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Opchat Magazine LOC News pagesLOC News, October to December 2018

Governments advice on EU clinicians to health care providers after a possible no deal Brexit
NOC hears powerful case for change
New PCSE online form for Ophthalmic Payments enquiries.
Making the Change at NOC
Pre-authorisation of Adult GOS 4 claims: National Briefing
Read archived LOC news from Quarter 3 2018

Governments advice on EU clinicians to health care providers after a possible no deal Brexit

December 2018

In a letter sent out by Matt Hancock, the Health and Social Care Minister it is clear that the continued employment of EU workers will require urgent action in the new year. Here is a part of that letter:


EU nationals play a crucial role in our health and care system, and I want them to know that they have a secure future here after the UK leaves the EU. As the Prime Minister reiterated recently, regardless of whether we leave the EU with or without a deal, the rights of EU citizens will be protected here.

EU Settlement Scheme

Through the EU Settlement Scheme, which will launch in early 2019, EU nationals will be able to register for settled status if they have been here for five years, or pre- settled status if they have been here for less than five years. The process to register is simple and largely digital, and will cost £65 per adult and £32.50 per child. I am aware that some employers are planning to meet this cost, and this is something that you may wish to consider.

To test the system prior to wider launch, the Home Office has opened it up to health and care staff for a period of three weeks initially, until Friday, 21 December 2018. NHS Employers recently wrote to HR directors in the NHS, and members of the Cavendish Coalition, with full details of the scheme and an update on plans to further test it in the healthcare sector. My officials have also conducted webinars for organisations in the health and social care sectors to explain, in detail, the process for registering for the EU Settlement Scheme. Organisations have also been provided with an online toolkit to help promote the scheme to the EU nationals in their workforce. There is no obligation for EU nationals to register early; however, it is an opportunity for many to get this certainty earlier, and I would strongly encourage you to publicise this to your health and care staff who are EU nationals.

We have tried to ensure as many EU nationals as possible can take part in the pilot. The full list of those that are eligible to take part in the pilot scheme can be found in the Immigration Rules. This includes any EU national who is employed by an organisation that delivers health and care services and is registered with the Care Quality Commission, whether that is an NHS organisation or an independent health and care employer.

From the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

You can read the full text here

NOC hears powerful case for change

November 2018

Mike Fegan and Alan TingerAt a packed one day meeting of the NOC delegates were moved to tears as documentary photographer defies death to work again in war zones.

Reported in the latest November NOC edition of the new-look LOCSU News - which has been rebranded from their regular LOC newsletter.

The new branding was unveiled at the conference along with a string of other changes at NOC last week.

Another capacity attendance of over 200 LOC delegates packed into the NOC last week with the winds of change in the air.

A new chairman, a new strategy, a new logo, a new website and an astonishing and harrowing account of individual change from keynote speaker, Giles Duley, forcefully made the case for change.
You can read the whole NOC report and look at the newly designed newsletter here.

The NOC 2018 opened with Chairman-designate, Mike Fegan, being introduced by outgoing incumbent, Alan Tinger.

Alan (pictured right) has led the Board and the unit since its early days was the focus of a farewell dinner the previous evening where many tributes were paid to his invaluable work and service in the sector.

New PCSE online form for Ophthalmic Payments enquiries.

October 2018

In response to feedback from practices and colleagues across the optical sector, PCSE is introducing a new, simple online form for all ophthalmic payment queries.

With immediate effect, you should use the new online form to submit your enquiries to PCSE.

The tailor-made form contains different options to ensure your query gets to the right team as quickly as possible. There will be different categories according to who is submitting the form, for example:

• Contractor/optical practice
• Local Optical Committee
• Member of Public (for HC5 queries only)
• Regional Local Team
When you have selected the category relevant to you, the intuitive form will guide you to submit the details PCSE needs to ensure the quickest possible response time.
Once you submit your form, you will receive an acknowledgement email confirming your submission, along with a reference number which you can use to follow-up on your enquiry if needed.

Accessing the online form

• Please visit the ‘Contact us’ page of the PCSE website at:
• Scroll down to the enquiries form and select ‘Ophthalmic Payments’ from the drop-down box
• Enter the required details as requested on the form
• Keep a record of your case reference number and use it in any subsequent correspondence about your query.

Making the Change at NOC

October 2018

Giles Duley
The theme for this year’s NOC is “change”. Guest speaker Giles Duley, a former celebrity fashion turned war photographer who lost both legs and one arm, will explain what businesses can learn from his unique and highly personal story of change. Follow the link for Giles’ full profile.

Our keynote policy speaker at the conference will be Dr Jo Bayley, who is Clinical Advisor of the System Transformation Group at NHS England. Jo will be giving an overview of how the move towards Integrated Care Systems in the NHS will change commissioning models.

In the afternoon session, her NHS colleague Richard Everitt, Programme Manager for Dental and Optical Commissioning, will update LOC delegates on priority projects for the sector, notably connecting optical practices to the NHS IT system.

Bookings and programme details can be found on the AOP website. LOCs are reminded to book quickly as there is limited accommodation on the Wednesday night (14 November).

Please note that - due to essential maintenance and circumstances beyond LOCSU's control - the AOP booking portal will not be available until Thursday 24 October 2018 but bookings can be made via email:

Pre-authorisation of Adult GOS 4 claims: National Briefing

October 2018

Under GOS (General Ophthalmic Services) Regulations (Optical Payments and Charges Regulations 2013) children and adult patients who qualify for GOS can receive a repair or replacement voucher (GOS4) if they lose or damage their glasses. Children qualify for unlimited repair and replacements, but adults only qualify if a health condition has led to the loss or breakage of the glasses, i.e., arthritis.Under current regulation, all adult claims must be approved by NHS England prior to the service being provided to the patient.

However there is significant variation in terms of how this process is currently managed.

In order to introduce a standardised and robust approach, NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) have been asked by NHS England to run a national pilot for the pre-authorisation of adult GOS 4 vouchers.

It is envisaged that this pilot will begin in November 2018. The process for pre-authorising GOS 4s for adults will be as follows:
1. Patient aged over 16 goes to GOS contractor and asks for repair or replacement
2. GOS contractor rings NHSBSA on 0300 330 9403 between 08:00 and 16:30 and explains the circumstances of the request.
3. NHSBSA Caseworker will check reasons against a standardised list of conditions. Alternatively they will escalate to a clinical advisor if the circumstances are not covered by the list.
4. If the request is not approved the caseworker will provide the contractor with a reason and log the details of the call.
5. If the request is approved the contractor will be issued with a unique code. The contractor should then write this code on the GOS 4 form and submit to PCSE for payment.
6. PCSE will check the form during processing. If the patient is over 16 and there is no code on the form, they will reject the payment. If there is a code included PCSE will process the payment.
7. NHSBSA will then check GOS 4 submissions as part of post payment verification. Any claims that have been submitted inappropriately (i.e. with missing or incorrect codes) will be recovered via the PPV process.

A follow up briefing will be circulated once the date of go-live has been confirmed. All GOS 4 claims for adults will need to be submitted in this way for the duration of the PILOT


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