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GOC announces new lay members

24 Jan 2007

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General Optical Council press release, 24 January 2007

For immediate release

GOC announces new lay members

Today the General Optical Council has announced the appointment of three new lay members. Morag Alexander, Ian Hamer and Sheila Wild have all been appointed for a five-year term with the GOC.

Rosie Varley, chairman of the GOC said, “I am absolutely delighted that this recent recruitment exercise generated such a high level of interest, and with the exceptional quality of the three individuals who have been appointed. The GOC is entering a very important new phase as it responds to the recommendations for changes in healthcare professional regulation which are shortly to be announced by the government. The newcomers to the Council, both elected and appointed, have a huge contribtution to make at a very significant time for the professions and for regulation.”

Morag Alexander OBE joins as the member for Scotland. She is currently Convener of the Scottish Social Services Council, from which she will retire in the summer. Morag is also a Member of the Board of the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care and a Member of the Court of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Morag was formerly Director of the Equal Opportunities Commission, Scotland. Other previous roles include: Chair of the Early Years Advisory Group of Children in Scotland (1995-2003); Chair of Fair Play Scotland (2001-2006); Trustee of Turning Point Scotland (1996-2005); Board Member of Partnership for a Parliament; Member of the Expert Panel on Procedures and Standing Orders in the Scottish Parliament; and a member of the Scottish Committee into Student Finance (Cubie Committee).

Ian Hamer OBE is appointed as the member for Wales. Formerly the Chair of the Air Transport Users Council, Ian brings experience of representing the interests of consumers in a regulated environment. He is Managing Director of an international group of companies in the plastics industry and sits as a magistrate in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Sheila Wild will serve as member for the English constituency. She is Director of Employment Policy at the Equal Opportunities Commission, where she has worked for over twenty-five years. A well-regarded expert in her field, and winner of the 2003 Wainwright Trust Award for behind-the-scenes contributions to equality, Sheila has a background in both regulation and policy analysis.

Sheila has a visual impairment and is a member of the Macular Disease Society. She lives in Manchester, where she is a lay member of the General Assembly of the University. She is also an alumna of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences (class of ’86). Her previous appointments include advising the Government on work-life balance and trusteeship of a small charity.

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. The GOC’s governing body, the Council, consists of 28 members, including nine lay members nominated by the Privy Council. Of the 15 members representing optometrists and dispensing opticians, four are nominated by the examining bodies and training institutions and 11 are elected by registrants. Four ophthalmologist members are nominated by the Royal College of Ophthalmlogists.

2. Appointment of lay members to the GOC is by merit on the basis of open competition. The process is managed on behalf of the Privy Council by the Appointments Commission.

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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