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All in this together

Optometrists should feel reassured that no professions are getting special treatment for PCSE services

Stack of folders
After long delays to Performers List application processing by Capita this year, concerns have been raised about the ‘grace period’ offered to some professions affected by the administrative backlog but not others.

However, AOP board member, Peter Hampson, is assuring optometrists that the professions are standing united in the efforts to ensure Capita’s service delivery is raised up to standard.

Mr Hampson told OT that, although GPs and dentists are able to access a ‘grace period’ that allows them to practice before their Performer’s List application is formally confirmed, this protocol pre-dates Capita’s involvement in Primary Care Support England (PCSE) service administration.

He added: “Unfortunately, under the current legislation, there is not the same ‘grace period’ arrangement for optometry and this is not something that can be changed swiftly at this time. However, the assertion that GPs and dentists are getting a better deal than optometrists is not correct.”

Mr Hampson emphasised that: “In no uncertain terms, the advice from NHS England to…Capita has been to clear the backlog as a matter of urgency, and no single profession should be given priority over another.” 

“In fact, the one positive from this process has been the collaboration between the primary care professions in holding PCSE to account. We stand united with our colleagues in general practice, dentistry and pharmacy,” he added.

“If we can find a way to extend this collaboration to other aspects of primary care then perhaps we will have achieved something from this very difficult time,” Mr Hampson concluded.

Image credit: Isaac Bowen