Information for Practitioners

GM Area Team Contact details

Contact details for the Area Team are contained in the Area Team's Optometry Handbook:

Download pdf Optometry Handbook

NHS Mail

The service desk is now handled by GM Shared Services (part of North West Commissioning Support Unit) and the phone number is 0161 765 6688. If you get locked out of your account, give them a ring.


Try to help those reading your referrals by writing clearly or, better still, typing the referral. A PDF version of the latest GOS18 is available to use, developed by Peter Hampson for the AOP. Simply copy to your hard disc and open with Acrobat Reader. Use TAB to move through the fields. If you wish to keep each referral on disc you will need to save it with a different name each time. Otherwise, after printing, just close without saving and it will be blank again next time. This first version is for completion and then printing for signature:

Download pdf GOS18 Electronic-Final.pdf

This second version allows for digitally signing the referral. There are also instructions explaining digital signatures:

Download pdf GOS18 Electronic with digital signature -Final.pdf

Download pdf GOS 18 signature guidance.pdf

The Low Vision Leaflet (LVL) for putting visually impaired people in touch with social services can be downloaded here:

Download The Low Vision Leaflet (LVL).pdf

Internal Practice Referrals

This is most useful for occasional locums who find themselves in the position of needing to request a repeat procedure on another day but will not be back in the practice to follow it up. The sight test is not complete until the outcome is determined, so if this depends on a repeat test, then the sight test is unfinished. The ideal is to follow these up personally but, where this is not possible the patient can be formally referred in writing to another [resident] practitioner in the practice for the procedure to be completed and any action taken. Making a referral in this manner completes the sight test. You can download a referral template from the AOP website.

Download Pdf AOP Internal Referral Template

Download Pdf Guide to the use of the AOP internal referral template


Vouchers for 2nd pairs The protocol to guide you as to whether a request for a 2nd pair is likely to be approved is available here:

Download pdf GM Procedure for Spare Pairs Non-Tol etc v4 5september2013.pdf

Download doc Second Pair application form

Download doc Non-tolerance application form

The Optical Confederation also has similar guidance on applying for a 2nd pairand applying for a non-tolerance voucher

GOS4 for Adults PCSE now require GOS4 claims to be pre-authorised.

Download pdf Pre-authorisation of GOS4 claims - November 2018.pdf

GOS Contract FAQs The document provides some advice and help on common misunderstandings in respect of GOC contracts.

If you are applying for a new contract, either because you are buying a practice, or are changing status, perhaps from sole trader to limited company, then do read this document, and also make sure you apply for the new contract well in advance.

Download pdf GOS FAQs.pdf

GOS & Children

Note that the GOS contract does not allow you to discriminate between patients by, for instance, not seeing a particular age group. If an infant presents to you for a sight test and you are uncomfortable seeing them you should ensure that you find them an alternative practice that can see them.

Domiciliary Providers

Mobile practitioners offering sight testing at home

To qualify for an NHS funded home visit a patient must first of all be eligible for an NHS sight test and, secondly, they must be unable to leave home unaccompanied. The list of mobile providers is available here:

Learn More GM Domiciliary Providers.pdf

Diabetic Retinopathy Screening

South of Greater Manchester

(Stockport, Salford & Trafford, Tameside & Glossop and Manchester)
Screening is provided by optical practices

North of Greater Manchester

(Ashton, Leigh & Wigan, Bolton, HMR, Bury and Oldham)
Screening is provided from hospital and community sites

The Public Health England Webite has information on DR screening:

Learn More Diabetic Eye Screening Programmes

Details and examples of the grading criteria, including what does and doesn’t need referring is here:

Learn More Grading Criteria

Effective Use of Resources

GM’s EUR policies are intended to ensure cost-effective use of limited NHS resources. The main ones affecting optometry are those covering cataract surgery, benign eyelid lesions, ptosis and also one on “other aesthetic surgery” which includes a section on strabismus in adults. In brief, the removal of benign eyelid lumps and bumps and squint surgery for cosmetic reasons is not commissioned within GM

Download pdf GM EUR Cataract.pdf

Download pdf GM EUR Benign Eyelid Lesions.pdf

Download pdf GM EUR Eyelid Ptosis.pdf

Download pdf GM EUR Other Aesthetic Surgery (Strabismus).pdf