Simon Jones: Putting on a show
Author: Simon Jones
Lots to talk about this week, so apologies if the column has something of a whirlwind feel.
Dry eye made it on to the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2 on Monday (May 17). It just happened to be on while I was having lunch, so I listened with interest – mainly to see who the producers had drafted in to talk about the condition.
I was somewhat surprised to hear author and broadcaster Jenny Eclair, and GP broadcaster Dr Sarah Jarvis talking about Lipiflow treatments and punctal plugs. Eclair has clearly suffered with severe dry eye for quite some time, and her experience would be well worth hearing in isolation, but she often talked about things that really should have been handled by a clinician. Dr Jarvis half-joked that her job had been done by Eclair.
It was yet another example of media outlets not appreciating the nuances of eye health and those that provide it. I don’t think there will be many GPs that will thank Dr Jarvis for an uptick in patients attending with dry eye symptoms, but that’s likely to be the case when a GP is the figurehead for an eye health segment. I’ve said it on more than one occasion, but the profession needs its very own TV optometrist.
Those interested in the fitness to practise case involving Specsavers dispensing optician Michael Langley, who achieved notoriety last year with his own take on trading during lockdown, will be disappointed to hear that no details from the hearing will be released, because no misconduct or impairment was found by the panel. In these circumstances, it’s down to the registrant whether the case details are published. And that’s absolutely fine with me – and so is the decision, as I am sure due consideration was given and proper process followed.
But I wonder how this case even made it to the hearing stage if there wasn’t to be a slam dunk sanction at the end of it. The GOC says it wants to improve fitness to practise efficiency with a better investigation stage, but this case seems at odds with that intention.