Optometry Scotland is dismayed to learn that despite our best efforts and months of negotiations with Practitioner Services Division (PSD), a decision has been made to charge for paper submission of GOS claim forms.
Whilst we accept that both financial and personnel resource has been made available to develop the web form and engage with willing Practice Management System(PMS) Suppliers for quite some time now, we strongly object to the introduction of charges which we feel is premature. Throughout our discussions with PSD we have been very aware that there is a cost to run an electronic system and paper system in parallel. However, we do not believe that the timeframe for cross-over to electronic submission has been realistic and it is clear that the department now faces a situation that it cannot continue to run the service efficiently on its current budget.
In December 2016 Optometry Scotland raised these issues with Shona Robison, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and we will meet with Scottish Government Health Department this coming Friday 31st March.
We are engaging with our lawyers at present around the legalities of a service charge being implemented for a professional fee, and whether or not this in line with the current regulations as they stand.
In the interim we would strongly advise the profession to either explore use of the web form or if they have PMS, to require that their system suppliers work with PSD in order to develop an appropriate and streamlined solution.
Chair of Optometry Scotland (May 2015 – May 2017)