deal with the complaints process
• Refer you to other relevant agencies regarding your complaint
• Meet you at your home or in a place you feel comfortable
• Provide interpreters if you are a new English speaker or communicate differently
• Generally support you through the process
However they cannot:
• Be involved in any claims for compensation (but can refer you to a relevant agency)
• Get a Practitioner ‘struck off’
• Be involved in any legal process
If Dorset Advocacy – Help with NHS Complaints agrees to advocate for you they can:
• Give you the opportunity to speak confidentially to someone who is independent of the health service
• Represent a person’s wishes and feelings without taking a view on their best interest
• Provide information to enable you to make an informed decision on how to proceed
• Help you explore your options and the potential outcomes of particular courses of action without bias.
• Generally support you through the complaints process by accompanying you to meetings, writing letters, making phone calls etc.
However Dorset Advocacy – Help with NHS Complaints advocates cannot:
• Make decisions for you
• Proceed with a complaint unless you wish them to
• Persuade you to take a certain course of action
• Work outside of the NHS complaints procedure
• Withhold any information from you
• Offer an opinion on how you should proceed
The service is free to everyone, children as well as adults, family carers as well as patients. Dorset Advocacy can help with any complaint, as long as it relates to a service provided or funded by the National Health Service (NHS) in Dorset.
If you have paid privately for your glasses and need help to resolve a problem with the optician you can contact:
Optical Consumer Complaints
PO Box 219
Tel: 0844 800 5071
Fax: 01730 265058
This service may be able to help you get a refund on services you have already paid for.
If you need to make a specific complaint about an optician and your treatment contact:
General Optical Council
41 Harley Street
Tel: 020 7580 3898
Fax: 020 7307 3939