An optician has been suspended from practice by the UK watchdog for a year after a patient blamed her for the loss of sight in her left eye.
The General Optical Council (GOC) found the actions of Lesley-Anne McCue, who worked at the Specsavers store in Falkirk at the time, a “significant departure” from the standards of conduct and behaviour of the profession.
The optician made a series of amendments to a patient’s records in November 2014 that were misleading, false and dishonest, which she admitted during a hearing.
The optician altered the records of the female patient “in a state of panic” after she was diagnosed with chronic closed angle glaucoma and had lost the vision in her left eye following a hospital referral.
The patient blamed Ms McCue for the loss of sight in her eye claiming she should have been referred earlier.
The GOC’s hearing committee chairman James Kellock said: “The committee considered that the dishonest alteration of patient records is a very serious matter.
“The committee determined this is a significant departure from the standards of conduct and behaviour expected of a Registrant and amounts to misconduct.”
He added: “The Committee was satisfied that the Registrant has shown insight into the circumstances leading up to the allegations in question, her own actions, and her dishonesty.
“The committee accepted that the Registrant is of previous good character and that this incident constituted a single incident in a career spanning over 23 years.
“It further determined that the likelihood of repetition by the Registrant of any dishonest behaviour to be minimal.
“Nevertheless, the committee considered these matters are so serious that the public interest requires a finding of impairment be made in this case.”
A spokesman for Specsavers said: “Specsavers is committed to upholding the highest standards of practice in eyecare and eye health.
“We can confirm the optician in question is no longer employed by Specsavers, having resigned from her role in the autumn of last year.”
Ms McCue has until March 16 to appeal her suspension, during which time she is suspended from the register under an immediate order.