Community optical practice is unique within the primary care family, in that it:
- is highly clinically regulated
- operates in a fully open and highly competitive retail market
- has patients who demand access, quality and choice without waiting
- relies on cross-subsidy by product sales to deliver quality services
- delivers 20 million sight tests a year (high volume) with very few problems or complaints
The Optical Confederation member bodies and the College of Optometrists sometimes receive inquiries about the issues inherent in balancing quality and volume and what is expected of both practitioners and employers in such circumstances. Like most HR issues difficulties in this area usually result from poor communication and/or misunderstanding (although there can sometimes also be wider issues). The former can be resolved through better communication, so that the needs of the business and the responsibilities of the practitioner are understood by all.
The member bodies of the Optical Confederation, representing employers, employees and self-employed practitioners have developed guidance to assist in resolving any issues that may arise; to view the guidance click the link below.