A remote General Optical Council meeting was held on May 13 where councillors discussed the Education Strategic Review (ESR), fitness to practice (FTP) performance, guidance on remote hearings and its response to Covid-19.

Councillors noted that the GOC has taken steps to remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to the provision of care and has collaborated with the optical sector and NHS bodies in its response to the pandemic.

Progression of the ESR has slowed because of the pandemic to enable continued consultation across the sector, the GOC highlighted.

Following a four month pilot of a revised triage process for FTP cases, the number of full investigations opened decreased to 43% in quarter two to four 2019-2020, compared to 83% in the same period last year.

Council also approved the new process for holding remote hearings and guidance for panel members that has been implemented with immediate effect. The GOC held 17 remote hearings between March 19 and May 1.