After completing the routine eye examination
- When you have completed the tests you should tell the patient what you have found and what you would recommend. You should also recommend when they should have their next eye examination.
- You should provide patients with leaflets about the most common eye conditions, as appropriate.24
- You must only issue a prescription for the correction of visual defects when it is clinically justified and in the best interests of the patient.25 In all other cases, give the patient a written statement confirming a correction is not required or that there is no change in the current prescription. You should note on the prescription whether the patient is registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired. This is because their spectacles can only be dispensed by, or under the supervision of, a registered optometrist, dispensing optician or doctor.
- If you examine a patient who might have an eye condition or eye surgery that may change the prescription in the short- to medium-term, you should consider carefully whether it is in the patient’s best interests to have new spectacles. You should explain the benefits and disadvantages of prescribing spectacles that will be appropriate only for a short time.
- If you are referring the patient, see section on Working with colleagues for further guidance.
- You may need to justify your actions at a later date, so if you decide not to conduct particular tests that would normally be expected, you should record the reasons for not carrying out those tests. You should remember that when conducting a sight test, certain tests are required by law, see paragraph A44.
24 College of Optometrists, patient leaflets [Accessed 18 Nov 2020]
25 General Optical Council (2016) Standards of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians para 7.6 [Accessed 24 Nov 2020]