4-consulting was commissioned by the Association of Optometrists Scotland (AOP Scotland) to investigate the impact of the new NHS funded eye examinations in Scotland. In particular this report considers whether funding eye examinations represents value for money for the public purse.
The study showed replicating prospective impact approaches suggests that new eye examinations could result in benefits nearly ten times the cost of delivery. The relatively high ratio of benefits to costs is driven by significant take up since the introduction of the new NHS funded eye examinations. The increase in people benefiting from free eye examinations includes a significant proportion that otherwise would not have had their eyes examined.
The ratio of benefits to costs is high enough that the policy is of clear net benefit to Scotland. The proportion of the population receiving eye tests is higher and a similar approach elsewhere in the UK is likely to represent value for money.