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Ophthalmic provider assurance

Provider Assurance delivers a national, regional and local service that supports and facilitates the effective and consistent management of primary care services. 

We work on behalf of NHS England on the following tasks:

  • annual GOS complaints
  • GOS4 pre-authorisation
  • post-payment verification (PPV)

Contact Us

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), our phone lines for Ophthalmic Services are temporarily unavailable. If you need to contact us, we're available to support by email between 8am and 4:30pm. You can email us at

Annual general ophthalmic services (GOS) complaints

The 2019/20 GOS complaints submission was paused due to Covid-19, however it will be open in conjunction with the 2020/21 submission which is scheduled to run from July 2021.

Under GOS regulations 2008, contractors are required to submit an annual form that shows the number of written complaints received in their practice.

If contractors have not received any complaints a ‘zero return’ is required.GOS complaints - April 2019 briefing (PDF: 103KB)

If you have any questions, contact our provider assurance team by:


Our core hours are 8am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.

GOS4 pre-authorisation 

We must authorise all claims for GOS 4 repair or replacement vouchers.

Ophthalmic contractors are required to seek pre-authorisation from us for all GOS 4 claims. Patients are entitled to a GOS 4 if they have damaged or lost their glasses and they are: 

  • aged 16 or over 

  • in receipt of a particular benefit 

  • have a qualifying health condition 

 Patients aged 16 to 17 and in support of local care do not need pre-approval.  

Read the updated GOS 4 National Briefing (Word: 242KB).

You should contact us before carrying out any repair or providing replacement glasses. If patients contact us directly, they will be directed back to the appropriate contractor.  

To get authorisation, you should complete our GOS 4 Pre-authorisation Template (Word: 239KB) and email it to our provider assurance team at

Prior to authorising the GOS 4, under instruction from the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee, we will ask you some questions about the claim. 

Once we’ve received the information from you, we will assess your claim as quickly as possible. 

End of temporary arrangement for GOS 3 dispensing - 1 May 2021

In April 2020, due to COVID-19, NHS England and NHS Improvement advised of a temporary arrangement for GOS 3 claims for clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) patients. In their standard operating procedure for optical settings, they advised that following a remote consultation, the practitioner may exercise professional judgement and delay the sight test and seek approval for a GOS 4 form for a CEV patient’s spectacle dispense request. 

This temporary arrangement for GOS 3 dispensing will end on Saturday 1 May 2021.

This means you will no longer be able to submit GOS 3 claims through our GOS 4 pre-authorisation service from Sunday 2 May 2021. 

Post-payment verification (PPV)

We're due to complete the national rollout of PPV before June 2020.

Through PPV, a sample of GOS contractors will need to submit evidence to support their payment claims.

Contractors are obliged to keep on-going, full and accurate records under their GOS contracts.

Our provider assurance team are clinically led and guided by the ‘eye health policy book’ and GOS regulations.

There are 3 outcomes as a result of PPV. These are:

  • all claims verified with no observations to feedback to the contractor
  • claims verified and contractors advised on best practice due to observations made
  • claims not verified and case escalated ​​​​​​

Ophthalmic provider assurance national briefing (PDF: 317KB)Contractors perspective process map (PDF: 119KB)Ophthalmic provider assurance Wessex area briefing (PDF: 283KB)Ophthalmic provider assurance West Yorkshire and Harrogate area briefing (PDF: 283KB)

PPV No Patient Signature

To evaluate the effectiveness of optical responses to the pandemic, the NHS Business Services Authority Provider Assurance Ophthalmic Services (NHSBSA PAOS) team will be undertaking PPV on a limited number of contractors across the country around GOS 1 claims undertaken between June and December 2020. Read the National Briefing (Word:249KB).


If you're a GOS contractor, NHSmail is a safe and secure way to communicate with us. 

To get an NHSmail account, complete our online form. This process can take up to two weeks.

Note: this registration route is only available to organisations with 10 or less practices at the present time.

GOS contract management proof of concept for the London, South East and East of England regions

We are delivering a proof of concept for contract management which involves the processing of:

  • GOS contract applications
  • GOS contract terminations
  • GOS contract variations

Our proof of concept is only applicable to contractors based in the London, South East and East of England regions. 

More information, application forms and guidance documents are available on our contract management page.  

Ophthalmic Bulletin

If you would like to receive our bulletin by email, complete the Ophthalmic Bulletin request form and we'll add you to the distribution list.