ABDO Staff

Domiciliary eyecare during the Covid-19 outbreak

PCSE Update on domiciliary care 29 September 2020

This update covers:

  • Go live date for the new paper GOS forms
  • Submitting PVNs online
  • PVNs for sight tests due to take place from 1 November
  • Single payment dates
  • Find out more about moving online

Go live date for the new paper GOS forms 

As many practices are in the middle of transitioning to the new online GOS claims system, to help make roll outs as smooth as possible, we’ve moved the date for the introduction of new paper forms to 1 November. This means the current paper forms remain in use until Saturday 31 October.

Contingency packs of the new style paper forms have been sent out to contractors, if you haven’t received yours yet, it should arrive soon.  All new style paper forms will also be available to order through PCSE Online from 12 October.

If you have not yet switched to online claims please note that these new forms are mandatory for use for all your GOS claims from 1 November 2020.

Submitting pre visit notifications (PVNs)

Submitting PVNs for domiciliary sight tests is quick and easy to do via PCSE Online, with auto-populated patient details, validation of mandatory fields to ensure accuracy, and instant confirmation that we have received your PVN. Watch this short video on how to do it.

If you have a Practice Management System (PMS), check with your provider to see if you can submit electronic PVNs and GOS6 via your PMS.

If you are unable to submit PVNs electronically you will need to:

*It’s now mandatory to send the PVN using a NHS mail account. If you don’t already have an NHS mail account, NHS England has created a temporary online application process which takes around 2 weeks.

PVNs for sight tests due to take place from 1 November 2020

All GOS 6 claims for sight tests delivered from 1 November onwards require a PVN reference number, without this we will be unable to process your claim.

In accordance with regulations PVNs need to be submitted with the following minimum notice period of:

  • 48 hours: for one or two patients at the same address
  • Three weeks: for more than for two patients at the same address

Single payment date

In order to reduce administration for contractors, providers will receive a single GOS payment per month for all claims submitted via PCSE online, PMS eGOS or the new paper forms, even if services are provided in different areas of the country. A monthly statement with a detailed breakdown of all claims paid will be available on PCSE online.

If you are a domiciliary only provider with multiple historic payment dates you can choose any of your current payment dates as your future payment date, meaning that you can opt for whichever date best suits your business needs. If you haven’t already confirmed your future payment date of choice email pcse.optomengagement@nhs.net to let us know. If you have a practice and also provide domiciliary services, payment for all claims will be received on your usual practice payment date.

Find out more about moving online    

To get more information about the benefits of moving online, how to make the transition and how to use the online service, why not check out our new playlist on the PCSE YouTube channel. The channel has been popular in the sector with over 24,000 views on recordings of our recent contractor webinars and easy to use ‘how to’ videos.

Optical Confederation’s Domiciliary Eyecare Committee update 5 June 2020

The Optical Confederation’s Domiciliary Eyecare Committee (DEC) has highlighted the importance of eye health and vision care in a statement today. It has also issued guidance to support the provision of eye care to adults who are ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ and ‘clinically vulnerable’, as well as those who are unable to leave home owing to physical or mental ill-health or disability.

As well as patients who cannot leave home for non-Covid reasons, 2.5 million people in the UK are now shielding on medical advice. Many more people have been advised to physically isolate or have chosen to do so based on their risk assessments, because of the pandemic.

Vision is crucial for people in isolation for social functioning and mental health reasons. Such groups will also be highly vulnerable to eye disease because of age and other conditions, and they will have seen their eye health deteriorate during the past 10 weeks of lockdown.

Much more is now known about the disease and how it is spread than in March. Also, personal protective equipment (PPS) and rigorous infection prevention and control (IPC) are in place to protect patients, staff and the public. As a result, eye care can be safely provided in private homes and care-home settings using ‘remote-first’ and ‘safety first’ principles based on assessed risk for each patient and location.

Gordon Ilett, Co-chair of the DEC, said: “Vision and healthy eyes are critical to people who cannot leave home, may have other long-term conditions or who are isolating. Eye disease is insidious and can be catastrophic. We must not fail the most vulnerable in society by denying them the eye care they need to stay fit and well.”

Issued 5 June 2020

Domiciliary Eyecare Committee – update on Coronavirus/COVID-19 – Domiciliary/Mobile Services

Dear Member

We are writing to update you on action that we have taken in response to COVID-19 at the highest-level to protect domiciliary patients, staff and providers in all four UK countries.

As we all know, domiciliary practice is similar to fixed-premises practice in that normal clinical, infection control and staff and patient health protection advice applies.  You should have been receiving this advice through the NHS and the optical professional and representative organisations in all four countries.

In many ways however domiciliary practice is very different in the complexity, vulnerabilities, disabilities and co-morbidities of the cohorts of patients we care for and the fact that a lot of this care is provided to patients in care homes.  We also depend on a highly skilled eye health professionals and clinical support staff who have additional training and knowledge in supporting this vulnerable population.

The cost of our skilled workforce however means that if a care home decides to isolate patients on precautionary grounds, which many have been doing, no patients in that location can receive care and the vital services we provide cannot function.  Given the low margins in the sector, we are acutely aware that the current restrictions could easily result in domiciliary practices closing which would be in neither patients nor the NHS’s best interests.

GOS/NHS services

To mitigate against this unacceptable outcome, we have been supporting the national bodies (OFNC, OW, OS and ONI) and partners (College of Optometrists, GOC and LOCSU in England) who have been working urgently with governments, health departments and the various NHS systems, to ensure that GOS and other NHS funding continues to flow to practices during the crisis.  Domiciliary provision because of its particular and immediate vulnerabilities has been at the top of the agenda in all four countries.

So far Welsh Government has announced a package of measures, including continuing funding, to keep eye care services operating throughout the crisis whether or not normal service provision is possible

Letter to Primary Care Optometry Teams[1]

Temporary Primary Care Contract Changes[2]

Frequently Asked Questions Covid-19[3]


This is very welcome.

Negotiations are also underway in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and further announcements are hoped for in the near future.

We are also exploring how business rates and other easements may be extended to head offices and other non-retail locations of mobile businesses which do not yet benefit from the business rates relief measures announced by the government in response to COVID-19.

Potential Redeployment 

We are also discussing with the four governments and NHS systems how our highly trained domiciliary professional staff might be able to respond to urgent cases in care homes, which may otherwise have restricted access, and how they and our facilities may potentially be redeployed during the next stages of the crisis. For example, we are also exploring how providers might be able to support care homes based on current government advice[4].

Professional Regulation 

Meanwhile the General Optical Council (GOC), together with the other health and social care regulators, has made clear that we are now all working in highly challenging circumstances in which professionals may need to depart from established procedures.  Where a concern is raised about a registered professional, those circumstances informed by any national guidance will be taken into account. Learn more.[5]

The GOC is also due to issue further guidance shortly about using professional judgement to make eye care as safe as possible.


We will also support the College and ABDO who are developing Q&A guidance on clinical matters while the optical bodies are dealing with NHS contractual and business queries.

Further Information

We will continue to keep you posted on development across the four countries.  If you have any general queries, please contact Peter Fogarty DEC secretary peter.fogarty@fodo.com or Gary Robjent at gary.robjent@fodo.com

Please also let us know personally if we can help you or your staff in any way to keep this crucial NHS service operating for the most vulnerable individuals in society during this very difficult time.


Dawn Roberts   



Gordon Ilett






[2] https://fodo.com/downloads/2_2020%20-03-17%20-%20Temporary%20Primary%20Care%20Contract%20Changes.pdf

[3] https://fodo.com/downloads/3_Frequently%20Asked%20Questions%20Covid-19.pdf

[4] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-residential-care-supported-living-and-home-care-guidance/covid-19-guidance-on-residential-care-provision

[5] https://www.optical.org/en/news_publications/Publications/joint-statement-and-guidance-on-coronavirus-covid19.cfm