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GOC announces new Registration and Investigation Committee members

29 Jan 2010

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today announced the names of 14 new Committee members who have been approved to sit on its statutory Registration and Investigation Committees.

The following have been appointed to the Registration Committee:

Dispensing opticians
Michelle Derbyshire
Kim Devlin

Janice McCrudden
Bina Patel

Responsible officer of a registered body corporate

Gary Ames
Susan Lee Elsmore
Kate Fielding (Chair)

The following have been appointed to the Investigation Committee:

Dispensing opticians
Keith Cavaye

Lisa Gerson
Kamlesh Gohil

Stuart Heatherington
James Kellock (Chair)
Michael Yates

Stuart Roxburgh

GOC chief executive and registrar, Dian Taylor said: “The Registration and Investigation Committees play a pivotal role in the decisions that affect both registrants and the public. We had a very positive response to the recruitment campaign, resulting in a large number of high-calibre applicants to both committees. Council members and GOC staff look forward to working with the new committee members, to deliver proportionate and transparent regulation of the optical professions.”

Members of the Registration Committee will advise Council on a variety of issues relating to registration. Investigation Committee members consider evidence about Fitness to Practise complaints, and decide what course of action to take.


For media enquiries please contact:
Clare March
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3473


1. Appointments are for a period of up to four years. Committee members do not receive a salary but are offered a daily fee, plus expenses. It is anticipated that members will work up to three days per month.

2. As a result of government reforms to all UK healthcare regulatory bodies, a smaller, more board-like Council of 12 members took up office in April 2009. In contrast to the Council’s previous committee structure, where committees were populated by Council members, committees are now independent of Council.

3. The recruitment process for the Council’s other statutory committees is underway. Members are currently being recruited to the Standards and Education committees. Interviews will be held throughout January and February. It is anticipated that the panel’s recommendations will be considered for approval by Council at its meeting on 25 February 2010.

4. The Companies Committee’s statutory status will be removed in a Section 60 order due to be consulted on in the Spring and with implementation expected in late 2010. Council considered the implications of this situation at its meeting on 18 December 2009 and agreed that it would not be an efficient use of resources to proceed with appointments to the Committee at the present time. Therefore, existing members of Companies Committee have been offered reappointment for a period of 12 months from 1 March 2010.

5. The vacancy for a responsible officer from a body corporate will be filled by a secondment from among the members of Companies Committee. The GOC will re-advertise the remaining outstanding vacancies in the coming months.
6. In April 2009, Council appointed Kate Fielding as the lay Chair of the Registration Committee. Kate Fielding is the Director of Communications and Information, with responsibility for the Registration department.

Registration Committee member biographies:

Michelle Derbyshire (dispensing optician)
Michelle Derbyshire joined the ABDO College in 2001 as a technician and was appointed in 2004 to the post of Head of the Distance Learning Institute, a role in which she was instrumental in developing a partnership between the ABDO College and Canterbury Christ Church University, and constructing and delivering the new joint foundation degree in ophthalmic dispensing. She has completed five projects as a Vision Aid Overseas volunteer in Africa and is currently working towards her MA.

Kim Devlin (dispensing optician)
Kim Devlin is a well-established independent practice owner, contact lens optician and dispensing optician. In 2004, Kim was awarded the Hamblin Memorial Prize for outstanding contribution to optics. Kim is a past member of the GOC's Investigation, Registration and Finance Committees.

Janice McCrudden (optometrist)
An experienced optometrist, Janice McCrudden holds a number of senior posts in Northern Ireland: she is ophthalmic adviser to the Regional Health Board; senior hospital optometrist for the Royal Group of Hospitals; examiner for the College of Optometrists and for the Welsh Low Vision, WEHE and PEARS schemes and partner in an optometric training business. Janice is also a past member of the GOC's Fitness to Practise panel.

Bina Patel (optometrist)
Bina Patel is an optometrist at Boots Opticians and a pre-registration supervisor. Since qualifying in 2002, she has gained additional experience in Specsavers Opticians, Whipps Cross Hospital, Kingston Eye Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Gary Ames (lay)
Gary Ames is an NED on the board of NHS Luton and an associate of the Chartered Institute of Financial Services. Prior to taking up his role as CEO of the Charity Sight Concern, which he held from 2005 to 2007, he was Principal Change Manager for Barclays bank, where his role comprised leading the implementation of a range of national change initiatives. Current roles also include trustee director of Barclays Bank UK Pension Fund and member of the Standing Commission on Carers, an organisation providing independent expert advice to the secretary of state for health, and to the minister for care services, in finalising and implementing a national strategy for carers.

Susan Lee Elsmore (lay)
Susan Elsmore is a solicitor and former policy lead for advocacy in the Welsh Assembly. She is currently leading the knowledge transfer in relation to the Mental Capacity Act with the Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE). As well as various charity commitments, Susan is vice chair at Cardiff and Vale NHS trust, where she is also chair of the Clinical Governance Committee, the Safer Patient Initiative, Nurse Champion and a former chair of the Risk Management Committee.

Investigation Committee biographies:

Keith Cavaye (dispensing optician)
Keith Cavaye is an independent locum, contact lens optician and consultant, ABDO board director and chair of the ABDO CET Committee. Keith is a Council member of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA), and until April 2009, was a Council member of the GOC.

Kamlesh Gohil (optometrist)
Kamlesh Gohil is a joint venture partner in two branches of Specsavers Opticians: Ealing Broadway and West Ealing. He is a Council member of the College of Optometrists, where he currently chairs the Disciplinary Committee and is a member of the Members and Standards Committee. He is also the vice-chair of the DOCET Committee, and is a past performance reviewer for the GOC.

Lisa Gerson (optometrist)
Lisa Gerson is a clinic tutor and primary care clinic supervisor at the University of Wales, Cardiff, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences. She also holds appointments as a member of the lay advisory panel at the College of Optometrists, a chair of the visitor panel for the GOC and sits on the Patient Access Scheme Liaison Unit at NICE. Lisa is also a justice of the peace.

James Kellock (lay)
James Kellock originally qualified as a barrister-at-law and was (until 2008) deputy director of the Serious Fraud Office, where he was also their first diversity champion. He is a board member of the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board and has also held a number of voluntary appointments.

Stuart Heatherington (lay)
Stuart Heatherington is a chartered mathematician/chartered scientists with a background in the private sector, where he co-founded and grew an international software company. In recent years he has chaired two NHS trusts, and the Sussex (Northern) Magistrates' Bench Training and Development Committee. He has also been an independent member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Management Board, and a member of the GOC's Investigation and Registration Committees. Stuart has been a Council member of both the GOC and the GMC.

Michael Yates (lay)
Michael Yates is currently a visiting senior lecturer in pharmacology at the University of Leeds. He is also an expert witness, a member of the General Osteopathic Council's Fitness to Practise Committee and a mental health act manager with Leeds Partnership NHS foundation trust.

Stuart Roxburgh (ophthalmologist)
Stuart Roxburgh is a consultant ophthalmologist at NHS Tayside and honorary senior lecturer at the University of Dundee. He has medico-legal experience as an adviser to the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland and has two years’ experience with the GOC Investigation Committee.

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