Ophthalmic List requirements
All optometrists/OMPs that perform NHS sight tests must be listed on an Ophthalmic List. The rules and requirements regarding ophthalmic lists differ in each UK country and are outlined below. A performer must be recorded on a list in the country in which services are provided. If an optometrist provides services in two countries, such as those working in border regions, they must apply to be listed on two lists, i.e. England and Wales.
From 2013 England has held a national list. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have lists which are maintained by the Health Boards in each respective country.
When should performers lists be checked
Ophthalmic lists should be checked by the employer prior to an optometrist’s/OMP’s employment and annually in line with HR processes to make sure the optometrist/OMP is still recorded on the list.
Ophthalmic Performers List England
The national Ophthalmic Performers List replaced the previous system of local performers lists in April 2013. Responsibility for managing the list was initially delegated to area teams, each area team managing applicants and performers within their catchment area. In mid-2016 PCSE took over responsibility for managing the list.
The links below provide access to the National Performers List regulations and the PCSE Performers list page, including where to submit forms.
Ophthalmic performers may not perform GOS in England unless they are included on the Ophthalmic Performers List held by NHS England.
NHS England Performers List Policy and Procedures
The NHS England website contains performers list policy and procedures including
- toolkit and framework for managing performer concerns
- standard operating procedures for processing applications and maintenance of the list
- application and change of circumstances forms
- occupational health clearance
Performers List Occupational Health Clearance, further information
The Ophthalmic and Supplementary List Wales
There are two different types of lists for optometrists conducting NHS sight test services in Wales.
- The Ophthalmic List – for contractors, i.e. the optometrist or registered body corporate that makes claims for the payment of GOS fees.
- The Supplementary List – for optometrists who undertake sight tests in practices owned by contractors. Optometrists regarded as ‘assisting’ in the provision of GOS must be on the supplementary list or be a contractor elsewhere.
Application forms, guidance and other useful resources can be found here.
Ophthalmic List Scotland
If you provide GOS services in Scotland you need to be listed on the Ophthalmic List. You must register with the NHS board you practice under but once allocated your list number this can be used to provide GOS services in any area in Scotland.
Ophthalmic lists in Northern Ireland
In order to perform GOS sight tests in Northern Ireland optometrists must be on the Ophthalmic List. The Ophthalmic list in Northern Ireland is divided into two parts
- First part – ophthalmic medical practitioners (OMPs)
- Second part – ophthalmic opticians (optometrists)
- Ophthalmic list application form
- Ophthalmic list information from HSC Northern Ireland
Pre-registration Optometrists – England
If you are a pre-registration optometrist you can apply to join the performers list 3 months prior to your expected completion date. Applying early means the initial checks and interview can be conducted prior to your expected completion date. Your list number will not be granted until you receive your qualification and GOC number but submitting the application early will help to ensure you are listed on the performers list and able to provide NHS sight tests soon after pre-registration completion.
Pre-registration Optometrists – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Ophthalmic lists in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still operated locally so you should apply to your local Health Board. In Scotland and Wales you can apply up to 3 months ahead of qualifying, following the guidance above. In Northern Ireland, however, you can only apply once you have received your GOC number. If you already know where you will be working on qualification you can apply to the new area.