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Samantha Peters addresses changing optical professions

4 Sep 2014

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Samantha Peters, Chief Executive of the General Optical Council (GOC), has today spoken about the changing nature of optometry and dispensing optics and the implications for the GOC’s standards.

In a speech at the Westminster Health Forum eye care conference Samantha discussed how technological change can present opportunities to enhance patient care, particularly by optometrists doing more work in treating eye conditions on the high street.

The GOC recently launched a strategic review of the standards it sets for optometrists and dispensing opticians and Samantha spoke about how the review will have to account for potentially expanded scopes of practice.

Samantha told delegates: “The priority for us is to evolve our standards in line with optical practice, in a way which safeguards patients.

“Which is why we are considering the potential benefit of having higher aspirational standards which anticipate the care that can be provided in future, as well as the core, essential standards needed to treat patients safely today which are already in place.”

Samantha also used the speech to call for the UK Law Commissions’ draft Bill on healthcare regulation to be implemented, noting that it would help all health professional regulators, including the GOC, to respond more easily to changes in their professions.

The full text of the speech is available at:


For further information please contact:
Simon Grier
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3478


1. Samantha spoke at Westminster Health Forum event Improving eye care in England: commissioning, standards and service delivery. Full details are available here:

2. The GOC’s strategic review of its standards launched on 31 July. The first consultation phase, a call for evidence, closes on 12 October. Details are available here:

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 26,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.


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