Support for member diagnosed with a neurological condition

Optometrist, James’ story

What happened

Photo pending

James (not his real name) had developed a tremor in his right hand and was later diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He was concerned that action might be taken on his registration if he declared his diagnosis and symptoms.

James got in touch with the AOP legal team for advice, wanting to know if he could wait to see the outcome of his treatment before declaring his illness to the GOC.

How we helped

We advised James that GOC Registrant’s are under an obligation to declare a health condition if it impacts on their fitness to practise.  In this case, James’s tremor was beginning to impact on his clinical practice, and he therefore was under a duty to report it.

We asked James to keep in close contact with us in regard to his own medical care and adjustments at work so that we could advise on sharing relevant updates with the GOC.

The outcome

Reporting his diagnosis to the GOC immediately worked in James’ favour. He has told his employer and colleagues, and adjustments have been put in place at his work place to protect the public

James told us he feels hugely relieved, the distress he felt initially after his diagnosis has reduced and he feels much better now everything is out in the open and he is following our advice. We kept in close contact with James and advised him on keeping the GOC abreast of the developments in his treatment and adjustments made at work.

As a result, he is able to continue to work.