General Optical Council (GOC) chief executive and registrar Vicky McDermott is to take a period of absence for personal reasons, the regulator has announced.

The GOC expects an interim Chief Executive to be in place by the middle of June.

Gareth Hadley, GOC chair, said, 'Vicky will be having some time away from the GOC over the next few months due to personal reasons. We will be giving her all the support she needs during this time and look forward to welcoming her back to work when she is ready.

'During that time it is important that we continue with the vital work that we have prioritised for this year. Over the summer we will be consulting on both new business standards and on the future of optical education. We will also be continuing with our staff consultation on our organisational transformation programme. I have every faith that our executive team will deliver on these vital projects.'

The GOC will announce details of the interim chief executive in the coming weeks.