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GOC makes appointments

16 Jan 2015

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today announced two new appointees to its advisory committees. Paula Baines has joined the Standards Committee and Mitesh Patel becomes a member of Companies Committee.

The regulator has also announced eight new Hearings Panel Chairs, who will chair fitness to practise and registration appeal hearings.

Paula Baines replaces Glenn Tomison as a dispensing optician member of the Standards Committee, following Glenn’s appointment to Council. Paula is a Dispensing Development Manager at Vision Express, supporting over 70 dispensing and contact lens opticians. She is also a LOCSU-trained CET peer review facilitator and was formerly a lecturer at Bradford College. Glenn Tomison remains on the committee, replacing James Russell as a Council representative.

Paula said, “I am delighted to be joining the Standards Committee. I strongly believe in the importance of professional responsibility and registrants working within an effective set of standards. I look forward to working with the committee during a crucial time as the GOC continues its strategic review of the standards for dispensing opticians and optometrists.”

Mitesh Patel replaces Brian Carroll on the GOC’s Companies Committee. Mitesh is the Digital Strategy Director of Vision Express and founder of the online retailer Lenstore.

Mitesh said, “I’m looking forward to starting work as a member of the Companies Committee. I hope to bring a unique understanding of both the bricks and clicks elements of optical retailing.”

The GOC has also announced the names of the eight successful candidates who will chair its hearings from 1 July 2015. In the six months until then, they will act as ordinary lay members of the Hearings Panel. The new appointees are Eileen Carr, Ian Crookall, Sara Fenoughty, Anne Johnstone, James Kellock, Rachel O’Connell, Pamela Ormerod and Valerie Paterson.

GOC Chair Gareth Hadley said, “The ten committee members joining us this month bring a wealth of expertise. Paula and Mitesh have wide and diverse experience of the professions and optical businesses; they will bring valuable insights and expertise to our advisory committees.

“The new appointees who will chair our hearings over the next three years have a significant amount of legal and regulatory expertise. Their stewardship will ensure that hearings continue to exemplify good practice, demonstrating fairness and complying with all legal and procedural requirements – protecting the public while being fair to registrants.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Simon Grier
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3478

Notes to editors

1. A list of the current Hearings Panel members is available on the GOC website at

2. A list of the current advisory committee members is available at

3. Paula and Mitesh have been appointed until 31 July 2018 on the Standards and Companies committees respectively.

4. The Hearing Panel Chairs have been appointed to serve three year terms, starting on 1 July 2015.

5. The Standards Committee advises and gives assistance to the Council on the standards of conduct and performance expected of current and potential registrants

6. The Companies Committee advises the Council and other committees on matters relating to business registrants

7. Members of the Hearings Panel sit in two capacities:

  • as members of the Fitness to Practise (FTP) Committee – this judges whether a registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired. If they find that it is, there are a range of sanctions they can impose against the registrant; and
  • as members of the Registration Appeals Committee – this is constituted to hear and determine any appeals against any decision of the Registrar refusing to enter the name of an individual or body corporate on, or to restore it to, the appropriate Register.

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