Free eye tests for people aged over 60 were restored on 1 April, reversing the policy of the past 10 years. The Royal National Institute for the Blind estimates that 500,000 people could have their sight saved as a result. Health secretary Frank Dobson said restoring free eye tests was 'part and parcel of our overall plan to modernise the NHS'. Elderly people were much more vulnerable to eye disease, and free tests would ensure that those most at risk were screened regularly.