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Getting Your Prescription After an Eye Tests 

A woman testing a mans eyes

The law sets down certain requirements for the optician to follow after testing your eyes. Know your rights.

The Opticians act as amended - Here are the guidelines and opticians legal obligations to you noted on the College of Optometrists Website regarding the issuing of new prescriptions after a sight test. You can bring your prescription to us or any glasses manufacturer or provider if you'd like glasses made up by us or someone other than the optician providing the eye test.,-skills-and-performance/prescribing-spectacles#Issuingprescriptions



Immediately after carrying out an NHS or private sight test you must issue:

  1. a prescription or

  2. a statement indicating that no prescription is necessary.121 


If there is no clinically significant change in the prescription, you must issue the prescription and a statement saying that there is no clinical change.


You must include all the required information on the prescription as set out in the Sight Testing (Examination and Prescription) (No. 2) Regulations, paragraph 5.122


You should write prescriptions according to British Standards.123


You should clearly indicate on the prescription whether the spectacles are only for specific purposes.


You should indicate on the prescription if the patient is registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired. This is because a prescription you issue to a child under 16, or a person who is registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired, can only legally be dispensed by, or under the supervision of, a registered: 

  1. optometrist

  2. dispensing optician, or

  3. doctor.


You remain responsible for any prescriptions you have issued, irrespective of where the patient chooses to buy their spectacles.


When you give the patient their prescription, you should explain your findings and the type of lenses that you recommend.


You should consider the patient’s risk of falling when advising on bifocal or varifocal use.124


You should advise the patient if you think their prescription may change soon, for example if they are going to undergo cataract surgery. The patient can then decide whether they wish to have spectacles made in the meantime. 

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