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Obtaining Children’s Glasses NHS Vouchers for Children’s Glasses
If your child needs glasses following the sight test (often using dilating drops), you will be given a glasses prescription and voucher form (all one document called an HES 3 form). Here are some notes, which will explain what will happen to your child during their hospital care. The voucher is given to children under 16 (or 19 and in full-time education) and entitles the parent / guardian to help towards the cost of purchasing the glasses. The amount varies according to the prescription strength. Your optometrist /optician will be able to tell you the exact amount that you are entitled to. If you choose glasses, which exceed the voucher amount, then you will have to pay the difference in cost yourself.
What to do with the Voucher
The voucher may be taken to any registered optician / optometrist who will then make up the glasses and keep a copy of the prescription. Take your child with you when you order the glasses and when you collect them so that the optician/ optometrist can check that they fit properly. The optician / optometrist can also advise on the type of frame best suited to your child’s face, shape and size. Once you have the glasses, your child should wear them at all times unless otherwise advised by the orthoptist, ophthalmologist (eye doctor), or hospital optometrist.
General “Tips” when Buying Children’s Glasses
1. Shop around
Prices of frames vary considerably; therefore shopping around is advisable. Bear in mind that children’s glasses are often broken so a local optician / optometrist may be more convenient for
repairs, and expensive frames may not be advisable!
2. Check the final amount you will have to pay before ordering glasses
3. Infants’ glasses
Many special adaptations are available (e.g. curly ear pieces, special nose pads) to help in achieving a comfortable fit. Ask your optician about these. If your child is very small and needs adaptations to small glasses frames then, the optician / optometrist will have to contact the hospital to gain an additional voucher to assist with the cost.
Difficulties Once the Glasses are Obtained
1. Broken or Lost pairs of Glasses
Return to the optician / optometrist who supplied the original pair. They will be able to repair or replace the glasses and claim a repair form to help with the cost.
If you have any difficulty in obtaining repairs or replacement pairs of glasses, please contact the Optometry Department at Milton Keynes Hospital. Tel: 01908 995525.
2. Poorly Fitting / Loose Glasses
If your children’s glasses are too tight or too loose, he/she may be reluctant to wear them. Return to the optometrist who supplied them and they should be able to adjust them to fit more comfortably. With very young children (and more active older children) adjustments are often more frequently necessary. Don’t be embarrassed at asking the optician / optometrist to adjust the glasses often, they are used to it! It is very important that your child is looking through the centre of the lenses to obtain the full effect of the prescription.
3. Extra / Spare Pair of Glasses
Each child is entitled to one voucher per change in prescription. However, you may buy extra pairs of the same prescription privately.
4. Future Glasses Tests
• While your child is under the care of the Hospital Eye Service we will provide all tests necessary.
• Generally, the test for glasses prescription is carried out once a year unless the ophthalmologist (eye doctor), orthoptist, or hospital optometrist feels it necessary to repeat it more frequently.
• Whilst attending the Hospital Eye Service it will not be necessary to take your child to the local optometrist / optician, or any other eye specialist for eye testing.