OFNC update: COVID-19 funding for optical practices in England
Update from the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC)
The OFNC is still working with NHS England on potential further COVID-19 funding for optical practices, following the end of the first phase of funding on 30 June. It has now been agreed that while these negotiations continue, the previous level of COVID-19 funding for GOS contractors in England will continue for a further month until 31 July. This will mean average GOS payments for this period being made in August in the usual way.
In the meantime we are pressing NHS England to take steps to ensure that practices in relatively deprived areas that largely provide NHS care, and domiciliary providers that continue to face difficulty in reaching vulnerable patients, can survive and continue to provide NHS eye care in the recovery phase of the pandemic.
We are also exploring the cost implications for all practices of ongoing infection control measures including PPE, and the need to be ready for potential second phase or local lockdowns.
We hope that we will be in a position to make a statement about these issues soon. We will share more information on the outcome of our ongoing discussions with NHS England as soon as we can.
For media enquiries, please contact Philomena Obasi-Adams, Marketing and PR Officer at the Association of Optometrists, [email protected], or telephone 020 7549 2063.
Notes to editors
The Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) is the national negotiating body for eye care in England with the Westminster Parliament, the Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England-NHS Improvement. It comprises the leaders of the UK representative bodies: ABDO, AOP, FODO and BMA (for OMPs) and works in partnerships with the College of Optometrists and the General Optical Council.