March 19th 2024

Nockolds Continues Successful OCCS Partnership Following Competitive Pitch

Nockolds Solicitors has been retained again as the chosen provider of the Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS) following a competitive tender process.

The Hertfordshire-based firm has provided the GOC funded mediation service to resolve consumer complaints in the optical sector since 2014. It has been awarded a new three-year contract with an optional one-year extension thanks to Nockolds’ unrivalled experience in the optical sector and its ‘outstanding’ track record in complaint resolution.

The OCCS continues to deliver its impressive resolution rate of 87% per cent of consumer complaints via mediation. The General Optical Council, which funds the OCCS, says that this proven model of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is contributing to increased patient satisfaction, lower costs per complaint and, crucially, a reduction in cases being referred to Fitness to Practice proceedings, as seen in the latest Professional Services Authority report (PSA). The GOC is amongst a small number of Healthcare Regulators to achieve ‘Timely resolution of Fitness to Practice’ (FtP).

Carole Auchterlonie, Director of Regulatory Operations at the General Optical Council, said; “Nockolds have been instrumental in the success of the OCCS over the past ten years and their understanding of the optical sector is key to that success. They bring unique expertise and passion to the service and we have seen first-hand how mediation has been game-changing for our sector.

The OCCS is independent and helps a solution to be found if a consumer and optician cannot resolve the issues themselves.

Nockolds’ ADR team is headed up by Partner, Jennie Jones who has more than twenty years’ experience in clinical dispute resolution in a regulatory setting. Since 2016 she has also headed up the Veterinary Client Mediation Service funded by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Jennie Jones, said; “We are thrilled to be continuing this established partnership. We’re looking forward to building upon our tried and tested work to date as well as implementing new plans.

With eye healthcare and optical practices evolving, through AI, the transfer of more optical care to local and primary settings and technology with care pathways to improve and maintain patient’s vision like never before, the consumer/optical practice relationship is a fundamental. As we enter into our 10th year in delivering the OCCS, we are keen to build on the work of the OCCS in supporting compassionate and confident interactions between consumers and optical professionals, and helping the sector to be fit for the future.”

Nockolds has more 100 years’ combined experience in the optical sector. Also on the team are clinical consultants Richard Edwards and Sue Clark along with Resolution Managers, Dawn Slocombe, Rachel Brennan and Kayleigh Turnbull.

For more information about ADR please visit or contact Sue Clark on 07919 158962 or by email
Nockolds are an award-winning legal services and independent financial advice firm with offices in Bishop’s Stortford, London and Estepona Spain.

For almost 200 years, we’ve been supporting our clients by providing quality advice throughout their life and business stages. Our teams are consistently recognised in the prestigious Legal 500 and Chambers UK directories, placing us in the elite of firms in the UK.

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