On the record: a complaint has been made - new AOP legal drama launched

A new legal drama film which aims to better inform members of the legal risks of running and working in a busy optical practice

01 Jul 2016

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has launched a new legal drama film, On the record: a complaint has been made, which aims to better inform members of the legal risks of running and working in a busy optical practice. 

The film presents a practice-based scenario covering a variety of issues including practice scheduling of sight tests/ eye examinations, maintaining accurate records, dealing with missed appointments, workplace bullying and receiving a General Optical Council (GOC) complaint. The drama is followed by a discussion between the AOP’s Legal and Regulatory Director, Gerda Goldinger and Deputy Legal Director, Fiona Mitchell, on the issues seen in the film and the steps practitioners should take to prevent a similar occurrence. 

The film has been based on the script of the 2015 AOP legal roadshows. Commenting on the conversion of the script to a film, Gerda Goldinger said: “The issues raised in the film are examples of some of the many matters that the AOP legal department deals with on a daily basis. In 2015 the AOP’s in-house legal team received more than 3,800 enquiries, a 32% increase from 2014.  It is more important than ever for us to inform members of potential legal pitfalls when practising and the standards to which eye care professionals are expected to adhere.  In reproducing the script as a short film we significantly increase the amount of members who can access our advice.”

The film has been funded through generous donations from the Central Optical Fund and the original Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS). Ruth Cuthbert, Chairman of the Central Optical Fund said: “The Central Optical Fund is pleased to support the AOP in the making of this film. It will help to highlight the effect that commercial pressures can have on the delivery of high quality patient care throughout all forms of practice. The directors of the Central Optical Fund encourage all AOP members and Optometry Today (OT) subscribers to watch the film.”

Richard Wilshin, Company Secretary of the original OCCS, said of their donation: “We are delighted that our donation from the assets of the original OCCS has helped to support this video for the benefit of those in optics.” 
The film can be viewed online by AOP members and OT subscribers from 1 July to 29 December 2016. One non-interactive CET point is available for optometrists and dispensing opticians.

A trailer for the film is available to watch below. 

The full length film can be viewed at www.aop.org.uk/ot/cet/2016/06/13/on-the-record-a-complaint-has-been-made or accessed via a link from the Central Optical Fund website www.centralfund.org.uk 


High resolution images are available. For more information, please contact Emily Campbell, PR and Marketing Officer, at the Association of Optometrists, emilycampbell@aop.org.uk or telephone 020 7549 2040.

Notes to Editors

Association of Optometrists 

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is the leading professional membership organisation for optometrists and other optical professionals in the UK. We support our community of more than 16,500 members to fulfil their professional roles to protect the nation’s eye health. As a founding member of the Optical Confederation we work with others to improve eye health for the public good. Find more information at www.aop.org.uk

Central Optical Fund

The Central Optical Fund supports projects promoting, protecting, developing and supporting optometry. It is an Investor in Optometry seeking to protect and maintain the sight and ocular health of the public by promoting the profession. The Fund invites and considers applications for funding optometry related projects in England and Wales. Find more information at www.centralfund.org

The original Optical Consumer Complaints Service

The original OCCS was set up as a non-profit making organisation, initially funded by donations from the principal optical bodies. Amendments to the Opticians Act subsequently enabled the GOC to fund a complaints service. The original OCCS Company no longer administers the service following the GOC’s award of the contract to Nockolds; but having moved out of London for the last six years of their contract, the Company was able to maintain the service at a reduced, operating cost and accumulate a surplus.  

The OCCS Company has licensed the GOC and its contractor (Nockolds) to continue the service under the established title of ‘Optical Consumer Complaints Service’ until 31 March 2017. The Company wishes its assets, including the income from the licence, to be applied for the benefit of those in optics and have therefore made this donation to the AOP