The College of Optometrists

Key points

  • You must raise concerns about patient care and safety, including any practitioner’s fitness to practise.
  • Raising a concern is also known as whistleblowing.
  • In some circumstances you are protected in law when you raise a concern.
  • You should act quickly.
  • You should keep a record of any concerns.
  • You must protect patient confidentiality.
  • You should record adverse incidents centrally, for example in your practice’s system or in the practice Accident Book.
  • You should report near misses involving NHS-funded patients in England and Wales to the National Reporting and Learning System and to the equivalent bodies in the other UK countries, in Scotland to your local health board, and in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Adverse Incident Centre.
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This Guidance does not change what you must do under the law.

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