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Coronavirus (COVID-19) update for ophthalmic practices

Published on 07 July 2021

Find out about the latest COVID-19 update for the General Ophthalmic Services (GOS).

For any financial support payment related queries only, contact our team: nss.psdgospayments-covid19@nhs.scot

Letter from Scottish Government Optometric Adviser - 3 March 2021

Janet Pooley, Optometric Adviser, Scottish Government along with other ophthalmic and optical leaders have issued a letter to the optometry profession.

A post from Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services - 5 January 2021

Following the First Minister’s statement in the Scottish Parliament on Monday 4 January 2021, the Scottish Government will shortly be issuing a PCA providing further information for the optometry sector.

In the meantime, all optometry practices are reminded that they must remain open and continue to follow all relevant Infection Prevention and Control measures and guidance.

They must also continue to prioritise emergency and essential care to those patients who are at greatest risk of detriment to sight or wellbeing.

Providing community eye care during the COVID-19 pandemic - 1 October 2020

Dr Janet Pooley, the Scottish Government's Optometric Advisor, has issued a letter regarding providing community eyecare during the Covid-19 pandemic. Please share this information with all GOS practitioners and practice staff.

Resumption of face-to-face emergency and essential eye care from community optometry practices - 3 July 2020

On 18 June 2020, Scotland moved to Phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Route map. From week commencing 29 June 2020, community optometry practices may resume providing face-to-face emergency and essential eye care, subject to certain conditions being met as set out in PCA(O)2020(10).

The Emergency Eyecare Treatment Centres which provided face-to-face care during Lockdown and Phase 1 have now closed.

Routine eye care remains suspended, as does face-to-face domiciliary eye care (people in their own home, care home or residential centre).

If you are a patient and are experiencing an emergency eye or vision problem, or have problems with your glasses or contact lenses you must phone a local community optometry practice (opticians) and discuss your situation with them.

A list of community optometry practices and contact details can be found on the NHS Inform website.

GOS(S)1 ‘cheque book’ forms - 29 September 2020

Following further clarification from NHS Counter Fraud Services, with immediate effect GOS(S)1 ‘cheque book’ slips do not need to be completed whilst the current suspension of patient and patient representative signatures remains in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This applies to both face to face and remote consultations.

Any GOS(S)1 ‘cheque book’ slips that practices have retained for eye examinations undertaken after 20 March 2020 (when the suspension of signatures was first announced in PCA(O)2020(4) can therefore be discarded.

In line with the College of Optometrists guidance regarding patient records, practitioners must ensure that the patient’s record is marked with the date that the eye examination was undertaken.

It is also recommended that the nature of the consultation is recorded i.e. face to face or remote.

Retention of GOS(S)3 and GOS(S)4 optical voucher forms

Practitioners are advised that the relevant paper form does not need to be retained in respect of a GOS(S)3 or GOS(S)4 optical voucher payment claim via eOphthalmic.

This is whilst the current suspension of patient and patient representative signatures remain in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remobilisation of NHS Ophthalmic Services in Scotland - 15 June 2020

Janet Pooley, Optometric Adviser, Scottish Government, has issued a letter to the optometry profession explaining the plans to remobilise our NHS ophthalmic services in Scotland.

Please share this information with your practice.

COVID 19 Update Letter - 22 May 2020

Janet Pooley, Optometric Adviser, Scottish Government, has issued a letter to the optometry profession.

Please share this information with your practice.