Afghan relocation and resettlement schemes

Guidance on eyecare provision for optometry practices

NHS England and NHS Improvement have issued guidance for optometry practices for the Afghan relocation and resettlement schemes.

The guidance aims to ensure that individuals who recently arrived in the UK with urgent eyecare needs are supported whilst awaiting their HC2 certificate.

Latest guidance

Individuals and families arriving in the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme or Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme (ACRS) are entitled to free NHS care.

People supported by UK Visas and Immigration (UKV&I) under section 95 are issued with HC2 certificates, usually within 2 weeks of their arrival.

However, if the patient attends an optometric practice but has not yet received their HC2 certificate, the advice is as follows:

  • Do not refuse the eyecare service, or see them as a private patient
  • Complete the GOS form as standard, recording the bridging hotel as the patient’s address
  • Tick ‘Universal credit’ as the eligibility criteria
  • Tick the ‘Evidence not seen’ option 
  • Keep a note on the patient’s record that the eligibility category had been selected as per guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement on submitting GOS claims for Afghan refugees