Mr Maksym Wojcieszek

Profession: Paramedic

Registration Number: PA43411

Hearing Type: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 30/08/2022 End: 17:00 30/08/2022

Location: This hearing is being held remotely.

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Suspended

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Allegation

Whilst registered as a Paramedic and working for East Midlands Ambulance Services (“EMAS”):

1.  On or around 25 October 2017 during a ‘ride out review’ you:

a.  did not have the underpinning knowledge to complete an adequate patient assessment;

b.  had poor ECG recognition skills;

c.  did not take into account or understand all information given by a patient in relation to the presenting complaint.

2.  On or around 20 November 2017 during an assessment day, you failed to:

a.  identify and manage a time critical patient effectively;

b. [not proven]

c.  consider reversible causes of cardiac arrest / paediatric arrest;

d.  use Capnography during a cardiac arrest;

e.  conduct adequate pulse checks on a patient;

f.  consider the seriousness of a patient not having passed urine for two days;

g.  consider the Paramedic pathfinder and/or NEWS Score for a patient with a history of productive cough;

h.  consider using a sepsis toolkit for a patient with a history of productive cough;

i. give 5 rescue breaths prior to placing pads on the chest in a paediatric arrest.

3.  The matters set out in Paragraph 1 and 2 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

4. By reason of your misconduct and/or lack of competence, your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters

1. No preliminary matters were raised by either party.

Background

2. The Registrant was employed as a Band 5 Paramedic by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) from 27 March 2017 to 25 January 2018. During this employment he had regular probation reviews when concerns about his competence were identified.

3. EMAS decided to examine the concerns further by means of a “ride out review” on 25 October 2017 and an assessment day on 20 November 2017.

4. The “ride out review” was conducted by Witness 1, who gave evidence at the Final Hearing. The assessment day was conducted by Witness 2, who gave evidence at the Final Hearing and was supported by Witness 3.

5. Both events identified continuing concerns regarding the Registrant’s ability to practise safely.

6. During a probation review meeting on 21 November 2017 it was decided that the Registrant’s probationary period would need to be extended and an action plan was provided.

7. Thereafter, there were continuing concerns regarding the standard of the Registrant’s practice.

8. On 19 January 2018, the Registrant attended a probationary review meeting chaired by Witness 4 who also gave evidence at the Final Hearing. At that meeting a decision was taken to terminate the Registrant’s employment, with effect from 25 January 2018.

9. However, following the Registrant’s appeal against his dismissal, the Trust decided to offer alternative employment to the Registrant and he offered a place on an Ambulance Technician/Associate Ambulance Practitioner course due to start on 23 April 2018. The Registrant accepted that offer of further employment.

Decision

10. The Legal Assessor reminded the Panel that its purpose today was to conduct a comprehensive review to determine if the Registrant is fit to return to unrestricted practice and referred the Panel to the approach to be adopted. The Panel’s role is not to conduct a rehearing of the allegations or go behind the previous findings. The Legal Assessor advised the Panel to take into account the HCPTS Practice Notes on Article 30 Reviews and Finding that Fitness to Practise is Impaired. If it determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remains impaired, then the Panel must go on to consider what sanction, if any, should be imposed.

11. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel has to make an assessment of the Registrant’s fitness to practise as of today’s date. The Panel has taken into account the HCPTS Practice Note on Finding that Fitness to Practise is Impaired, which emphasises that the fitness to practise process is about public protection. A Panel must take into account the personal component, which includes the current competence and behaviour of the Registrant, and the public component, which includes protecting service users, declaring and upholding proper standards of behaviour and maintaining public confidence in the Paramedic profession.

12. The Panel was mindful that there is a persuasive burden on the Registrant to demonstrate that he is safe to return to practice. The Panel took into consideration all the documentation before it, and the submissions made.

13. The Panel appreciated that the Registrant has continued to be employed by EMAS as an Ambulance Technician since the last review and has provided positive testimonials from work colleagues including his Clinical supervisor. However, the Registrant has not provided firm evidence of his remediation, in other words material which demonstrates that he has taken on board all of the findings made by the Substantive Panel in 2020 and that he no longer lacks competence in those areas identified by the Substantive Panel.

14. Further, in his oral evidence to the Panel, the Registrant acknowledged that he is not yet ready to return to work as a Registered Paramedic. The Registrant agreed with the HCPC submission that a further period of suspension was required to enable him to provide the necessary evidence of remediation which, the Registrant stated, would be provided with the assistance of EMAS who have indicated their willingness to help the Registrant to requalify as a Paramedic. The Registrant’s evidence to the panel was that he would formulate an action plan along with those who are currently supervising him and which would identify the Registrant’s specific needs in relation to moving up from Technician to a newly qualified paramedic status.

15. Taking everything into account, the Panel was satisfied that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is still impaired on the personal and public components of impairment due to the lack of evidence currently that the Registrant would no longer be a potential danger to the public or that he had remediated the concerns with regard to his Paramedic skills.

16. The Panel considered the full range of sanctions available to it, which now included a striking off order. The panel noted that both the HCPC and the Registrant had proposed a further period of suspension as being the appropriate and proportionate sanction.

17. The Panel carefully considered whether a further period of suspension would be appropriate and sufficient, given that the Registrant has now been suspended since 2020. The Panel noted that the changes since the last review are that the Registrant has engaged with the HCPC and no longer seeks Voluntary Removal from the register. Further, the Panel was provided with very positive testimonial evidence and was confident that the Trust who employ the Registrant are willing to facilitate the Registrant’s return as a Registered paramedic.

18. The Panel considered that a Caution Order would not be sufficient to protect public and that Conditions of Practice were not appropriate given that the Registrant was not able to practise as a registered Paramedic.

19. In all the circumstances, the Panel has concluded that a further period of suspension for 12 months is appropriate and proportionate.12 months is required in order to give the Registrant sufficient time to demonstrate he has undertaken suitable and sufficient remediation in respect of the failings identified by the previous Reviewing panels.

20. The next Reviewing panel will be assisted by the Registrant providing:

a) A detailed action plan which you have devised with your Clinical Supervisor and Mentor evidencing your skills and knowledge which will enable you to return to work as a Paramedic, referencing your remediation in respect of your lack of competence.

b) A report from your clinical supervisor which comments that you have achieved and maintained the necessary standards and your suitability to return to practise as a Paramedic.

c) Verifiable, signed and dated testimonials and/or references from colleagues, referring to their knowledge of the findings of the Substantive Panel and the remediation undertaken.

d) Documented evidence of training courses and/or CPD that you have undertaken since 2020, which relates to Paramedic practice.

e) A reflective statement regarding your insight into your previous lack of competence and how that has been addressed by you.


21. Whilst this Panel has no power to bind any future Panel, it notes that all Sanction options, including striking off, are now available.

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to suspend the registration of Maksym Wojcieszek for a further period of 12 months on the expiry of the existing Order.

Notes

The order imposed today will apply from 12 September 2022.

This Order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 12 September 2023.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Maksym Wojcieszek

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
30/08/2022 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
14/02/2022 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
29/01/2021 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
11/02/2020 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended
;