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NHS move to improve homeless people’s access to eye care

NHS move to improve homeless people’s access to eye care welcomed

SPECSAVERS has welcomed NHS England’s move to improve access to eye health services for people experiencing homelessness.

NHS England has written to General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) contract holders and commissioners and optometry representative membership bodies to confirm that alternative addresses may be used on GOS forms.

‘Having an address on all GOS forms is mandatory, so in the past it has proved to be a barrier to accessing eye care for homeless people,’ says Giles Edmonds, Specsavers Clinical Director.

‘We welcome this important move by NHS England because it will help change lives and has the potential to save people’s vision. We are also continuing to partner with various organisations that represent the needs of homeless people such as Crisis, Vision Care for Homeless People, and The Big Issue to improve access and equity to eye care services.’

NHS England has said that alternative address could include a patient’s practice address, the address of patient’s GP if they have one, a friend or relative’s address or that of a temporary accommodation provider. It has confirmed that there is no legal requirement to provide a permanent home address for a patient to receive GOS services.

 

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