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GOC response to non-medical professional healthcare regulation review

14 Aug 2006

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General Optical Council Press Release – 14 July 2006

For immediate release

GOC response to non-medical professional healthcare regulation review

The General Optical Council (GOC) has welcomed the publication of the government’s review of the regulation of non-medical healthcare professionals.

During the review, the GOC highlighted opportunities to improve patient protection through more coordination and consistency between the healthcare regulators, employers and other players in the UK healthcare system.

Registrar Peter Coe said: “I am very pleased that the review’s findings will now be available for discussion and debate. We haven’t had a chance to look in detail at the recommendations. Clearly, that is something we will be doing over the coming weeks as we consider the implications for the Council. We look forward to working with the Department of Health, the other regulators and the CHRE to ensure that UK health regulation continues to improve to protect public health and safety.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors

1. The Council highlighted the need for a consistent approach from healthcare regulators and set out opportunities to improve patient protection:
• Fitness to practise investigation and adjudication systems need greater clarity and consistency. Such systems must have the confidence of both the public and the profession.
• Specialty registers should be used to manage areas where scope of practice is widening.
• ‘New and extended roles’ which relate to competencies already regulated should be regulated by the same body, as with dental team regulation.
• Better communication between the players in the UK health system could help regulators, for example to revalidate practitioners or identify bad practice.

2. 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.
For further information contact:

Kate Fielding
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3472
m: 07763 210019
e: kfielding@optical.org

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