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Opticians Act: The AOP’s Response

AOP response to findings of Opticians Act call for evidence

Initial GOC response welcomed but the regulator must address concerns including funding, online sales and business regulation

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) broadly welcomes the summary put forward by the General Optical Council (GOC) on 22 March 2023.
In response to findings of its 16-week consultation, including the AOP’s submission, the GOC proposed a programme of legislative reform that reflects much of the sectors consensus on the fundamental issues impacting optics.

Reflecting on the review, Adam Sampson, Chief Executive of the AOP, said: “We are pleased to see that the GOC has heeded concerns expressed by the AOP, along with other stakeholders in the profession, and in particular the importance of optometrists remaining in control of the sight test.”
“While it has never been our intention to limit the aspirations of our dispensing optician colleagues, we recognise the significant concerns that our members voiced in this process, particularly the risk of missed pathology. The patient benefit and protection must be at the center of any reform.”

“The GOC’s commitment to a full consultation before any changes are implemented is also a welcomed move. This is pertinent when it comes to issues of funding, online sales and business regulation which require interrogation and we look forward to positive engagement on these.”

“Overall, the results are in line with what we would have wanted. That is a tribute to the support we have had from our members – some 3000 contributions – that informed our submission to the GOC.” Mr Sampson added.
In 2022, the GOC asked registrants, sector bodies, employers, patients and the public to contribute a body of evidence to support future legislative changes to the Opticians Act (1989). The call for evidence is linked to planned reforms of health and social care regulators by the Department of Health and Social Care.

 

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