04:32PM, Tuesday 31 July 2018
An eye specialist based in Slough who dropped a lens in a patients lap before telling her ‘there couldn’t have been a better place for it to drop’ has been banned from the profession.
Sufyan Azeem Malik was struck from the register of the General Optical Council (GOC) following a hearing between Monday, July 16 and Thursday, July 19 at its London office.
According to the council’s ruling, Malik attempted to retrieve a spectacle lens which dropped on a patients lap in February 2016, while touching her leg and staring at her chest.
He told the woman: “there couldn’t have been a better place for it to drop...well maybe.”
The disgraced optometrist also said he wished the woman’s son was not in the room and said ‘my mind is wondering now’ and told her he was ‘thinking inappropriate thoughts’.
Malik was also found to have taken a woman’s contact details from her private medical records before texting her without her consent, having behaved ‘flirtatiously’ towards her during a sight test in November 2015.
It was noted by the committee that Malik only admitted obtaining the woman’s records without her consent after she had given oral evidence and that he repeated that his remarks to her were ‘banter’.
In its report, the committee said it was satisfied that Malik’s behaviour was both inappropriate and ‘sexually motivated’ in relation to both patients.
The council ruled to erase him from its register, meaning he is no longer able to practice as an optometrist in the UK.
The report added: “The committee considered that the registrant's actions were repeated incidents of sexually motivated conduct towards two separate women, made within a short time of each other.
“Each woman appeared to have suffered at least some degree of emotional and psychological damage.
“There were sustained denials. Remediation and insight was limited. The conduct constituted a breach of professional trust.”
Malik was criticised for ‘bringing the profession into disrepute’ by the committee, which added: “There was an indication of limited insight only on his part in this regard and accordingly there was no reassurance that he would be unlikely to do so again in the future.”
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