27 July 2019
Source: General Optical Council
The General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, has decided to erase Michael Bowles, a dispensing optician based in Surrey, from its register. He 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 his serious and sustained abuse of position towards a junior member of his staff.
In making the decision, the Committee, chaired by Rachel O’Connell said:
“The Committee considered that a fundamental tenet of the profession was an obligation to uphold professional standards of behaviour particularly in the workplace and in relation to more junior members of staff. The Registrant had clearly violated this fundamental tenet and had brought the profession into disrepute.
“The Registrant’s conduct involved the abuse of a senior position and the mistreatment of an employee in a more junior position. It not only involved inappropriate remarks but also physical touching.
“In the Committee’s view, the sustained misconduct in this case showed evidence of harmful deep-seated personality and attitudinal problems; in particular, because the misconduct was sustained over several months.
“The Registrant’s misconduct was and is fundamentally incompatible with continued registration and the Committee has concluded that the only proportionate outcome is an order for erasure.”
Mr Bowles has until 15 August 2019 to appeal his erasure, during which time he is suspended from the register under an immediate suspension order.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The full determination is available at https://www.optical.org/en/Investigating_complaints/Hearings/past_hearings/index.cfm
- A full transcript of the hearing is available on request and payment of an administration charge.
- 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
- The registrant’s date of most recent registration with the GOC as a dispensing optician was 16 January 2017. His GOC registration number is D-11623. His last registered contact address was in Surrey, England.