David Raymond Minshull

Profession: Hearing aid dispenser

Registration Number: HAD00823

Hearing Type: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 06/08/2015 End: 11:30 06/08/2015

Location: Park Plaza Cardiff, Greyfriars Road, Cardiff, CF10 3AL

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Conditions of Practice

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Allegation

During the course of your employment as a Hearing Aid Dispenser in February 2011 while employed by Regional Hearing Services, you:

 

1. Carried out a hearing assessment on Service User A and you:

 

a) Did not carry out and/or record a bone conduction assessment

 

2. On leaving your role with Regional Hearing Services, you used confidential Information gained during your employment with them and used it for your personal gain in that you sold Service User A a hearing aid on 15 April 2011.

3. After selling the hearing aid to Service User A you:

 

a) Did not provide her with a receipt for her purchase,

 

b) Did not make acceptable arrangements for follow up or aftercare,

 

c) Set the hearing aid for a new user and left it at that setting for 12 months without arranging for further adjustment.

 

4. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 and 3 a-c constitute misconduct and/or a lack of competence.

 

5. The matter set out in paragraphs 2 constitutes misconduct.

 

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

Finding

Decision


1. This is a mandatory review under article 30(1) of the Health Professions Order 2001 of a suspension order imposed for a period of 12 months. This order was changed to a Conditions of Practice Order for a period of twelve months on 25 July 2014.

2. At this hearing, the HCPC was represented by Mr Michael Demissie. Mr. Minshull attended the hearing but was not represented. 

3. In carrying out its review today, the Panel has considered all the information in the bundle including the decision of the panel which imposed the original order. The first panel decided to admit the representations made by Mr. Minshull for the Investigating Committee Panel. The case concerns Mr. Minshull’s employment as a Hearing Aid dispenser at Regional Hearing Services (“RHS”) and his subsequent actions. He commenced employment with RHS on 1 September 2010 and left that employment on 25 March 2011 by way of a compromise agreement. Subsequently, there was professional contact between the registrant and a service user who was a former client of RHS.

4. The Panel which considered the case found that Mr. Minshull’s actions and omissions amounted to both a lack of competence and misconduct and imposed a Suspension Order for twelve months. That Panel stated that in relation to allegation 1, there were potentially very serious consequences for service users in not carrying out bone conduction tests and proper audiometry. In relation to allegation 2, the panel considered that there had been a serious breach of the ethical standards expected of the registrant. In relation to allegation 3, the Panel considered that the registrant’s lack of competence could leave vulnerable service users unable to access services and/or warranty provisions. That panel recognised that there was no evidence of widespread failures other than with regard to Service User A. However, the registrant’s lack of engagement meant that the previous panel did not have an opportunity to hear directly from Mr. Minshull in order to assess his understanding of the matters which gave rise to the allegations as well as his insight into the deficiencies in his practice. The original panel determined that a period of suspension would allow the registrant sufficient opportunity to remedy his professional shortcomings and recommended to him that he would need to provide evidence of refresher training/continuing professional development as well as evidence of improved administrative efficiency and insight into the failings which it had identified.

5. At the previous review hearing, the Panel had an opportunity to hear Mr. Minshull’s own account of the matter. He told the Panel that he had carried out a bone conduction test on Service User A in accordance with his usual practice. He explained that RHS operated a computer system and also a paper system for recording such tests. It was his evidence that he had partly completed the appropriate form recording the test but that it had been sent back to him for completion so that it could be entered on the computer system. He completed the form and returned it to RHS. However, it was the first version of the form that had been sent to the HCPC with the complaint and accordingly that was the version which had been considered by the previous panel. Mr. Minshull was clear in his recollection that the test had been undertaken and that the form had been completed. He told the Panel that it had been his intention to commence practice on his own account. However, he had not been able to do so and in any event, his plans had been overtaken by the complaint made against him. He said that this was the only complaint which had ever been made against him in 13 years of practice.

6. Mr Minshull gave evidence at this hearing. He said that he had been unable to obtain employment as a Hearing Aid Dispenser in the period since the Conditions of Practice order had been imposed. He did however say that he was being considered for a post as a Hearing Aid Dispenser and produced an email to that effect. The post was to commence in the immediate future and Mr Minshull thought the firm offering the post was aware of and would be capable of complying with the HCPC Conditions of Practice. He gave evidence of the reading and online practice that he had done in order to fulfil his Continual Professional Development (CPD). He expressed regret for what had happened. He gave the Panel an outline of his personal circumstances at the time and the personal and financial difficulties which he had experienced. This had contributed to his decision not to attend the initial hearing of his case, along with his belief that he would be disadvantaged by Service User A not attending and being able to corroborate his account. This was a decision which with hindsight, he regrets. He told the Panel that he had been working with his wife to build up an eBay business.

7. The Panel considers that the misconduct and lack of competence which was found in the original hearing is capable of remediation but has not been remedied yet. Mr Minshull demonstrated today remorse for his actions and showed some insight. The Panel carefully considered all of the information put before it. It is satisfied that Mr Minshull remains impaired and that it would not be appropriate to allow him to return to unrestricted practice until he has demonstrated remediation.

8. The Panel considered the range of sanctions available to it in ascending order. It considered that to take no further action would not be appropriate in this case and would be insufficient to protect the public and the public interest as restrictions are needed on the Registrant’s registration.  For the reason that restrictions were needed neither Mediation nor a Caution Order would be appropriate or proportionate. In all the circumstances the Panel has determined to make a Conditions of Practice Order. It proposes to make slight variations with the existing Conditions of Practice Order in order to ensure the clarity of those conditions.  The Panel imposes a Conditions of Practice Order because Mr Minshull is capable of working as a Hearing Aid Dispenser but needs supervision particularly as he has not practiced for over two years. The period of the Conditions of Practice Order will be 12 months.

9. The Panel gives Mr. Minshull full credit for attending the hearing today and engaging with the regulatory process. This order will be reviewed before it expires and the Panel would recommend to Mr. Minshull that it would be in his best interests to also attend that review hearing and continue to engage with the regulatory process.

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to annotate the Register to show that, for a period of twelve months from the date that this Order comes into effect, you, David Minshull, must comply with the following conditions of practice:

1. You should seek employment from an organisation of sufficient size which can offer professional supervision from an HCPC registered Hearing Aid Dispenser as well as refresher training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) support.

2. You must inform the HCPC of the name and address of your employer at the time of taking up employment.

3. You must place yourself and remain under the supervision of an HCPC registered workplace supervisor nominated by your employer and supply details of your supervisor to the HCPC within one month of commencing employment. You must attend upon that supervisor at least once a month and follow their advice and recommendations.

4. You must, prior to taking up employment, inform your prospective employer that your registration is subject to these conditions of practice.

5. You must provide evidence of compliance with these conditions of practice. This should include:

• A report from your supervisor confirming compliance and also reporting on your progress.
• You should provide evidence of regular CPD activities which you have undertaken.
• Your CPD must not be focussed entirely on technology but should also include aspects of client management as well as wider aspects of adult audiology.
• Your CPD should also include a reflective account demonstrating insight into the incident with Service User A.
• Documentary evidence of all these matters, including your supervisor’s report should be provided to the HCPC not later than 14 days in advance of the next review hearing.

6. You must promptly inform the HCPC if you cease to be employed by your current employer or take up any other or further employment.

7. You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary proceedings taken against you by your employer

Notes

This Order will be reviewed before it expires. 

Hearing History

History of Hearings for David Raymond Minshull

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
02/02/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing No further action
03/08/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
06/08/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice