A laser surgery boss has flagged up new GMC guidance on cosmetic intervention that will impact optometrists.

Optimax and Ultralase chairman Russell Ambrose said this week optometrists can no longer be the primary source of consultation and informed consent for refractive surgery patients owing to the new rules.

He said from June 1, optometrists working to outdated protocols could find themselves vulnerable to being drawn in to a doctor’s negligence claim as a witness in cases where informed consent is deemed invalid.

Ambrose told Optician: ‘New GMC rules stating that a surgeon must only perform a refractive surgery on a patient that they have personal consulted with prior to the day of surgery and allowed a sufficient “cooling of”’ period.

‘Previously, consultation, recommendation of surgery type and the taking of informed consent have been widely performed by optometrists. Although this has worked well previously, employing the optometrists’ excellent skills, this is no longer permitted.

‘At Optimax we are pleased to comply with these new guidelines from June 1 without extensive changes to our current protocols, and Optimax’s optometrists continue to play important role in this life-changing procedure. We believe that such changes will benefit refractive surgery patients by helping them to make considered, informed decisions regarding their refractive surgery.’