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Optometry Wales chair steps down to take on GOC position

Lisa Gerson began a new role as registrant member to the GOC council on 1 May

Lisa Gerson

The General Optical Council (GOC) has named Lisa Gerson as a new registrant member to its council, leaving her current position as the chair of Optometry Wales.

Gerson began her term with the GOC on 1 May 2021 after more than two years as chair of Optometry Wales. She replaces Helen Tilley, whose tenure at the GOC ended on 30 April.

Optometry Wales confirmed that a successor to the role will be announced in due course.

Gerson currently supervises student clinics at Cardiff University, and has more than 30 years of experience of working in optometry in Wales, including in both independent and multiple practices.

The GOC highlighted Gerson’s “significant experience in optometric regulation” with the regulator, as she has previously served as registrant member of the fitness to practise panel, member and acting chair of the investigation committee, and as a member of the Education Visitor Panel.

Welcoming Gerson to the position, Dr Anne Wright, GOC chair of council, said: “I am confident that Lisa will bring a wealth of skills and experience to council, along with insight into the optical sector in Wales,” adding that Gerson’s appointment will “bolster the work that our council undertakes to shape our future strategic direction.”

Announcing the news, Optometry Wales shared that during her term in office, Gerson had implemented “substantive changes” to the governance of the board, overseen the formation of the Regional Optical Committees as well as “initial contract reform modelling during a turbulent time for the profession grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Chief executive of Optometry Wales, Sali Davis, said: “Lisa has demonstrated strong commitment and integrity in the way that she has revolutionised the way that Optometry Wales conducted itself with a new, diverse and more inclusive approach to chairmanship.”

Davis added: “Lisa managed with skill and expertise to navigate Optometry Wales through the last 12 months, to steer us towards a very bright future.”