Department of Health and Social Care confirms 2% increase to GOS sight test fee, grants and patient voucher values
OFNC responds to disappointing funding result
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said it will increase GOS sight test fees in England by 2% from April 2022. This follows at 1.9% increase in April 2021. The GOS CET allowances and pre-registration supervision grants will also rise by 2%.
This year the OFNC again pressed DHSC and NHS England to address the chronic underfunding of the NHS sight test as well as to close the widening gap between GOS fees and inflation. The OFNC had also set out how, at the time of the bid, the Bank of England was already forecasting inflation to peak at 5% in 2022 before correcting to 2% in 2024.
As a result, the OFNC had proposed that the sight test fee should be increased to £23.26 (+7%) whereas DHSC is proposing £22.14.
The OFNC is acutely disappointed with this decision and has left DHSC in no doubt that the announcement of a 2% increase will be a blow to primary eye care providers who have shown active commitment to delivering health care throughout the pandemic to meet public needs and reduce pressures on secondary care.
With inflation rapidly rising month by month, we have made it clear to DHSC that this is in real terms a cut to funding and that the ongoing underfunding of primary eye care in England is likely to result in reduced capacity exactly when patients and the NHS need it most.
The DHSC has also announced that patient voucher values will increase by 2% from April 2022. Voucher values are an important patient benefit for those that need this support, and it is right that they are increasing after six years of being frozen and declining in real terms.
Note for 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.
GOS Fees and Grants 2022-23
Sight test £22.14
Domiciliary additional £39.04 for first and second test; £9.77 for third and subsequent tests
CET grant £596
Pre-registration supervision grant £3,837
Vouchers at a Glance
The optical bodies will be issuing an updated Vouchers at a Glance to reflect the new values as soon as possible.