Optical bodies met with representatives from pharmacy and dentistry last week to discuss what proposed data protection reforms might mean for primary healthcare providers.

While the introduction of GDPR next month has been well publicised, FODO director of policy and strategy Ann Blackmore said the UK government's Data Protection Bill could pose more of a challenge.

Blackmore said the Bill went beyond GDPR, in requiring companies to assign a Data Protection Officer (DPO).

'The Optical Confederation is lobbying the government to get this changed,' she told Optician during Optrafair.

If smaller healthcare companies cannot gain exemption from the 'onerous' requirement, then third party DPOs might need to be created to support practices.

The Data Protection Bill was first introduced to the House of Lords in September last year, while the deadline for GDPR requirements under the EU falls on May 25. A suite of materials on protecting data was being prepared by the OC.

'The key message is don't panic if you have been managing your data well until now,' added Blackmore.