Optometrist who cheated on pre-reg assessment sanctioned

Wolverhampton optometrist, Gagandeep Thiarra, has been suspended for six months after he falsified patient records during a Stage 1 assessment

GOC sign

An optometrist who falsified records during a pre-registration assessment has been suspended for six months by the optical regulator.

A General Optical Council (GOC) decision described how an assessor from the College of Optometrists became suspicious after Gagandeep Thiarra presented patient records for his Stage 1 competencies as single sheets rather than complete patient folders in October 2016.

The decision elaborated: “It became apparent to the assessor that in one case the original record was different from that provided for the purposes of assessment.  On that record there were multiple obvious additions made for the purpose of fulfilling the assessment criteria.”

A GOC fitness to practise committee found that Mr Thiarra’s behavior represented a “serious departure” from the standards expected of a registrant.

“However, the committee recognises that this was an isolated incident and, whilst serious, did not cause actual harm to the patient in question. There was no evidence of repetition of the behaviour and the Registrant had developed insight into his actions,” the decision reported.

The committee concluded that the serious nature of the misconduct was such that public confidence would be undermined if a finding of current impairment was not made.

Mr Thiarra has until 19 March to appeal his suspension.