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GOC statement on CE-marked fluorescein ophthalmic strips

News posted: 30/09/2013

The General Optical Council (GOC) has today issued a statement clarifying the circumstances in which optometrists and contact lens opticians can use CE-marked fluorescein ophthalmic strips.

All complaints to the GOC are considered by independent committees so it cannot prejudge their decisions in individual cases, but the statement makes clear the GOC’s position that:

  • registrants are responsible for acting in their patients’ best interests, in line with the GOC Code of Conduct; and
  • there will be occasions where this will require optometrists or contact lens opticians to use CE-marked fluorescein strips.

GOC chief executive and registrar Samantha Peters said, “Our guiding principle is that we act in the best interests of patients. I hope this statement gives registrants extra clarity about using CE-marked fluorescein strips within the scope of their clinical practice.

“This is a complex issue which has required us obtaining specialist legal advice, working closely with a number of stakeholders and taking into account the expert view of a clinical consensus panel.”

Should the GOC receive a complaint about a registrant using fluorescein, the GOC will investigate in line with its usual processes. This means that the complaint will be considered by the Investigation Committee and potentially the Fitness to Practise Committee.

These committees are independent of the GOC; however, the GOC will ensure that they have all relevant information including the views of the clinical consensus panel and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and the GOC’s own statement.

The full statement can be viewed by clicking here.