Standards for optometrists and dispensing opticians

13. Show respect and fairness to others and do not discriminate

  1. Respect a patient’s dignity, showing politeness and consideration.
  2. Promote equality, value diversity and be inclusive in all your dealings and do not discriminate on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief.
  3. Ensure that your own religious, moral, political or personal beliefs and values do not prejudice patients’ care. If these prevent you from providing a service, ensure that you refer patients to other appropriate providers.
  4. Respect colleagues’ skills and contributions and do not discriminate.
  5. Be aware of how your own behaviour might influence colleagues and students and demonstrate professional behaviour at all times.
  6. Refrain from making unnecessary or disparaging comments which could make a patient doubt your colleagues’ competence, skills or fitness to practise, either in public or private.

    If you have concerns about a colleague’s fitness to practise, then please refer to standard 11.

  7. Support colleagues and offer guidance where they have identified problems with their performance or health or they have sought your help, but always put the interests and safety of patients first.
  8. Consider and respond to the needs of disabled patients and make reasonable adjustments to your practice to accommodate these and improve access to optical care.
  9. Challenge colleagues if their behaviour is discriminatory and be prepared to report behaviour that amounts to the abuse or denial of a patient’s or colleague’s rights, or could undermine patient safety.