Chief Executive and Registrar of the General Optical Council (GOC) Vicky McDermott has announced the start of a staff consultation on a new operating model. In making the announcement she said, “I joined the General Optical Council (GOC) seven months ago. In that time I have spoken to a large number of stakeholders and learned a great deal about the way the optical sector is changing and the challenges it faces. It has also given me the chance to reflect on the organisation’s performance and structure. Today, with the support of our Council, we have entered into staff consultation on adopting a new operating model for the General Optical Council (GOC) that will deliver significantly improved outcomes for patients and the public. This proposed new operating model will enable us to achieve four key objectives:
· improved operational performance;
· improved operational efficiency;
· a more flexible and targeted approach to regulation that addresses, and where possible prevents, harm to the public; and
· to generate an operating model that is at break even or better to create an organisation that is sustainable and provides value for money for both registrants and the public.
“The need for the GOC to change is urgent. The optical sector is undergoing rapid change, with our ageing population leading to increased demand, hospitals under growing strain, new technologies and treatments emerging, business models evolving, and the roles of optometrists and dispensing opticians changing as clinical care is increasingly provided in the community. There is also growing pressure on all regulators to demonstrate public benefit and value for money.
“This new model will help us to adapt to these challenges. We expect it to bring benefits including handling FTP [fitness to practice] cases more quickly for the benefit of registrants and patients alike; supporting registrants by sharing lessons drawn from FTP cases; making it easier for patients, registrants and stakeholders to raise concerns with us; and responding more quickly to changes in eye care delivery and technology. It will also ensure the organisation’s financial stability.”
The proposed change programme covers a number of key deliverables:
Phase 1 – delivery of operational improvement plans across each of our regulatory areas – from now until March 2019;
Phase 2 – launch of the proposed model – provisionally scheduled for November 2018, but subject to the outcome of the consultation;
Phase 3 – further enhancement and increased automation and self-service within the new model.
The GOC will also be seeking stakeholders’ views on the proposed new model and will be creating opportunities over the coming months to do this