Thousands of optometrists respond to the AOP’s latest survey on the Opticians Act
Over 2,400 AOP members took part in a survey on the GOC’s call for evidence
The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has received an overwhelming response to its member survey on the General Optical Council’s (GOC) call for evidence on the Opticians Act.
Findings show that the vast majority of AOP members – who represent 82% of practising optometrists in the UK – do not believe that refraction and the eye health check elements of the sight test could be separated.
No less than 87% of the 2,445 members who responded expressed the view that separation could not be done safely. A further 64% indicated serious concerns around delegating elements of the sight test to other eye care professionals. Only 5% said that delegation was safe, with a further 29% saying that it was safe only under strict guidelines.
The survey, which gathered statistical data on key components of the Opticians Act, forms a central part of the AOP’s final response to the GOC, ahead of the submission deadline on Monday 18 July.
The survey covered four areas of the GOC’s call for evidence:
- The separation of the refraction and eye examination elements of the sight test
- Delegation of elements of the sight test to other professionals such as dispensing opticians
- The requirement to verify a contact lens prescription with the original prescriber
- The requirement to have a prescription less than two years old for contact lens fitting
Adam Sampson, Chief Executive for the AOP said: “We are extremely grateful to all our members who have taken part in this important survey. This group is a significant percentage of the GOC’s registrants, and as such it is vital that their views must be listened to carefully by the regulator.”
Respondents to the survey work across optics, with 45% working in multiples, 41% working in independent practice, 7% working in a hospital, 4% in a university and 2% in domiciliary care.
The regulator launched its 16-week call for evidence in March with registrants, sector bodies, employers, patients, and the public all asked to contribute.
Submissions to the consultation can be made directly to the GOC via its online form.
Practitioners can learn more about the topics on the AOP website. The AOP will publish its response and survey findings in full the week commencing 18 July.