NHS Guideline for sight test  


You only qualify for a free NHS-funded sight test if:

  • you’re aged under 16
  • you’re aged 16, 17 or 18 and are in full-time education
  • you’re aged 60 or over
  • you’re registered as partially sighted (sight impaired) or blind (severely sight impaired)
  • you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • you’re 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • you’ve been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you’re at risk of glaucoma
  • you’re a prisoner on leave from prison
  • you're eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optometrist (optician) can advise you about your entitlement


You’re also entitled to a free NHS sight test if you:

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • on a low income and named on a valid HC2 (full help) or HC3 (partial help) certificate


NHS-funded mobile eye tests


Some people are entitled to an NHS-funded mobile sight test (also known as a domiciliary sight test), where the ophthalmic practitioner comes to visit you:

  • in your own home
  • at a residential or care home
  • at a day centre


If you qualify for a free NHS sight test, you may be entitled to mobile services:

  • at home: if you’re unable to leave home unaccompanied because of physical or mental illness or disability
  • at a residential or care home: if you normally live there and you’re unable to leave the home unaccompanied because of physical or mental illness or disability
  • at a day centre: if you would have difficulty getting a sight test from an optometrist at their practice because of physical or mental illness or disability, or because you have difficulty communicating your health needs without help


Proving your entitlement to a free NHS eye test When you go for your sight test, tell your ophthalmic practitioner that you’re entitled to a free NHS sight test. They will give you a form called GOS1 to fill in and sign. You’ll be asked to show proof that you’re entitled to a free NHS sight test.


What if I’m not entitled to a free NHS eye test?


If you don’t qualify for a free NHS sight test, you will have to pay for a private sight test. The cost of private sight tests varies, so it’s advisable to shop around.