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FODO responds to GOC call for evidence on the Opticians Act

FODO responds to GOC call for evidence on the Opticians Act

In response to our earlier news story FODO replies
We welcome the four UK governments’ recent confirmation that the current make-up of regulated and unregulated professions strikes the right balance, and that there are no plans to change this. We agree that this is the right approach for optometrists and dispensing opticians in the UK.
Today the GOC has launched a 16-week call for evidence on the Opticians Act and consultation on associated GOC policies.

FODO welcomes this consultation within the context of the UK governments wider policy statements above.

Optometrists and dispensing opticians already provide eye care to some 20 million people per annum across the UK. In addition, they continue to expand their scope of practice to meet growing eye heath needs, the changing complexity of patient presentations and advances in technology.

The Opticians Act provides essential protections for the public in all these areas. It ensures GOC oversight of education and training and that only registered clinicians can legally test sight and fit and supply medical devices to higher-risk patients. These protections are fundamental safeguards for patients and the public as the nature, locations and models of care change.

It is also vital that highly-trained, registered optometrists and dispensing opticians are able to delegate, diagnose, treat and discharge within their scope of practice to meet these challenges.

Although outside the scope of this GOC consultation, there are areas where the Act can sensibly be updated, including reducing the bureaucratic burdens on regulators and allowing more flexibility in how they discharge their functions, which we welcome. The government has already made clear its intention to do this work in the coming years.

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