Patients

Advice for Consumers

Many of us visit opticians regularly and are satisfied with the service we receive. If a problem does arise this can often be talked through and resolved with the optician or someone at the practice.

When a complaint cannot be resolved, then the Optical Consumer Complaints Service offers an impartial mediation facility to help obtain a satisfactory outcome. We understand the importance of achieving this fairly and quickly.

For more details on how we will do this, please see our complaints process.

We Will:  

  • Listen to you and work out what has gone wrong
  • Identify the key issues of your complaint and what you are hoping to achieve by pursuing the complaint
  • Obtain all the relevant information from the practice
  • Identify common ground
  • Help find a solution which both sides can accept.

This may be a refund, replacement or repeat procedure, an apology or explanation of what has happened and why.

Importantly, we will also ask you how we have done and listen to your feedback to continuously improve our service.

As well as providing a mediation service for complaints, we will also be presenting regular updates and guidance for the public to: 

  • Give advice and help for consumers when seeking optical care
  • Highlight the benefits of using a regulated professional based in the UK
  • Provide advice on what to do if a problem arises
     
2016-17 has been an incredibly busy year for the OCCS. As practices become more aware of what we do, and consumers learn more about the service, we have seen an increase of 45% in complaint enquiries. There are over 22 million sight tests and eye examinations each year. The overwhelming majority of these are an efficient and positive experience for the consumer and the practice. The OCCS are here to help when a complaint arises and on the rare occasion, that the consumer’s concerns cannot be resolved. Just over half of the enquiries received, concern complaints at an early stage and we encourage the consumer to raise their concerns with the practice. If matters cannot be resolved, we are here and I am incredibly proud of the OCCS team’s commitment and dedication to helping find a resolution for both parties, which they are able to do in 98% of the complaints received.  Our annual report will be published shortly and provide more information on the OCCS activity during 2016-17 and what we can learn from these complaints and enquiries going forward.