- In many situations a single vision pair of spectacles will be appropriate for DSE use. It is good practice to bring other items needed for the task into the same visual plane as the screen wherever possible, for example by using a document holder.
- If the patient has to carry out a variety of tasks, it may be appropriate to prescribe bifocals, varifocals or degressive lenses. You should bear in mind, however, that the restricted field of view in a bifocal or varifocal lens may lead to postural problems. These could be more serious than those that would be created by the patient simply changing over spectacles. You should discuss the most suitable form of vision correction with the patient.
- If you prescribe spectacles specifically to enable the patient to use DSE and do other associated tasks, their employer is required to meet the costs of providing a basic frame and the prescribed lenses. If the patient chooses more costly appliances (for example designer frames or lenses with optical treatments unnecessary for their work) their employer is not obliged to pay for these. In these circumstances the employer can either pay for a basic appliance or opt to contribute a portion of the total costs, equal to the cost of the basic appliance.
- You must only prescribe optical devices or tints if these are clinically justified and in the best interests of the patient,83 taking into account the patient’s views.84
- The employer is not required to pay for any spectacles prescribed for purposes other than DSE use, even if they include DSE use. The intention of the Regulations is not the free supply of spectacles to all DSE users, but to people who need spectacles only to use DSE as part of their employment.
83 General Optical Council (2016) Standards of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians para 7.6 [Accessed 27 Oct 2017]
84 General Optical Council (2016) Standards of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians para 1.2 [Accessed 27 Oct 2017]