eOphthalmic webform service: update for all users

We are aware that a number of practices are experiencing problems using our eOphthalmic webform service.

We are taking urgent actions to understand what is causing these unexpected problems and we are working continuously with our IT suppliers to improve the service.

Although use of the eOphthalmic service has only recently become mandatory, it has been operational without major problems since October 2015 and has in that time processed millions of claims, so we remain confident that the service is fit for purpose and ask that you bear with is whilst we get to the bottom of current issues.

Problems appear to be confined to some practices using the webform and we have no reports of any issues from practices using the system-to-system method.

Whilst there are problems, we can also confirm that the system still is submitting claims successfully an average of 8,000 claims per day have been submitted using the webform service over the last week.

 To date we have taken the following steps:

  • Overnight on Tuesday 9 April 2019, our IT supplier rebuilt database indexes which did improve matters, but did not resolve all problems.
  • We extended the claim submission cut-off date for the March paid April payment schedule from 5pm on Tuesday 9 April to 5pm on Thursday 11 April to allow extra time to get claims through. We could not extend any further without risking the payment date of 24 April due to the Easter bank holidays.
  • We have checked the payments which will be made to practices on 24 April, and includes 277,000 claims valued at £10.7 million to be paid, an increase on both of the previous two months.

We have identified a further series of changes which will our IT supplier have recommended. Those changes will be implemented overnight on Wednesday 17 April 2019.

Whilst we are investigating and implementing fixes to the problems, there are a number of things you can do as a practice:

  • We do not recommend the use of the Microsoft Edge internet browser. On Microsoft Windows devices we recommend using Internet Explorer since this is what eOphthalmic has been fully tested with, although other browsers are known to work successfully. If you are using Microsoft Edge, please switch to Microsoft Internet Explorer if that is possible.
  • Please review the search criteria on your review claims screen – if these are set widely, then consider reducing them or being more specific. That will reduce the demand on the system, meaning both yourself and other users see better performance.
  • Please read our online guidance and view our training videos on YouTube – not knowing how to use the eOphthalmic webforms can mean it takes several attempts to get things done, each of which causes additional work for yourself, and additional demand on the service.
  • If you do want to log an issue with our customer service team, please do so by email psdophthalmic@nhs.net or phone 0131 275 6200. To help us get to the bottom of the issues please provide as much detail as possible including
    • Practice code
    • Case reference
    • What were they doing – for example search or submit
    • Error messages
    • Date and time
    • Browser and broswer version
    • Screenshots

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