GOS fee to rise 6% in Scotland

The new fee will apply to GOS eye exams in Scotland from 1 April 2023

The photograph is taken from over a female patient’s shoulder. Her chin rests on the bar of a slit lamp, and the optometrist is looking through the eye piece
Getty/AMR Image

The Scottish Government has agreed to a 6% increase in the general ophthalmic services (GOS) fee for optometrists in Scotland carrying out NHS eye tests.

Fees for all GOS eye examinations undertaken in Scotland on or after 1 April 2023, including domiciliary visits, will see the increase.

The update to fees is in line with recommendations made by the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body.

Through this, General Dental Services and General Medical Services fees will also rise by 6%.

Optometry Scotland has welcomed the announcement, which marks a further increase from a 4.5% rise in 2022.

The optical body has been in “extensive consultation” with the Scottish Government to negotiate on behalf of its membership, which is currently made up of 80 businesses representing 330 practices.

Julie Mosgrove, chair of Optometry Scotland, said: “We welcome these increases and thank the Scottish Government for such commitment to recognising our sector’s ongoing efforts in delivering the best possible standard of community eye care for the people of Scotland following a particularly challenging few years.

“Increasing the GOS fee ultimately improves the accessibility of free eye examinations across the country,” she continued, adding: “These examinations also contribute to early detection of health issues, which can provide a real advantage to securing effective and appropriate treatment within the community.”

The AOP has also welcomed the “continued commitment to primary eye care services here in Scotland,” with Kevin Wallace, AOP Councillor for Scotland, commenting: “This model of care, which provides comprehensive eye examinations and assessments for a variety of eye conditions that is free for patients, supports health parity across Scotland.

“This increase in funding will only further support improved access for the most vulnerable groups in our communities,” he added.

Wallace highlighted: “This uplift could not have happened without the dedication of our colleagues at Optometry Scotland and the support of the Scottish Government which clearly sees the value of optometry in early detection and prevention in protecting the nation’s health.”

Read more about Julie Mosgrove’s role at Optometry Scotland, and the previous increases to the GOS fee, in 2022, in OT’s interview.