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New small glasses supplement guidance published

The AOP has welcomed the change from NHS England

12 Jun 2019 by Andrew McClean

NHS England has published additional guidance on the small glasses supplement, which widens the availability of the supplements payable on a GOS3 spectacle voucher.

It is now possible for supplements to be claimed in cases where the spectacles are specifically designed to meet the needs of patients with special facial characteristics or who need small frames.

The updated requirements detail that specialist frames must be provided for clinical need rather than choice, and the small glasses supplement should be consulted for qualifying criteria.

Optometrist and AOP clinical director, Dr Peter Hampson, said: “We are pleased to see this change has been finally implemented by NHS England. This is something that our members raised a considerable time ago, as they felt that the rules were not in keeping with modern prescribing and dispensing. The update to the guidance has taken far longer than we or NHS England would have liked, but this change should help practitioners to offer a better service to patients.”

Image credit: Pixabay


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    Peter Hampson, AOP Clinical Director

    Without the full details of this case it is difficult to speculate. However, it is our opinion that when undertaking PPV, NHS England can only apply the rules that were in place at the time of the claim and unfortunately the new guidance did not come into force until 10 June 2019. If you would like to talk this through in more detail please do make a formal enquiry via the AOP queries line.


    Peter Hampson, AOP Clinical Director

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    In a recent nhs virtual inspection they clawed back small fram supplements which we had claimed for "tomato" brand spex that were the correct size for the voucher and had specially shortened sides for an infant, saying that they were not specifically made for the patient. What is the AOP interpretation of this action?

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