1 October 2020

Optometry bodies say funding uncertainty on GOC education plans threatens patient safety

A joint statement has been issued on the General Optical Council’s proposed new framework for optometric education.

Sally Gosling, Director of Education for The College of Optometrists said: “While there are many positive aspects in the ESR proposals for supporting the profession’s development and responsiveness to changing models of care, we continue to be concerned about the lack of consideration given to how different models of pre-registration education could be funded. We have raised this in our responses to previous ESR consultations, and more recently in the uncertain, challenging context now created by COVID-19.
“We strongly welcome the GOC’s current financial impact assessment of its ESR proposals. However, the purpose of this exercise is to explore the risks and issues that the proposals raise, not to provide funding solutions or assurance. Addressing these issues is crucial for all stakeholders - including education providers, students, employers and patients – to determine how the ESR proposals can safely be taken forward in a timely, planned, fully informed way.”  

Together with the Association of Optometrists and Optometry Schools Council, we have released a joint statement highlighting our concerns that the GOC’s education strategic review lacks a focus on funding issues, which risks the sustainability of optometry education and workforce supply and therefore the quality of patient care. Read our full statement (PDF 598KB)

Related further reading

Clinical Adviser for the College Daniel Hardiman-McCartney FCOptom on how to ensure a sustainable optometry workforce.

Clinical case studies can make a small but important contribution to the sum of clinical knowledge. Why do we need them, asks Kim Thomas, and how do you write one?

The College’s Clinical Editor, Jane Veys MCOptom, on rabbits in the headlights and royally good handovers