GOC investigation into failure to prescreen patients and falsifying patient records

Pre-registration optometrist member Craig's story

What happened

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Craig (not his real name) had been reported to the GOC by his employer and had subsequently received notification of an investigation into allegations that he had failed to pre-screen two patients and had falsified patient records while at his pre-registration placement. He was concerned he would be dismissed by his employer and be unable to complete his pre-registration.

How we helped 

We allocated Craig a dedicated AOP solicitor and asked him to provide copies of clinical records, statements and letters from his employer and the GOC.
We contacted the GOC, advising that we were representing Craig, and asking that all future correspondence be copied to us. We compiled expert evidence for Craig’s defense and represented him at his fitness to practise hearing.
Our highly experienced, in-house clinical and regulatory team reviewed Craig’s clinical findings and records carefully. It was found that he had recorded all results for one patient but had not pre-screened the other. It transpired that the latter patient was post-screened instead and Craig had clearly documented this. 

We established compelling evidence that there were concerns with his supervisor applying pressure to make money from sales, that testing times were reduced from 40 minutes to 25 minutes, which led to tests being conducted less thoroughly than before and, most importantly, that Craig had raised his concerns with his supervisor in writing. 

The outcome

 A finding of ‘no case to answer’ was made by the GOC and Craig was able to continue his pre-registration training but chose to do so at a different place of work where he had previously worked as an optical assistant.