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OT who failed to maintain adequate records asks to be removed from register

HCPC agrees to Voluntary Removal Agreement after OT admits she failed to maintain adequate notes for numerous service users

Published on 28th February 2018

An occupational therapist who allegedly failed to maintain adequate records for numerous service users has been removed from the HCPC register after agreeing a Voluntary Removal Agreement.

Claire Connolly faced allegations that she repeatedly failed to record notes at all, or in a timely manner, of 25 service users either in the hard copy notes or in the Lorenzo Record system between 2009 and October 2015.

In addition, she failed to check or approve chairs for the use of Service User C for approximately two years while working as an occupational therapist with Stockport NHS Foundation Trust between 2009 and 21 October 2015.

Mrs Connolly was due to face a Health and Care Professions Council Panel to ascertain whether her fitness to practise was impaired. However, it was proposed that the allegation be withdrawn by the HCPC on the basis that Mrs Connolly wished to be removed from the HCPC Register voluntarily.

“The Registrant has admitted the substance of the allegation and has undertaken not to practise as an Occupational Therapist or use any title associated with that profession. If the Registrant seeks to return to the HCPC Register at any time, despite agreeing not to seek re-admission, the application would be treated as if the Registrant had been struck off as a result of that allegation,” said a statement.

The Panel had to decide whether to grant the application to withdraw the allegation or to direct that the allegation be set down for a hearing.

In his submissions on behalf of the HCPC, Mr Mason submitted that the appropriate level of public protection is being secured by the VRA because the likely outcome of the allegation, if proved, would be either a Conditions of Practice Order or a Suspension Order. The VRA would therefore achieve a greater level of protection of the public.

With regard to whether granting the application would not be detrimental to the public interest, Mr Mason submitted that the VRA would actually be in the public interest, because it would be cost effective as well as achieve removal of Mrs Connolly from the register. It would be cost effective because the likely outcome of either a Conditions of Practice Order or a Suspension Order would mean that the case would enter the review cycle with the associated costs and hearing time in circumstances where Mrs Connolly has no wish to ever practise again.

In her email of 6 November 2017, Mrs Connolly admitted the substance of the allegation and made it clear that her personal circumstances, including her health issues which she set out in an email dated 21 December 2017 and attachments, mean that she is in no position to remediate her deficiencies and she will not again be seeking employment as an Occupational Therapist.

The Panel noted there was no actual service user harm and her clinical judgement was not an issue. The Panel concluded that the allegation, while serious, was not such that the public interest required a full hearing to uphold public confidence in the profession and the regulatory process.

The Panel decided to grant the application to withdraw the allegation on the basis that Mrs Connolly has entered into the VRA dated 22 January 2018 and this will adequately protect the public and will not be detrimental to the public interest.

 

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