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Contact Lens Clinic

Frequently asked questions at Gartnavel General Hospital, Medical Contact Lens Clinic


Q. Who is eligible for contact lenses through the hospital Medical Contact Lens Clinic?
A. Contact lenses are only provided where there is ‘medical need’. Usually this is where vision cannot be improved with spectacles but can be improved with contact lenses. e.g. keratoconnus, corneal distortion, very high prescriptions (over +/- 10D), scarred or white corneas. The clinic does not fit lenses if normal vision can be obtained with spectacles.


Q. How do I get an initial appointment?
A. You must be referred to us by an ophthalmologist, your GP or your optometrist. You will then be given an appointment (usually within 12 weeks).


Q. How do I obtain lenses?
A. After your initial assessment, if contact lenses are indicated ,they will be ordered for you. You will be given a follow up appointment to receive instruction on the care and handling of the lenses (usually within a month-but this is dependant on type and complexity of the lenses ordered).


Q. How much do I pay for contact lenses?
A. A standard charge is made for each lens- this charge is set by the Department of Health and reviewed annually (usually between £50 to £60 per lens). The same charge applies to replacement lenses (lost or broken outwith manufacturer warranty period - usually 3 months).


Q. Who is exempt from payment for medically necessary contact lenses?
A. Some patients are exempt from payment for their initial lens/lenses and for any clinically required replacements

  • children under 16 or under 19 in full time education
  • patients where they or their partner receive - Income Support, Pension-Credit Guarantee Credit, Income based Job Seekers allowance, Income Related Employment Support (previously known as DWA)
  • patients named on an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
  • patients with an HC2 certificate
  • patients requiring a prosthetic lens
  • patients who require a change in fit for clinical reasons within 6 months of supply and payment
  • patients on low income can apply for help by filling in form HC1 available from the department

Please note that even if in an exempt category, patients must pay for replacement of lost or broken lenses.


Q. How do I order replacement lenses?
A. Please phone or write to the contact lens clinic.

Medical Contact Lens Clinic,Upper Ground Floor, Gartnavel General Hospital, 1020 Great Western Road, Glasgow G12 0YN Telephone number: 0141 211 1043

Depending on the complexity of the lens delivery of a replacement can take from 2 to 8 weeks.


Q. Can I have a spare lens?
A. Spare lenses are available at the current charge. Exceptions apply to some very complex scleral and prosthetic lenses.


Q. Are care solutions available on prescription?
A. Solutions are not available on prescription and need to be purchased. They are widely available from opticians, chemists and supermarkets. We do try to provide some free solutions to certain groups of patients- e.g. children and those on income support, but cannot guarantee supply.


Q. What do I do if I have a problem with my lenses?
A. If you cannot wait until your next review appointment please phone our appointments clerk to request an earlier review. Earlier review may not be with your usual contact lens practitioner.


Q. What do I do in an emergency, if an eye suddenly becomes red, painful or vision suddenly becomes worse?
A. Remove the contact lens. If your eye feels better rinse the lens and try to reinsert. If serious symptoms persist, leave your lens out and seek professional advice. Contact the Contact Lens Clinic, your GP or go to the Accident and Emergency Dept if necessary.


Telephone contacts:

Contact Lens Clinic: 0141 211 1043
Outpatient reception: 0141 211 1031
Accident and Emergency: 0141 211 1033

Postal address:

Medical Contact Lens Clinic
Upper Ground Floor
Gartnavel General Hospital
1020 Great Western Road
Glasgow
G12 0YN