Coronavirus: “In highly challenging circumstances, professionals may need to depart from established procedures”

A joint regulatory statement signed by the GOC states that professionals may have concerns about how to care for patients in challenging circumstances


The General Optical Council (GOC) and other professional regulators have published a joint statement on the approach to regulation in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  

The statement highlights that health and care professionals will play a “vital role” in helping to treat and contain the COVID-19.

“We recognise that should the virus spread further, health and care professionals are likely to face an increased burden in helping the UK through the outbreak,” the statement acknowledges.

The regulators note that professionals may have concerns about decisions they need to take in order to provide the best care in challenging circumstances.
“Together, as professional regulators across the UK, we have prepared a joint statement on how we will carry out our roles during this time,” the statement continues.

The chief executives of all the statutory regulators of health and care professionals within the UK have signed the joint statement, including the General Medical Council, the General Dental Council and the General Pharmaceutical Council.

The statement highlights that regulatory standards are designed to be flexible and provide a framework for decision making in a wide range of situations.

“We recognise that in highly challenging circumstances, professionals may need to depart from established procedures in order to care for patients and people using health and social care services,” the statement elaborates.

The document adds that profession-specific guidance to support registrants will be issued where needed.

The full statement can be read on the GOC’s website. It signposts practitioners to a range of resources, including a flowchart that Public Health England has developed outlining a step-by-step process to help with the management of a suspected case of COVID-19.  

The AOP has also produced guidance for its members following the COVID-19 outbreak.

OT endeavours to keep the most up-to-date news on our website and this information was correct when published. However, the situation regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. Please check OT’s rolling optics-specific coverage for the latest news and guidance on COVID-19.