The regulator is reviewing the process for verifying contact lens specifications and the definition of patient aftercare. 

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) broadly welcomes this latest consultation by the General Optical Council (GOC) which looks at the process for verifying contact lens specification and how aftercare is defined.

Carolyn Ruston, AOP Policy Director said: “We are pleased to see that the GOC is actively engaging with the profession on the issue of supply and patient aftercare for contact lenses. We can see that the consultation directly responds to feedback the AOP expressed as part of the GOC’s wider call for evidence on the Opticians Act in 2022.

“The AOP will be responding in line with our previous submission to the GOC and we welcome its commitment to a consultation process before any changes are implemented.”

The AOP has recently published guidance on the rules and regulations around fitting and supply of contact lenses as part of its Safe practice series for members.

Compiled by the AOP's clinical and regulatory experts, the guidelines explain where the rules are clear and also where practitioners may use their professional judgement.

The guidelines cover areas such as:

  • Advice on managing appointments
  • What constitutes a contact lens ‘fitting’
  • Clarity on when it is appropriate to take payment, particularly if you are supplying 'trial' lenses
  • When the specification can be issued and who has a right to have a copy
  • Aftercare and re-fitting: understanding these terms and what they entail
  • The rules on substitution: both complete changes of lenses and temporary supply for particular reasons
  • Good record keeping.

The new guidance Safe practice: contact lenses is available from the AOP website.