Practitioners across England are facing delays to General Ophthalmic Service (GOS) payments.
In an update issued to optical contractors on Friday, the Local Optical Support Unit (LOCSU) and Optical Confederation confirmed that there had been a delay in processing some GOS payments, “due to recent adverse weather.”
The statement listed a series of areas where payments have been processed and the extent of delays has been confirmed. This list can be found on the AOP website, along with contact details for Primary Care Support England (PCSE) regional liaison managers.
“Discussions are taking place with NHS England and PCSE to ensure everything possible is being done to minimise the delays for the remainder of the March payments,” the update noted.
Contractors in affected areas should receive an email from their PCSE regional liaison manager.
LOCSU highlighted that any practitioners who would experience cashflow problems or financial hardship because of the delay should contact their regional liaison manager to request an emergency payment.
LOCSU clinical director, Katrina Venerus, told OT that the absence of a robust business continuity plan to ensure payments would reach contractors on time was “unacceptable.”
“There will be a full analysis of this in due course. However, at this moment in time the focus needs to be on getting payments to contractors,” she emphasised.
Speaking with OT on Friday, a Capita spokesperson confirmed that the delay had been caused by adverse weather which prevented staff from getting to Capita’s Leeds site where the majority of GOS payments are processed.
“We are swiftly processing payments so that they reach bank accounts as close to the expected payment date as possible,” the spokesperson emphasised.
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