Covid-19 funding for optical practices in England
31 July 2020
The OFNC is only too aware of the front-line pressures on the sector and we continue to express this urgency in negotiations with NHS England about COVID-19 funding for optical practices, following the end of the first phase funding on 30 June.
On 20 July we announced that while these negotiations continue, it had been agreed that the previous level of COVID-19 funding for GOS contractors in England would be extended until 31 July. This means average GOS payments for this period will be made in August in the usual way.
We are pleased to report that COVID-19 funding is now likely to be extended until 31 August for fixed practices that reach a minimum level of historic GOS1 activity. There is likely to be a requirement of minimum activity of 40% or more, but this is yet to be confirmed. Support will also be extended into August for domiciliary providers, whatever their level of activity.
We are still in negotiations about further support beyond August for practices in deprived areas which largely provide NHS care and are struggling to recover, and for domiciliary providers who continue to face difficulties in reaching patients. We are also continuing to discuss the cost implications for all practices of PPE.
We hope to be able to make a further statement about these issues in the next few days.