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Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee

The recognised negotiating body for General Ophthalmic Service (GOS) fees and grants for community optometry

The Association of Optometrists is a member of the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC). Other members include the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Federation of Opticians.

Membership of the OFNC

  • Stuart Burdett (Optometrist, FODO) - Chair
  • Henrietta Alderman (CEO, AOP)
  • Peter Hampson (Optometrist, AOP)
  • Gordon Ilett (Optometrist, AOP) 
  • Tushar Majithia (Optometrist, AOP)
  • Harjit Sandhu (CEO, FODO)
  • David Hewlett (FODO)
  • Sir Anthony Garrett (CEO, ABDO)
  • Simon Longstaff (OMP , BMA)
  • Alan Tinger (FODO)
  • Professor Nagasubramanian (OMP, BMA)
  • Tom Andrews (BMA).

Secretary: Tony Stafford (AOP)
Observers: Mike Fegan (Chair, LOCSU), Richard Whittington (COO, LOCSU)

The OFNC can be contacted via tonystafford@aop.org.uk

Latest bid to NHS England for fees and grants for 2019-20

Summary

The OFNC is bidding for: 

  • An increase in the GOS fee for mandatory services of 3% 
  • An increase in the GOS fee for additional services of 4% 
  • An increase in CET grants of 3% 
  • An increase in pre-registrant supervisor grants of 5%

In addition, we would like to see: 

  • An increase of 5% to voucher values 
  • A clear ongoing commitment to deliver a digital connectivity solution at pace
  • NHS England publicly state that its long term aspiration is to expand NHS primary eye care services, on similar lines to the service now provided to patients in Wales, with clear encouragement for local commissioning of primary eye care services, beyond the national sight testing service, as part of the national plan to meet growing eye health need

These changes are vital if community eye care providers are to fulfil their strategic potential as key deliverers of primary and secondary eye care services.

Our bid takes into account: 

  • The continued efficiencies demonstrated by optical practices performing GOS during three years of frozen fees 
  • The rising cost of delivering the GOS sight test, partly due to general inflationary pressure, but also because changing demographics mean a significant proportion of GOS patients increasingly need longer sight test appointments 
  • A strategic view of the future of NHS care, and specifically of the role in primary care that the optical sector in England can play, including: 
    • The impact that financial stress will have on the national primary infrastructure as and when practices close – particularly in areas of high deprivation 
    • The significant savings that a fully utilised primary eye care sector will generate for NHS secondary care, relieving pressure on overstretched hospital eye services and A&E departments, as well as relieving pressure on general practitioners

View the full OFNC bid for 2019-20 fees 

Other related correspondence

Previous year's bids

Papers relating to previous years’ bids can be downloaded here: