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Freeze on GOS fees for third year running

The NHS sight test fee will remain unchanged, although there will be a slight (1%) increase in CET fees and grants for pre-registration optometrists

06 Apr 2018 by Selina Powell

A freeze on General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) fees for the third consecutive year has been labelled by the chair of the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) as “a real blow.”

The fee paid to optometrists for a sight test will remain at the 2015–2016 level of £21.31 for 2018–2019. NHS optical voucher values will also remain at the same level over the coming year.

CET fees and grants for pre-registration optometrists see a small increase of 1%.

OFNC chair, Trevor Warburton, described the fee freeze as “completely unacceptable and a real blow.”

“The profession and GOS providers will be bitterly disappointed, especially when seen against more positive settlements being announced elsewhere and the powerful arguments made by OFNC in support of an increase, including the additional cost burdens on providers,” he emphasised.

“The costs of operating community optical practices have increased every bit as much as for other primary care contractors,” Mr Warburton added. 

Image credit: Bank of England

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Comments (3)

  • Avatar image of person name

    Anonymous

    What do the OFNC actually do.They appear to roll over and submit to whatever the GOS say. I appears they are a waste of time. We as a whole should refuse to cooperate with underfunding and refer everyone with any chronic condition to the HES.

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    Anonymous

    Really, is anyone at all surprised by this? Why do we think anything will change with regards to GOS fees? In five years or less this will all be irrelevant anyway-the government of the time will decentralise GOS funding to CCGs, and Speccoes will be awarded the contracts across the country, sounding the death-knell to GOS as we know it. I for one can’t wait for that to happen! The GOS contract is the biggest mill-stone around our necks & yet we’re encouraged to work ever more closely with and for the NHS. Utter nonsense-why would anyone in their right minds want to work more intimately with a leviathan that is on its knees and will cease to exist as we know it within the next decade? GOS fees will continue to be paltry-always have been and always will be, anyone who seriously believes that we will get a decent GOS fee is living in cloud cuckoo land, just that nobody in the optical political landscape will admit it.

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  • Avatar image of person name

    Anonymous

    When do the AOP start suggesting an industry wide refusal to provide GOS services?

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