The General Optical Council’s (GOC) FtP Focus publication has revealed it had halved its fitness to practise caseload between March 2019 and January 2021.
According to FtP Focus, there were 452 cases on 31 March 2019. This number went down to 195 on 31 January 2021, a 57% reduction. The reduction in cases subject to investigation saw an even greater reduction of 69%.
The General Optical Council said:
“We have worked hard over the last two years to address this and as a result of a review of our processes, we have been able to reduce our outstanding caseload from 297 open investigations in March 2019 to 91 by the end of January 2021.”
It said the reduction in case load will “now support us in reducing the time we are taking to investigate concerns.”
Unsurprisingly, Optometrists represented the highest proportion of COG registrants who are currently having concerns about their fitness to practise investigated. After Optometrists, Dispensing Opticians were the next highest number of registrants being investigated.
The GOC anticipates 250 complaints for this financial year, 55 of which it predicts will progress to investigation stage.