Public perceptions research
General Optical Council eBulletin 29
October 2016

Public perceptions research

The public has once again expressed high confidence in the standard of care and service opticians* provide, according to our second public perceptions survey.

97 per cent of patients were satisfied with their overall experience of visiting their optician, while 89 per cent were confident that they would receive a high standard of care from an optician.

However, the GP remains the first port of call for many people who have a minor eye problem. 40 per cent would go to their GP first, with only 22 per cent of those surveyed saying they’d visit their optician first if they woke up tomorrow with an eye problem.

More people in the devolved nations of the UK said they would go first to their eyecare practitioner than in England – 31 per cent in Scotland compared to 26 per cent in Wales, 25 per cent in Northern Ireland and 18 per cent in England.

Over a quarter (27%) of those who said that they would not go to an optician first said that this was because they might not be seen by an optician on the same day followed by a further 19% who thought that an optician would not be able to treat these kinds of problems. 

40 per cent of those surveyed saw themselves primarily as a customer when visiting their optician, closely followed by 37 per cent who saw themselves as a combination of both a customer and patient. Only one in five (21 per cent) saw themselves as just a patient.

Speaking on the findings, our Chief Executive Samantha Peters said: “The findings from this report are very insightful and, when combined with last year’s public survey, reinforce the need to highlight the important role optometrists and dispensing opticians can play in detecting and treating eye conditions. It is vital that the whole sector raises awareness of the work they can do in this area, particularly in England where awareness is lowest.

“It is pleasing to see such a high level of public confidence in opticians, and this is reinforced by the fact that 92 per cent of respondents said they have not complained or considered complaining about their experience with an optician – the same figure as found in last year’s survey.”

You can view the findings on our website.

* We used the term ‘optician’ in the research - rather than optometrists and dispensing opticians - as that is easily understood by patients and the public.

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eBulletin 29 October 2016

Welcome to eBulletin

Public perceptions survey

Contact lens habits

Message from the Department of Health

News in brief

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