The General Optical Council (GOC) has appointed Lesley Longstone to replace Adam Sampson as its interim chief executive and registrar.
Ms Longstone will provide interim cover while the GOC’s permanent chief executive and registrar, Vicky McDermott, takes a period of absence due to personal reasons.
Ms Longstone has previously held roles as interim chief executive of the Crown Prosecution Service and as chief executive of the Independents Police Complaints Commission. She has also been director general at the Department for Education and held the role of secretary and chief executive of the Ministry of Education in New Zealand.
Speaking about her appointment, Ms Longstone said: “It is clear that the optical sector is going through tremendous change right now and that this is a fascinating time to lead the GOC. It is crucial that the GOC modernises its education, CET and business standards to keep protecting the public in a world of new technology and increasing demands on eye care services.”
Ms Longstone added that she is looking forward to working towards these changes over the coming months.
Chair of the GOC, Gareth Hadley, said: “Lesley brings vast experience which will enable her to lead the GOC over the coming period. In particular, her expertise will help us to further our work in speeding up the complaints process while ensuring it remains scrupulously fair; and her background in education will be of huge benefit as our CET Review and Education Strategic Review ensure the optical workforce is fit for the future.”
Mr Hadley also thanked Mr Sampson, who is taking on a permanent role as CEO of a new charity that will provide residential and educational services to disabled children and adults.
“I wish him all the best in his new role, an extremely valuable venture supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our society,” he added.