A dedicated support professional at the AOP will help all NHS contractors to resolve any issues with Capita, which provides NHS England’s primary care support services.
New appointee, John Hall, will be available from 2 August to assist with ophthalmic payment issues. All contractors, regardless of AOP membership, may access this support.
Optometry practices have been experiencing problems with Capita’s service provision since March.
Commenting on the appointment, chief executive of the AOP, Henrietta Alderman, emphasised that: “For some time the AOP and other optical bodies have been working to resolve the issues with Capita, and we felt that progress was being made.
“Unfortunately, we now have evidence from Capita to show that the latest payment run has caused a spike in the number of issues, and calls into the AOP and Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) support that.
“We take our members’ concerns very seriously, and we believe that the introduction of a dedicated, temporary person to help resolve issues on behalf of contractors is needed,” she added.
“We’d like to acknowledge all the work that LOCSU, in particular, has done to resolve payment issues so far, and the new AOP resource will also work closely with LOCSU. This is an interim solution and we will continue to press Capita and NHS England for a more permanent resolution,” Ms Alderman highlighted.
Contractors are asked to have all relevant information – such as outstanding payment information, practice area and relevant claim centre details, as well as practice contact details – to hand when making an enquiry.
Mr Hall, who will also be able to assist with ophthalmic performers’ list enquiries, GOS form supply and supply portal queries, can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7549 2004.