The College of Optometrists

Former patients

You should think carefully before pursuing a personal relationship with a former patient or carer. However consensual a relationship appears to be, if a complaint is made, the onus will always be on you to show you have acted professionally and sought appropriate advice.276
A sexual or personal relationship with a former patient or their carer may be inappropriate because:
  1. your former professional relationship may still influence the relationship
  2. if the patient was vulnerable when they were under your care, may still be vulnerable
  3. you may still be caring for other members of the patient’s family.

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