COVID-19 GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT

All information correct as per 27th July 2021

As a LOC we want to do what we can to support colleagues through this challenging time.

To assist local practitioners and contractors, we have put together guidance on patient management during the crisis brought on by the virus. If you scroll below, we have chronicled as a series of links to available guidance and resources you may find helpful as you face the challenges of the COVID crisis. We also aim to support you in every way we can, so if you want to contact us via phone or email, there are some contact details of LOC officers at the bottom of this page. Please don’t shoulder this burden on your own as if we all work together, we can emerge from this crisis stronger.

NHS General Ophthalmic Services (GOS)

The Optical Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) are monitoring activity levels with NHS England and will encourage them to consider further financial support for GOS contractors, if required. Copies of previous OFNC communications can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

We are in regular contact with our local NHS England team, so if you experience any difficulties with this and need our help, please contact us and we will do our best to assist. NB Contractors should always inform NHS England of any revision they need to make to the hours they provide GOS.

The GOC, College, AOP and FODO have also recently updated their guidance for provision of all eye care services.

PCSE, eGOS and the paper claim forms

Contractors are now being encouraged to move completely to online submissions. However, practices are particularly having difficulties with processing GOS3  online and are now using the updated paper forms.  There have been intermittent issues with online GOS and many contractors are getting paper forms returned, which we have highlighted to PCSE. They are looking into this and have reassured us this will be resolved very soon.

Please note that PCSE online is different to the PPE portal, so all contractors who wish to submit GOS claims online need to register. If you have any problems with this, please contact us for assistance.

COVID-19 Vaccines for frontline health workers

The LOC made arrangements for slots to be available for Optometrists, Dispensing Opticians and all support staff at 4 local vaccine hubs, St Helens Totally Wicked stadium, as well as Aintree, Broadgreen and Warrington hospitals. The LOC sent out emails to all performers and contractors on our database with details of how to arrange for staff to be vaccinated.

By now, most practices and staff will have had their first vaccine, but if you have been unable to book a slot or experienced difficulties with the process, please contact us.

COVID-19 Urgent Eyecare Service (CUES)

All 4 of our CCG areas are commissioning CUES from Primary Eye Care Services, supported by St Helens and Warrington Eye departments. So patients with a GP in Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington CCGs can access CUES. Also, participating practices can provide CUES to any patient with a GP in all areas throughout the country where CUES is commissioned.

If you are not currently providing CUES, but now wish to be involved, please contact us and we can assist you on the steps to achieve accreditation.

Further information regarding direct referrals to our local HES, St Helens and Warrington can be accessed on this site at: http://www.centralmerseyloc.org/direct-referral/

PPE

NHS England have made arrangements for practices providing GOS to receive stocks via an online PPE portal. Practices with NHS email, will be sent an email with instructions on how to sign up to this portal and arrange ongoing supplies of PPE. Therefore, you will need to obtain NHS emails from NHS England for the practice and eye care professionals before being granted access to this portal.

If you have had any difficulty setting up your access to the portal, please contact us and we’ll do our best to assist.

COVID 19 PATIENT MANAGEMENT

Local Protocol for Patient Management in Central Mersey

Please note guidance document below

USEFUL WEB RESOURCES

OTHER

LOC OFFICER CONTACTS

Please contact us for local support and guidance.

CHAIRMAN

SECRETARY