A Bristol-based optometrist has been suspended for six months by the General Optical Council on grounds of public protection and wider public interest.

The fitness to practise committee found that Alistair Aiken’s fitness to practise was impaired by misconduct following admissions to allegations of sending unsolicited ‘indecent and inappropriate’ photos and videos to several female work colleagues in 2019 and 2020, some of whom were under the age of 18.

The committee decided to sanction with a six-month suspension due to the ‘aggravating features in this case rendering it a serious example of persistent misconduct, which caused distress to the registrant’s colleagues and considerable damage to the reputation of the profession.’

A review hearing will be held between four and six weeks prior to the expiration of the suspension to determine if Aiken has not repeated any of the misconduct and that his colleagues will not be placed at risk following his return or by the imposition of conditional registration.