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Requirements guidance issued as optometry contract for Wales comes into force    

Requirements guidance issued as optometry contract for Wales comes into force    

Optometry Wales outlines new rules for practitioners practising in Wales  

As new regulations come into force tomorrow (20 October) Optometry Wales has issued guidance to optical practitioners outlining the new requirements in order to qualify for Welsh GOS.

Those practising in Wales have been told:

  1. Patient signatures will be required on all NHS forms from 20 October. Forms without patient signatures will be returned by NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP) to the Practice.
  2. Prior to being able to deliver WGOS, the practitioner must:
  • Have completed the four Mandatory WGOS training hosted by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) on Y Ty Dysgu platform
  • Be Eye Health Examination Wales (EHEW) accredited

Claims will either be reclaimed or not be paid if the practitioner performing WGOS did not meet the above criteria at the time the service was delivered, prior to 20 October.

  1. All staff colleagues assisting in the delivery of WGOS must complete their mandatory training hosted by HEIW on Y Ty Dysgu platform before they see a patient who is eligible for WGOS. Please note that this is an ongoing requirement and not just for date of implementation.
  2. The new clinical fees and voucher values will come into effect from 20 October. GOS 3 forms issued prior to 20 October 2023 will be claimed with the ‘old’ value. GOS 3 forms issued on and after 20 October 2023 will be claimed with the ‘new’ value.
  3. All paper NHS forms must be submitted within a three-month deadline.
  4. WGOS1, 2 and 3 will come into effect from 20 October. WGOS4 and WGOS5 will follow in due course. Please continue with the arrangements that you currently have with the Health Board around other enhanced services e.g. IP, data capture etc.
  5. Currently, there is only one directed question in WGOS1 required from 20 October around smoking cessation. Further guidance will be made available at: Latest News for Professionals – NHS Wales
  6. The WGOS Clinical manuals are available from the Eye Care Wales website.

The new ophthalmic services regulations were released by Welsh Government at the end of September. Last week, NHS Wales confirmed only those who are compliant as a performer and as a practice will be supported and remunerated for work undertaken from 20 October. The regulations in full can be viewed online.

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

The AOP is taking time to assess how the regulations work in practice and will be providing guidance for members in due course.

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