Ophthalmic: COVID 19 update

Providing updates on service provision and guidance for claiming during this pandemic.

This page will provide up-to-date and relevant information to ensure that you are aware of changes being introduced that will impact on the services you deliver along with guidance on how to process claims appropriately during this pandemic.

If you have any enquiries relating to the financial support payment only, please email our payments team: nss.psdgospayments-covid19@nhs.net 

Emergency Eyecare Treatment Centres

A post from Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services on 20 April 2020, updated on 22 May 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, community optometry practices will continue to provide a telephone triage and consultation service for essential and emergency eye care.  

Emergency Eyecare Treatment Centres (EETCs) have been established across Scotland to provide face-to-face emergency eye care services to patients who have had a prior telephone triage or consultation with an optometrist, and who have been assessed as not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.  

Optometrists referring a patient to an EETC must do so following the relevant NHS Board’s local EETC pathway and protocol. This is particularly important as the nearest EETC to the patient’s location may be in a different NHS Board to the referring community optometry practice. 

The latest list of EETCs, including contact details and operating hours, can be accessed here.  

Please note that this list is for eye care professionals only. If you are a patient and are experiencing an emergency eye problem, are worried about your vision or have problems with your glasses or contact lenses you must phone a local community optometry practice (opticians) and discuss your situation with them. A list of community optometry practices and contact details can be found on the NHS Inform website.

Primary Care Administration (PCA) - COVID-19

PCA(O)(2020) 8 PCA(O)(2020) 7 PCA(O)(2020) 6 PCA(O)(2020) 5 PCA(O)(2020) 4 PCA(O)(2020) 3

COVID 19 Update Letter

A post from Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services on 22 May 2020

Janet Pooley, Optometric Adviser, Scottish Government, has issued a letter to the optometry profession.

Please share this information with your practice.

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates issue PCA(O)(2020)8

A post from Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services on 22 May 2020

The Scottish Government have issued PCA(O)(2020)8 which provides further important information for community eye care providers in Scotland, including: the continuation of financial support for community optometry; emergency dispensing and the submission of claims; coding accuracy in respect of emergency or essential eye care; an amendment to eSchedules; an update to the Community Eye Care website.

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates issue PCA(O)(2020)7

A post from Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services on 1 May 2020

The Scottish Government have issued PCA(O)(2020)7 which provides details of a number of important COVID-19 updates for community eye care providers in Scotland, including: revised Health Protection Scotland guidance and Personal Protective Equipment requirements; Emergency Eyecare Treatment Centres; emergency dispensing; submission of eOphthalmic claims; conditions for continued eligibility to receive financial support from the Scottish Government and miscellaneous other updates.

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates issue PCA(O)(2020)6

A post from Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services on 3 April 2020

The Scottish Government have issued PCA(O)2020)6 detailing the new arrangements for all face-to-face contact between patients and community eye care practitioners, including PPE requirements, the establishment of designated EETCs and PPE supply for EETCs. It also sets out new arrangements for emergency and essential domiciliary eye care provision, clarifies COVID-19 key worker status for the community optical sector and financial support for some self-employed individuals.

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates issue PCA(O)(2020)5

A post from Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services on 27 March 2020

The Scottish Government have issued PCA(O)(2020)5 detailing information on the provision of emergency or essential community eye care during the additional coronavirus (COVID-19) social distancing measures announced on Monday 23 March 2020.

It also clarifiies aspects of the financial support measures introduced in PCA(O)2020(4) and provides an update on emergency dispensing.

Further to the issuing of PCA(O)(2020)5, we have received confirmation that community optometrists are to be considered 'Category 2' workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: “Category 2 – All other Health and Care workers, and wider public sector workers providing emergency/critical welfare services (e.g Fire, Police, Prisons, Social Workers, etc), as well as those supporting our Critical National Infrastructure, without whom serious damage to the welfare of the people of Scotland could be caused.”

The Scottish Government has published further guidance on key workers and access to childcare provision.

Any practice-specific queries about the financial support measures should be emailed to nss.psdgospayments-covid19@nhs.net

Any other enquiries arising from this memorandum should be emailed to eyecare@gov.scot

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates issue PCA(O)(2020)4

A post from Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services on 20 March 2020

The Scottish Government have issued PCA(O)(2020)4 detailing the suspension of all routine community eye care services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to providing only emergency and essential eye care.

It also sets out financial measures to help support community optometry practices in Scotland and also other important COVID-19 related information and updates.

Please share this information with your colleagues.

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates issue PCA(O)(2020)3

A post from Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services on 16 March 2020

The Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates have issued general ophthalmic services PCA(O)2020(3) - COVID-19: Domiciliary Eyecare Services and Practice Inspections.

General ophthalmic services PCA(O)2020(3) provides important information relating to the provision of domiciliary eyecare services provided under general ophthalmic services (GOS) arrangements in Scotland during the delay phase of coronvavirus (COVID-19).

It also contains guidance to NHS Boards regarding practice inspections.