AOP launches GOS compliance toolkit for Scotland

The AOP’s Kevin Wallace and Dr Peter Hampson have led on the development of the essential online compliance tool that can be used by optometrists in Scotland

The AOP has released an online Scottish general ophthalmic services (GOS) compliance toolkit that aims to support practitioners in Scotland in planning for an NHS inspection, producing the policies that are required, and remaining GOS compliant.

OT spoke to AOP clinical adviser and independent practice owner, Kevin Wallace, about the new digital tool that can be found on the AOP website.

What is the Scottish GOS compliance toolkit?

The tool is something that I have been thinking about for a while – it is one of the few areas where I have looked at England jealously as it has a really good resource of information about the guidance and policies that you need to have in your practice. So, we have now put together a tool that Scottish practitioners can use to give them the information they need, particularly for NHS inspections, but also for other policies that they will be required to have in practice.

What has developing the online tool involved?

Much of the time that has been involved in the development of the tool has been collating the information that practitioners in Scotland require for compliance. We always like to point to the official guidance and resources, rather than our opinion, and have collated that information into a single source where practitioners can go and find all of the information that they need to produce what they require in practice.

What are your tips for using the compliance tool?

It is something I would encourage practitioners to use and build on as they go. It is not something to leave until a week before an NHS inspection. Put the information in, read the guidance, and it will produce the information required, as well as a whole range of information that I think practitioners will find helpful in practice too. This includes documents such as a complaints procedure that complies with the current legislation, as well as other bits and pieces that Scottish practitioners should have in practice.

The information is saved in a secure database so practitioners don’t have to complete everything all at once, they can save as they go along. It aims to make the administration process simple.

What impact will using the tool have on practitioners’ time?

It will take a lot less time than it takes at the moment, when we have to do all of this manually. However, practitioners will still need to spend some time using the system and inputting the information to ensure that the policies reflect their individual practice. While we have automated it as much as possible, and practitioners will find tips and examples of what to put in most spaces, it does need to be personalised to each practice.

Can you share a highlight about the tool?

The policy builder that we have developed will be a highlight for practitioners. It has taken the most effort to build, but it is also the part where the practitioner gives the information and it produces the document at the end.

What would you say to encourage Scottish practitioners to use the tool?

I think it will definitely be a time saver in that it gives the practitioner documents that comply with the current legislation with the information to be able to verify what is required. It can be saved and is easily updated and re-dated in the future if practitioners need to produce a new one. I would encourage all practices in Scotland to use it for their NHS inspection.

Where can Scottish practitioners find it?

A link to the digital resource is available on the AOP website.