Code of Practice

BOPSS Code of Practice – updated June 2020

Full code of conduct PDF at end of page.

Code of Practice; Executive Summary
June 2020

Membership of the British Oculoplastic Surgery Society (BOPSS) comes with responsibilities. This document summarises these responsibilities, which can be found in the Full Code of Conduct (link at end of page).

All Members must comply with the requirements of the General Medical Council (GMC), including revalidation, audit and quality assurance, and the guidelines of the College(s) who have issued their surgical qualifications. They should be registered with the correct licensing body in all countries of practice and have the correct form of professional indemnity for their field of work and location.

Advertising in all its forms must have, as its chief objective, the welfare of the patient. Information should be truthful, objective, verifiable, and in accordance with national advertising standards. All referrals between practitioners must always be made in the patient’s best medical interest, without financial or other inducement from any party, and at no time should a Member act as any form of financial intermediary.

Demonstration of procedures or treatments in makeover shows, and “reality TV” opportunities, are strongly discouraged, but educational documentaries are acceptable. In the case of ‘Advertorials’, these must be clearly marked as such.

All financial conflicts of interest must be disclosed to the patient. All fees, to include investigations, appointments and procedures, should be transparent, publicly available, and disclosed in advance of the proposed treatment. The long-term financial implications of any emergency care, complications and revisions should also be clarified, as should the conditions of payments and cancellation policy.

The GMC recommends a 2-week “cooling off” period for elective surgical procedures once the pre-treatment consent process has been completed. Details of these periods are found in the full code.

Consent is an ongoing process extending from the time of first contact until the day of the surgical/non-surgical procedure, and at all times should be in line with GMC guidance. For any treatment that falls under their direction, the consent process is the personal responsibility of the Member. The consent should be conducted with clear verbal and written information, and include all aspects of the treatment, recovery, possible complications, and expected outcomes.

Members shall inform patients of risks to surgery that arise from certain behaviours (such as smoking), in addition to the risks of multiple procedures performed at one time and the risk associated with antiplatelet and other anticoagulant medication. The Member should ensure that the patient has the opportunity to consider all preoperative information before deciding to proceed, without any form of pressure or exhortation. Finally, the responsibility for the patient’s care rests with the Member at all times, and any assistant to the Member must be suitably qualified and indemnified with respect to the tasks allocated to them.

At all times Members must ensure that clinical notes are legible, identify the patient, contain the practitioner’s signature and name, are stored and handled in accordance with national data protection legislation, and are available to the patient on request. The purpose of photography must be clearly explained to the patient, and consent obtained accordingly.

It is the Member’s responsibility to ensure that CQC registration, equipment standards, and staff qualifications are all in order in the facilities in which they practice.

All patients undergoing surgery should receive a discharge summary with details of post-operative medication, proposed follow up arrangements and contact details in case of emergency.

Following a procedure or surgery, a Member would be expected to provide ‘out of hours’ care unless other formal arrangements have been made. If a Member is not available, they must provide patients with appropriate alternative cover, with a formal hand-over if necessary. Members must ensure that the surgical facility has appropriate anaesthetic cover and service level agreement with critical care facilities if unavailable in the facility itself.

If and when surgery is followed by an unfavourable outcome, an immediate and honest explanation must be provided. The patient must receive appropriate further treatment, a second opinion may be considered, and any out-of-pocket expenses incurred by revisional surgery must be taken into account when calculating the revision fee.

Members are advised to operate within the proximity of their official residence in order to provide continued postoperative care. If, however the patient has elected to travel a long distance to see a named surgeon, the risks entailed should be explained, and the onus is then on the patient to travel to the surgeon as per the initial review or treatment location.

Members shall not undertake any procedure requested by a patient where there is considered to be an unacceptable risk to the patient, and all adverse events involving a medical device, drug or other medical product should be reported.

BOPSS does not endorse any company, medical product or device, surgeon, or group of surgeons, and membership of the Society is on a named individual basis only. The BOPSS name and logo are not be used in any way that might bring the Society into disrepute, and at no time do Members speak on behalf of the Society unless at the directive of the BOPSS Committee. The logo is legally copyrighted, and its use in the form of the BOPSS Members logo is restricted to identify affiliation on personal websites and stationery; it must not be used for advertising, or to imply endorsement of an opinion, practice or professional group by the Society.

Members must notify the Society of retirement from and of any GMC, criminal or civil ruling made against them that would prevent them practicing as a surgeon or doctor, within 5 working days.

(PDF doc, click to open)

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