AOP policy manifesto

The AOP fights for change in the interests of our members, their patients and the public

Optometrist at work

Fighting for change

We believe:

  • The NHS should commission optometrists to deliver more eye healthcare in the community, relieving pressure on overstretched hospitals

  • The NHS must set up and maintain proper IT links with community optical practices, to protect patients and support the NHS long-term plan

  • The NHS sight test fee must rise significantly in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to better reflect the actual cost of providing the service

  • Parents need better information about children’s eye health, and public health organisations should do more to promote it

  • The postcode lottery for patients who need NHS cataract surgery must end
  • NHS eye healthcare for people with learning disabilities must improve – including proper funding for sight tests

  • All drivers in the UK should be legally required to have their vision checked when they apply for or renew their licence - every three years for people over 70, and every 10 years for others – to protect themselves and other road users

  • The General Optical Council should do more to stop the illegal supply of spectacles and contact lenses, which causes health risks for the public

  • The GOC’s rules on optometrists’ training should enable innovation, while ensuring that new registrants are safe practitioners with the analytical skills needed to adapt to the future

As an AOP member, you can get directly involved in arguing for change, by lobbying your MP and raising awareness of the need for good eye health and the role optometrists play. Read our lobbying guide for members to see how it’s done and contact the team.

Published: June 2019