NHS England publishes guidance on providing eye care to Afghan refugees

NHS England has clarified the process for providing GOS sight tests to refugees if they have not yet received health cost paperwork

Pixabay/Sam Williams
NHS England has confirmed the process for providing GOS sight tests to individuals and families arriving in the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme.

Refugees resettling in the UK are entitled to free NHS care and are usually issued with HC2 certificates (confirming eligibility for full help with health costs) within two weeks of arrival.

However, NHS England has highlighted that if a patient attends an optometry practice without their HC2 certificate, they are still eligible for a GOS sight test.

The advice to optometrists is to complete a GOS form as standard, using the bridging hotel as the patient’s address.

‘Universal credit’ should be selected as the eligibility criteria, with the ‘evidence not seen’ box ticked.

NHS England advises that optometrists should make a note on the patient’s record that the eligibility criteria has been recorded in accordance with NHS England & NHS Improvement guidance on submitting GOS claims for Afghan refugees.