OS Response to PCA(O)2021(5)

10th March 2021

Optometry Scotland Update regarding PCA(O)2021(5) issued Tuesday 9th March 2021

The latest PCA highlights the activity levels for January and reintroduces the minimum threshold changes for ‘bricks and mortar’ practice premises as originally set out in PCA(O)2020(19).  The minimum threshold was kept at 20% in January following an anticipation that activity would decline.  In January, for practice premises the actual activity dropped by 20% on pre-lockdown figures to an average activity level of 70% (relative to monthly average 2019/20 activity).  Made up of both face-to-face appointments and virtual consultations, it is reassuring to see that the service was still accessible to patients.

Mobile practices have seen lower activity which was approximately 40% in January.  As per the PCA, the financial model for mobile practices will move to a new format from 1st April, introducing a minimum activity level.

The Scottish Government has been monitoring activity levels over January and February and as such is confident the minimum threshold for practice premises can return to 40% and mobile practices to 20%.

It is anticipated that as patients receive the vaccine, they will become more comfortable attending appointments.  Being mindful of government guidelines, practitioners should continue to exercise their clinical judgement.  As a reminder, Community Eyecare can offer all services safely and appropriately and as per our previous communication:

“the support measures, guidance and good professional and clinical judgement leaves it entirely within the control of practices and practitioners to operate safely and to determine the numbers of patients visiting their premises.  Reminders should be considered an invitation to discuss patient needs remotely, not an instruction to attend a practice.”

It is positive to see all NHS boards moving to the pull model for PPE ordering. Information on this method has been sent to practices’ NHS email addresses so if anyone has not received this information, they should reach out to their NHS board immediately.

We are grateful for the ongoing support in maintaining the service, and in the supply of PPE, and continue to have positive interactions with the Scottish Government on these areas.

As ever, should you wish to reach out to us with any comments, you can contact us at tellos@optometry.org.uk.

With best regards,

Optometry Scotland Executive Team