Free Eye Tests

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
My mother is over 60 and has glaucoma and should therefore qualify for free eye tests on both counts. The hospital she attends has advised her to have an eye test and see if glasses will extend the length of time before she needs cataract surgery, she's functionally blind in her other eye so it makes sense not to risk her "good" eye. She rang the optician to make an appointment and was told that because she had an eye test in January she will be charged for this one. This doesn't sound right to me, firstly the financial year runs from 1 April to the end of March the following year so her last eye test was in the last financial year plus I can find nothing on the DH website that indicates that free eye tests are restricted to one per year. Has anyone had experience of a similar situation and was the person charged for the second eye test?
My son is diabetic so has free eye tests. He had one two months ago, and they have asked him to go back. They are not charging, as it is deemed necessary.

Good luck with your Mum.
Parsifal, I see no reason why they should charge. The eye test is free for over 60s and in any case this one is on the advice of the hospital for medical reasons associated with glaucoma. All of the advice to patients says "you are entitled" - not "you are entitled once a year." If the advice to opticians is different, ask for a copy of their guidelines from the NHS. If they cannot show you, then it's safe to argue that the rule doesn't exist.

Or you could try a different optician?
Thank you for your replies, the only possible reason I can think of for an optician charging for a second eye test if a patient has more than one eye test per year is that it might be a be a consequence of their contract with the local PCT, I couldn't find anything on the PCT website and as free eye tests are based on national DH guidance/regs I shouldn't have thought that PCTs would have the flexibility to fund differing services. I passed the info and your suggestion, Charles, that my mother should ask for a copy of the guidelines on charging if she can't persuade the optician that she is entitled to free eye test and she's going to do that.
Just thought i would add something, but you probably already know this. Once you reach the age of 40, you yourself are entitled to free eye tests as well.
If anyone has a close relative with Gluacoma, I.E. mum, dad, brother, sister you get free eye test once you reachy 40. I have mine done every year, and have been back more than once in a year and not charged. The reason for this i was told is because i felt my eyesight had deteroriated, so as there seemed to be a change in my eye condition, i qualified for another free eye test. ( but check with your optician first.)
Thank you willowthewisp, I have been getting free eye tests due to my mother's glaucoma which at the current nearly £20 is quite a saving.