GOC to hold ESR discussion workshops

The General Optical Council (GOC) is planning to hold a series of workshops with stakeholders to discuss the risks and benefits of the key elements of its Education Strategic Review (ESR) and to “co-create solutions that safeguard public health”.

The workshops will also explore feasible timeframes for implementation and sustainable models for delivery.

The GOC received 539 responses to its ESR consultation and the findings were discussed at a council meeting on 15 May. In a statement following the meeting, the GOC said that there was support for more flexibility for providers to allow for innovation and earlier clinical experience. The council also noted that concerns had been raised regarding the drafting and suitability of the standards and learning outcomes (including requests for more detail), funding and the timeline for implementation.

The GOC explained that there was “more work to do” and that the consultation had “helpfully highlighted a number of new concerns”, which would be considered in more detail in the anticipated consultation response document.

GOC director of education, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan, said: “We’re delighted to have received so many responses to the Education Strategic Review. Our stakeholders understand the need for reform and the challenges facing the sector. Now that we have a steer from council and a clear direction of travel, we want to ensure that we continue to listen and engage with our stakeholders to make sure we work together to achieve good outcomes for patients.”

A one-page summary of the ESR will be published by June then, in July, the GOC will publish a response paper to the consultation and seek agreement with council on the next steps.

Council papers, including on the ESR, are available on the GOC website here.