GOS Policy and Procedures

GOS Policy and Procedures

GOS Policy and Procedures – England

NHS England Eye Health Policies and Procedures

NHS England is responsible for commissioning primary care services, including optometry, in England.  The link below provides access to the NHS England Eye Health Policies and Procedures page.  Since January 2016 these policies have been incorporated into an NHS England Eye Health Policy book.  This book includes details on the GOS Contract Procedure, Assurance Procedure, Termination Procedure and Variation Procedure as well as an example contract visit checklist and information about the Equality Act.

GOS Policy and Procedures – Wales

Primary Care Services in Wales

Local Health Boards in Wales are responsible for securing health care services. Primary care services shared service partnerships provide optometry contractor services for the health boards. Services include GOS contracts, list management, payment processing and post-payment verification.

In addition, a national enhanced service known as the Wales Eye Care Service (WECS) is hosted by a health board but funded exclusively by Welsh Government.  This service offers patients in Wales free of charge extended eye examinations for those who qualify.  A list of the services available can be found via http://www.eyecare.wales.nhs.uk/home .  This also includes the Low Vision Service Wales (LVSW) and this is also delivered in the community by accredited optometrists and dispensing opticians.

Directory of Health Boards in Wales

The directory of health boards in Wales provides details of all primary care services offered via each health board. There is an employed Optometric Adviser in each Health Board in Wales.

Eye Care Wales

The Eye Care Wales website is a useful resource, including lists of accredited practitioners, details of the children’s low vision project and diabetic screening.

Eye Care Wales website


GOS Policy and Procedures – Scotland

NHS Services in Scotland

ISD Scotland provides an overview of General Ophthalmic Services in Scotland including legislation, GOS forms, exemption categories, voucher claims and details of eye examination requirements.

Primary Care Advice (PCA) and Scottish Statutory Instruments (SSI)  

The following PCAs and SSIs were developed by the Scottish Government health directorate.  They cover various aspects of ophthalmic policy in Scotland. A brief description of the content of each PCA is outlined above each link.

2016 – PCAs

This PCA provides details of the CET fee for 2015, including the form for completion, and the supervisors grant from 1 April 2016.

PCA(O)2016 – 1

This PCA details the provision of pachymeters to optometry practices in Scotland.

2015 – PCAs

PCA(O)2015 – 4

This PCA details Universal Credit and changes to entitlement.

PCA(O)2015 – 3            Issued August 2015

This PCA advises on the domiciliary allowance, CET and pre-registration supervisors grant.

2014 – PCAs

PCA(O)2014 – 3          Issued 1 July 2014

This PCA advises on recall intervals.

PCA(O)2014 – 1          Issued 21 January 2014

This PCA advises on the new General Ophthalmic Services Scotland amendment regulations, tests, procedures and examinations

2013 – PCAs

PCA(O)2013 – 5          Issued 4 December 2013

This PCA advises about the entitlement of optical vouchers for patients receiving Universal Credit.

PCA(O)2013 – 4          Issued 27 August 2013

This PCA has been sent to NHS Boards and covers the mechanism for registered independent prescribing optometrists to obtain their prescribing code and prescription pad.

PCA(O)2013 – 2          Issued 08 July 2013

This PCA provides notification of the increase in NHS Domiciliary Fees and clarification of new arrangements for cycloplegic refractions on behalf of the Hospital Eye Service (HES).

2011 – Legislation

No 55                         Effective from 1 April 2011

The National Health Service (Free Prescriptions and Charges for Drugs and Appliances) (Scotland) Regulations 2011


No 157                        Effective from 24 February 2011

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 (Commencement No. 5, Savings, Transitional and Consequential Provisions) and the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 (Commencement No. 7, Savings and Transitional Provisions) Order 2011

2010 – PCAs and Legislation

PCA(O)2010 – 4           Issued 06 December 2010

This PCA details the new eye examination leaflet.

PCA(O)2010 – 2          Issued 24 June 2010

This PCA makes minor changes to the NHS Tribunal (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

2010 No. 86 and Executive Note             Effective 1 April 2010

The National Health Service (General Ophthalmic Services) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2010

These regulations amend the rules for primary and secondary eye examinations and make changes to the ophthalmic list application process, particularly for corporate bodies.

PCA(O)2010 – 1   Examinations and listing requirements                Issued 12 March 2010

This PCA details changes to the primary and supplementary examinations, changes to the listing requirements and the NHS eye examination effective from 1 April 2010.

2009 – PCAs

PCA(O)2009 – 3  Electronic Forms           Issued 21 July 2009

This PCA covers the introduction of electronic versions of forms GOS(S) 6A Part 1 and GOS(S) 6A Part 2 from 1 September 2009.

PCA(O)2009 – 2  CET & Glaucoma            Issued 14 July 2009

This PCA covers CET and the Glaucoma Patient Pathway.

2008 – PCAs

PCA(O)2008 – 3      Fees                  Issued 22 May 2008

This PCA details the new 3 year fee agreement including where a digital photo is taken.

2007 – PCAs

PCA(O)2007 – 3         Inspection of premises, Extension of equipment allowance     Issued 11 May 2007

This PCA provides guidance and a national checklist for the inspection of premises and the final extension of the equipment allowance.

2007 No 193 and Executive Note                Effective 1 April 2007

The National Health Service (General Ophthalmic Services) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2007 and Executive Note

These regulations make changes to the Ophthalmic List regulations.

PCA(O) 2007 – 2      Fees, vouchers, GOS, Optometric Advisers                Issued 16 March 2007

This PCA lays out the new eye examination fees, voucher values, changes to the GOS regulations and the need for Health Boards to have an Optometric Adviser.

2006 – Legislation

2006 No 330 and Executive Note                 Effective from 1 July 2006

NHS (Discipline Committees) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 

These regulations amend the Discipline Committee regime as a result of the introduction of NHS eye examinations in place of NHS sight tests.

2006 No 329 and Executive Note                 Effective from 1 July 2006

NHS (General Ophthalmic Services) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2006 

These amendment regulations make small legislative and typographical changes.

PCA(O)2006 06    Discipline regulations                Issued 23 June 2006

These regulations cover the new discipline regulations.

2006 No 3306 and Executive Note                 Effective from 1 April 2006

NHS (Charges Overseas Visitors) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2006 
These amendment regulations allow charges to be made to some overseas visitors for GOS.

2006 No 138 and Executive Note                 Effective from 1 April 2006

NHS (Optical Charges and Payments) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2006 
These regulations provide the legislative changes to the optical voucher system arising from the introduction of free eye examinations.

2006 No 135 and Executive Note                 Effective from 1 April 2006

NHS (General Ophthalmic Services) (Scotland) Regulations 2006

The new GOS Regulations for free eye examinations are published under this SSI, including the new listing arrangements.

2006 No 134 and Executive Note             Effective from 1 April 2006

The Sight Testing (Examination and Prescription) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2006 

The legislation has been amended to allow Optometrists and OMPs to refer patients directly to an Ophthalmic Hospital rather than through their GMP.

PCA(O)2006 – 5    GOS regulations, Tribunals              Issued 22 March 2006

This PCA covers the new GOS regulations and changes to tribunals.

PCA(O)2006 – 4   Eye examination             Issued 17 March 2006

This PCA details the new eye examination in Scotland.

2005 – PCA

PCA(O)2005 – 3   Eye examination            Issued 2 December 2005

This PCA introduces the new eye examination in Scotland effective from 1 April 2006.

GOS Policy and Procedures – Northern Ireland

HSC Business Services Organisation

The HSC Business Services Organisation, responsible for payment of community optometrists, inspecting premises and maintaining the Ophthalmic List, holds information on optical policies and services in Northern Ireland.  Information includes application forms, domiciliary and patient information.

HSC GOS memorandums

The link below provides access to GOS memorandums, drug alerts and other information relevant to optical practices.