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Ophthalmic Payments Bulletin - 2019 June

Welcome to the latest bulletin for Ophthalmic Payments where you will find updates about:
How to claim your CET grant in 2019
ODS Portal – keeping your details up-to-date
Sources of help and support from PCSE
             Online forms
             Avoiding rejected GOS claims
             FAQS on the website
             Ophthalmic Engagement Team
Feedback about the Ophthalmic Payments service
             Working collaboratively with NHS England local teams
             Customer satisfaction survey
Message from Karl Johnson, Head of Service - Payments
How to claim your CET grant in 2019
Following last year’s successful introduction of an online form to submit Continuing Education Training (CET) claims, PCSE is encouraging more contractors to use the facility in 2019.

The online submission process provides a fast, simple, easy way to make a CET claim. It removes the added time and cost of postage and automatically generates a unique case reference number for every claim.

Feedback from contractors who used the online form last year told us: 

“It was straightforward and easy to do.”

“Fantastic. I submitted for four practices across three regions and they all came back paid the month after they were sent in. The [online submission] method works and a case reference for each really helps.”

The window for submitting CET claims to PCSE opens on 1 July and closes on 31 October.

Once the CET claim form has been completed and signed, it simply needs to be uploaded and submitted via the ‘CET Claim’ option on the Contact Us page. 

The case reference number is automatically generated and it is also sent in a follow-up email.

More information about the CET claim process along with FAQs are available on the dedicated CET page.

Please note: Claim forms submitted by email will not be processed for payment.
Where do I find the CET claim form?
The claim forms will be published by the Department of Health and Social Care ahead of the claim window opening. 

Who can make CET claims?
Claims can be made for CET undertaken by ophthalmic practitioners between 1 January and 31 December 2018. CET payments can only be paid to contractors.

A payment of £562 can be claimed by a contractor in respect of either:

  • CET he/she has undertaken personally in the year between 1 January to 31 December 2018.
  • CET undertaken in the year between 1 January to 31 December 2018 by any other ophthalmic practitioner on the Ophthalmic Performers List.

As per the regulations, individual locums can ask any of the contractors they work for to process their claim.  The grant will be paid to the contractor who should then pay the optometrist locum once it is received.

ODS Portal
Did you know you can look up your ODS code using the ODS Portal provided by NHS Digital?

It is important that practice details are kept up to date on ODS and that NHS Digital hold the correct details. 

The ODS code is also required for using our online forms, including CET submissions.

Simply visit the ODS Portal, select Optical Site and complete the details relevant to your practice.
Sources of help and support from PCSE
Online forms
As well as being able to submit your CET claim online, it is also possible to send queries or requests to PCSE using the online enquiry form too. 
The Contact Us page has a dedicated ‘Ophthalmic Payments’ enquiry form that has been designed to intuitively guide users to supply all the relevant information we require to respond to queries. Simply select the ‘Ophthalmic Payments’ option from the drop down menu and follow the instructions according to the type of enquiry you are making.
Using the form offers the quickest possible response time.  Every query is allocated a unique case reference number which can be used to keep track of queries and follow-up if required.
Our specialist ophthalmic query team aims to answer enquiries within 30 working days and in many cases is able to respond in less than 14 working days.

Avoiding rejected GOS claims

Last year we highlighted common errors that result in PCSE having to return GOS claims unprocessed.  We also shared best practice examples of completed GOS forms.  The top tips and guidance that we issued has resulted in a 40% decrease in the number of rejected claims.
We do still receive some forms that we are unable to process so to ensure you can be paid the first time you submit a claim, please refer to our guidance to avoid having claims returned.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
We also have answers to commonly asked questions on the ‘Help’ section of this website. 

On average, each month more than 5,500 colleagues across primary care services use the FAQs on our website to find the answers to their queries. 

We regularly update them so please check to see if the information you need is online.
Ophthalmic Engagement Team
At the end of 2018 we introduced a dedicated Ophthalmic Engagement Team who have spent the first part of 2019 attending industry events and meeting colleagues from across the sector.
Part of the team’s remit is to build closer relationships with local stakeholder groups, including Local Optical Committees, representative bodies and NHS England local teams.
The team is working with these stakeholder groups to help ensure our communications and service updates reach as broad an audience as possible.  They’re also available to attend national and regional events to provide updates on PCSE services and gather feedback.


Introducing the Ophthalmic Engagement Team
Jonathan Gore is the Engagement Lead with Kirsty Adlem as Engagement Manager.  They are available to attend local and national events to provide updates on our services and hear feedback.
Debbie Bessey is the Ophthalmic Intervention Manager who supports the team to resolve escalations, investigate root causes of issues and identify common trends to continually promote service improvement.
The team is supported by Lynn Minton, Engagement Coordinator. 
Further information about the engagement team can be found

If you would like to arrange a meeting, or let the engagement team know about an upcoming optical event, please email:  pcse.optomengagement@nhs.net


Feedback about the Ophthalmic Payments service

Working collaboratively with NHS England local teams
The team recently hosted a visit by NHS England’s local team from Yorkshire and the Humber. 
On average PCSE process five million GOS claims a month.  During their visit to PCSE’s Leeds office they had the chance to meet some of the PCSE staff who ensure that GOS forms are processed in a timely, accurate way. 

ðFrom arrival and sorting in our dedicated ophthalmic post room ð Processing ð Balancing ð
Checking  ð And finally being uploaded for payment

They also met our Query team and spent time with the experts who deal with ophthalmic contracts. After the visit they commented:
It was great for us to see your operation at Leeds, to meet so many of your colleagues and to hear of the plans for further significant improvements – all of this will help us no end in our day to day dealings with contractors.”
We are happy to welcome different teams to visit our operation to find out more about what we do.  Please contact our Engagement team for more information: 
Customer satisfaction survey
In the first quarter of 2019 we carried out a “temperature check” survey to assess customer satisfaction of PCSE’s Ophthalmic Payments service.

Almost 100 opticians were surveyed and of those 72% rated the current Ophthalmic Payments service as either ‘extremely good’ or ‘good’.


  • 80% said statements were good or extremely good
  • More than three quarters felt the CET claim process in 2018 was good or extremely good
  • Everyone said they could see the benefits of transforming the GOS claim process into an online/digital service.
An area for improvement is around uptake and use of our online form for queries and requests.  The majority of people surveyed had not used the online service but of those who had, 77% found it easy to use (15% were indifferent).

The survey provides a snapshot of the customer experience we are providing, how the service is performing and where we can improve.  Further surveys will be carried out throughout the year to continually helps us to ensure we’re providing the best possible support for our customers.    

Message from Karl Johnson, Head of Payment Services, PCSE

Since last year the team at PCSE has been working extremely hard to improve the service we deliver to contractors. We have introduced new technology, introduced online forms, and reviewed and updated our processes. The feedback from you, and from wider stakeholders, has been incredibly positive, with a clear feeling that the service is moving in the right direction. 
While I am very pleased that you are starting to see the service improvements coming through, I also recognise that we still have work to do. My team and I are continuously looking at how we can improve things further. We are committed to delivering a first class service and hope that you continue to see the improvements being made to the service over the coming months.

We continue to develop the solution for online and electronic GOS claims through our transformation programme and will provide a further update on progress very soon.
Best wishes

Karl Johnson and the team at PCSE