The right way to delegate

Daniel Hardiman-McCartney FCOptom, Clinical Adviser for the College, on delegation, supervision and clinical leadership.

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Delegation, referral and supervision all mean very different things. However, I often hear these words used interchangeably when talking to members on the clinical advice line. In this piece, I thought it would be useful to consider what each term means, quantify what effective delegation could look like in primary care optometry, and explain why it is an important part of clinical leadership for all optometrists. 

Referral is the arrangement for another practitioner to provide a service that falls outside your scope of practice, contract or professional competence, such as referring a patient to a contact lens optician for contact lens care or a patient to an ophthalmologist for cataract surgery. 

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