The General Optical Council (GOC) has thanked its stakeholders for responding in such large numbers to its consultation on new standards of practice designed to raise standards across the optical professions.
Alistair Bridge, GOC director of strategy, said: “We are really pleased to have received so many responses to the consultation and from such a wide range of stakeholders, including many registrants. The feedback will really help us to ensure that the final version of the new standards enables us to better protect the public while minimising the burden on registrants and providing room for them to use their judgement as professionals. It will be really important for the standards to make our expectations clearer and treat registrants as healthcare professionals who provide invaluable services to the public with the potential to do more in the future.”
The GOC received around 2,000 responses to the written consultation and an online registrants’ survey. The regulator also held a series of focus groups with patients, the public, registrants, students, insurers, educators and fitness to practise decision-makers.
GOC staff attended 100% Optical, Optometry Tomorrow and Optrafair to engage with registrants, and met with a number of patient groups, professional bodies, defence bodies and representatives from each of the devolved nations.
Alistair Bridge continued, “We want to thank everyone who has had their say, whether by completing our online survey, meeting us, attending a focus group, discussing the standards at a trade show or giving us their views in writing.”
The GOC is now analysing the feedback from the consultation and considering how the draft standards could be improved. The GOC Council will consider the feedback at its public meeting on 29 July and the regulator will then publish an independent report summarising the feedback and set out the timetable for implementing the new standards.