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Optical Bulletin - 2018 December

Welcome to the last Ophthalmic bulletin for 2018 from PCSE.  In this edition you will find updates on:

Round-up of ophthalmic payment service changes and improvements in 2018
Looking forward to 2019:  Latest on service transformation
Christmas and New Year CitySprint supplies deliveries
Customer Support Centre (CSC) opening hours and GOS claim submissions over Christmas
Online Enquiry form offers quickest response times to your queries
CET claims 2018
National Optical Conference
National Engagement Team restructure
Contacting PCSE
Round up of Ophthalmic Payment service changes and improvements in 2018

As we approach the end of 2018, PCSE wanted to take the opportunity to look back at the improvements made in our Ophthalmic Payments service over the past year and look forward to plans for 2019.

We acknowledge the challenges faced earlier in the year and the difficulties these created for some colleagues across the sector.  As a result, we listened to your feedback and implemented new processes to ensure we deliver a better service for our customers.

Some of the improvements and changes we have made include:

  • New online submission process for CET claims -  this was well received with good uptake and positive feedback
  • New online enquiry form offering the quickest response time to queries
  • Raising awareness of how to avoid rejected GOS claims resulting in a reduction in the number of returned GOS forms
  • Adjusted processes to smooth the peaks in the payment cycle across the service
  • Improvements in the training to our Customer Support Centre (CSC) agents to ensure they can respond to your queries efficiently – currently, around 79% of all calls are resolved at first contact
  • Building better relationships with suppliers to monitor progress when stocks are low or unavailable, so we can keep customers updated on stock availability.
  • Significant improvements made to process ophthalmic applications to join the National Performers List within the agreed timescales - where full and accurate information was provided.  We’ve also seen improvements in the time taken to process performer change requests.

We hope you agree improvements have been seen right across the service, from processing payments, issuing statements, returning rejected claims, to responding to queries on time.  We are looking to further enhance what we do through our transformation programme in 2019.


Looking forward to 2019:  Latest on service transformation

PCSE continues with plans to introduce online solutions for GOS claims and the development of systems is progressing well.  We have taken on board stakeholder feedback through each step of the development of the new systems and will continue to do so through rigorous testing.  The feedback is used to improve features and ensure we are creating effective, efficient services that are easier to use. We are committed to delivering these improvements to meet the needs and expectations of our end users.  

Go live dates for the new services are dependent on final system testing which will happen early in 2019, as well as early adopters getting on and successfully using the system.  

We’ll communicate key dates and invite all practices to use the systems once we and NHS England are confident that everything is working as expected.

Work is also progressing well with Practice Management System (PMS) providers who are developing their systems to offer eGOS to their clients.

Also in 2019, PCSE Online will provide applicants to the National Performers List with a new, simple way of submitting and tracking applications. Performers will also submit all change notifications electronically via PCSE Online. We’re currently building and planning in some final enhancements to these new services, which have been suggested by our stakeholders.

Look out for further information in the New Year.


Christmas and New Year CitySprint supplies deliveries

There will be no supplies deliveries during week commencing 24 December.

Your last CitySprint visit in 2018 will happen as usual during week commencing 17 December.
During the week commencing 31 December, deliveries will take place as follows:

If your usual collection/delivery day for week commencing 31 December would be: Your collection and delivery day for this week will be:
Tuesday 1 January Wednesday 2 January
Wednesday 2 January Thursday 3 January
Thursday 3 January Friday 4 January
Friday 4 January Monday 7 January

Deliveries will return to your normal day of the week from the week commencing 7 January.

Please take this information into account when ordering supplies for this period.

If an urgent order of supplies is required during the Christmas period, requests can be fulfilled on 27 and 28 December.


Customer Support Centre (CSC) opening hours and GOS claim submissions over Christmas

The normal opening hours for the Customer Support Centre are:
08.00 – 17.00 Monday – Friday.
Over the Christmas period the contact centre will be open as usual with the exception of Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 December 2018 and Tuesday 1 January 2018, when we are closed for the bank holidays.

Where possible please submit your GOS claims earlier in December to allow for bank holidays as they may affect the date payments arrive in bank accounts.  You can view the cut off dates to send GOS claims and in bank payment dates for December and January here.


Online enquiry form offers quickest response times to your queries

The new online enquiry form for Ophthalmic Payment queries is now available and offers you the quickest possible response time for your queries.

Since it launched at the end of October we have received several hundred queries that automatically receive an acknowledgement email and case reference number, which you can use to follow-up on your enquiry if needed.

Feedback at the National Optical Conference that we attended recently was that the form was easy to access and use.  The delegates we spoke to all said it is a welcome way to contact PCSE with enquiries or requests.
If you haven’t yet used the form, please go onto the Contact Us page and select
Ophthalmic Payments to see how simple it is to navigate.

Please note:  Emails to the pcse.optical inbox are still being monitored and responded to but we plan to move away from emails in the near future, so we would encourage you to use the online form to submit your queries going forward. We will communicate when the email communication route will no longer be available for queries.

For more information about the online form please click here.

CET claims 2018

The 2018 window for submitting CET claims closed at midnight on 1 November and all forms that were correctly completed have now been processed for payment.

Claims that did not include all the correct information were returned with a request for them to be re-submitted with the relevant details.  We are currently working through these re-submitted claims.

If you have a query about a CET claim you can contact us via the online enquiry form. Select the Ophthalmic Payments option and then choose the CET Grant Claims query type.  Please complete the mandatory details including your case reference number and the date of when your claim was submitted. 

You can also view CET FAQs here


National Optical Conference

We recently attended the National Optical Conference where we had the chance to talk to delegates about improvements to our service and plans for transformation.
This is the third year PCSE has attended the event and it was a great way for our Engagement Team to meet people from across the optical sector. 
Our Special Advisor and Subject Matter Expert for Ophthalmic, Katrina Venerus, who is seconded from LOCSU also joined us at the PCSE stand, which was busy with people who told us: 

  1. This year’s new online form for CET claims was easy to use and a huge improvement on past years
  2. Best practice examples of GOS forms are really helpful in reducing rejections
  3. They like the new online enquiry form
  4. Electronic GOS submissions make sense – looking forward to them being introduced
  5. Ophthalmic payment services are running smoothly

It was a really positive day and the Engagement Team are looking forward to meeting more of our customers at events like this.  We will be at 100% Optical and Optrafair next year.

PCSE National Engagement Team Restructure
Following a review of our stakeholder engagement strategy and feedback from stakeholders, PCSE has made some changes to the structure and focus of the National Engagement Team.
What’s new?
The team will:

  • Change focus, with teams aligned to customer groups: Opticians, pharmacies, GPs, dentists, or the screening community, rather than being aligned to regions 
  • Focus on building closer relationships with local stakeholder groups, including Local Optical Committees, CCGs, NHS England local teams. We’ll work with these stakeholder groups to help ensure our communications and service updates reach as broad an audience as possible
  • Take a consistent approach to finding and attending national and regional events, to provide updates on PCSE services and gather your feedback 

Further information about the engagement team can be found here.


Contacting PCSE
Whilst the engagement team are here to attend events, please continue to contact PCSE with queries by either: 

  • Calling the PCSE Customer Support Centre on 0333 014 2884 (open from 8:00-17:00, Monday to Friday), or
  • Clicking here to send us an enquiry via our online form.

Your query can then be properly logged, tracked and get to the right team as quickly as possible.
If you need to follow up on a query, please quote the case reference number to help us quickly identify it. 
You can also try our online help for answers to the most frequently asked questions from our customers.

Reminder:  Over the Christmas period the contact centre will be open as usual with the exception of Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 December 2018 and Tuesday 1 January 2018, when we are closed for the bank holidays.