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GOC Chair calls for more collaboration between system leaders in future of eye and vision services

8 Feb 2018

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Gareth Hadley, Chair of the General Optical Council (GOC), is today calling for more collaboration and cooperation between the wider health system and the optical sector.

Gareth’s call follows the regulator today publishing a summary of its recent discussions about the potential future direction of eye health and vision services in the UK.

Following a health system leaders’ roundtable meeting, held by the GOC in November as part of its Education Strategic Review, the new document summarises key themes from the meeting. These include the importance of developing increased collaboration, cooperation and integration between eye health and vision services and wider health systems, and equipping future optical professionals with the skills and knowledge to practise safely and competently in new and different ways.

Gareth Hadley said:

 “We know that throughout the UK more optical services are being delivered in new and innovative ways, including in a variety of community settings. Our role at the GOC is to ensure new practitioners are equipped to practise safely and competently in this evolving landscape. That is why our Education Strategic Review is such a key priority for us over the next two years.  

“But it is also vital that the optical and wider health sector pursue a joined up and collaborative approach to ensure the delivery of safe, accessible and cost effective eye health and vision services that patients have confidence in and can navigate easily.”

To read the summary statement please visit:




For media enquiries please contact:


GOC Communications Team

General Optical Council

t: 020 7580 3898 (option 4)



Notes to editors


1. The GOC’s Education Strategic Review is considering how eye health and vision services may change in the future to inform the development of new UK education and training requirements for optometrists and dispensing opticians.

2. On Friday 10 November 2017, the GOC brought together a range of health system leaders, together with the optical sector representatives and patient organisations, as part of its Education Strategic Review. The event considered how changing patient need, technological advances and service re-design are changing the way services are provided in all four countries of the UK and what this means for the professions the GOC regulates.

3. The GOC has published a consultation on the concepts and principles that could underpin optical education and training in the future, as part of its Education Strategic Review. The consultation is ongoing and will run until Friday 16 March 2018. The GOC held an information event yesterday for stakeholders on the concepts and principles consultation. To find out more about the consultation and how to respond please visit:


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, performance and conduct amongst opticians. The Council currently registers around 29,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.


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