GOS fees in England will be frozen for a fourth successive year, because of “the continuing tight economic climate facing the NHS”. Voucher values will also be frozen.
CET fees and pre-registration grants will rise by two per cent, compared to last year’s one per cent uplift.
The Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) had bid for a three per cent increase in GOS fees for mandatory services and four per cent in additional services this year.
Stuart Burdett, OFNC chair, said: “There is no fair way this further freeze can be justified. The costs of providing NHS care have increased every bit as fast in optics as in other areas. This setback will further convince hardworking frontline clinicians that ministers in England simply don’t value the vital services we provide to NHS patients.”
The OFNC has informed the government that “it cannot accept this unreasonable offer and that without an improved offer, a negotiated settlement is once again not possible.”
It is likely that fees will once again have to be imposed in 2019/20.