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Statement on CE-marked fluorescein ophthalmic strips

30 Sep 2013

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today issued a statement clarifying the circumstances in which optometrists and contact lens opticians can use CE-marked fluorescein ophthalmic strips.

All complaints to the GOC are considered by independent committees so it cannot prejudge their decisions in individual cases, but the statement makes clear the GOC’s position that:

  • registrants are responsible for acting in their patients’ best interests, in line with the GOC Code of Conduct; and
  • there will be occasions where this will require optometrists or contact lens opticians to use CE-marked fluorescein strips.

GOC chief executive and registrar Samantha Peters said, “Our guiding principle is that we act in the best interests of patients. I hope this statement gives registrants extra clarity about using CE-marked fluorescein strips within the scope of their clinical practice.

“This is a complex issue which has required us obtaining specialist legal advice, working closely with a number of stakeholders and taking into account the expert view of a clinical consensus panel.”

Should the GOC receive a complaint about a registrant using fluorescein, the GOC will investigate in line with its usual processes. This means that the complaint will be considered by the Investigation Committee and potentially the Fitness to Practise Committee.

These committees are independent of the GOC; however, the GOC will ensure that they have all relevant information including the views of the clinical consensus panel and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and the GOC’s own statement.

The full statement can be found below:

GOC statement on use of fluorescein ophthalmic strips GOC statement on use of fluorescein ophthalmic strips


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

Notes for editors:
1. The GOC has issued two previous statements on fluorescein. These are available on its website at and

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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