Information for Providers
High quality eye care should be available to all patients, regardless of whether the service is delivered in the patient’s home or in the high street. We encourage all domiciliary providers to read and follow the Optical Confederation’s Domiciliary Eyecare Committee’s Code of Practice.
This section provides information about contract requirements in the different UK countries, including links to relevant documentation and guidance and resources for those providing domiciliary services.
Providing domiciliary eye care in England
To provide domiciliary sight tests in England you must enter into a GOS Additional Services Contract. Under this contract you can provide an NHS sight test for a person who cannot leave home unaccompanied because of physical/mental illness or a disability. You can only provide the service at the person’s normal place of residence or at an approved day centre. The model GOS Additional Services Contract is available here.
Providing domiciliary eye care in Scotland
To provide ophthalmic services in Scotland, you must be registered under part 1 of the ophthalmic list. Practitioners must contact their appropriate NHS Board to apply to join the list. Once added to the list, the Primary Services Division (PSD) will allocate you a list number.
An ophthalmic medical practitioner, optometrist, sole trader or optical body corporate on the ophthalmic list may, where requested to do so by or on behalf of a patient who is
a) Unable to leave home unaccompanied because of physical or mental illness or disability, agree to provide general ophthalmic services or assist in the provision of general ophthalmic services at the place at which the patient normally resides
b) Attending a day centre, agree to provide general ophthalmic services or assist in the provision of general ophthalmic services at the day centre.
Providing domiciliary eye care in Wales
In Wales, you must be registered under part 2 of the ophthalmic list to provide ophthalmic services. An ophthalmic medical practitioner, optometrist, sole trader or optical body corporate who wishes to be included in the ophthalmic list should apply to the Ophthalmic Qualifications Committee of the local Health Board (Wales)/ Health and Social Care Board (Northern Ireland). To provide domiciliary services, you should include a statement to that effect in your application along with an undertaking to follow the terms of service for mobile services.
Providing domiciliary eye care in Northern Ireland
The Guidelines and Audit Implementation Network (GAIN) have created best practice guidance for the provision of domiciliary eyecare in nursing and residential homes and day care facilities in Northern Ireland. It is available here.
Guidance and resources
The Optical Confederation has produced a variety of guidance which is either specific to or relevant for domiciliary providers.
- Guidance for providing domiciliary optical services
- Lone working guidance (Optical Confederation)
- Guidance on Equipment for Use in Mobile Ophthalmic Services
- DEC Position Statement on Visual Field Screening in a Domiciliary Setting
- Optical Confederation guidance on safeguarding
- Working Time Directive – Optical Confederation guidance
- Cooling-Off period guidance
- Pre-Notification Form
- Pre-Notification System for domiciliary sight tests
Other sources of information and guidance:
- AGE UK guidance on power of attorney and consent
- Mental Wellbeing of Older People in Care Homes – NICE
- College of Optometrists Guidance for examining patients with dementia
- College of Optometrists Guidance for examining patients with learning disabilities
- Vision 2020 Checklist for examining patients with learning disabilities
- LOCSU Pathway for provision of community eye services to children and adults with learning disabilities