ABDO clarifies free eyecare provision for Ukraine refugees

ABDO head of policy and public affairs, Debbie McGill, has commended the compassion being shown for the people of Ukraine by the optical profession, as well as the efforts being made to provide those remaining in Ukraine with aid, on behalf of ABDO.

Debbie also provided clarification regarding the provision of eye health care to refugees resettling in the UK, stating: “They are entitled to free NHS care and are usually issued with HC2 certificates – confirming eligibility for full help with health costs – within two weeks of arrival.”

For refugees who may not yet have their HC2 certificate NHS England has confirmed that optical practices should follow the same process for patients arriving from Ukraine that were put in place for Afghan refugees.

Relocation and resettlement schemes – additional guidance for optical practices

For patients who attend an optical practice but have not yet received their HC2 certificate, the advice to the practice is as follows:

  • Do not refuse the eye care service, or see them as a private patient
  • Complete the GOS form as standard, recording the bridging hotel as the patient’s address
  • Tick ‘Universal credit’ as the eligibility criteria
  • Tick the ‘Evidence not seen’ option
  • Keep a note on the patient’s record that the eligibility category had been selected as per guidance from NHS England & NHS Improvement on submitting GOS claims for Afghan refugees