Eyehealth services

PCC is able to help and support commissioners navigate their way through commissioning and contracting matters. Support can be provided via our national events programme, locally delivered training sessions delivered virtually via MS teams or face to face, webinars, open surgeries and through our specialist helpdesk advice service.

Local workshops and one to one support

The eye health services team can deliver a number of workshops for your organisation. If you have specific training needs you would like to discuss please contact either your local adviser or drop us a line at enquiries@pcc-cic.org.uk

One to one support or mentoring for new team members can also be provided upon request.

PCC eye health training and development

PCC’s eye health team are launching their next round of training courses for commissioners. With the current environment we have looked at our training courses and have converted these to virtual delivery. Face to face training days will recommence when it is safe to do so but in the meantime we will be providing our support to commissioners virtually.

These training courses are available through our national events or we could provide training as a workshop to your team. If interested in a local workshop please contact your adviser or contact us via enquiries@pcc-cic.org.uk

  • Eye health commissioning – an introduction to the GOS contract – a course useful to those new in the role or those looking for a refresh
  • Eye health commissioning – an introduction to contract management – a course useful to those new in the role or those looking for a refresh
  • Eye health commissioning – a deep dive into contract applications and changes – a course for both new and established contract managers
  • Eye health commissioning – a deep dive into when things go wrong – a course for both new and established contract managers

More details on each of these courses can be found here or via our events page.


Our standard training sessions can be delivered as they are or tailored to reflect individual teams learning needs. They are an opportunity to reflect on current decisions, ask questions in a safe environment.

Our sessions focus on:

  • the regulatory and contractual framework relating to GOS contracts
  • remuneration of and contract management of the current GOS contract for primary care services in line with NHS England’s Policy book for Eye Health Services
  • local or common scenarios that contract managers are likely to face.
  • complex and layered scenarios, understanding the contractual issues, the options available and formulating contractual notices and practicing difficult conversations
  • using regulations, contract and policy book for primary GOS services to understand contractual actions whilst looking at the impact on the wider issues of the provision of GOS services.

And can be delivered either virtually via MS teams or face to face.

Focussed support

PCC also deliver focussed support on a one on one basis or to small groups of individuals.  These support sessions are developed and delivered around individual needs and delivered at the right pace.

This support is particularly beneficial where an individual(s) have picked up GOS contracting or need a refresh, where individuals wish to focus on specific areas/topics, where they can work through these in a safe environment.

Essential resources for eye health commissioners and providers

As part of our support to commissioners and providers we are placing links to some essential resources below which PCC can help you navigate.

NHS England policy book

To support local offices in the commissioning of local general ophthalmic services (GOS) contracts, NHS England and NHS Improvement has published an Eye health policy book and Eye health policy book – appendices. The policies are underpinned by five key principles:

  1. To support the continuous improvement of primary care
  2. To maintain the right balance between operating in a consistent fashion, maintaining appropriate local flexibility
  3. Clear alignment with NHS England commissioning policy and NHS England business plan.
  4. Compliance with legislation
  5. To support a reasonable, proportionate and consistent approach across the four primary care contractor groups.

The policies can be accessed at https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/policy-book-for-eye-health/

Eye health contract documentation

Model template documentation including the latest national variation documents is provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the latest versions of the documents can be found here:

Eye health data

NHS Digital centre provides statistics on ophthalmic activity and workforce data. General ophthalmic data can be accessed at:
https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/general-ophthalmic-services-activity-statistics and https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/general-ophthalmic-services-workforce-statistics

April 2020 – NHS sight tests fees / NHS voucher values / Payments for continuing education and training and pre-registration grant

Department of Health & Social Care published a letter on 2 April 2020 covering;

1) the NHS sight test fee and NHS domiciliary fees from 1 April 2020
2) optical voucher values from 1 April 2020
3) the Hospital Eye Service charges from 1 April 2020
4) continuing education and training payment for 2019, payable in 2020; and
5) grant payable to supervisors of pre-registration trainees from 1 April 2020;

The full details of the letter can be viewed at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/878251/general-ophthalmic-services-fees-from-april-2020.pdf

Delivery of eye health services during Covid-19

NHS England and NHS Improvement published a letter on 1 April 2020 covering changes to the delivery and operation of optometry services. The letter covered changes to optometry services delivered outside of hospital, including PPE, contractual, financial and workforce implications. PCC has summarised the letter into a short presentation which provides a summary of the changes and a number of useful links for advice and guidance. Commissioners and ophthalmic practices can contact us at enquiries@pcc-cic.org.uk for help to navigate through Covid-19.

GOS contracting support

  • Managing contract change requests, due process before sign off (possible suspension of normal process and delegation to other personnel (NOT PCC))
  • Contract application – are these suspended, being processed

Support to GOS contractors on behalf of commissioners

  • Support with communication out to GOS contractors
  • Linking in with contractors, general concerns, temporary closures, infection control areas of concern/support
  • Managing queries

Support and management to the suspension of all routine optical services and finances (out of hospital services)

  • Co-ordination and management of urgent and essential eye care services register to main appropriate and adequate levels of services across areas
  • Supporting and linking with contractors who are unable to provide urgent or essential eye care services or elect no to do so
  • Co-ordination of requests to close practices temporarily and review of service provision before decision signed off
  • Payment – to contractors continuing with provision of services and ceasing of payment to those not continuing – linking in with PCSE/BSA
  • Supporting reconciliation process in 2020/2021

Enhanced eye health services support

  • Support and management of suspension of enhanced commissioned services (linked into suspension of routine optical services)
  • Support and linking with contractors – managing general enquires  

Post virus support

  • Surgeries for commissioning teams, what didn’t happen during the coronavirus time
  • Catch up on contract actions that were paused during coronavirus time
  • What would we do differently?

(Support not exhaustive)

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