OFNC update: NHS funding for optical practices across England and in local lockdowns

In our recent discussions with NHS England on COVID-19 funding for optical practices in England, the OFNC has stressed the need for ongoing support in the event of local or regional lockdowns being introduced. This morning the OFNC met NHS England again and discussed the position in Leicester. We understand that NHS England is planning to shortly confirm the next steps for all primary care providers in Leicester, including optical practices.

Meanwhile our discussions with NHS England on future COVID-19 funding for all GOS contractors in England have continued. The current arrangements end with effect from today, and contractors are understandably frustrated that NHS England has not clarified funding arrangements for the increased cost associated with NHS care from July onwards. The OFNC continues to press NHS England for a decision on this so that practices and practitioners can focus on meeting the eye health needs of local people safely throughout the pandemic. We have also clearly set out the additional challenges faced by domiciliary providers. We will provide more information on all these issues, and on the outstanding issue of agreed deductions as set out in NHS England’s 1 April letter to contractors, as soon as we can.

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For media enquiries, please contact Mary Jones, interim PR and Media Manager, at the Association of Optometrists, [email protected] or telephone 020 7549 2040.

Notes to editors

OFNC

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.