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Guidance on eye examination intervals

Published on 01 July 2021

The below guidance on eye examination minimum intervals will provide you with timeframes for patients of different age-groups, and patients with specific medical conditions.

Additionally, guidance is provided on when to use early re-examination codes.

One year

  • patients aged under 16
  • patients aged 60 years or over
  • patients with diabetes.

Two years

  • patients aged between 16 years and 59 years
  • patients with glaucoma
  • patients aged 40 years or over with a close family history of glaucoma (ie father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughter)
  • patients with ocular hypertension.

What codes to use for early re-examination

Use the following codes, where appropriate, when a patient is seen within the minimum period for an eye examination.

Code 7

This code is only to be used in the following scenarios:

  • the patient is new to the practice and the optometrist or ophthalmic medical practitioner doesn't have access to the patient's clinical records
  • the patient is not new to the practice, but the optometrist or ophthalmic medical practitioner doesn't have access to the patient record. However, a primary eye examination will have been carried out at another practice within the relevant primary eye examination frequency.

Code 8

This code is to be used when the patient has turned 16 years of age, resulting in a change in frequency between primary eye examinations from annually to biennially.

This does not apply to patients who are sight impaired or severely sight impaired, or those with diabetes.

See when to use early re-examination code 8.