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GOC holds first illegal practice stakeholder group meeting

4 Feb 2015

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The General Optical Council has today held its first stakeholder steering group meeting as part of its new illegal practice strategy.

The group has been formed to develop a code of practice for online contact lens suppliers and advise on options for implementation. The GOC intends to launch a consultation on a draft code of practice in June 2015 and to implement the code by the end of the year.

The group will also work to raise awareness among the public of how to buy and wear contact lenses safely, such as the need to follow aftercare advice and have regular check-ups.

The stakeholder group is comprised of sixteen members from across the optical sector, including representatives from various professional bodies, an online contact lens supplier and several consumer representatives, among others. The group will be chaired by Dr Rob Hogan.

GOC Council member and Council Champion for the illegal practice project, Dr Hogan said: “It was extremely pleasing to welcome a group with such a wide variety of experience and expertise and a shared commitment to highlighting the need for consumers to have regular eye examinations and follow aftercare advice regardless of whether they buy their contact lenses online or in-store.”


For further information please contact:

Simon Grier

Communications Manager

General Optical Council

t: 020 7307 3478


Notes to editors:

1. Members of the stakeholder steering group are:

  • Rob Hogan – Council Member of the GOC (Chair of steering group)
  • Gordon Ashworth – Director of Consumer Policy at the Competition and Markets Authority
  • Peter Black – President of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO)
  • Gill Brown – Chief Executive of Healthwatch Lancashire (consumer representative)
  • Kamlesh Chauhan – Immediate Past President of the College of Optometrists and Director of The Vision Care Institute, Europe, Middle East & Africa at Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd
  • Chris Cherry – Delivery Manager at Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire (consumer representative)
  • Rob Darracott – Chief  Executive Officer of Pharmacy Voice (trade/professional body for community pharmacy) (attended in an advisory capacity)
  • Cheryl Donnelly – Chief  Executive Officer of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA)
  • Richard Edwards – independent consultant and member of the GOC Companies Committee
  • Helen McKenna – Principal Policy Adviser at Which? (consumer representative)
  • Phil Morgan – Professor of Optometry, Director of Eurolens Research and Program Director for Optometry at The University of Manchester
  • Mitesh Patel – founder of Lenstore (online contact lens supplier), Digital Strategy Director at Vision Express and member of the GOC Companies Committee
  • Simon Rodwell – Secretary General of the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM)
  • Claire Slade – member of the Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO) and GOC Companies Committee and Registration Committee, Superintendent Optometrist at Asda
  • Kevin Thompson – member of Council of the Association of Optometrists (AOP) and GOC Companies Committee
  • Alistair Bridge – Director of Strategy at the GOC
  • Marie Bunby – Policy Manager at the GOC

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 26,500 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

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