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To think the NHS eyesight voucher should cover the cost of the child's glasses?

(61 Posts)
N0numbers Sun 13-Sep-15 08:23:34

My dd needs a new pair of glasses as her prescription has changed.

We chose a "free" pair of frames and lenses with the NHS voucher, but because of her prescription I had to pay an additional £150 to get the right lenses.

Well it was the choice between food on the table or the glasses, unfortunately she won't be seeing the food we are eating!

I feel like the worse mother in the world right now at not being able to provide the glasses.

AIBU to think it should be possible to get free glasses on the NHS for children or is this a luxury and in these days of austerity i should be paying for glasses?

I will be saving up to get the new glasses but suspect it will be another month before she gets the. So she will get them eventually.

londonrach Sun 13-Sep-15 08:25:30

Try asda. Get my glasses from there...thinner lenses etc all for £40.

sanfairyanne Sun 13-Sep-15 08:26:26

That sounds strange are you sure it is right? What is it about the lenses?

N0numbers Sun 13-Sep-15 08:27:08

I'll have a look to see if there is an Asda with an optician near us (i know the local one doesn't as that's where I went to buy the food yesterday)

N0numbers Sun 13-Sep-15 08:27:59

It's to make them thin enough to get them into the frame (and we are talking buddy holly esq thick frames).

sanfairyanne Sun 13-Sep-15 08:28:24

Have you shopped around?

lanbro Sun 13-Sep-15 08:29:51

That can't possibly be right? Which opticians are you using? Dd has a very strong prescription and I have only ever paid when she's chosen her own frames but only £25, even when they've been broken. We use a lovely local independent opticians and they even work things out so that we have 2 pairs for free!

Fooshufflewickbannanapants Sun 13-Sep-15 08:31:30

You can get a free pair, you may not like them though and the optician should make sure you know where the free frames are, however my daughters lenses are so thick that we had to pay for the expensive thin version for certain style frames, you do know you can take your child's voucher and prescription anywhere you like and you don't have to choose from the same place?

XCChamps Sun 13-Sep-15 08:31:37

Yes, try asda or tesco. Was this at a "proper"optician? I'm all for supporting local independent businesses but the prices the small opticians charge for glasses astound me.

Out of interest, how much does the voucher cover?

N0numbers Sun 13-Sep-15 08:35:40

This was in Boots. The frames were free it was the lenses we needed to pay for. It's a b voucher so £57ish off.

I have taken the prescription and voucher and was looking around on the Internet. The current frames are fine so was looking for somewhere to reglaze but no one seems to take the voucher for that.

I've found an asda optician and it says on website children's glasses are free even if the lenses need to be thinned so going off there.

OddBoots Sun 13-Sep-15 08:35:50

I'm not an expert but my ds's glasses cost more to make but because of that he was entitled to an extra voucher for 'complex lenses' that made up the difference.

AnotherEmma Sun 13-Sep-15 08:41:34

If you have no luck with Asda Opticians you could try online. Some good recommendations and deals here: www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/cheap-glasses-discounts

MrsOs Sun 13-Sep-15 08:53:04

Take the voucher and shop around some places do free kids glasses within voucher value.

londonrach Sun 13-Sep-15 08:59:05

Also think specsavers do free children glasses. Im with their lensmail but buy my glasses from asda as its the cheapest and best place ive found so far. Shop around x

AuntieStella Sun 13-Sep-15 08:59:12

I think your problem may be that you're trying to keep the current frame. Putting new lenses into other frames isn't a standard NHS item (no idea why).

You can get free glasses (frames and lenses) from scratch though, and I'm surprised you're having so much difficulty. The choice of frames that have no additional charge is very limited, but there's usually loads to pick from if you can afford £15-25 extra.

RollerGirl7 Sun 13-Sep-15 09:09:07

I hope you get this sorted. You must be able to get free complete glasses (keeping asking even if all you do is ring round 7or 8 opticians and ask how it works)

Imo you should get the thinning included as well. My dn has a very strong prescription, as in the opticians get excited when she goes in as they never get a chance to see someone with such a strong prescription often, when I've been with her, she's had comments like 'ooh.. Jean will want to do your sight test, she'll be keen to see how such a strong prescription works out' they sound delighted by this which doesn't do my self conscious niece any favours.

It is very uncomfortable for her to carry around such heavy glasses with such thick lenses. I'm sure they weigh quite a lot to have on her face constantly and cause red marks and indents on her nose.

I'm not saying they should be designer but they shouldn't be debilitating for her going about her everyday life.

Last time my dn's lenses cost £280 they had to be thinned 3 times, the frame was on top.

StormyBlue Sun 13-Sep-15 09:24:55

PP saying you should be able to get free lenses and frames, OP can and all or most opticians will offer this but the NHS won't pay to thin them past a certain point.

I worked in an optician for a while a few years ago, IIRC you can get lenses slightly thinned on the NHS but since thinning is considered cosmetic and can be very expensive it is not covered - so the NHS provision doesn't go very far if you need a very high prescription.

It's not right, because a lot of children struggle with self esteem issues and really thick glasses can be embarrassing. They can also be very heavy making them more likely to fall off and break.

How old is your DD, would contacts be an option? You can get them on the NHS and are popular with people who would need very high prescriptions. People often assumed they are for teens or older but a lot of kids with high prescriptions seemed to get them as soon as the parents judged they were old enough to put them in and take them out safely themselves at the optician I worked at.

N0numbers Sun 13-Sep-15 09:34:14

Unfortunately stormyblue we tried the contact lens but due to the astigmatism the clarity isn't available with contacts, so for reading print contacts are no good.

We're certainly not fussy about the frames, I was looking at keeping the frames as another option last night, but the frames chosen were plain black (dragon black I think they were called) and able to accommodate a thick lens, but they said it would still need to be thinned.

Mari50 Sun 13-Sep-15 09:35:25

Stormyblue, sorry but that's really poor advice. Contact lenses should be used in addition to glasses, not instead of. Especially if we're talking about children.
Ask for the voucher and go somewhere else OP. You will probably have to add something for thinner lenes but shouldn't be as much as that.
Kids glasses can't be bought online.

AnotherEmma Sun 13-Sep-15 09:37:57

"Kids glasses can't be bought online."
Ah sorry, didn't know that.

monkeysox Sun 13-Sep-15 09:45:50

Do you have one of these
www.onspec.co.uk/glasses.html

StormyBlue Sun 13-Sep-15 09:52:31

I wasn't giving advice, just suggesting asking her optom about about it. Though I did see a lot of children prescribed contacts who would wear them most of the time, that's just my experience.

Hope you find a solution OP.

DDDDDORA Sun 13-Sep-15 09:54:21

Have you tried specsavers? DD2 has a strong prescription and has thick lens, we don't have them thinned down. You only notice that they are thicker than the frame if you are actually looking for it.
You can get them thinned down I can't remember how much it was but I remember thinking that it was reasonable.

TheUnwillingNarcheska Sun 13-Sep-15 09:59:30

Both my children have glasses, the "kids" nhs voucher I believe is for £64 and the "teens" nhs voucher is for £84, both my children chose from the teens range in Specsavers. Ds1 is 12 Ds2 is 9.

They chose the £99 frames so I paid the difference. Because of Ds2's prescription we pay to thin the lenses, so £40. But I didn't thin the second free pair because they are the emergency pair.

I would definitely shop around.

TheUnwillingNarcheska Sun 13-Sep-15 10:00:57

It depends on the prescription as to whether the lenses are thicker at the edge or the middle. Ds2 is a + so his are thicker in the middle.

The reason we thin is because of the weight of the lens. He was only 5 when he started wearing them so they would have been quite heavy on his nose.

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