Optical Charges and Payments (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999

Link to law: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr/1999/111/made/data.htm?wrap=true
Published: 1999-03-11

Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland
1999 No. 111

HEALTH AND PERSONAL SOCIAL SERVICES
Optical Charges and Payments (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999

Made
11th March 1999

Coming into operation
1st April 1999

The Department of Health and Social Services, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Articles 98 and 106 of, and Schedule 15 to, the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972(1) and of all other powers enabling it in that behalf, with the approval of the Department of Finance and Personnel, hereby makes the following Regulations:

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Optical Charges and Payments (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 and shall come into operation on 1st April 1999.

(2) In these Regulations, “the principal Regulations” means the Optical Charges and Payments Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997(2).

Amendment of regulation 1 of the principal Regulations

2.  In regulation 1 of the principal Regulations (citation, commencement and interpretation)—

(a)in paragraph (2), in the definition of “health service sight test fee” for the amount “£39·04” substitute “£40·33” and for the amount “£14·10” substitute “£14·57”;

(b)in paragraph (2), for the definition “small glasses” substitute—

““small glasses” means glasses—

(a)
prescribed for a child who is under the age of 7 years at the date of issue of a voucher relating to those glasses where the voucher is issued on the same occasion as the prescription relating to those glasses is issued;

(b)
having a frame which is either custom made or a stock frame requiring extensive adaptation to ensure an adequate fit; and

(c)
having a boxed centre distance of no more than 55 millimetres, and for this purpose “box centre” is to be construed in accordance with Part 1 of British Standard 3521/91 (Terms relating to ophthalmic optics and spectacles frames) published by the British Standards Institution as effective immediately before 1st April 1999;”;

(c)in sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph (3), before “where” insert “subject to sub-paragraph (bb),”;

(d)after sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph (3), insert the following sub-paragraph—

“(bb)where an optical appliance has a bifocal lens, the reading segment of which is more than 4 dioptres more powerful than the distance segment, the power of the lens shall be determined according to the power of the reading segment; and”.

3.  In regulation 2 of the principal Regulations (charges for optical appliances supplied by an HSS trust)—

(a)in paragraph (3) for “£40·90” substitute “£42·00”;

(b)in paragraph (5)(b) for “£50·20” and “£81·60” in both places where they occur substitute “£51·50” and “£83·70” respectively.

Amendment of regulation 8 of the principal Regulations

4.  In regulation 8(2) of the principal Regulations (eligibility - supply of optical appliances), after “at the time of” insert “the payment for”.

Amendment of regulation 9 of the principal Regulations

5.  In regulation 9 of the principal Regulations (issue of vouchers by ophthalmic medical practitioners or opticians)—

(a)after paragraph (1) insert the following paragraphs—

“(1A) Where—

(a)a patient has been supplied with an optical appliance following a testing of sight under the Ophthalmic Services Regulations or otherwise; and

(b)the patient has indicated that he is an eligible person; and

(c)the ophthalmic medical practitioner or optician, having consulted any records which he has relating to the patient and having made such enquiry of the patient as he considers relevant, is satisfied that—

(i)the prescription relating to the patient’s existing optical appliance is unchanged; and

(ii)the patient requires a new optical appliance because his existing appliance has been rendered unserviceable by fair wear and tear,

the ophthalmic medical practitioner or optician may issue to the patient, in accordance with paragraph (2), a voucher relating to the optical appliance prescribed by the prescription.

(1B) Where—

(a)a patient has been issued with a prescription following a testing of sight under the Ophthalmic Services Regulations or otherwise; and

(b)the patient has indicated that, following the issue of the prescription, he has become an eligible person; and

(c)an ophthalmic medical practitioner or optician, having consulted any records which he has relating to the patient and having made such enquiry of the patient as he considers relevant, is satisfied that—

(i)no voucher has been issued in respect of the prescription; and

(ii)the prescription is unchanged,

the ophthalmic medical practitioner or optician may issue to the patient a voucher relating to the optical appliance prescribed by the prescription.”.

(b)in paragraph (5), after “Unless” insert “paragraph (1A) or”.

Amendment of regulation 11 of the principal Regulations

6.  For regulation 11 of the principal Regulations (issue of replacement vouchers by the Agency or an HSS trust) substitute the following regulation—

“Issue of replacement vouchers by the Agency or an HSS trust

11.  Where, on an application by a patient within 2 years of a voucher having been issued to him under regulation 9(1) or 10(1), the Agency or HSS trust is satisfied, having made such enquiries as it considers relevant, that the voucher has been lost or destroyed without having been presented to a supplier of optical appliances, it may authorise an ophthalmic medical practitioner or optician to issue to the patient a replacement voucher completed in accordance with regulation 9(2)(a) and (b) or 10(2)(a) and (b), but with the date of issue of the voucher being that on which the replacement is issued.”.

Amendment of regulation 12 of the principal Regulations

7.  In regulations 12(1) of the principal Regulations (use of vouchers for supply of optical appliances), for “6 months” substitute “2 years”.

Amendment of regulation 13 of the principal Regulations

8.  In regulation 13 of the principal Regulations (payments to suppliers), in paragraph (2)(b), for “21(1)” substitute “27(1)”.

Amendment of regulation 19 of the principal Regulations

9.  In regulation 19 of the principal Regulations (redemption value of voucher for replacement or repair)—

(a)in paragraph (1)(b) for “£40·90” substitute “£42·00”; and

(b)in paragraph (3) for “£10·50” substitute “£10·80”.

Amendment of regulation 20 of the principal Regulations

10.  In regulation 20 of the principal Regulations (payments to patients in respect of the supply, replacement or repair of optical appliances)—

(a)in paragraph (3)—

(i)before “Any such claim” insert “Subject to paragraph (3A),”,

(ii)after “after the date of” insert “payment for”;

(b)after paragraph (3), insert the following paragraph—

“(3A) Where a patient pays by instalments for the supply, replacement or repair of an optical appliance, any claim he makes under paragraph (2)(a) or (b) must be made within 3 months after the date of payment of the first instalment.”;

(c)in paragraph (5), before “Where the Department” insert “Subject to paragraph (7),”;

(d)in paragraph (6), before “Where the Agency” insert “Subject to paragraph (7),”;

(e)after paragraph (6), add the following paragraph—

“(7) Where the Agency makes a refund under paragraph (5) or (6) to a patient who pays by instalments for the supply, replacement or repair of an optical appliance, that payment shall be made as soon as reasonably practicable after the date on which the total value of the instalments paid becomes equal to or greater than the redemption value of the voucher which could have been completed under regulation 9, 10 or 16 if the patient had satisfied the requirements of regulation 9(1), 10(1) or 16(4) as the case may be.”.

Amendment of the Schedules to the principal Regulations

11.—(1) For Schedule 1 to the principal Regulations (voucher letter codes and face values — supply and replacement), substitute the Schedule 1 set out in Part I of the Schedule.

(2) In Schedule 2 to the principal Regulations (prisms, tints, photochromic lenses, small and special glasses and complex appliances)—

(a)in paragraph 1(1)(a) (prism — single vision lens) for “£5·40” substitute “£6·00”;

(b)in paragraph 1(1)(b) (prism — other lens) for “£6·70” substitute “£6·90”;

(c)in paragraph 1(1)(c) (single vision tinted lens) for “£2·90” substitute “£3·00”, and after “tinted” insert “or photochromic”;

(d)in paragraph 1(1)(d) (other tinted lens), for “£3·40” substitute “£3·50”, and after “tinted” insert “or photochromic”;

(e)in paragraph 1(1)(e) (small glasses), for “£46·10” substitute “£47·30”, for “£40·90” substitute “£42·00”, and for “£22·10” substitute “£22·70”;

(f)in paragraph 1(1)(g) (specially manufactured frames), for “£46·10” substitute “£47·30”;

(g)in paragraph 2(a) (minimum complex appliance payment — single vision lenses), for “£4·60” substitute “£10·00”; and

(h)in paragraph 2(b) (minimum complex appliance payment — other cases), for “£24·80” substitute “£25·40”.

(3) For Schedule 3 to the principal Regulations (voucher values — repair) substitute the Schedule 3 set out in Part II of the Schedule.

Revocation

12.  In paragraph 1 of Schedule 2 to the principal Regulations—

(a)sub-paragraph (1)(f) is hereby revoked; and

(b)in sub-paragraph (2), “, (f)” shall be omitted.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Health and Social Services on

L.S.
Joan Dixon
Assistant Secretary
11th March 1999.

The Department of Finance and Personnel hereby approves the foregoing Regulations.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Finance and Personnel on

L.S.
J. G. Sullivan
Assistant Secretary
11th March 1999.

SCHEDULE

Regulation 11(1)

PART ISchedule 1 to the principal Regulations as Substituted by These Regulations

Regulations 1(2), 9(2)(a), 10(2)(a), and 16(2)(a) and (3)(a)

“SCHEDULE 1Voucher Letter Codes and Face Values — Supply and Replacement

(1)
(2)
(3)

Type of optical appliance
Letter Code
Face value of voucher

1.  Glasses with single vision lenses of a spherical power of not more than 6 dioptres with a cylindrical power of not more than 2 dioptres

A
£28·70

2.  Glasses with single vision lenses—

(a)of a spherical power of more than 6 dioptres but less than 10 dioptres with a cylindrical power of not more than 6 dioptres;

(b)of a spherical power less than 10 dioptres with a cylindrical power of more than 2 dioptres but not more than 6 dioptres.

B
£43·60

3.  Glasses with single vision lenses of a spherical power of 10 or more dioptres but not more than 14 dioptres with a cylindrical power of not more than 6 dioptres.

C
£59·40

4.  Glasses with single vision lenses—

(a)of a spherical power of more than 14 dioptres with any cylindrical power;

(b)of a cylindrical power of more than 6 dioptres with any spherical power.

D
£134·20

5.  Glasses with bifocal lenses of a spherical power of not more than 6 dioptres with a cylindrical power of not more than 2 dioptres;

E
£49·50

6.  Glasses with bifocal lenses—

(a)of a spherical power of more than 6 dioptres but less than 10 dioptres with a cylindrical power of not more than 6 dioptres;

(b)of a spherical power less than 10 dioptres with a cylindrical power of more than 2 dioptres but not more than 6 dioptres.

F
£63·00

7.  Glasses with bifocal lenses of a spherical power of 10 or more dioptres but not more than 14 dioptres with a cylindrical power of not more than 6 dioptres;

G
£75·80

8.  Glasses with prism-controlled bifocal lenses of any power or with bifocal lenses—

(a)of a spherical power of more than 14 dioptres with any cylindrical power;

(b)with a cylindrical power of more than 6 dioptres with any spherical power.

H
£147·50

9.  Glasses not falling within any of paragraphs 1 to 8 for which a prescription is given in consequence of a testing of sight by an HSS trust.

I
£147·50

10.  Contact lenses for which a prescription is given in consequence of a testing of sight by an HSS trust.

J
£42·00”

Regulation 11(3)

PART IISchedule 3 to the principal Regulations as substituted by these Regulations

Regulation 19(2) and (3)

“SCHEDULE 3Voucher Value — Repair

(1)
(2)

Letter Codes — Values

Nature of repair to appliance
A £
B £
C £
D £
E £
F £
G £
H & I £

Repair or replacement of one lens
8·90
16·40
24·30
52·90
19·40
26·00
32·50
58·70

Repair or replacement of 2 lenses
18·00
32·90
48·70
105·90
38·80
52·10
65·10
117.50

Repair or replacement of:

the front of a frame

9·20
9·20
9·20
9·20
9·20
9·20
9·20
9·20

a side of a frame

5·50
5·50
5·50
5·50
5·50
5·50
5·50
5·50

the whole frame

10·80
10·80
10·80
10·80
10·80
10·80
10·80
10·80”

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations.)
These Regulations amend the Optical Charges and Payments Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997 (“the principal Regulations”) which provide for payments to be made, by means of a voucher system, in respect of costs incurred by certain categories of persons in connection with the supply, replacement and repair of optical appliances.
Regulation 2 revises the level of health service sight test fees and substitutes a new definition of “small glasses” in regulation 1(2). It also inserts a new regulation 1(3)(bb) to provide that, for the purposes of Schedule 1 to the principal Regulations, where an optical appliance has a bifocal lens, the reading segment of which is more than 4 dioptres more powerful than the distance segment, the power of the lens is determined by reference to the power of the reading segment.
Regulation 3 provides for an increase in the charges for glasses and contact lenses supplied by an HSS trust.
Regulation 4 amends regulation 8(2) of the principal Regulations to provide that a person’s status as an eligible person is determined by reference to the time when he pays for the supply of an optical appliance.
Regulation 5 inserts new paragraphs (1A) and (1B) in regulation 9 of the principal Regulations. These paragraphs set out the circumstances in which an ophthalmic medical practitioner or optician may issue a voucher to a patient who has had a recent sight test without needing to re-test his sight.
Regulation 6 substitutes a new regulation 11 which increases to 2 years the period during which a patient may apply for a replacement voucher and provides for the Central Services Agency or an HSS trust to authorise the issue of a replacement voucher rather than itself issuing the replacement.
Regulation 7 increases to 2 years the period during which a patient may present a voucher to a supplier of optical appliances.
Regulation 8 amends a reference in regulation 13(2)(b) of the principal Regulations.
Regulation 9 amends regulation 19 of the principal Regulations (redemption value for replacement or repair) by uprating redemption values of vouchers for replacement or repair.
Regulation 10 amends regulation 20 of the principal Regulations. The regulation amends regulation 20(3) to provide that a claim for payment under regulation 20 must be made by a patient within 3 months after the date on which he paid for the supply, replacement or repair of the optical appliance in respect of which he makes the claim. Regulation 10 also inserts new paragraph (3A) which provides that a patient who pays by instalments for the supply, replacement or repair of an appliance and who makes a claim under regulation 20(2) must make that claim within 3 months of the payment of the first instalment. New paragraph (7) is also inserted which provides that the Central Services Agency must make a refund to the patient in respect of his claim no earlier than the date on which the total value of the instalments paid is at least equivalent to the value of the voucher to which he would have been entitled.
Regulation 11(1) and Part I of the Schedule substitute a new Schedule 1 in the principal Regulations. Regulation 11(2) amends Schedule 2 to the principal Regulations and regulation 11(3) and Part II of the Schedule substitute a new Schedule 3 in the principal Regulations.
Regulation 12 revokes the provisions in Schedule 2 to the principal Regulations concerning the issue or completion by HSS trusts of vouchers in respect of photochromic lenses.
British Standard 3521/91, referred to in regulation 2 may be obtained from the British Standards Institution at 389 Chiswill High Road, London W4 4AL.


(1)
S.I. 1972/1265 (N.I. 14) as amended by S.I. 1984/1158 (N.I. 8) Article 3(2) and paragraph 3 of Schedule 1; S.I. 1988/2249 (N.I. 24) paragraphs 4 and 5 of Article 8, and S.I. 1991/194 (N.I. 1) Article 34 and Part II of Schedule 5; there are other amendments which are not relevant

(2)
S.R. 1997 No. 191 as amended by S.R. 1997 No. 458 and S.R. 1998 No. 86
Read Entire Law on www.legislation.gov.uk