Today I want to share with you my experience of The Outside Clinic (a home-visiting optician service) because I think it’s a great option for the chronically ill. I’ve been putting off having my eyes tested for some time now because of my health but about a month ago I decided to just go for it and book an appointment. I had to rearrange it three times before giving up because I was too unwell. By chance my Mum stumbled on a leaflet in her opticians advertising the Outside Clinic which we weren’t aware of before. I bet you’ve not been made aware of it either?! When I was granted ESA (Employment Support Allowance) I received a list of services available to me such as help with prescriptions etc, but this wasn’t listed and I think it should have been. Having the test done at home avoids travelling, wait times, sitting for too long and noisy environments which are all tricky when you suffer from a chronic illness.
The Outside Clinic bring the sight test to your home where you are most comfortable, and if you qualify for the NHS funded eye test then its free. You qualify if you receive Income-related ESA and have mobility issues. If you don’t qualify its only £30 anyway which isn’t that different in price to getting it done on the high street. I was able to get an appointment within a week which was great and they also call you an hour before to check you are well enough and totally understand if not. So no guilt if you cancel
I was able to lie down for most of the test which I was very happy about. The only time I had to sit up was when I had to read off the chart with the ever so attractive glasses pictured above (how cool do I look?!). The optician was very lovely and made sure we did the test at my own pace. I would highly recommend this service to my spoonie pals, now I just need to find a hairdresser who can cut hair lying down – not sure that’s an option somehow *sigh*!?