Advice for professionals

Advice for Professionals

At the Optical Consumer Complaints Service we appreciate that as professionals, you are committed to providing excellent care to your consumers as well as delivering a quality service.

Nonetheless, complaints can and do arise, and we are here to support the optical professions.

The GOC Practice Standards introduced on 1 April 2016 place an obligation on registrants to respond to complaints effectively, honestly, openly, politely and constructively (PS 18). 

This includes a duty to operate and follow a complaints policy. The OCCS can provide guidance to registrants on how to approach complaint handling as well provide assistance in resolving individual complaints and mediate complaints that cannot be resolved within the practice. 

Practice Standard 18 also requires registrants to inform the patient (at the appropriate time) of their rights to complain to the General Optical  Council or to seek mediation through the  Optical Consumer Complaints Service. If you would like any further information or advice on complaints handling and the Practice Standards, please contact us. 

We are happy to offer help and guidance to professionals who would like to talk through a particular concern and help them to manage the situation and, where possible, avoid a complaint.

We are also here to facilitate: 

  • A satisfactory and fair resolution to individual complaints
  • Sharing of best practice, particularly in terms of complaint avoidance and handling
  • Useful analysis of complaint trends to help the General Optical Council to allocate resources and training
  • Profile raising of the regulated professions to make the public aware of the risks of using non-regulated alternatives;

We Promise: 

  • To listen to both sides of the complaint
  • Investigate quickly
  • Share feedback and guidance to help you reduce future complaints

If you would be interested in our CET events and insight sharing seminars for LOCs and local groups or practices, then please get in touch for more information.

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 is 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. The 2016-17 OCCS Annual Report is now available and provides more information on the OCCS activity during 2016-17 and what we can learn from these complaints and enquiries going forward.