Rupa Patel and Desislava Pirkova join GOC Council Associates

The General Optical Council (GOC) has appointed two new Council Associates, Rupa Patel and Desislava Pirkova, who will sit alongside existing Associates, Deepali Modha and Jamie Douglas.

As Council Associates, Rupa and Desislava will gain boardroom experience through taking part in GOC Council meetings and associated activity, and also attending the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee meetings. Whilst they are not voting members, they are encouraged to contribute to discussions.

Rupa works as a Specialist Optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and as a locum optometrist in community practice. She has experience working in numerous extended role clinics, including consultant-led and optometrist-led glaucoma, medical retina, optometrist-led external disease, consultant-led cataract, complex adult refraction and specialist contact lens fitting.

Rupa gained her optometry degree in 2015 at Aston University before moving into a full-time hospital optometry role at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital on qualification in 2016 until 2021. She found a real passion for the profession whilst working in secondary care and decided to pursue numerous further qualifications and education, including certificates in glaucoma, medical retina and a degree in independent prescribing. She is currently undertaking a Master's degree with University College London (UCL) in Advanced Clinical Practice in Optometry and Ophthalmology.

Desislava earned a degree in International Economics and Trade from Coventry University. Her journey in optometry began with a qualification as a Dispensing Optician from ABDO College in 2021, followed by her current pursuit of an Optometry degree at Aston University. Desislava’s role extends beyond academia; she manages a network of small practices in Birmingham and owns a practice in the Leicester area. This engagement stems from an interest in optometry and lenses, with a specific focus on myopia management.

Community involvement is a cornerstone of Desislava’s approach, organizing low vision clinics, partnering with charities, and collaborating with organizations to elevate eye care awareness. This initiative is reflective of her commitment to contribute positively to the optometry field, underscoring a culture of eye health awareness and enhancing accessibility.

Rupa and Desislava began their terms on 8 April 2024.

Find out more about our Council Associates.