We know from our regular and longstanding patients how well they know us and how much they love and trust us. However, we also know people are unsure about what to expect when visiting an Optometrist or Dispensing Optician. Here are some typical concerns and how we address them to make all of our patients, new and old, feel at ease.

1

Finding us

We are located at Marbury House, 38 St Owen Street, Hereford. To view an interactive map showing where we are, click here.

2

Parking

The nearest car park is Gaol Street Car Park, accessible from Gaol Street. Hereford car parks are not pay on exit so be sure to allocate enough time. Recent changes to on-street parking has imposed charges, however, the maximum stay is now 2 hours and if there is space you can even park right outside the front door. If you have a blue badge, you do not have to pay.

Parking sign outside the practice
3

What are your opening hours?

We are open 8.45am-5.30pm Mon-Fri and 8.45am-12.30pm Saturday. We can be flexible and fit around your needs.

4

What if I want to see a specific Optometrist?

Our Optometrists are popular and book up some time in advance, we do however, have appointments available sooner but you may have to forego your preferred Optometrist.

Emergency appointments require urgent attention, often same day. We allocate emergency slots on a first come, first served basis but you will not necessarily be able to see your first choice Optometrist if it is a true emergency. Please call the practice for advice

5

How long should I allow?

We have been a private practice for over 50 years and our ethos is, and has always been, to book appointments that are long enough to ensure we spend time listening to our patients so that we don’t have to rush. We can’t promise that you will never have to wait, but we can say that we do all we possibly can to ensure this is very rare. If you feel you may need extra time for any special needs please mention this when booking your appointment.

6

Meeting the Optometrist

Our Optometrists have experience in independent practice and are skilled at putting patients at ease. In addition to their excellent clinical skills, they are trained to listen carefully to find out exactly what patients want or need.

Meet the Team

7

Do I need to stick to your recommended recall intervals?

We pay careful attention to your individual needs and will recommend when we need to see you next. In certain circumstances, such as contact lens wear, your eye health may be at risk if you are not seen at appropriate intervals. Regulations govern when we may supply lenses or a lens prescription and we reserve the right to refuse supply if your examinations are overdue.

8

Equipment

We have state of the art, up-to-date equipment and our Optometrists have a high level of additional training. Your visit and examination may not be like any other optometry practice you have ever experienced. The equipment may be unfamiliar to you and your worst fear may be of the unknown. We take the time to talk about the equipment we use; we are happy to tell patients as much or as little as they wish to know!

9

What will be done?

We will ensure we clearly explain our work. Whether it is a management plan, contact lens fitting or a recommendation for spectacle dispensing, we listen carefully to what you tell us at every step of the journey so that we can answer any questions you may have.

10

Why is a particular examination or treatment needed?

We prescribe what we truly believe to be the best outcome for you in terms of both function and appearance. We take the approach that ‘if you were a close relative of mine what do I honestly believe is the best advice I can give you?’ We always take time to give you a full explanation of why we feel this is the most appropriate way to provide the best possible care.

11

Will I be able to see to drive after the examination?

In our opinion, for many people a complete eye examination cannot be done without dilating the pupils. This will blur your vision and make you more sensitive to glare. There is nothing to stop you driving after the examination but you must ensure that you can pass the numberplate test (at 20 metres) before you drive. This might take minutes or hours and so you need to leave enough time.

12

When do I pay?

Examination fees are payable at the end of the appointment. We offer our Eyelife members up to 35% discount on any of our spectacles or contact lenses. We anticipate your leaving a 50% deposit with any spectacle order and ask you to bear in mind that many orders are electronically processed and cannot be recalled once sent.

13

How do I pay?

We accept direct debit for EyeLife members, cash, cheques and any debit or credit card except American Express. Any other terms are by negotiation.

14

Attending your appointment

When you arrive at BBR Optometry you will be greeted by a member of our front of house team who will clerk you in. If you are a contact lens wearer, please wear your contact lenses to the appointment unless you have been specifically asked not to. We will also need to take a measurement of any glasses that you use if we did not prescribe them.

15

During the examination

The Optometrist will note relevant medical history so you need to bring along the name of your GP and a list of any medicines you take. If you have been seeing an Ophthalmologist, recently or historically, helpful to see your most recent follow-up or discharge letter.

16

Am I covered by the NHS?

Perhaps and partially. This practice prefers to examine the eyes comprehensively including dilation of the pupils (when needed), 3D retinal scanning and wide field retinal examination using sophisticated technology. The NHS Sight Test does not cover this but will, if you are eligible, cover the Sight Test part of our Eye Examination. There is a charge that covers the difference between the full Private Eye Examination and the NHS Sight Test.

Click here to find out more about NHS eligibility

Click here for more information on our extended examination

17

Will I be able to have all tests done at the same time?

Not necessarily. Some conditions (such as glaucoma) cannot be ruled-out in one visit because certain tests need to be repeated. Under certain circumstances (suspect glaucoma, cataract, low vision, GP opinion) the local NHS will pay for such additional examinations.

18

Will you give me a diagnosis?

Many Optometrists believe that they can only recognise any abnormality and refer, without making the diagnosis of an eye condition. This is not correct and frequently unhelpful to you the patient. We commit to making a diagnosis and discussing the implications and actions required. In many situations our IP (Independent Prescriber) trained Optometrists can initiate therapeutic treatment, prescribing eyedrops if necessary.

19

Can I take my prescription?

We will give you your prescription and this is your legal right. However, we strive to offer the best in both eye examinations and professionally qualified spectacle dispensing; we want you to experience the complete package. If you do intend to take your prescription for dispensing elsewhere, we respectfully ask that you discuss your specific spectacle needs with our professionally qualified Dispensing Opticians - we expect that you will be surprised at the level of information and service available.

20

But I can find cheaper glasses elsewhere

We strongly believe that it is poor practice to separate the examination and dispensing of spectacles and suggest that if it is your intention to attend BBR Optometry only for an Eye Examination or Sight Test and obtain your glasses elsewhere you are better advised to arrange to have the Sight Test at the same place that dispenses the spectacles.

21

What if I can’t make my appointment?

We are a very busy practice and as such have a cancellation list. We will almost certainly be able to rebook your appointment given sufficient notice. If you are unable to give us 24 hours notice we reserve the right to charge the economic cost of the missed examination.

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