A set of principles that are designed to protect patient safety and welfare when accessing potentially-harmful medication online or over the phone were issued by healthcare organisations last week (8 November).
Healthcare organisations issuing the principles of good practice ranged from regulators to royal colleges, including the General Optical Council (GOC).
The jointly agreed High level principles for good practice in remote consultations and prescribing detail the good practice that is expected of healthcare professionals when prescribing online, a statement released by the GOC explained.
The document, consisting of 10 principles, applies to all healthcare professionals involved in providing consultations and medications to patients remoting, including optometrists and dispensing opticians.
Chief executive of the GOC, Lesley Longstone, said: “The optical sector, like other healthcare sectors, is changing in terms of how care is delivered, and it is important that we respond accordingly, whilst ensuring that patient safety and welfare is put first.”
Ms Longstone explained that “the principles will encourage best practice and ensure our Standards for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians and the Standards for Optical Businesses are upheld in order to ensure we are continually promoting and protecting the health and safety of the public.”
The principles have been co-authored and agreed by the GOC, the General Medical Council, the General Dental Council, the General Pharmaceutical Council, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Care Quality Commission, Faculty of Pain Medicine, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.