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GOC appoints new lay member of Council

27 Feb 2007

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General Optical Council press release, 27 February 2007

For immediate release

GOC appoints new lay member of Council

The General Optical Council (GOC) has appointed Stuart Heatherington as a lay member of Council. He will serve a five-year term of office.

Stuart has a technical background in computing for civil engineering and with four others set up and ran his own international software company. In recent years he has been fully committed to the health service. For two years he was chairman of a mental health trust followed by another six years as chairman of an acute hospital trust. He has significant regulatory experience as a lay member of the
General Medical Council since 2003 and sits as a magistrate in both the youth and adult courts in West Sussex.

Chairman of Council Rosie Varley welcomed his appointment: “I am delighted that Stuart is joining the Council. His track record in driving forward reform in professional regulation will be invaluable to the GOC at this critical stage in its development.”

On joining the Council Stuart said: “My appointment to the GOC comes at a particularly interesting time for professional regulation. I am especially looking forward to making my contribution as the Council implements the Government's White Paper proposals.”

The lay member vacancy arose following the resignation of Shaheen Chaudhury last month. Ms Chaudhury stepped down from the role for personal reasons. Three new lay members were appointed in January.

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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