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ABDO Comment on Erasure of Ian Jordan from GOC Register

News posted: 13/03/2018

The General Optical Council (GOC), decided on 6th March 2018 to erase dispensing optician Ian Jordan from the register. It found that there had been repeated and persistent departures from professional standards, there had been potential for harm to patients as a result of deliberate conduct which though well-intended had been in defiance of professional limitations as a Dispensing Optician, and there had been a series of abuses of patients’ trust and their rights to be informed and involved in their treatments.

ABDO Deputy Chief Executive Barry Duncan says, “Ian Jordan has been working in a complex area with little substantial evidence to support the methods and practice. Whilst we recognise some patients will benefit from different techniques and approaches, it is essential that DOs work with competence and capability as outlined by the General Optical Council. Furthermore it is important to ensure patients receive the most appropriate advice based on evidence available at that time.”

The General Optical Council  is the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians. Ian Jordan, who is based in South Ayrshire, will now be unable to practise as a dispensing optician in the UK. A GOC Fitness to Practise Committee found his fitness to practise impaired by reason of misconduct, relating to factors including failing to have his findings reviewed by an optometrist, failing to obtain informed consent from patients, failing to maintain adequate records, failing to make appropriate referrals and acting outside the scope of his practice.

In making the decision, the committee, chaired by Pamela Ormerod, said: “The Committee felt that erasure was the only course of action that would be sufficient to protect patients from a practitioner who had shown such disregard for his professional colleagues, had such inflated and unwarranted confidence in his own professional abilities as a dispensing optician without appropriate reference to other professionals and the accompanying disregard for the scope of his practice and the potential risks to patients.

“There had been repeated and persistent departures from professional standards, there had been potential for harm to patients as a result of deliberate conduct which though well-intended had been in defiance of professional limitations as a dispensing optician.

“The committee also felt there had been a series of abuses of patients’ trust and their rights to be informed and involved in their treatments. There was a lack of insight and a real risk of repetition of the registrant’s misconduct. Erasure was seen as the only way to ensure public protection and maintain confidence in the profession.”

GOC Chief Executive and Registrar Vicky McDermott added: “We note that a petition has called for us to reinstate Mr Jordan. Such an option is not open to the Council but the Rules provide for an appeal against the decision by Mr Jordan if he wishes. We have a robust and fair investigation process where both sides are able to present the independent committee with evidence to support their case. The committee made its decision after consideration of all the evidence presented to it. We have nothing further to add to the detailed reasoning already published by the committee[1].”

Mr Jordan has until 3 April 2018 to appeal his erasure, during which time he is suspended from the register under an immediate suspension order.

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