Dispensing optician suspended

Nimesh Patel has been given a 12-month suspension from the GOC register

A Hertfordshire-based dispensing optician has been suspended from the General Optical Council (GOC) register for 12 months.

A GOC fitness to practise committee found Nimesh Patel’s fitness to practise impaired due to misconduct relating to fraudulently processing refunds and stealing cash from the till of the practice he worked.

The registrant admitted to fraudulently processing refunds between 2004–2007 at the store where he worked as a franchise partner and director, taking the money from the till.

The act was discovered after CCTV was installed at the practice in November 2006.

Making the decision, the fitness to practise committee concluded: “In view of the seriousness of the misconduct, to take no further action or to impose a financial penalty would not be appropriate or sufficient to protect the public or maintain confidence in the profession and the regulatory process.”

The committee imposed an immediate suspension order on the basis that "this was required to protect the public interest in light of the seriousness of the dishonesty.”

Mr Patel has until 5 December to appeal the suspension.