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GOC welcomes appointment of new Council members

30 Mar 2009

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today welcomed an announcement from the Appointments Commission confirming the appointments of 11 new members who will make up the reconstituted Council.

The new Council members are:

Lay members
Morag Alexander
Anna Bradley
Brian Coulter
Peter Douglas
Fiona Peel

Paul Carroll
Robert Hogan
Kevin Lewis
Nicholas Rumney

Dispensing opticians
Liam Kite
James Russell

Council chair, Geoff Harris said: “Following a rigorous selection process, the GOC is fortunate to have gained such a wealth of knowledge and expertise in its newly-appointed members. I look forward to working with the new Council to deliver effective and proportionate regulation of the optical professions.”

Geoff Harris added: “I would also like to pay tribute to departing members’ dedication and hard work. During a period of significant reform, their contribution has been invaluable.”

The new members take up office from 1 April 2009, and will serve for an initial period of four years. Members of Council will provide strategic direction, ensuring the organisation fulfils its duty of providing public protection, and that the Council retains the trust and confidence of patients, the public and the optical professions.

The Appointments Commission has managed the recruitment, selection and appointments process. This is the first time that all GOC Council members have been selected by an external body. The move is in line with government recommendations outlined in the White Paper on healthcare regulation, Trust, Assurance and Safety.


For further information please contact:
Clare Millington
Communications Officer
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3473

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 23,500 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

Council member biographies

Morag Alexander OBE lives in Edinburgh. Morag is currently chair of the statutory Scotland Committee of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and a board member of the GB body. She is also a lay Council member of the General Optical Council.

  • Founding convener (chair) of the Scottish Social Services Council, the professional regulator for the social work and social care workforce in Scotland.
  • Member posts with: member of court, Queen Margaret University Edinburgh; Care Commission Scotland
  • Researcher, editor and freelance journalist for various organisations
  • Founding director for Training 2000: Scottish Alliance for Women’s Training
  • Chair of Fair Play Scotland
  • Director for Scotland of the Equal Opportunities Commission 
  • Member posts with: Turning Point Scotland; Partnership for a Parliament; Scottish Senate of the Windsor Meetings; Committee of Inquiry into Student Finance; Expert Panel on Procedures and Standing orders in the Scottish Parliament; Women’s Advisory Group to Scottish ministers
  • Chair of the Early Years Advisory Group of Children in Scotland.

Anna Bradley lives in Colchester. Anna is the non-executive chairman of the Communications Consumer Panel, and non-executive chairman of the Soil Association Organic Standards Board. She is a non-executive director for the Soil Association Certification Limited, and a member of the Certification Scrutiny Committee.

  • Divisional director for the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
  • Chief executive for the National Consumer Council (NCC)
  • Chief executive for the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence (ISDD)
  • Member and non-executive posts include: DEFRA Independent Review of Avian Quarantine; DEFRA Science Advisory Council and chair of the DEFRA Science Advisory Council Horizon Scanning Programme; member of the Biotechnology Commission; member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs; trustee of the Patients’ Association
  • Member roles on a range of advisory groups including: Department of Trade and Industry, Cabinet Office, Camelot and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Paul Carroll lives in Preston. A qualified optometrist, Paul is currently chair of the Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO). He is a business advisor to the GOC’s Education Committee, and is an external examiner for City University.

  • Graduated from Aston University in 1987 with a BSc Honours in Optometry and Vision Science
  • Past chairman of JOCEU
  • Gained an MBA in 2002
  • Founded Anglia Distance Learning Ltd.

Brian Coulter OBE lives in Northern Ireland. He is currently a non-executive member of the Human Tissue Authority, and a former member of the Independent Tribunal Service. Brian was awarded an OBE for his services to Social Housing in Northern Ireland in 2003.

  • Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
  • Chief executive and company secretary of the FOLD GROUP Ltd
  • Assistant Director of Social Services for the Eastern Health and Social Services Board
  • In 1985 was awarded a European Fellowship to study services for older persons in Scandinavia
  • Public appointment roles include: founder chairman of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (the statutory regulator for Health and Social Services in Northern Ireland); chairman of the Eastern Health and Social Services Council; member of the General Dental Council; chairman of Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations; Director of Prospects, and past secretary for Lisburn Abbeyfield Society; chairman of Parkview Special School board of governors; member of Lisburn YMCA Steering Group.

Peter Douglas lives in East Sussex. Peter is currently a member of the DIUS Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s Resource Audit Committee; and a non-executive director and audit chair of the Sussex Downs and Weald PCT. He is also a Council member of the Health Professions Council, and a member of the Ashridge Business School Audit Committee.
Non-executive roles include: Steering Board member and Audit Committee chair for the DIUS National Weights and Measures Laboratory

  • Clerk to the Disciplinary Tribunal on the Taxation Disciplinary Board
  • Chief executive of Regent’s College
  • Director of Professional Standards at CIMA
  • Chartered accountant at HLB Kidsons, and past national managing partner.

Rob Hogan lives in Leicestershire. He is president of the College of Optometrists. Rob is Professional Services Director for Dollond & Aitchison, and is also a Council member of the General Optical Council.

  • Graduated from Aston University in 1980 and completed a PhD in 1985
  • Chairman of DOCET, and of the Continuing Professional Development Working Party; senior examiner for the College’s Professional Qualifying Examinations; and trustee of the European Academy of Optometry and Optics
  • Member roles include: College of Optometrists Governance Group; Electoral College of the College of Optometrists; Routes to Fellowship Working Group; Guidance Review Group; Drugs Advisory Board; executive of Vision 2020 UK; JOCEU; UK Vision Strategy Group; FODO Education and Professional Standards Committee; Birmingham LOC.

Liam Kite lives in Lincolnshire. He is currently senior lecturer in optometry and ophthalmic dispensing, Pathway Leader in ophthalmic dispensing and Admissions Tutor at Anglia Ruskin University. Liam is also a member of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO).

  • Graduated from the Association of British Dispensing Opticians Distance Learning Institute in 1987
  • Practical and theoretical examiner for ABDO
  • Course tutor for the ABDO Distance Learning Institute 
  • Course tutor for the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Manufacturers
  • Liam coaches the local rugby club in his spare time.

Kevin Lewis lives in Essex. As an independent optometrist, Kevin is currently the sole trader and principal optometrist with Euin Steele and Partners Optometrists; and K Lewis & Partners Optometrists. He is a pre-registration student adviser and mentor at the College of Optometrists, and a board member on the Board of Trustees. Kevin is also a Council member of the General Optical Council.

  • Graduated from City University in 1977
  • Immediate past president of the College of Optometrists
  • Past vice-president of the College of Optometrists
  • Senior examiner for the College’s Professional Qualifying Examinations 
  • Qualified fellow of the British Optical Association; fellow of The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers; and foundation fellow of the College of Optometrists
  • Gained an Advanced Diploma in Contact Lens Practice in 1981
  • Chair posts with the Essex Optical Society, the British Association of the Young Optometrists, and honorary course convenor/adviser to the Pre-Registration Course Organisation.

Fiona Peel lives in Cardiff. Fiona is currently chair of the local Cardiff Health Board. She is also a lay member of the General Medical Council and chair of the Cancer Services Co-ordinating Group for Wales.

Chair of the Cardiac Network Co-ordinating Group

  • Lay member of the merged Council of Cardiff University
  • Chair of the Merger Commission for the Cardiff University and UWCM
  • Lay member of the Marix Scientific Advisory Committee
  • Chair of the Gwent Health Authority
  • Council member for University of Wales College of Medicine.

Nicholas Rumney lives in Hereford. He is a qualified optometrist and presently managing director of BBR Optometry Ltd, and director of Monnow Eyecare Ltd. Nick is a visiting lecturer at the University of Manchester. He is also a Council member of the General Optical Council.

  • Graduated Cardiff 1980 with a BSc Hons
  • Graduated Melbourne (Australia) MScOptom in 1986
  • Fellow of the College of Optometrists
  • Senior examiner for the College of Optometrists
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry
  • Fellow of the British Contact Lens Association
  • Member of the American Academy of Optometry International Admissions Committee
  • Active in the delivery of continuing education to optometrists
  • Clinical interests include: low vision, primary care, therapeutics and clinical instrumentation.

James Russell lives in Canterbury. He currently works in practice for Dollond & Aitchison as a manager, dispensing optician and contact lens optician. He is also a Council member of the General Optical Council.

  • Past president of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO)
  • Past chairman of the ABDO in Scotland, where he also served as a member of local optometric committees.
  • Student dispensing optician and contact lens tutor for Dollond & Aitchison
  • Part-time contact lens and ophthalmic dispensing lecturer at ABDO College
  • Associate member of the Healthcare Commission
  • Liveryman of the SMC
  • UK and overseas examiner for the practical qualifying ABDO examinations.


1. Council members will receive an annual honorarium of £12,000. The Chair receives £35,000 per annum.

2. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public.

3. The declared political activities of the new Council members are:

Council member Declared political activity
Morag Alexander None
Anna Bradley None
Paul Carroll None
Brian Coulter None
Peter Douglas None
Robert Hogan None
Liam Kite None
Kevin Lewis None
Fiona Peel Once carried out leafleting for the Conversative Party  
Nicholas Rumney None
James Russell None

 4. Other ministerial appointments currently held by newly-appointed Council members:

Morag Alexander
2007 - 2010
Equality and Human Rights Commission (Department of Communities and Local Government)
£400 per day

2007 - present
General Optical Council
£270 per day

Anna Bradley
2008 – 2011
Ofcom (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform)
£30,000 per annum

Paul Carroll

Brian Coulter
05/05/08 - 04/05/11
Human Tissue Authority
£7,598 per annum

Peter Douglas
2007 - 2010
Engineering and Physical Sciences (Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills)
£500 per annum

2007 - 2010
East Sussex Downs and Weald (Department of Health)
£12,600 per annum

2006 - 2009
Health Professions Council
£310 per day (approx £6,000 per annum)

Steering Board Director and chair of the Audit Committee, National Weights and Measures Laboratory (now the National Measurement Office)
£5,000 per annum

Robert Hogan
2008 - present
General Optical Council
£270 per day

Liam Kite

Kevin Lewis
05/03 - present
General Optical Council
£270 per day

Fiona Peel
2006 - present
Cardiff Local Health Board (Welsh Assembly)
£10,000 per annum

2003 - present
Chair of Cancer and Cardiac Networks (Welsh Assembly) £39,000 per annum 

Nicholas Rumney
2002 - present
General Optical Council
£270 per day

James Russell
2007 - present
General Optical Council
£270 per day

5. A Department of Health Constitution Order instructs that the Council be comprised of 12 members (including the Chair) as follows:

  • Six registrant members (that is members who are registered optometrists or registered dispensing opticians); and
  • Six lay members, including the Chair (currently defined as members who are not and never have been registered in a register, or a director of a body corporate registered in a register, maintained by the Council, and do not hold qualifications which would entitle them to apply for registration in one of the registers maintained under section 7 or 8B [of the Opticians Act 1989])

5. A copy of the government White Paper on healthcare regulation is available from the Council’s website:

6. Council papers for the 2 April are available from the Council’s website:


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