Williams Review into gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare

Read the evidence we submitted to the Review in relation to gross negligence manslaughter and healthcare professionals (April 2018)

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On 6 February 2018 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced that a rapid review would take place in relation to gross negligence manslaughter and healthcare professionals. We have submitted evidence to the Review.

Evidence from the College of Optometrists

The College is the professional body for optometrists.

The General Optical Council, as the regulator, sets the standards for optometrists, and the College supports optometrists in meeting those standards. It does this by providing detailed professional and clinical guidance, and varied continuing professional development and training opportunities.

We believe in professional excellence in eye health, and encourage our members to engage in both informal and formal continuing professional development in relation to their work. We provide guidance on how best to approach this, including on reflective practice. Because reflective practice is an extremely beneficial way of improving healthcare for patients, we are working hard to help them develop these skills.

The case of R v Honey Rose has caused a substantial amount of concern within the profession. We do not want optometrists to be further concerned by the role that reflective practice played in the Bawa-Garba case and, as a consequence, to be dissuaded from reflection on the basis that their reflection documents could be used against them in disciplinary or legal proceedings. For this reason, we would urge the Review to find a solution that prevents this from happening.