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Information for parents / carers on children’s glasses

  • Children are tested once a year for glasses at the hospital unless the eye care professional advises otherwise.
  • A voucher (HESP1) will be given to you if a new prescription is required when the doctor tests your child’s eyes for glasses (refraction).
  • The voucher is issued to children under 16, or under 18 and in fulltime education. It is worth a fixed amount of money to help towards the cost of purchasing the glasses. The amount of money is dependent on the strength and / or type of lenses needed.
  • There is no entitlement to a spare pair of glasses. However, you may purchase a spare pair from your Optician.
  • If the doctor finds there has been no change in your child’s prescription then no voucher will be issued.
  • Children age 5 and over can attend their own optician for the test for glasses if able to do so.


How to use the voucher

  • The voucher must be taken to a registered Optician. It is illegal for any other person to dispense glasses to children.
  • The voucher is valid for six months from the date of the sight test.
  • Some Opticians will supply glasses within the voucher value and no extra charge.
  • A local Optician may be more convenient as children’s glasses may be frequently broken and need repairing. Expensive frames may not be advisable!
  • Take your child with you when you order the glasses and when you collect them. Glasses cannot be dispensed unless the child is present.
  • The Optician will advise you on the best type of frame for the child and the safest type of lenses. Very small children requiring special frames and lenses will be given an extra voucher.
  • Once the child has the glasses they should wear them all the time unless otherwise advised by the eye doctor, Orthoptist or Optician.


What to do when glasses are broken, lost, need adjusting or are too small

  • Go to your Optician who will repair or replace the glasses. They have a form, GOS4 that they use to do this. If the glasses were free, so are the repair and replacement. A voucher from the hospital is not required for this service.
  • The Optician may ask you when the last test for glasses was done at the hospital. This is because the prescription lasts for 1 year. The Optician would not want to replace glasses that are out of date.
  • If it is coming to the end of the year for which the prescription is valid and the glasses need repairing or replacing, then the Optician may request that your child has a test for glasses at their practice or at the hospital. We do try and book appointments for children once a year at the hospital but sometimes we get very busy and it is not possible to get the test done exactly within the year. It is perfectly acceptable to let the Optician test your child’s eyes.
  • If your Optician tests your child’s eyes, please bring his/her prescription with you at the next hospital eye appointment. The Optician will give you the statement of the prescription which is a form called G0S2.
  • An Optician can refuse to repair or replace glasses. If this happens then you are entitled to go to a different Optician. Your new Optician can repair the glasses by either reading the prescription from the current glasses or requesting the prescription from the hospital if it is still in date (less than 1 year from the last test for glasses).


For further information, please contact the Orthoptic Department:

  • Ashford Hospital - 01784 884133 / 884152
  • St. Peter’s Hospital - 01932 722146
  • Heart of Hounslow Health Centre - 0203 7716112
  • Woking Community Hospital - 01483 846327


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