The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) welcomes the joint statement from the Association of Optometrists, the College of Optometrists and the Optometry Schools Council highlighting the threat to patient safety and public confidence resulting from the current uncertainty about the impact of the GOC’s education plans and how they will be funded.
ABDO welcomed the Education Strategic Review’s original aim of ensuring that student dispensing opticians and optometrists are prepared for the roles of the future and remains committed to working with the GOC, and fellow representative bodies, to ensure that the optical education system delivers consistently high standards and supports extended scopes of practice.
ABDO highlighted at the start of the consultation, however, that the GOC has failed to publish any estimates of the costs of implementing and running its proposed new system and has not provided any explanation of how these costs would be met. It also failed to provide any analysis of alternative options so the relative costs and benefits can be assessed.
Sir Anthony Garrett CBE HonFBDO, ABDO General Secretary says, “Before the GOC makes any final decision, stakeholders must have an opportunity to scrutinise the costs and benefits of both the proposed new system and other viable options. And before making any final decision, the GOC must be able to demonstrate that any changes can be funded and will deliver tangible improvements in the quality of education for the benefit of patients, students, commissioners and employers throughout the UK. The huge financial and practical challenges faced by education providers and optical practices as a result of COVID-19 make it even more vital that any changes to the education system are properly thought through and can be delivered.”
Notes to Editors