A series of fraudulent claims for payment have resulted in a Shetland Islands optometrist being sanctioned by the optical regulator.
Brian Kelly, a registered optometrist, has been suspended from practise and will be removed from the General Optical Council’s (GOC) registers if he does not lodge an appeal by 17 March.
Mr Kelly owned a practice in the Shetland Islands between 1995 and 1999 named B&C Kelly Opticians. He worked as a locum in different regions of Scotland in 2006 and 2007.
A GOC fitness to practise committee decision found Mr Kelly made “inappropriate and fraudulent” claims for payment on 25 different occasions.
The committee was satisfied that the facts proven amounted to misconduct, the decision stated.
“These occasions were themselves a selection from a pattern of wider fraud, over a period of about four years,” it highlighted.
The committee determined that Mr Kelly’s fitness to practise was impaired by virtue of misconduct relating to multiple instances of dishonesty and failure to engage with the GOC investigation process.
While no question had been raised in relation to his clinical competence, the lack of probity demonstrated in his case was extremely serious, the decision noted.
Erasure was the only proportionate outcome in the case in order to maintain confidence in the profession and in its regulation, the decision emphasised.