May 19th 2021

The Remit of the OCCS

At the OCCS we work with both the public and the profession to find a mutually beneficial outcome to complaints. Within our work, we provide a balanced and impartial view, taking into account all of the information before suggesting ways to move forward.

In today’s blog we explore the remit of the OCCS, what we do and how we work.

What is the OCCS?

The Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS) is an independent and free mediation service for consumers (patients) of optical care and the professionals providing that care. The service is funded by the General Optical Council, which regulates opticians, optometrists and dispensing opticians.

How Does the OCCS Work for You?
We can assist with complaints about the goods you have received (glasses, contact lenses, etc) and/or the service provided. This means we mediate consumer complaints (‘disputes’) arising between optical practices and patients. These disputes can relate to the supply of spectacles, frames, lenses or contact lenses and the supply optical eyecare and dispensing provided by opticians (optometrists and dispensing opticians)

We will listen to the complaint and then gather information to understand what has happened. We will then work with both consumer and practitioner to reach a fair resolution. The service does not have any formal powers to force a settlement but by exploring why a consumer feels dissatisfied, and listening to both sides, we will support everyone involved to work towards a solution.

As well as complete complaints mediation, we can also:

  • Give guidance to optical professionals on how to respond to a complaint
  • Talk through a professional’s concern about a particular issue and help them to manage this successfully to avoid a complaint
  • Provide initial assistance to consumers who may not be confident or able to raise a complaint alone

What is Outside the Remit of the OCCS?

The OCCS cannot assist with claims involving allegations of negligence or where there are concerns about the practitioner’s fitness to practise. If there are concerns that an optician or optometrist is not fit to practice, then the General Optical Council will investigate those concerns. The General Optical Council regulates all optical professionals in the UK and authorises them to practice.

Likewise, as a mediation service we do not seek financial compensation or litigation against a practice or individual. As a provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services we employ various methods of resolving disputes without the use of litigation.

For more information on any of our services and how we may be of assistance, contact our friendly team via 0344 800 5071 or email enquiries@opticalcomplaints.co.uk.

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