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GOC announces new appointments to its statutory advisory committees

6 Nov 2017

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today appointed ten new lay members to four of its statutory advisory committees.  The committee members will provide expert advice on key areas of the GOC’s work, ensuring that it continues to take account of issues that affect registrants and the public and puts patient safety at the heart of its decisions.

Speaking about the appointments GOC Chair, Gareth Hadley, said “Our committees play a vital role, not only in advising Council on matters that affect both registrants and the public, but in key projects such as our Education Strategic Review.”

“I extend a warm welcome to all new committee members and look forward to drawing on their diverse experience and expertise to ensure that Council’s decisions continue to be informed by well-reasoned and informed advice.”

Registration Committee

The GOC has appointed Alison Sansome, David Watkins and Lynn Emslie to its Registration Committee.

Alison Sansome is a non-executive board member for the Office of the Public Guardian and a School Governor. She was previously a Senior Civil Servant, Senior Programme Director for Hewlett Packard and then an Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

David Watkins previously taught music in London and the Home Counties before working in education, social care and local government. In recent years has been involved in finance and governance, information technology and the design, development and commissioning of new schools with a focus on special educational needs. 

Lynn Emslie’s career has spanned healthcare service delivery, commissioning and strategic development; including mental health, health in criminal justice and local authority social services. She originally qualified as a diagnostic radiographer and then a social worker, before becoming a senior manager leading NHS commissioning and quality monitoring within NHS England.

Education Committee

The GOC has appointed Alan Kershaw and Kath Start to its Education Committee.

Alan Kershaw worked for the General Medical Council for 17 years, latterly as Director of Education and Standards. He spent seven years as Chief Executive of the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners. He has held non-executive positions with the General Osteopathic Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Kath Start has held executive, advisory and non-executive appointments with NHS and Foundation Trust boards, universities, colleges and boards of private healthcare companies in the UK and overseas. Her current projects include acting as an advisor to a government in South East Asia, designing new ways of managing emergency ambulance services and an education framework to underpin new roles for emergency care clinicians.

Investigation Committee

The GOC has appointed Heather Keating and Juliet Oliver to its Investigation Committee.

Heather Keating served as a senior police officer in a wide variety of roles for 30 years, including District Commander in Hastings and Rother, Neighbourhood Policing Superintendent in East Sussex. She has extensive experience of leading diverse teams in the public sector and established the first Pregnancy, Maternity and Paternity Equality working group in Sussex Police.

Juliet Oliver is a solicitor specialising in public and regulatory law - and the General Counsel at the Solicitors Regulation Authority. She was previously a partner at Fieldfisher, acting for a range of regulatory bodies. At the General Medical Council she advised on high profile disciplinary cases including the Shipman and Mid-Staffordshire public inquiries. Juliet is a member of the Law Society’s Mental Health and Disability Committee.

Standards Committee

The GOC has appointed Deborah Bowman, Emma Connelly and Linda Millington to its Standards Committee.

Deborah Bowman is a Professor with over 25 years’ experience in bioethics, clinical ethics and medical law. She is former Editor-in-Chief of the BMJ title Medical Humanities and Board Member and Section Editor for the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation. Deborah is currently chairing the General Medical Council Task and Finish Group reviewing guidance for doctors on consent.

Emma Connelly is a clinical specialist physiotherapist with over 20 years’ experience of working in the NHS. She has post-graduate qualifications in injection therapy and independent prescribing as well as an MSc in advanced physiotherapy.

Until April 2016 Linda Millington was Head of Assessment Services for the Restorative Justice Council (RJC) where she was responsible for the management of the RJC’s Practitioner Register, Practitioner Accreditation Scheme and Restorative Service Quality Mark. Her previous roles have included audit work for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

Appointees to the Investigation, Education and Registration Committees took up office on 1 October 2017, apart from Heather Keating, who will take up her post on 1 January 2018. All appointees to the Standards Committee will take up office on 1 November 2017.




For further information please contact:

Communications Team

General Optical Council

t: 020 7307 3478 – option 4




About the General Optical Council:

The GOC is the regulator for the optical professions in the UK. Its purpose is to protect the public by promoting high standards of education, conduct and performance amongst opticians. The Council currently registers around 29,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

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