General Optical Council Proposes Changes To Fitness To Practice Rules

goc to change fitness to practise rules

In a wave of sweeping changes, the General Optical Council has laid out plans to assess and revise rules regarding the fitness of a specialist to practice. The ideas being put forward really focus on the need to streamline and thus speed up current procedures regarding complaints. Simply put, as so many politicians say when discussing the NHS, they want 'waiting times down.'

The new systems will follow a number of the following points:

  • Current investigation committee to be replaced by case examiners
  • Some members of investigation committee expected to become examiners
  • Case examiners to assess complaints and whether a fitness to practice hearing is required
  • Average claim investigation to be improved form current 16 month wait
  • Claims to be split into simple, standard and complex classifications
  • Simple cases to be dealt with within 3 months with fast track system
  • Standard cases to be dealt with within 6 months
  • Complex cases to be dealt with within 9 months
  • Electronic case management system to be introduced
  • Costs to only be applied to defendants causing unnecessarily long or expensive delays

In the current system, directors are aware of the time consuming process that is required to be taken. In turn, this obviously equates to financial implications, of which there can be many. The overriding factor however, is the delay in time in actually assessing cases and the arrival at hearing of such cases.

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