‘It was wonderful to sit in my chair for the test’


Hampshire resident takes part in campaign to raise awareness of ‘at home’ eye testing services

A resident of Fleet, Hampshire Mrs. Sheila Cornford last Friday took part in a campaign designed to help raise awareness of at home eye testing services. Under the NHS anyone who is eligible for an NHS sight test but cannot get to a high street practice unaccompanied because of a mental or physical disability, is entitled to a domiciliary sight test funded by the NHS. Sight tests are provided by the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for various groups of people including those who are aged 60 and over.

Much of the essential equipment used for a sight test in a high street practice has a portable equivalent and patients often find it less stressful to have the test take place in their own homes.

‘It was wonderful to be able to sit in my comfortable, supportive chair for the test. All the equipment was amazing, really fascinating and very up to date. I was given a very in depth explanation of the test and what was found and what was happening with the equipment during the test’ said Mrs. Cornford.

Head of Marketing at The Outside Clinic Lynda Oliver commented, Mrs. Cornford is typical of patients that we see every day that really benefit from the option of having an eye test at home. Awareness of the service remains very low and that’s why we are backing this campaign to raise awareness of the service.’

According to the RNIB any level of sight loss, and the impact on a person’s day-to-day living is important. Although it can affect anyone at any time, losing sight becomes increasingly likely as we get older. Up to 50 per cent of sight loss can be avoided if it is detected early enough. RNIB recommend having a sight test at least every two years. Currently, sight loss affects one in five people over 75 and one in two people over 90. To find out more about the RNIB’s research click here.

Mrs. Cornford greatly enjoyed the day spent with the publicity team, with a background in drama and acting she enjoyed being in the spotlight and commented ‘ I was really pleased with The Outside Clinic. Before using them I had to book community transport and I would then have to be moved from chair to chair to get to the optician. Getting into the shop and then being moved around from station to station meant I was always in pain. Now I can sit in my own comfortable chair at home and the examinations work around me in my comfortable chair. I shall look forward to a re-test next year!’

To find out more about entitlement to a NHS-funded free eye test click here.

To watch a video of this interview and to read more Patient Stories click here.