Evolving the framework

ABDO's Daryl Newsome explains why DOs refracting shouldn't be controversial

The General Optical Council’s call for evidence on the Opticians Act is a great opportunity for the optical sector to think about the future. It also allows us to explore how the regulatory framework should evolve to continue protecting the public by enabling dispensing opticians and optometrists to develop their roles and work together as part of a multi-disciplinary team for the benefit of patients.

The issue that has dominated the public debate so far has been refraction and this debate has generated a lot of heat, but not an awful lot of light.

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) is seeking a limited change to the GOC’s 2013 statement on sight-testing to allow dispensing opticians to refract as part of the sight test under the oversight of an optometrist or medical practitioner. To carry out this role, a dispensing optician would, of course, need to be competent to do so and have appropriate professional indemnity insurance. From our perspective, this change should not be controversial.

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