The College of Optometrists

Working in teams

C168
You should communicate effectively with team members.
C169
Even if you have your own practice, you should consider yourself as part of the wider eye care team, for example when you refer a patient to a colleague.
C170
You should work constructively in teams, including multi-disciplinary teams, and respect the skills and contributions of colleagues.
C171
You are accountable for your own professional conduct and the care you provide while working as part of a team.
C172
If you are leading a team you should ensure that:
  1. each team member understands the scope of their role, including what decisions and actions have and have not been delegated to them
  2. the team provides care which is safe, effective and efficient
  3. the team understands the need to provide a patient-centred service which is polite, responsive and accessible
  4. patient information is kept confidential
  5. you encourage a culture that allows open, non-judgemental discussion of problems and mistakes which enables constructive feedback and contributes to continuous improvement
  6. team members are appropriately supported and undertake professional development that is relevant to their role and level of experience
  7. team members are not asked to undertake tasks for which they are not competent, and
  8. you have the necessary leadership skills, or work to develop the skills.
C173
If you are working in a team providing shared care to a patient and you believe a decision taken by the team would harm the patient you should tell someone who can take action. As a last resort you should take action yourself to protect the patient’s safety or health.
C174
If you examine a patient who is under the care of the hospital eye service, you:
  1. may decide not to conduct tests that would have been done at the hospital
  2. should record your reasons in these cases
  3. should bear in mind that a patient being assessed for one condition may not have been checked for another unrelated condition, and
  4. should inform hospital eye service colleagues of your findings if you feel it would influence their management of the patient.
C175
If you participate in a community service or co-management scheme, you should refer patients back to their usual practitioner for their routine eye examination.

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