16 July 2019
Source: General Optical Council
The General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, has decided to erase Simon Backhouse, a dispensing optician based in Swindon, 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 his convictions for the offences of theft and false accounting.
In making the decision, the Committee, chaired by Sara Fenoughty said:
“The Committee agreed that the Registrant’s offences were extremely serious. They involved a systematic and protracted breach of trust by the Registrant by misusing a company credit card to buy personal items and making false refunds for customers. The dishonest course of conduct only came to an end when what he was doing was discovered.
“The Committee had no doubt that the need to uphold proper professional standards and public confidence in the profession would be seriously undermined if a finding of impairment were not made in the particular circumstances of this case.
“The Committee was satisfied that the Registrant’s convictions and the facts giving rise to them are fundamentally incompatible with continued registration and that erasure from the register is the only sanction which is sufficient to sustain public confidence in the profession.”
Mr Backhouse has until 7 August 2019 to appeal his erasure.
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 28 January 2017. His GOC registration number is D-14373. His last registered contact address was in Swindon, England.