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GOC imposes financial penalty on Boots Opticians LTD

1 Mar 2019

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The General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, has decided to impose the maximum financial penalty of £50,000 on Boots Opticians Professional Services LTD.  

A GOC Fitness to Practise Committee found their fitness to carry on business impaired for failing to appropriately manage protected disclosures made about clinical concerns within their business.

In making the decision, the Committee, chaired by Anne Johnstone, said:

“The Committee would have expected a business registrant which was cognisant of the importance of whistleblowing as an important mechanism for monitoring patient safety to have addressed the deficiencies in its policy and delivered appropriate training to all of its employees much earlier, and with a much greater sense of urgency, than had in fact occurred here.

“The Business Registrant’s approach to the matter consistently downplayed the significance of the failures that had occurred. This approach had been maintained right up to and during the conduct of this hearing. The Committee was not satisfied that the registrant had demonstrated full insight or remediation.

“Significant public interest disclosures had not been recognised as such and a potential safeguard for patient safety had thereby not operated as it should have done. The Committee regards this case as at the most serious end of the spectrum and has concluded that the maximum financial penalty order should be imposed.”

Boots Opticians Professional Services LTD has until 26 March 2019 to appeal the financial penalty.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

1. The full determination is available at https://www.optical.org/en/Investigating_complaints/Hearings/past_hearings/index.cfm

2. A full transcript of the hearing is available on request and payment of an administration charge.

3. A briefing on how the FTP process works is available at: https://www.optical.org/en/news_publications/press_kit/media-statements-and-briefings/index.cfm

4. The registrant’s date of most recent registration with the GOC as a body corporate was 10 March 2009. Its GOC registration number is CO-3673.

 

For media enquiries please contact:

GOC Communications Team

General Optical Council

t: 020 7580 3898 (option 3)

e: communications@optical.org

 

About the General Optical Council:

The GOC is the regulator for the optical professions in the UK. Its purpose is to protect the public by promoting high standards of education, performance and conduct amongst opticians. The Council currently registers around 30,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

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