Optics in numbers

Optics in numbers

The governments in all four devolved nations provide statistics about eye care services for NHS patients and the optical workforce. The College of Optometrists also carries out research into the optical workforce. In addition FODO produces Optics at a Glance for the Optical Confederation.

NHS Digital provides an annual analysis from the General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) data collection, with details on the number of NHS sight tests carried out each year, the number of vouchers used and the age bands and locations of patients provided with GOS services in England.

GOS Activity Statistics for England, 31 March 2018

GOS Activity Statistics for England, 31 March 2017

GOS Activity Statistics for England, 31 March 2016

GOS Activity Statistics for England, 31 March 2015

Sensory health: eye care and hearing statistics are published annually by the Welsh government. The most recent, as well as an archive of previous years, can be found here.

ISD Scotland collects a wider range of data on eye care in Scotland, including information on NHS General Ophthalmic Service activity in Scotland and workforce data. This information is available on the ISD website

Information on optical services, including a report on the Northern Ireland 2017 Sight Test and Public Health Survey is available here.

The Business Services Organisation in Northern Ireland publishes General Ophthalmic Statistics for Northern Ireland here.

NHS Digital also provides details of the workforce professionals who provide NHS GOS Services in England and Wales.  Information includes overall numbers, gender and practitioner type.

The College of Optometrists carried out its Optical Workforce Survey in 2015. You can find a summary of their recommendations and download the report from their website here.

Optics at a Glance is produced periodically and provides information about optometrists, opticians, the market they work in and the services they provide to patients.  Information is drawn from a survey of members and from government statistics.

Optics at a Glance 2014

Optics at a Glance 2013