The GOC call for evidence on the Opticians Act 1989 has closed

The General Optical Council (GOC) call for evidence for the review of the Opticians Act 1989 (‘the Act’) closed on 18 July 2022. The information and evidence collected will inform the development of any business case for future change to the Act, and also any immediate changes to associated policies.

Around 350 stakeholders, including patients, the public, registrants, sector bodies and employers, contributed to the review. The GOC will now collate and carefully analyse the responses to assess the impact of proposed changes, or of making no change, and consider whether there are gaps in evidence that would require further research. Recommendations about proposals for additional work and an associated timetable will be made to the GOC Council in September. The GOC will publish a full response in due course summarising the findings and setting out next steps.

It is envisioned that any legislative reform to the Opticians Act 1989 will not be implemented for several years, in line with the Department of Health and Social Care timetable for planned reforms to health and social care regulators’ legislation. The GOC will use this time to develop our policy positions to inform any business case and consult further on specific changes as required.

Leonie Milliner, Chief Executive and Registrar, GOC, said: “I would like to thank all those who took the time to engage with this unique opportunity to inform the future of legislation and associated policies, and regulation of eye care provision. The high interest in the call for evidence was very encouraging to see and we will carefully assess all the feedback. In the meantime, there is a great deal of work for the GOC to do before we can update the sector in September, so please bear with us until then.”