Last Updated: March, 2019

In 2013 the British Medical Journal reported that Specsavers (who had won 30 contracts for community audiology services) began an advertising campaign (including door-to-door leaflets, adverts on buses and in papers) persuading patients to ask their GPs to refer them to Specsavers for free tests and hearing aids. These tests and hearing aids are of course paid for by the NHS, above cost, so that Specsavers can make a profit. Specsavers was simply trying to drum up business.  Clinical Commissioning Groups  throughout the country sounded the alarm saying that the unnecessary demand would eat into the NHS budget. Dr Nigel Watson from the BMA's GP committee called it the ugly side of commercialism.