Bubble Eyecare, run by fully trained optometrist Ishfaq Patel, is a sight for sore eyes as he brings all his expertise into people’s homes. His mobile clinic visits NHS patients who qualify for free eye tests – for example, those over the age of 60, who have diabetes or are on benefits, and who cannot leave their home unaccompanied due to physical or mental disability.
He offers the full NHS eye testing provision that a High Street shop clinic has, using the latest portable equipment, all done from the comfort of the patient’s armchair or bed.
From there he produces prescriptions, and can make and hand deliver new glasses within two weeks.
Millions of people throughout the UK are eligible for the free at-home eye test service, but most don’t know it exists; Now ishfaq is hoping to bring friendly, professional and, most of all convenient, eye health care to those most in need.
He will look out for eye health conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts, and tests can also detect underlying health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Like a traditional High Street clinic he can refer patients on to hospital services or private providers if needed.
He carries over 120 frames, making sure you will find a pair you love.
Ishfaq, who has worked in the industry for over 10 years, said: “I started my service in the middle of the pandemic as it became apparent how elderly neighbours struggled to leave their homes for day-to-day services.
“Appointments are regularly booked by family members who tell me how difficult it is – perhaps their loved one uses a wheelchair or walking frame, or has dementia and gets distressed or confused when out of their own home. The NHS home eye test service makes such a difference to them.”
As well as being a friendly, professional optometrist, Ishfaq is totally flexible with his patients and to their own unique needs, including how long it takes for the appointment.
“For some people it is all done in 30 minutes, for others it takes over an hour. Whatever works best for the patient, to keep them safe and calm in their own home works for me. I can even do the eye test while they’re having a brew!
“Home eye tests are all about removing the stress and worry from a vital medical appointment.”
There’s an added advantage of having your eyes testing in your own home – the test can take place in your favourite armchair or even from your bed, meaning distance and reading glasses are measured to the millimetre from the chair to the TV, book or knitting.
The home eye test service operates all year round, not just during lockdown conditions, but safety precautions such as regular cleaning, full PPE etc keep it fully compliant with current regulations.
Ishfaq has previously volunteered abroad with the charity Vision Aid, helping in a teaching hospital and volunteering in rural schools in Zambia.
Find out more about the free at-home NHS eye test service at https://bubbleeyecare.co.uk