New optometry contract to begin in Wales
A final reminder has been issued by Optometry Wales ahead of the new Welsh GOS contract coming into effect on Friday 20 October
19 October 2023
A final reminder of the preparation required by those providing Welsh General Ophthalmic Services (WGOS) before the new contract comes into effect on Friday 20 October has been issued by Optometry Wales.
Optometrists practising in Wales must be Eye Health Examination Wales (EHEW) accredited and must have completed the four mandatory WGOS training sessions, hosted by Health Education Improvement Wales, on the Y Ty Dysgu platform.
If the training is not completed and/or practitioners are not EHEW accredited they will no longer be allowed to perform services under WGOS.
WGOS claims will either be reclaimed or not paid if the practitioner did not meet the above criteria at the time the service was delivered.
For a practice to be able to claim WGOS on Friday 20 October, the practitioner must have met the above criteria prior to this date, Optometry Wales emphasised.
All staff assisting in the delivery of WGOS must also complete their mandatory training via the platform before they come into contact with a patient who is eligible for WGOS, even if this is after 20 October.
Staff who have not completed the training by the date of implementation should not have any contact with patients until they have done so.
Practitioners are also being reminded that patient signatures will be required on all NHS forms from 20 October. Forms without patient signatures will be returned to the practice.
WGOS 1, 2 and 3 will come into effect from Friday 20 October, with WGOS 4 and WGOS 5 forms following in due course.
In the interim, practitioners should continue with the arrangements they currently have with the health board around other extended services.
For further information on a smoking cessation-related question that will be required on WGOS 1 forms from 20 October, practitioners should refer to an Optometry Wales email sent on Wednesday 18 October. Further details will be made available via NHS Wales.
As new clinical fees and voucher values will come into effect from 20 October, all GOS 3 forms issued prior to this date will be claimed with the ‘old’ value. GOS 3 forms issued on and after 20 October will be claimed with the ‘new’ value.
Practitioners are being reminded that all paper NHS forms must be submitted within a three-month deadline.
WGOS clinical manuals can be found online.