The Government has announced that GOS fees in England will be frozen for a fourth consecutive year at £21.31.
CET grants and grants to trainers of preregistration optometrists will go up by 2% to £562 and £3620 respectively (compared with 1% increases in 2018-19).
Despite the sector’s bid for a 5% increase to help eligible patients, voucher values will also be frozen for 2019-20.
The Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) – of which FODO is a key member – has rejected the offer which will now have to be imposed once again by Government.
The OFNC had bid for reasonable and soundly-based increases of 3% (for mandatory services) and 4% (for domiciliary services), 3% for CET and 5% for preregistration trainer grants.
OFNC Chair (and FODO Board Director) Stuart Burdett 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 set-back will further convince hardworking front-line clinicians that Ministers in England simply don’t value the vital services we provide to NHS patients.”
Copies of the correspondence are here:
- OFNC Statement on GOS fee 25 March 2019
- OFNC Bid to NHS England for fees and grants for 2019/20 – 26 November 2018
- Letter from the Department of Health and Social Care confirming fee for 2019-20 – 28 February 2019
- OFNC Response to GOS fees decision 2019-20 – 19 March 2019