Physiotherapist misled HCPC to gain fraudulent entries on register
Physio claimed he had continued his practice when in fact he had not
Published on 31st October 2019
A physiotherapist misled the Health and Care Professions Council resulting in fraudulent entries on the regulator's register.
Following an investigation by the HCPC, it emerged that Mr Joseph L S Muththiya had told the regulator that he had continued to practice his profession as a physiotherapist between 2008 and 2016 when he had not and therefore misled the HCPC when renewing his registration in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 meaning some of those entries were fraudulent.
Mr Muththiya first registered with the HCPC as a physiotherapist on the 27 May 2005. He applied for a Band 5 physiotherapist position at the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and stated that he had worked as a Healthcare Assistant between August 2008 and February 2014 at the Trust and then as a Physiotherapy Technical Instructor at the Trust from March 2014 until January 2018.
He was successful in the interview on 7 December 2017 and secured a Band 5 position as a physiotherapist, starting the role on 29 January 2018. However, after two months, informal concerns were raised by colleagues that Mr Muththiya was not able to practice autonomously.
Mr Muththiya was then rotated to the Community Therapy Service on 2 April 2018 and within a short time concerns were raised that he was not performing adequately. Informal performance management of Mr Muththiya began on 20 April 2018 with a review of the arrangements scheduled for 9 May 2018. However, he resigned his position on 8 May 2018.
Concerns about his performance were raised with the HCPC. During the HCPC’s investigation, it emerged that Mr Muththiya had not continued to practice his profession as a physiotherapist between 2008 and 2016 he had misled the HCPC when renewing his registration in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 and those entries were fraudulent.
The panel looked at each entry Mr Muththiya had on the register
The panel noted that in his application form for the Band 5 Physiotherapy post he stated that he was a production operative for a food company between October 2006 and August 2008. The Panel concluded that at the time of signing the declaration (that he had continued to practise his profession for the last two years in April 2008) Mr Muththiya had been fraudulent.Mr Muththiya would have been clearly aware that he had not been practising his profession as a physiotherapist and, in making the declaration that he had been, he was dishonest and reasonable and honest people would consider that he had been dishonest.
In Mr Muththiya's application form for the Band 5 Physiotherapy post, he stated that he had been working as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) between August 2008 and February 2014. He described his duties as carrying out specific clinical tasks as delegated by the appropriate registered health care professional. The Panel noted that this did not include physiotherapy and it concluded that he had not been practising his profession as a physiotherapist whilst in this role. The Panel considered that Mr Muththiya would have been clearly aware that he had not been practising his profession as a physiotherapist when he re-registered in 2010 and 2012 and, in making the declaration that he had been, he was dishonest and reasonable and honest people would consider that he had been dishonest.
The Panel noted that in addition to his work as a HCA, at the time of signing the declaration in February 2014 Mr Muththiya had been undertaking a Master’s course in physiotherapy at Coventry University. The Panel had no information as to whether this course contained any practical elements and/or involved patient contact. The Panel concluded that Mr Muththiya had not been practising his profession during the two years preceding the declaration in February 2014. In making the declaration that he had been, he was dishonest.
In Mr Muththiya's application form for the Band 5 Physiotherapy post he stated that he had been working as a Physiotherapy Technical Instructor since March 2014. The Panel considered the job specification for this role and considered that these duties were sufficient to suggest that Mr Muththiya could be deemed as practising. In the Informal Performance Meeting notes dated 20 April 2018, the Registrant said that he felt that working as a Band 3 physiotherapy technical instructor was “enough to maintain HCPC”. The Panel therefore considered that Mr Muththiya had not been dishonest in this declaration dated 10 March 2016.
"The panel therefore determined that the renewal of registration following the declarations made on or around 5 April 2008, 8 March 2010, 28 March 2012 and 19 February 2014 were fraudulent," said the panel. "Having found the renewals above were made as a result of fraud the Panel determined to direct the Registrar to remove the entries in relation to the Registrant’s registration made on or around 5 April 2008, 8 March 2010, 28 March 2012 and 19 February 2014," the panel concluded.
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