General Ophthalmic Services (GOS)
Contract Applications, Variations, and Terminations
Briefing for contractors in the North West of England
22 October 2021
The information in this briefing note is only applicable if you are based in the North West of England, and wish to apply for a new GOS contract; vary your existing contract; or terminate your existing contract. If you have an existing GOS contract, you do not need to re-apply.
The NHSBSA will be delivering a General Ophthalmic Service (GOS) contract management Proof of Concept (POC) on behalf of NHS England and NHS Improvement. The POC will begin on 1 November 2021 within your region. The aim of the POC is to identify the best way to administer new contract applications, variations, and terminations.
How to apply for a GOS contract
We administrate contract applications in line with the NHS England Eye Health policy book. All application forms are available to download from our website: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/what-we-do/ophthalmic-provider-assurance/gos-contract-applications
You need to download and complete the application form relevant to your circumstances. You can deliver:
• Mandatory services as an individual or partnership
• Additional services as an individual or partnership
• Mandatory services as a body corporate (incl. LLPs)
• Additional services as a body corporate (incl. LLPs) You can also apply to become a dispensing only optician.
Please note, you must submit a declaration form to accompany the contract you are choosing to apply for. These can also be found on our website.
We have produced a guidance document and exemplar forms to support you with your application. If you need any further support however, please contact us.
How to submit your application
You should submit your completed application form to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will acknowledge your email with a system generated message and will respond to you within five working days.
If we find any issues with your application, one of our caseworkers will contact you. Any issues with your application form can delay the processing of your application. Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary for you to provide us with an up to date Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. If we need this from you, we will contact you.
Once we have processed your application, a practice visit will be performed by ourselves at NHSBSA, or by your NHS England and NHS Improvement Regional Team. NHSBSA will contact you to organise the practice visit and support you with guidance about preparing for the visit and the evaluation criteria.
During the pandemic, all practice visits on the POC are being carried out virtually in the first instance – via Microsoft Teams. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement reserve the right to carry out a physical practice visit if a decision cannot be determined based upon the virtual practice visit.
What happens next?
After the practice visit, we will collaborate with NHS England and NHS Improvement to determine if your application has been successful. We will inform you of the decision by email.
If your contract application is successful, we will liaise with NHS England and NHS Improvement, as well as Primary Care Support England (PCSE) to coordinate setting you up as a GOS contractor. We will provide you with further guidance at this stage.
How to terminate your GOS contract?
Under the Eye Health policy book, you can voluntarily terminate your contract. Your contract can be terminated three months after the date on which your notice is served or on a mutually agreed date.
To terminate your contract, you need to download the termination form from our website.
How to submit your termination?
You should submit your completed termination form to: nhsbsa.pao- email@example.com.
Please note, you still need to submit a termination form if you are terminating your contract and transferring the premises to another contractor.
How to vary your GOS contract?
Under the Eye Health policy book, you can vary your GOS contract. Variations to contract broadly fall into three categories:
⦁ Changes due to legislation or regulatory change
⦁ Changes to delivery of the services e.g., relocation of premises, inclusion of additional premises or removal of premises
⦁ Changes to the contracting party e.g., partnership changes.
How to submit your contract variation?
You should submit your contract variation request to: nhsbsa.pao- firstname.lastname@example.org, who will support through any remaining steps and direct you to any relevant forms.
We’re here to support you, if you have any queries please contact us:
Our core opening hours are 8am – 4.30pm.