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Regulators' update

General Optical Council

GOC consultation on consent and meeting duty of candour 

The General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, is currently consulting on draft guidance on its standards relating to obtaining valid consent and meeting the professional duty of candour.

The standards in these two areas came into force in April 2016. The draft guidance has been developed to assist registrants in meeting these new standards. The GOC is now seeking stakeholder views on the draft guidance with a view to publishing the final versions by the end of 2016.

Marcus Dye, GOC Head of Education and Standards said,

“It was clear from our standards consultation last year that registrants would like more guidance to help them apply the standards relating to the professional duty of candour and obtaining valid consent in practice. 

“Candour is a professional responsibility to be open and transparent with patients when things go wrong. It is also important for registrants to obtain valid consent before examining a patient or providing treatment.

“This guidance helps to make clearer what the Standards mean in practice and to support our registrants in applying them. We want to make sure that clear, written guidance is available to all. I urge all stakeholders, particularly patients and the public, to read the draft guidance and let us know their views.”

The consultation will run until 6 September 2016. Read the new guidance, and respond to the consultation.

General Medical Council 

General Medical Council consultation on ‘a new and more useful medical register’

The GMC has just announced a consultation inviting views on their plans to make their register more useful. The proposals include adding more details about doctors and their careers with two layers of information:

  • Mandatory: the information required by law such as name, qualifications, gender and licence status
  • Voluntary: for example, higher qualifications, scope of practice, declaration of competing professional interests, languages spoken, practice location, the doctor’s photograph.

The GMC points out that, though the register provides vital information for employers and can help patients decide who to trust (with around 7 million searches a year), the information it currently holds has hardly changed since its introduction in 1859. Medical practice and public expectations have evolved significantly since then so the plan is to bring the register into the 21st century and make sure that it is fit for purpose.

You can find out about all the proposed changes and have your say by 7 October 2016.

GMC training survey results just published

The GMC has just published the results of its annual surveys of medical education and training across the UK. Views were sought from around 55,000 doctors undergoing postgraduate training. In addition around 44,000 trainers – senior doctors responsible for developing the next generation of consultants and GPs – were also surveyed for their views from the education frontline.

The pressures of dealing with high workloads, and the fact that there were not always enough experienced staff to ensure patients received the treatment they needed were some of the issues highlighted.