Specsavers will provide adult audiology services under 19 new contracts across the UK after becoming accredited through the NHS Any Qualified Provider (AQP) scheme.
The eye specialist now has a total of 23 NHS contracts, which will provide hearing services in 320 Specsavers Hearing Centres across the country by the end of the year.
Specsavers is among the first private providers to be accredited to conduct hearing services and fit hearing aids free of charge on the NHS.
“The new NHS Any Qualified Provider scheme has the potential to deliver substantial benefits to patients and healthcare professionals across all areas of clinical practice,” said Dr Nicholas Summerton, GP and ‘clinical commissioning champion’ at the Royal College of GPs.
“From the patient’s perspective, being able to access a high quality service ‘on the high street’ is very appealing as it enhances both choice and convenience – for example, locality, opening times and the availability of appointments.”
Mathew Gully, director of hearing at Specsavers, said the company is dedicated to “understanding, responding and meeting the clinical and commissioning needs of GPs” as it begins work in the newly contracted areas.