NHS Standard Contract – England

NHS Standard Contract – England

CCGs commission Community Services (formally known as Enhanced Services) from optical practices using the NHS Standard Contract.

The NHS Standard Contract is split into three sections

  • General Conditions – agreed with the Optical Confederation and LOCSU, mandated for all services and unable to be amended
  • Service Conditions – mandated for all service categories or for particular service categories only.  The conditions applicable to each service are indicated in the right-hand column throughout the document
  • The Particulars – containing all elements for local completion, such as service specification, local quality requirements and key performance indicators

You can access the NHS Standard Contract here.


Contracting Models 

CCGs contracting with optical practices to deliver community services have two main options

  1. Contract with the LOC Company – the Primary Eyecare Company holds the contract with the CCG and subcontracts the provision of services to optical practices – this is the Optical Confederation and LOCSU recommended model as it keeps transaction costs for practices and the NHS to a minimum and provides best value. Compliance with standard contract conditions including information governance is also demonstrated by the LOC Company on behalf of all participating practices
  2. Contract with individual practices – the CCG contracts direct with each optical practice separately – this is hard to justify given the scale of the contracts involved (the transaction costs can even exceed the contract value).  Practices should therefore seek an explanation about why their CCG or LOC has opted for this route.

Checking Contracts

Irrespective of the contracting model, LOCs should always seek advice from LOCSU on the key aspects of the contract, including the proposed service specification, KPIs and reporting requirements.


The NHS Standard Contract does not apply to sight testing services. These are commissioned under separate NHS GOS contracts.