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LOCAL INFORMATION

10.7.6
Opticians-Complaints and help with cost of Spectacles

Extent: Jersey
Updated: 19 September 2016
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Sales of spectacles in Jersey

Ready-readers are available in a number of shops, however, to ensure defective vision is not due to more serious problems it is wise to have an eye test.

Assistance with cost of spectacles

Clients having difficulty paying for spectacles may be entitled to an Income Support Special Payment see 9.3.0 .

People over the age of sixty-five years of age who fit the criteria of the Jersey Dental and Optical Plan may qualify for assistance towards the cost of an eye test every two years plus help toeards the cost of new prescription lenses. See 9.4.8 Jersey Dental and Optical Scheme for the over 65's

Complaints

Opticians fall into two categories, optometrists (ophthalmic opticians) and dispensing opticians. Optometrists perform eye examinations, fit contact lenses and fit and supply optical appliances. Dispensing opticians fit and supply optical appliances. Local professionals are required to register with the Royal Court in order to practise in Jersey. They must in turn be registered with the UK regulator (the General Optical Council) in order to obtain registration in Jersey. 

The UK regulator has among its functions the investigation of professional complaints against optometrists and dispensing opticians. There is also a consumer complaints service administered by a private solicitor’s firm on behalf of the General Optical Council intended to mediate in the case of unresolved product and service complaints not of a professional nature. Neither of these bodies have jurisdiction outside the UK and will not involve themselves in complaints arising in Jersey. 

If an individual has cause to make a complaint regarding any product sold in an opticians practice, the Jersey Local Optical Committee advises that in the first instance, the person returns to the premises where they bought the goods to seek resolution. If the complaint remains unresolved the person can register a complaint with the trading standards service. The Jersey Local Optical Committee is not designed to handle complaints from the public but will act as mediator if the situation requires and can offer impartial advice. 

The current chairman of the JLOC is Mr Robert Billington and can be contacted by letter at:

Howards Opticians

14 Queen Street

St Helier

JE2 4WD

If the complaint is a matter of professional misconduct, then the person may contact the Health and Community Services Minister, Senator Andrew Kenneth Francis Green M.B.E.

Prescriptions

If an individual requires a copy of their spectacle prescription following their sight test, they should request one from the opticians practise.