An initiative launched by Vision Express offering customers a free sight test in any of its 600 practices across the UK and Ireland has led to an unprecedented number of online bookings.
Launched to mark National Eye Health Week (NEHW) earlier this month (21–27 September), the multiple pledged a free eye examination to everyone who booked using a downloadable voucher until the end of October.
Coinciding with the offer, Vision Express experienced bookings which were almost twice the number it records, on average, in a week.
During the annual awareness week, Vision Express took its Vision Van, offering walk-in sight tests to the public, to cities around the UK that are considered hot spots for poor eye health.
A total of 14% of people that the multiple saw at its Vision Van were referred to a GP, an increase in the number referred when it launched the van during NEHW in 2014.
CEO of Vision Express, Jonathan Lawson, said: "Despite some industry misgivings about the value of this campaign, these results underpin exactly why we have invested in it, successfully reaching out to people who may otherwise have not had an eye test. The significant increase in eye tests booked through our website is a direct impact of our NEHW activity, which sets aside the issue of affordability in order to safeguard the sight of people across the country."
The Vision Van made stops in London, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Hull and Manchester. The multiple reported that of those tested, 73% required a new prescription, while one in eight were referred to a GP.
Mr Lawson added: "By offering free eye tests to mark NEHW, Vision Express is showing that its biggest priority is the public's eye health and we're proud to stand by that. The feedback from residents has been fantastic, and the results speak for themselves."