Tesco has launched a free universal eye test service, meaning that anyone not entitled to an NHS-funded eye check-up can have a free examination in one of its 131 stores.
Free eye tests for all were abolished in the 1980s, although Scottish UK residents have been entitled to free examinations on the NHS since 2006.
Tesco says it expects its move to result in a substantial increase to the numbers of people who have eye tests. Many retailers and opticians charge £15 – £20 for a check-up.
Free eye tests for all
Ashley Hicks, Tesco Director of Pharmacy and Healthcare, said: ‘This is an important move towards improving the nation’s health. By removing the core cost barrier and offering convenient opening hours, we aim to make this important check up as easy as possible for our customers.’
Regular eye tests are important because they can help to identify a range of health conditions which could pose serious risks if left untreated. For example, some patients have their diabetes diagnosed as a result of eye examination.
Lesley-Anne Alexander, Chief Executive of the Royal National Institute of Blind People, said: ‘We are delighted that Tesco has decided to provide free eye tests to their customers. RNIB research suggests that the cost can be a significant barrier to people getting eye tests.’
According to RNIB, more than 2m people in the UK are at risk of losing their sight as a result of treatable conditions.
Alongside its free eye examination service, Tesco has also launched a range of cheap prescription spectacles.
Glasses from Tesco opticians will start at £10. The supermarket says this makes theirs the cheapest prescription spectacles available from any opticians chain in the UK.
Eye test advice
For more information read our guide for information on how buying spectacles and contacts online could save you money.
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