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FAQs

For over 35 years Christopher Young Opticians has taken the time necessary to care for the eye health & vision of each of you, our patients.

Each year that goes by we strive to get better at doing this – for your benefit. We enjoy the time and effort that this requires, to hone our skills and purchase (without NHS support) the sophisticated equipment needed, to deliver thorough eye care to our patients.

Don’t the NHS pay you?

The NHS sight test fee has been frozen for 6 years, and in the years before it increased at a far lower rate than inflation.  During this time, despite rising costs, we maintained a high quality of care for our patients. To protect our clients and reduce the number of clients in the practice at any one time, the sight test time with us has increased to 45 minutes long, despite the NHS only funding 9 minutes of the care you receive.

What’s changed?

As we set out to survive the pandemic it became clear that we could no longer work without a sustainable NHS fee to cover the cost of the thorough eye care we provide.

How did we make our decision?

We had several (socially distanced of course) meetings, to try and find a sustainable way forward.  After a long, thoughtful, and often emotional process, which included heart wrenching decisions, we emerged from lockdown as a practice offering reassuringly thorough eye care to the whole family, for the first time in 35 years, outside of the NHS.

Do Opticians legally have to provide NHS sight testing?

No, we are a self-funding practice that had a contract with the NHS. What you probably didn’t know is that they didn’t always pay us for seeing patients. Particularly if the NHS decided that they didn’t think the patient needed a sight test. We made a loss all too often.

Why have we changed?

We haven’t changed, it’s the NHS funding that has not kept up to date with the eye care we provide.  Our vision is simple; reassuringly thorough eye care for every patient, for life.

What does this look like?

A low cost monthly Direct Debit plan, at just £5.95 per month, which gives you EyeCare Plan membership. Full details are here

Membership benefits include:

How can I join?

Telephone or book to come and see us, and we will set up your EyeCare Plan membership.

What about my family?

Children are welcome too. Just as we care for our own children, we’d like yours to benefit from Advanced Eye Care as well. If one adult member of the family is a member of EyeCare Plan, any children under 19 years of age will receive free eyecare.

If I see you for eye care, can I still get an NHS optical voucher towards the cost of my glasses?

As we don’t provide NHS sight testing, we cannot issue an NHS optical voucher. Other opticians cannot issue an NHS optical voucher to our prescription either – these are NHS regulations not ours.

What if I can’t afford £5.95 per month?

This has not been an easy decision for us.  For many years we have subsidised the true cost of thorough eye care for their NHS patients.  The pandemic was the final straw and left us unable to carry on under a grossly underfunded NHS sight testing system.

How do I find an optician who will give me an NHS sight test?

You can search for an NHS optician on the NHS website, or ask friends & family for recommendations.

I wear contact lenses, what about me?

Our EyeCare Plan Plus is designed with you in mind. It’s just £7.95 per month to provide the benefits of EyeCare Plan, plus contact lens care too. If you like you can also add your contact lenses to your Direct Debit – as many of our patients have done for years. Just ask us for a quote.

What if I need an emergency appointment?

We will continue to offer emergency eyecare appointments however because we no longer have an NHS contract we can no longer provide these free of charge unless you are an EyeCare Plan member. These are NHS rules, not ours.

What if I don’t want to set up a Direct Debit?

If you would prefer to pay for your consultations each time you attend, that’s absolutely fine. Please see our Pricing page for the current prices.

I have a different question, can you help?

If you have any questions we’ve not covered please contact us.

Thank you for your trust and support throughout this difficult period. Making this change now allows us to continue providing you and your family with reassuringly thorough eye care for many years to come.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Christopher Young

Christopher Young

Optometrist

Chris qualified as an optometrist virtually before time began. He has worked in the practice since it opened in 1986 and now specialises in Vision Therapy. In his spare time he is a member of the local Masonic Lodge and enjoys sailing, watching rugby and cricket as well as sampling Single Malts and red wine.

Rebecca Ryder

Rebecca Ryder

Optometrist

After finishing a degree in Biology at Southampton University Rebecca went on to study Optometry at Cardiff University and completed her pre-registration at Williams & Parry Opticians in heart of the Welsh valleys.

Rebecca still keeps a strong affiliation with Cardiff University and has returned as a part-time clinical supervisor and also as an organiser/participant in the ‘Returning Vision Moldova Project’. This non-profit University associated project involves visiting remote and impoverished communities in Moldova and providing eye exams and glasses to those in need.

Always keen to expand her knowledge Rebecca has consistently completed extra accreditation in optometry since graduating; most recently the post-graduate certificate in Independent Prescribing for Optometrists.

After meeting a particularly charming West-Country man 6 years ago Rebecca migrated across the Severn bridge and has resided very happily in the Mendip area ever since. Of course being Welsh she is an avid Rugby fan and during any international match she is easily recognisable at her local pub for sporting the only red shirt in the house!

Juliet Thompson

Juliet Thompson

Manager & Eyewear Advisor

Juliet joined us from Uniq Foods in July 2012 after many years in the food industry as Desserts Production Manager, responsible for all areas of producing luxury desserts for M&S etc.  She enjoys walking, keeping fit and live music.

Tracy Hoskins

Tracy Hoskins

Assistant Manager & Eyewear Advisor

Tracy worked for Tesco on the customer service desk for many years before joining us in 2014. In her spare time she enjoys walking and travel, particularly to the USA.

Sam Gay

Sam Gay

Eyewear Advisor

Sam has extensive experience in the optical industry, having worked for Dolland and Aitchison and then Boots Opticians in Yeovil. She enjoys walking.

Stephanie Cole

Stephanie Cole

Optical Assistant

Stephanie works on the front desk in the practice. She is responsible for meeting and greeting our clients, answering the phone and performing administrative duties. She job shares with Tanis. With many years in the hospitality trade she has always been used to ‘front of house’ duties and when not working she can be found head to toe in running gear either pounding the tarmac or off road trail running

Tanis Oliver

Tanis Oliver

Optical Assistant

Tanis also works on the front desk in the practice. She is responsible for meeting and greeting our clients, answering the phone and performing administrative duties. She job shares with Steph. Tanis moved to Somerset with her family 4 years ago. She has extensive experience in customer service and enjoys running and walking.

Nikisha Oladipupo

Nikisha Oladipupo

Audiologist and Hearing Aid Consultant

Nikisha has been a fully qualified audiologist for more than seven years, having graduated from the University of Bristol in Summer 2012. After gaining her degree, she worked as part of a fantastic NHS team in Bath for two years, which greatly developed her clinical expertise.

Following her time in the NHS, Nikisha wanted to broaden her knowledge further, and so five years ago moved into the private sector, where she has been able to continue to build her extensive skillset.

“I decided to venture out and join the team at The Hearing Care Partnership because they are renowned for delivering great customer service and great technology to their clients, which is something I wanted to be part of. In addition, working alongside optical practice teams was an intriguing proposition, and a whole new experience for me.

“When I’m not at work, I love to spend time with my daughter. I also really enjoy a good mystery or crime book – Harlan Coben is one of my favourite authors!”