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New regulations for Wales optometry contract come into force next week  

New regulations for Wales optometry contract come into force next week  

Practitioners are urged by NHS Wales to be ready for 20 October

Optical practitioners have been reminded by NHS Wales that only those who are compliant as a performer and as a practice will be supported and remunerated for work undertaken from 20 October.

The new ophthalmic services regulations released by Welsh Government at the end of September are due to take effect in Wales on 20 October.

In a letter from NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, those practising in Wales have been told to act now as only a “small window of opportunity” remains to ensure they are able to provide Welsh GOS from that date.

A range of guidance and resources to help practitioners in Wales to navigate the changes has been produced, including:

  • Welsh GOS personal checklists – a checklist for a performer, and a checklist for a practice/contractor. These do not need to be submitted and are a personal aid
  • Contractor declaration for the introduction of Welsh GOS form to be submitted. The deadline for submitting this form is 17 November. You must complete a form for the Health Board you provide services in.
  • Annotations to current GOS/EHEW forms for WGOS 1 & 2 (including mobile)
  • Crib sheets for practices:
    • At-a-glance vouchers
    • Recommended minimum intervals
    • Early recall dates

The Eye Care Wales website is being updated. Manuals, webinar recordings, and Q&A sheets from the webinars are available from this website. The full regulations can also be viewed online.

Support for those with questions relating to the changes to regulations is available:

 

Commenting on the new regulations, Adam Sampson, Chief Executive of the Association of Optometrists said: “We welcome many of the reforms put forward by Welsh Government to ease the burden on other areas of healthcare and cut the backlog. But, we do have concerns, particularly around how the changes may impact the most vulnerable patients in Wales. The reforms need to be right for every patient so we are taking the time to assess how the regulations work in practice and will be providing guidance for members in due course.”

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