At the latest BCLA Pioneers Conference there was anger displayed at the General Optical Council's apparent failure to act on the substitution of contact lenses by internet suppliers and on illegal sales of the novelty type lenses so commonly seen around Halloween.
During a discussion on the future of contact lens practice within the United Kingdom, BCLA members asked whether what was being put in place to prevent suppliers substituting lens type or parameters.It was remarked by the Chairman of the AOP t that a representative from the GOC was what was missing, and how it is a massive problem and frustrating for all contact lens practitioners.
Despite meeting regularly with the GOC and marking the topic, the Chairman stated how the panel keep getting a similar answer, how it will " require legislation" and that the government is busy there is little faith in the Department of Health seeing the matter through.
Practitioners were advised to raise their concerns with the GOC and said the Optical Confederation was lobbying for European legislation to deal with the issue.
It was questioned whether the GOC were recording all cases that were reported and called on the BCLA or other bodies to take the matter forward. The President Catharine Chisholm has said the BCLA could look at surveying its members and setting up a recording mechanism. However the issue was with not knowing when substitution was going on.
The Illegal sales of novelty lenses were the other concern. It was stated that novelty contact lenses were clearly being sold illegally, which was not then being taken to hand by the GOC as a clear case of law breaking.
The seeming battle for the assistance of the GOC rages on.