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GOC Chairman receives OBE

2 Jan 2007

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General Optical Council press release, 2 January 2007

For immediate release

GOC Chairman receives OBE

General Optical Council chairman Rosie Varley has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Years Honours List. The honour is in recognition of her services to the NHS and to healthcare.

The New Year Honours List reflects and pays tribute to outstanding achievement and service across the community.

Commenting on the award, Mrs Varley said: “I was overwhelmed when I heard I was to receive this award, which was entirely unexpected. During the thirty years that I have been involved with health care I have had the privilege to work with an enormous number of talented and dedicated people. My various roles have all, in different ways, focussed on providing a framework within which front line clinicians can deliver excellent patient care, and this honour is an acknowledgement of the achievements of all those people.

“My involvement with the world of optics over the last eight years has been enormously rewarding, and I will continue to do all I can to gain greater government recognition of the critical role of the optical professions in improving peoples health and quality of life.”

In addition to her present role as chairman of the GOC, Rosie Varley was a regional commissioner of the NHS Appointments Commission until December 2006.

ENDS

For further information please contact:
Kate Fielding
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3472
e: kfielding@optical.org

Notes for editors:
1. Rosemary Varley (55) was appointed by the Privy Council as Chairman of the General Optical Council in January 1999. She has spent all her working life in and around healthcare. Until the end of 2006 she was one of the NHS Appointment's Commissioners. Rosie is also a member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal and a disability advisor for the Independent Tribunal Service.

2. She has chaired a number of strategic service reviews, including the controversial review of cancer services at Mount Vernon hospital, which led to the building of a new hospital and tertiary care centre in Hatfield. From 1997 to 2001 Rosie was one of eight NHS Regional Chairmen. She was a Chairman of Mid Anglia Community NHS Trust (1993-1997) and a member, then vice Chairman, of West Suffolk Health Authority (1984-1993).

3. Rosie began her career as a researcher and lecturer at the Universities of Durham and Manchester and, before moving to Suffolk in 1983, worked at the Health Service Management Unit in Manchester. She has a long-standing interest and commitment to improving mental health services, and particularly in the personal and family problems arising from substance misuse. She is President of West Suffolk MIND, a member of the Council of St Nicholas Hospice, and actively involved in several organizations concerned with drug and alcohol misuse. She is a former Chairman of West Suffolk NSPCC.

4. Rosie Varley lives in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and has two children. She was married to Andrew Varley, who died in November last year and was recently best known as deputy leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

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 and conduct amongst opticians. The Council currently registers around 22,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.



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