Publication Scheme

Welcome to the Publication Scheme for The Outside Clinic as required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000.


This Publication scheme is a complete guide to the information routinely made available to the public by The Outside Clinic. It is a description of the information about our NHS services that we make publicly available. It will be reviewed at regular intervals and we will monitor its effectiveness.

How much does it cost?

The publications are free unless otherwise indicated. Where information is provided at cost, the charges will be calculated as set out in Class 7.

How is the Information made available?

The information within each Class is available in hard copy from:
Head of Communications
The Outside Clinic,
10-14 High Street,
Old Town,
SN1 3EP or it can be printed from this website:

Your Rights to Information

  • The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is designed to promote openness and accountability amongst all organisations that receive public money.
  • From January 1st 2005 it obliges opticians’ and optometrists’ practices to respond to requests about the NHS related information that they hold, and it created a right of access to that information. These rights are subject to some exemptions that have to be taken into consideration before releasing information.
  • In addition to accessing the information identified in the publication scheme, you are entitled to request information about our NHS services under the NHS Openness Code 1995.
  • Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are also entitled to access your clinical records or any other personal information held about you and you can contact us directly to gain access to your records held at The Oustide Clinic.


If you have any comments about the operation of the Publication Scheme, or how we have dealt with your request for information from the scheme, please write to:
Head of Communications,
The Outside Clinic,
10-14 High Street,
Old Town,
SN1 3EP.

Classes of Information

All NHS information at The Outside Clinic is held, retained and destroyed within NHS guidelines.
Our commitment to publish information excludes any information that can be legitimately
withheld under the exemptions set out in the NHS Openness Code or Freedom of Information 
Act 2000. Since 2005, individual Classes have been subject to exemptions, the main reasons being the 
protection of commercial interests and personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998.
This Scheme has been written in accordance with those exemptions. The information on this 
Scheme is grouped into the following categories:

1) Who we are 

The Outside Clinic is the UK’s largest national provider of home visiting eye care.
Head Office: Old Town Court,10-14 High street, Old Town, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 3EP. Tel: 01793-642200.
Details of all the Opticians and Optometrists employed can be obtained by contacting our Head Office directly.
Alternatively, details of all opticians and optometrists registered in the UK are available from the General Optical Council Tel: 0207 580 3898.
Company Registration number: 2788492.

2) Our Services

The Outside Clinic opticians provide free NHS eye tests for those who are eligible. You may 
also be entitled to GOS vouchers that can be used towards the purchase of glasses or contact lenses
if you require them. To find out if you are eligible for assistance please ask for details from our 
Head Office on Freephone 0800 85 44 77, or on our website (
Appointments for eye tests are booked over the telephone.

3) Financial and Funding Information

For every sight test performed on behalf of the NHS The Outside Clinic receives a set fee, which is fixed nationally. The individual fees paid are available from The Outside Clinic on request.
 This includes a contribution towards optometrists’ and staff’ salaries, equipment costs and other store overheads.
If you are not eligible for the NHS eye test, please contact Head Office on 0800 85 44 77 for
details of our current charges.

4) Regular Publications and Information for the Public

A complete set of information about optical and ocular conditions, eye tests, glasses, and 
contact lenses, can be found on or other websites including

Some of this information is also available in patient leaflets. These are freely available from our
Head Office. To request a set of leaflets by post, please write to:
The Outside Clinic,
Old Town Court,
10-14 High Street,
Old Town,
SN1 3EP.


If you have a complaint about any of our products or services, we recommended that you bring it to
the attention of the staff member visiting you at home.
Alternatively, please telephone our Patient Services Department on Freephone 0800 85 44 77. If the matter cannot be resolved over the telephone, it will be passed to a senior manager to deal with.
A full copy of our complaints policy is available on request and can be found in Class 6.

5) Our Policies and Procedures

  • Complaints
  • Data protection
  • Health and safety

These policies and procedures are available on request from Head Office.

6) This Publication Scheme

In this Class we will publish any changes we make to this publication scheme, the criteria on 
which our information management policies are made and a referral point for all enquiries 
concerning general practice with regard to information management. We will also publish any proposed 
changes or additions to publications already available.

7) Cost of Information

For the most part, we will only charge for paper copies or copies on to other forms of recordable media. Charges are as 
follows and will be reviewed regularly.

• Single paper copies – free of charge

• Multiple paper copies, or archived copies will entail a charge for photocopying, retrieval and postage.
We will inform you of the cost of these charges that will have to be paid in advance. E-mail will be free of charge.

Useful Resources

• Information Commissioner
• NHS Freedom of Information
• NHS Openness Code
• Freedom of Information Act 2000


Material available through this publication scheme is copyright unless otherwise indicated. Unless expressly indicated to the contrary, it may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium, provided it is done so accurately in a manner that will not mislead. Where items are re-published or copied to others, you must identify the source and acknowledge copyright status. This permit does not extend to third party material, accessed through the scheme. For HMSO Guidance notes see