The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Spectacle dispensing services


We offer a spectacle dispensing service by appointment to all the Trust's Optometry and Ophthalmology patients. This service is provided by a team of qualified senior dispensing opticians and optometrists who have particular skills and experience in dealing with hospital eye service patients.

The patients who would benefit from using this service include those with higher prescriptions or complex dispensing problems. Complex dispensing situations include:

  • Paediatric aphakia
  • anisometropia
  • patients with unusual facial characteristics
  • patients with dementia or mental health problems
  • patients requiring ptosis specs

We also carry out specialised work such as the supply of spectacle mounted low vision aids for patients and safety spectacles and prescription PPE for Trust staff.

It is worth noting that our pricing policy has been structured to avoid penalising patients for having high or complex prescriptions. Any profit that is made goes directly to the Trust to be ploughed back into patient care. It is also worth noting that there is a direct saving to the Trust where a patient issued with a Hospital voucher chooses to have their spectacle prescription made up by the dispensing service.

Whilst you can have your Hospital spectacle prescription made up by our dispensing team, you are also free to take your prescription and purchase your spectacles at a community optician's practice.


How do I make an appointment with this service?

To be seen in the clinic you must have an up to date spectacle prescription issued by the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and be referred by an optometrist, orthoptist or ophthalmologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

We also accept tertiary referrals from other hospitals for complex dispensing. 



Normally dispensing clinics run throughout the week in the dispensing opticians within the main eye clinic, ground floor, Chancellor Wing at St. James's University Hospital.

Our opening hours are:

Monday:       9.00 -12.30      13.30 - 16.30

Tuesday:       9.00 - 12.30      13.30 - 16.30

Wednesday: 9.00 - 12.30       13.30 - 16.30

Thursday:     9.00 -12.30        13.30 - 16.30

Friday:          9.00 -12.30       13.30-16.30

Our Dispensing service can be contacted on 0113 2064742, please ring before arrival to check availability.


Waiting times

You should normally be seen within half an hour of your appointment and most appointments take less than an hour.


Help with the cost of glasses

You may get help with the cost of glasses or contact lenses from the hospital if you:

  • are aged under 16, or aged under 19 and in full-time education or
  • are eligible for an complex lens voucher (your optometrist will advise you on your entitlement)

You may also get a Hospital Eye service (HES) optical voucher if:

  • You receive Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not contribution-based)
  • You receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.
  • You receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance.
  • You are awarded Universal credit
  • You are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate.
  • You are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2). People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.

You will always be asked to show proof of your entitlement to optical vouchers to the optometrist or a member of the optometry team.

There are currently ten voucher values. The values are dependent on the strength of your prescription. The stronger your prescription the higher your voucher value. There is more information on the  NHS optical voucher values web page

If you receive a HES optical voucher, you are free to take it to any supplier of your choice, providing they accept HES optical vouchers. If your glasses or contact lenses cost more than your voucher value, you will have to pay the difference.