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Patient exemption checking: a guide for ophthalmic teams in England

From 1 September 2021, the temporary signature suspension has been lifted. Patients, or their representatives, will again be required to sign the reverse of NHS prescription, dental and eye care forms, or tokens for prescriptions presented at the pharmacy.

For ophthalmic teams, any time a patient attends an ophthalmic practice for an NHS-funded sight tests, glasses or contact lenses, you must:

  • ask them to complete and sign a GOS declaration form before any treatment begins
  • ask them to complete the patient’s details and patient’s declaration section of the form, if the patient is entitled to free or reduced cost NHS ophthalmic services
  • ask to see evidence of their eligibility
  • note on the patient record system if they show evidence of a valid exemption, along with the expiry date of the evidence, if applicable
  • complete and sign the GOS 3 declaration where entitled. A second signature on the reverse of the GOS 3 must be obtained at the time of collection. 

We've produced guidance and a communications toolkit to help you understand your legislative requirements, follow the correct procedure, and provide support to patients.

Patient exemption checking: a guide for ophthalmic teams in England (PDF: 221KB)

Patient exemption checking: a communications toolkit for ophthalmic teams in England (PDF: 1MB)
Not all benefits entitle people to free or reduced cost ophthalmic services. Patients can find out if they’re entitled to help with NHS costs using the online eligibility checker.