OFNC Update: COVID-19 funding for optical practices in England
Update from the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee
The OFNC is only too aware of the front-line pressures on the sector and we continue to express this urgency in negotiations with NHS England about COVID-19 funding for optical practices, following the end of the first phase funding on 30 June.
On 20 July we announced that while these negotiations continue, it had been agreed that the previous level of COVID-19 funding for GOS contractors in England would be extended until 31 July. This means average GOS payments for this period will be made in August in the usual way.
We are pleased to report that COVID-19 funding is now likely to be extended until 31 August for fixed practices that reach a minimum level of historic GOS1 activity. There is likely to be a requirement of minimum activity of 40% or more, but this is yet to be confirmed. Support will also be extended into August for domiciliary providers, whatever their level of activity.
We are still in negotiations about further support beyond August for practices in deprived areas which largely provide NHS care and are struggling to recover, and for domiciliary providers who continue to face difficulties in reaching patients. We are also continuing to discuss the cost implications for all practices of PPE.
We hope to be able to make a further statement about these issues in the next few days.
For media enquiries, please contact Vicky Vine, Communications Director at the Association of Optometrists, [email protected], or telephone 020 7549 2046.
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.