The College of Optometrists

Your role

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You must communicate effectively with colleagues and work with them in ways that best serve your patients’ interests.277
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You must ensure your conduct, whether or not connected to your professional practice, does not damage public confidence in you or your profession.
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You are encouraged to contribute to the professional development of your colleagues.   
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You must not make any patient doubt the knowledge or skills of colleagues or other health professionals by making unnecessary or unfounded comments about them, either privately or publicly, for example through social media.
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The safety of patients must come first. You must act quickly to protect patients from risks posed by colleagues or the environment in which services are provided. If you have a serious concern about any practitioner’s fitness to practise, you should raise this with them first, if you feel able to. If necessary, you should escalate your concerns to an appropriate person. This could be the colleague’s line manager, employer, or person in a primary care organisation or hospital. If you remain concerned, you should consult the relevant professional, representative or regulatory body (refer to COVID-19 guidance).
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Raising a concern is different from making a complaint. See section on Raising concerns. If you make a complaint, you might be asked for evidence to prove your case. When you raise a concern, you should not be expected to prove the issue you are concerned about. If you are not sure whether you should act, ask yourself:
  1. what might the outcome be in the short- or longer-term if I do not raise my concern? 
  2. how could I justify not raising the concern?

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