MagnifierOptical Express has expanded its domiciliary services in Scotland to provide home eye tests for patients with complex disabilities and low vision.

The multiple said low vision and functional vision assessments were to be offered in addition to its existing free home eye tests for patients who cannot visit an optician due to disability or poor health, including care home residents.

It claimed to be the first eye care provider in Scotland to offer the home services, for patients suffering from conditions including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa.

Such patients were usually referred by carers or family members who suspect vision problems may be contributing to their difficulties, the company said, and needed solutions including specialist magnifiers and task lighting.

Áine Scott, home care manager at Optical Express, said: ‘Optical Express is extremely pleased to be offering low and functional vision assessments to patients in their own homes. By making these tests more accessible we hope to speed up treatment and improve vulnerable patients’ quality of life.

‘Many patients with complex needs are slipping through the net because they are classed as visually impaired without any real understanding of the extent of their remaining functional vision and how it can be best supported.

‘While help is available for patients with low vision, it often involves waiting for a hospital appointment in order to be referred to a specialist clinic, so it could be quite some time before a patient can be assessed for a low vision aid.’

Optical Express’ home care services were available throughout Central Scotland, Ayrshire and Arran and Tayside, covering the health boards of NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS Lothian, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Fife and NHS Tayside, a statement said.

It was also seeking approval to extend the scheme across NHS Grampian and NHS Dumfries and Galloway.