Optometrist erased for inappropriate conduct

A Slough practitioner dropped a lens on his patient’s lap before saying “there couldn’t have been a better place” for it to fall

GOC desk

A General Optical Council (GOC) decision has described how an optometrist touched a patient’s leg and told her that he wished her son was not in the room as he was having “inappropriate thoughts.”

The GOC fitness to practise committee decided to erase Slough optometrist, Sufyan Malik, for his behaviour towards two young, female patients.

Alongside his inappropriate, sexually-motivated behaviour towards the patients, the committee also found that he had failed to provide a signed and written prescription following a sight test.

The decision described how Mr Malik acted flirtatiously towards a patient in November 2015 before obtaining her telephone number from her patient record and contacting her by text message.

On a separate occasion in February 2016, Mr Malik told another female patient that he wished her son had been left outside the room as his mind was wandering and he was thinking “inappropriate thoughts.”

The decision stated that Mr Malik touched the patient’s leg without her consent and dropped a lens on her lap, saying “there couldn’t have been a better place for it to drop.”

Mr Malik went on to attempt to retrieve the lens while looking at the patient’s chest. He did not provide her with a signed, written prescription following the sight test.

Fitness to practise committee chair, Dr Pamela Ormerod, said: “The committee determined that in acting as he did, the registrant has brought the profession into disrepute, there was an indication of limited insight on his part in this regard and accordingly there was no reassurance that he would be unlikely to do so again in the future.

“The committee was satisfied that in the particular circumstance of this case, the public interest outweighed that of the registrant because of the nature and seriousness of the misconduct and the degree of risk posed to the public by the Registrant. It therefore determined that erasure was the necessary, proportionate and appropriate sanction.”

Mr Malik has until 16 August 2018 to appeal his erasure, during which time he is suspended from the register under an immediate suspension order.