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Nockolds take over complaints service for optical consumers

1 Apr 2014

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Nockolds have today started work as the new provider of the Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS). The firm will provide a free and impartial mediation service for both consumers and registrants, funded by the General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for the optical professions.

The OCCS mediates complaints regarding the goods and services provided by optical professionals, such as obtaining refunds for faulty glasses. The service does not have any enforcement powers, and the GOC will continue to deal with any matters relating to a practitioner’s fitness to practise.

Samantha Peters, GOC Chief Executive and Registrar, said: “Many optical complaints relate to consumer issues, which do not call a registrant’s fitness to practise into question.

“Funding the OCCS means that both the public and registrants have access to an independent and impartial mediation service that can work to resolve consumer issues in an efficient and mutually agreeable way. I am confident that Nockolds will do an excellent job of carrying on this invaluable service.”

Jennie Jones, Head of the Optical Consumer Complaints Service, said: “Nockolds is looking forward to working with the optical professions and consumers to resolve complaints fairly and swiftly to maintain standards and consumer satisfaction in this healthcare sector.

“The Optical Consumer Complaints service will continue to mediate complaints and communicate with all involved to preserve the trust placed in, and promote the importance of, the provision of optical services by those professionals and practices regulated by the General Optical Council.”

Jennie Jones will take part in an ‘Ask the Expert’ session at Optrafair London on 11 April 2014 to answer questions and explain how the new service will benefit those involved in optical care.

More information can be found on the OCCS website.


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

Notes to editors

1. Nockolds are a regulated firm of solicitors. More information can be found on their website.

2. The GOC ran a fair and open tender process to award the three-year contract to provide a complaints service for optical consumers. The tender process started in September 2013, and the GOC announced Nockolds’ appointment in February 2014.

3. The OCCS can be reached by email at, or by phone on 0844 800 5071 and 01279 712584.

4. The OCCS’ postal address is now:

2-8 Market Square
Bishops Stortford
CM23 3UZ

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 26,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

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