Information for Practitioners

GM Optometry Team Contact details

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

Download pdf Optometry Handbook Jan 19

The latest Optometry Team newsletter is here:

Download pdf Newsletter Jan 19

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.


All referrals by practitioners within Greater Manchester for a patient with a Greater Manchester GP should be made through the Healthi electronic referral platform. This will route the referral appropriately and also enable GP look-up. You can find guidance on the urgency of referrals here:

Download pdf Guidance on the Urgency of Referrals in GM

In the event that you have to use a paper referral as a fallback, there is an electronic PDF template here:

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.

GOS Payments Payments are now processed by Primary Care Support England (PCSE). Their website can be found here:

Learn More PCSE Website

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

In both the North and South of Greater Manchester the diabetic eye screening is provided by Health Intelligence using a mix of optical practices and other sites.

The Public Health England Webite has information on DR screening:

Learn More Diabetic Eye Screening Programmes

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