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Next month, the GOC will launch a campaign to find 24 volunteers to form two Stakeholder Reference Groups (SRGs). Each group will comprise 12 members. Optical professionals including registrants, ophthalmologists and representatives of the optical bodies will form one group; patients and the public the other.

Stakeholder Reference Groups_feature

Once the groups have been set up, volunteers will be asked to reflect on their professional and/or personal experiences to offer suggestions and feedback on a wide range of GOC projects. This may include: 

  • Providing feedback on information leaflets for either patients or registrants;
  • Testing the usability of sections of the website;
  • Suggestions for improving consultation questions; and
  • Offering opinions on GOC policies, such as revalidation. 

GOC registrar, Dian Taylor said: “This is an incredibly exciting initiative for the Council, and a great opportunity for registrants and the public. We are looking to attract volunteers who are passionate about healthcare and are willing to offer their perspectives on a range of healthcare issues. This is just one way in which we will continue to engage with those who are most affected by the GOC’s work, so that we continue to place patient safety at the heart of everything we do.”

SRG volunteers will mainly offer their input from home, through online ‘e-engagement’ exercises via email, or in writing. There will also be occasional focus groups, and at least one all-day event for members each year, for which participants will be entitled to claim reasonable travel expenses and a £50 fee daily fee to compensate for time out of work or practice.

More information will be available on the GOC website from May.

Eye Health Alliance seeks volunteers for political party conference season

The GOC is a member of the Eye Health Alliance (EHA), and the Alliance is looking for GOC registrants to help at this year’s political party conferences.

There are just six months to go until the political party conference season gets underway. And with the next General Election scheduled for 6 May, this Autumn the EHA will be aiming to meet as many new MPs as possible to secure their support for the Alliance’s campaign to improve eye health in the UK.

Volunteers should be willing to help out on the EHA stand, demonstrate optical equipment and offer general eye health advice to conference delegates. The EHA would like to hear from optometrists who are available on the following dates and based in the following locations.

Liverpool, 18 – 22 September: Liberal Democrat Conference
Manchester, 26 – 30 September: Labour Party Conference
Birmingham, 3 – 6 October: Conservative Party Conference.

If you are interested, email