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GOC launches consultation on Speaking Up guidance for registrants

The General Optical Council (GOC) has launched a consultation on new draft Speaking Up guidance for registrants, which aims to support registrants to speak up about concerns they have, in particular those that affect patient and public safety.

The consultation seeks feedback on the clarity and impacts of the guidance, as well as whether there are any areas missing.

The guidance was developed following learnings from recent healthcare inquiries into issues where staff’s concerns were not appropriately actioned, such as the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry.

The document has been drafted in line with the GOC’s duty of candour guidance, which outlines the need for registrants to be open and honest when things go wrong, and should be read alongside the Standards for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians, Standards for Students and Standards for Optical Businesses.

The consultation follows the recent launch of the GOC’s new learning bulletin for registrants on the fitness to practise (FtP) process called ‘FtP FOCUS’.
Marcus Dye, GOC Acting Director of Strategy, said: “Within our Standards, registrants have a duty to speak up about concerns they have when patients and the public might be at risk. We know this can be a difficult thing for individuals to do, and even more so if businesses are unaware of their responsibility to make the process simple and to act on concerns raised.

We’ve split the guidance into two parts, one for individuals and one for businesses, to be as clear as possible on our expectations. Whether you’re an individual or a business, we encourage all registrants to read both parts.

As always, we expect registrants to use their professional judgement when applying the guidance, however we hope that this new guidance will give them the confidence to speak up when they need to in order to protect the public.”

To respond to the consultation, visit the GOC Consultation HubThe consultation will close on 10 March 2021.

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