A Fitness to Practise Panel of the General Optical Council (GOC) concluded that an optician’s fitness to practise was impaired by reason of his convictions for deception, and it therefore removed him from the register. The appellant had been convicted of nine counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception under the Theft Act, on the basis that he had falsely represented that a GP had signed forms needed to secure payment for eye tests on the NHS.  

The appellant appealed this decision claiming, amongst other things, that the Panel should have concluded there was no fraud and had misstated the extent of the fraud. The appellant relied upon evidence from the GP involved in support of his assertions.  

The appeal was rejected. Given the nature of the fraud, the Panel had been entitled to conclude that the sanction imposed was lawful and almost inevitable. No weight was given to the evidence of the GP, as he had been suspended and, in any event, his evidence could not begin to undermine the appellant’s convictions.  

Preedy v General Optical Council QBD (Admin) 2012