Latest OCCS Report Highlights Commitment to Excellence in Optical Complaint Resolution


The Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS) has published its Annual Report for 2023-24, revealing a year marked by significant achievements and a continued commitment to excellence in complaint resolution within the optical sector.

The report highlights a notable increase in activity, with the OCCS handling 1,757 enquiries, a 3% rise compared to the previous year. Of these, 1,675 enquiries fell within the OCCS remit, demonstrating the growing visibility and accessibility of the service.

A key highlight of the report is the OCCS’s impressive resolution rate. This year, the service concluded more complaints than were opened, with 85% of complaints resolved within the OCCS process. This success is partly attributed to the strong collaboration with the General Optical Council (GOC), which referred 81 complaints to the OCCS. This equates to one fifth of the concerns received by the GOC FtP process. This partnership has streamlined the triage process, ensuring that complaints are managed effectively and proportionately.

The OCCS also reported a record level of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity, delivering 62 sessions and publishing three articles in professional journals. These efforts underline the OCCS’s commitment to educating and supporting optical professionals, thereby enhancing overall service quality and consumer satisfaction.

User feedback remains highly positive, with 86% of users stating they would use the OCCS again, and 94% finding the service easy to access. Furthermore, 85% of users agreed that the OCCS understood their requirements, and 76% were satisfied with the outcomes. This feedback underscores the OCCS’s role as the trusted and effective mediator in the optical sector.

The report also notes a significant increase in complaints related to domiciliary services, which rose from 42 to 98. Despite these challenges, complaints involving allegations of misdiagnosis have almost halved since 2021-22, reflecting improved practices and outcomes in the sector.

Jennie Jones, Head of OCCS and Partner at Nockolds Resolution, stated, “The latest data reveals how both consumer and practitioner behaviour is changing in the face of economic pressures. Despite these challenges, patient satisfaction with optical professionals remains high, far exceeding satisfaction with other primary care services. At the OCCS, we see the commitment of optical professionals to resolve and learn from consumer complaints, which plays a major part in maintaining high levels of patient trust and satisfaction”.

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