Reaction from front line ECPs last week regarding the College of Optometrists’ continued Amber Phase guidance really has been the only show in town for the last seven days.

The combustible mixture of anxiety and anger have been the most discernible emotions on forums, social media and our own letters page and condemnation of the College, General Optical Council and a host of other organisations and associations has been pretty much universal.

Somewhat predictably, this animosity towards the sector’s decision makers is manifest by the creation of another petition (7 Days, page 7). Set up by the Ophthalmic Practitioners Group (OPG), the petition alleges the GOC has failed in its primary remit of protecting the public for several reasons, but essentially through failure to listen to stakeholders in a time of crisis. It also calls for the suspension of routine eye care.

The creation of the OPG has been good for the profession. It has galvanised practitioners, many of whom would feel that they don’t have a voice in the current structure of employers and associations. It has also asked challenging questions of multiples, regulators and associations – even the press. It probably represents the digitally native new generation of practitioner better than anything else out there at the moment.

But there is a danger that its good work up to now, and indeed its plans for a trade union, could be undermined by multiple petitions that aren’t fully focused. To my mind, the latest petition would have been much better served if it had homed in on the suspension of routine eye care. Tangents like the GOC’s Education Strategic Review and its salacious links with multiples are probably best saved for another day.

If advice and guidance between the bodies remains at odds with both one another, and indeed the profession, it won’t be long before that day comes.