The College of Optometrists

Issuing prescriptions

A300
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.108 
A301
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.
A302
You must include all the required information on the prescription as set out in the Sight Testing (Examination and Prescription) (No. 2) Regulations, paragraph 5.109
A303
You should write prescriptions according to British Standards.110
A304
You should clearly indicate on the prescription whether the spectacles are only for specific purposes.
A305
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.
A306
You remain responsible for any prescriptions you have issued, irrespective of where the patient chooses to buy their spectacles.  
A307
When you give the patient their prescription, you should explain your findings and the type of lenses that you recommend. 
A308
You should consider the patient’s risk of falling when advising on bifocal or varifocal use.111 
A309
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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