Mr Oladele Eluwole (Hearing joined with Mrs. Grace Oni & Ms. Titlayo Oyedele )

Profession: Biomedical scientist

Registration Number: BS65851

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 24/08/2015 End: 16:00 14/09/2015

Location: Health and Care Professions Council, Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BU

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Struck off

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Allegation

As amended

Mr Oladele Eluwole

Whilst registered as a Biomedical Scientist:

1. On or around 12 December 2012 you provided inaccurate information regarding your work experience to the Royal Devon Exeter Hospital Trust as part of a job application, in that you state that you had worked at PathCare  Nigeria from January 2008 to March 2012, which was not the case.

2. As part of your application at paragraph 1 you caused a reference to be provided by Supervisor 1 (dated 28 December 2012) which was inaccurate in that it stated you had worked for PathCare Nigeria from January 2008 to March 2012, which was not the case.

3. Between 04 February 2013 and 22 August 2013, you were unable to perform at the standard required of a Band 5 biomedical scientist in that you:

a) Were unable to work unsupervised.

b) Did not communicate effectively with colleagues.

c) Were unable to perform routine biomedical investigations and/or intervention such as:

I. Section cutting
II. Special stains
III. Frozen sections
IV. IMF
V. Embedding


c) Used an incorrect format when writing slides.

e) Incorrectly labelled slides.
f) Unable to carry out routine maintenance of simple equipment, vehicle and systems components

g) Effectively use all IT systems within the Trust.

4. Your actions set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 were dishonest.

5. The matters set out in paragraphs 1, 2 and 4 constitute misconduct.

6. The matters set out in paragraph 3 constitute lack of competence.

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

Ms Grace Oni

1.

(a) In/or around June 2013, you provided a copy of your CV to Your World Recruitment Group/Reed.co.uk which stated you worked at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust as a Biomedical Scientist from 2011 to present.

(b) The information contained within your CV was inaccurate in that you in fact worked at this Trust as a Hotel Services Assistant (Domestic) between March 2012 and September 2013.

2.

(a) You caused a reference to be provided by Francis Ajeneye (dated 25 May 2013) to Your World Recruitment Group.

(b) The reference at 2(a) was inaccurate as it suggested you had worked with Francis Ajeneye between September 2010 and March 2011 as a Biomedical Scientist at the Homerton University Hospital, when this was not the case.

3.   Between 8 and 10 July 2013 while employed by Nuffield Hospital, you:

(a) Took photos of colleagues and equipment within the laboratory without permission

(b) Made recordings of colleagues and equipment within the laboratory without permission.


4.  You took unauthorised leave between 8 and 10 July 2013 from University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust in your capacity as a Hotel Services Assistant (Domestic) and worked at Nuffield Hospital as a Biomedical Scientist.

5. Between 8 and 10 July 2013 you were unable to perform at the standard required of a Band 5 Biomedical Scientist in that you were:


(a) Not aware of the basics of haematology.

(b) Unable to perform basic biomedical scientist tasks.

(c) Unable to demonstrate an understanding of normal ranges of a full blood count.


6. You provided inaccurate information about your employment history at University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation Trust to NHS Blood and Transplant in support of the following job applications:


(a) Biomedical Scientist in the H&L Department on 2 April 2013;

(b) Biomedical Scientist in the Testing Department on 2 May 2013;

(c) Biomedical Scientist in the Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services on 2 May 2013;

(d) Biomedical Scientist in the Testing Department on 12 June 2013;

(e) Higher Technical Healthcare Officer in the Testing Department on 9 June 2013;

(f) Higher Technical Healthcare Officer in the H&L Department on 9 June 2013.


7. Your actions at paragraphs 1,2,3,4 and 6 were dishonest.

8. The matters set out in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 constitute misconduct.

9. The matters set out in paragraphs 5 constitute lack of competence.

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

Ms Titlayo Oyedele

During the course of your practice as a Biomedical Scientist at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust:

1. On 21st June 2013, you cross matched and issued incompatible blood to Patient A.

2. On or around 26 February 2013 you submitted an application for a Biomedical Scientist post at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, and

(a) you stated that you had been employed by PathCare Nigeria Limited;

(b) your statement at 2(a) was inaccurate in that you had not been employed by PathCare Nigeria Limited.

3. In support of your application for a Biomedical Scientist post at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust you:

(a) caused a reference to be provided by Francis Ajeneye.

(b) the reference at 3(a) was inaccurate in that it had stated you had worked with Francis Ajeneye for a period of 3 months as a BMS at the Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust when this was not the case;

(c) provided details of a referee from PathCare Nigeria Limited, Supervisor 1, and stated that this individual was your supervisor;

(d) your statement at 3 (c) was inaccurate in that you had not been employed by PathCare Nigeria Limited;

(e) caused a reference to be provided by Supervisor 1;

(f) the reference at 3(a) was inaccurate in that it suggested you had worked as a biomedical scientist at PathCare Nigeria from October 2008 to August 2012 when this was not the case.

4. The matters described in paragraphs 2(a)-2(b) and 3(a)-3(f) were dishonest.

5. The matters described in paragraph 1 amounts to misconduct and/or lack of competence.

6. The matters set out at paragraph 2 (a) - 2(b), 3 (a) – 3(f) and 4 amount to misconduct.

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

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Service:

1. None of the four Registrants have attended or have been represented at the start of this hearing. The Panel is satisfied that each Registrant was sent the notice of hearing at his/her registered address within the time limits set out by the Rules. 

Proceeding in absence:

2. The Panel considered whether it would be fair to proceed in each Registrant’s absence. Mr Eluwole, Ms Oni and Ms Oyedele have not engaged with the regulatory process at all and have not responded to correspondence relating to these proceedings. On 12 July 2015 the fourth Registrant, Mr Ajeneye, emailed the HCPC to confirm that he had received the bundle of evidence to be relied upon at this hearing and also to inform the HCPC that he was represented by Mr M Walker and that they would attend on 2 September 2015 only. None of the four Registrants have applied for an adjournment of today’s hearing.

3. The Panel has had regard to the HCPC Practice Note on ‘Proceeding in Absence’ and has sought to strike a careful balance between fairness to each Registrant and the public interest in the hearing proceeding as scheduled. The Panel is satisfied that the hearing should proceed today because none of the Registrants have suggested that if the hearing was delayed he/she would attend the full hearing.   

4. The Panel is satisfied that all four Registrants have voluntarily absented themselves from these proceedings and that an adjournment would not secure their attendance. The Legal Assessor spoke to Mr Ajeneye’s representative this morning who confirmed that Mr Ajeneye is aware that the hearing may proceed in his absence and that he has chosen to attend only on 2 September 2015, when it is anticipated that the HCPC will have closed its case, in order to give evidence to the Panel if he wishes. 

5. Therefore, the Panel is satisfied that there would be no benefit in adjourning the hearing for Mr Ajeneye.

6. The Panel has already determined that Mr Eluwole, Ms Oni and Ms Oyedele have been properly served with notice of this hearing and therefore can be expected to know the date and time of the hearing. It is each Registrant’s responsibility to ensure that the HCPC is notified of a change of address and the Panel is therefore satisfied that these Registrants have chosen not to engage with the process. The Panel has further concluded that the interests of justice require that the hearing proceed without further delay; the allegations date back to 2013, there are 13 witnesses scheduled to give evidence this week and next and there is no evidence before the Panel to suggest that an adjournment would result in the Registrants’ attendance. The evidence suggests that Ms Oyedele has left the UK.
7. The HCPC applied to make a minor amendment to particular 3(b) of the allegation against Ms Oyedele to correct the grammar. As there was no change to the substance of the allegation, the Panel was satisfied that the change could be made without causing any unfairness and allowed it to be made.

8. In respect of its case against Ms Oyedele, the HCPC wished to rely on a witness BO (Witness 3), who at the time of her statements was Human Resources Manager at PathCare Nigeria (PathCare). She made a statement to the police signed on 8 August 2013 and to the HCPC signed on 1 April 2014.  As the witness is based in Nigeria the HCPC wished to call her to give evidence over a video link.  However, the HCPC has recently been unable to contact her and therefore informed the Panel of its intention to rely on her written witness statements.  The HCPC referred the Panel to the Civil Procedure Rules and submitted that those rules allow the HCPC to read the statement without making an application to the Panel because a fitness to practise (FTP) final hearing is not a trial.  The HCPC accepted that the Panel retains the discretion to exclude the statement if it would be unfair to rely on it. The Panel is also aware of rule 10(c) of the HCPC rules which allows the Panel to rely on evidence which would not be admissible in civil proceedings if the evidence is necessary for the protection of the public.

9. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor that the principles to apply are the same whether the Panel approaches this as an application by the HCPC to rely on BO’s (Witness 3) written statements (which it could either allow or refuse), or as the Panel deciding whether this evidence should be excluded.  The Panel should consider whether it is fair and in the interests of justice for the statement to be relied upon, bearing in mind the need for caution as the Registrants are neither present nor represented and that the statement is not agreed evidence.  If the Panel does rely on the evidence it should bear in mind that because the Panel has not seen and heard the witness give evidence or had the opportunity to question her, this may affect the weight  it determines to attach to the statements.

10. The Panel exercised its own judgement and decided that these FTP proceedings are not properly described as a trial because there is no obligation on the Registrant to engage, the HCPC is able to present the case unopposed and the Panel does not dispense punishment; therefore the statement can be read. The Panel then went on to decide if it should exercise its power to exclude the statements and decided that it should not.  The Panel bore in mind that both statements were disclosed to the Registrants many months ago and that Ms Oyedele has decided not to attend this hearing, she was not expecting to be able to ask the witness any questions anyway and therefore their interests would not be prejudiced by BO (Witness 3) not being available to be cross-examined.  Whilst the Panel does not know why BO (Witness 3) has lost contact with the HCPC, she has not retracted either statement, her statements are consistent with each other and the Panel is not aware of anything that casts doubt on her reliability as a witness. 

11. The Panel was therefore satisfied that it is in the public interest for both statements to be presented in evidence as the HCPC relies on them in order to prove part of the allegation against Ms Oyedele and her evidence is referred to by another witness who has attended to give evidence.  In the context of the case as a whole, when deciding what weight to place on the statement the Panel will bear in mind that it is not agreed and that it has not had the opportunity to see and hear the witness give evidence.   

Background to the joining of this Registrant’s cases

12. This case involves four separate Registrants, all of whom are Nigerian nationals who state that they were trained as Biomedical Scientists (BMS) in Nigeria but, at the material time, were registered in the UK with the HCPC.  The first Registrant Oladele Eluwole is the husband of the third Registrant Titlayo Oyedele; they both provided what the HCPC allege were false references from the same person, KA (Supervisor 1).  Ms Oyedele also provided an allegedly false reference from the fourth Registrant, Francis Ajeneye.  Mr Ajeneye also provided a reference which the HCPC allege was false for the third Registrant, Ms Oni.

Background: Mr Oladele Eluwole

13. Mr Eluwole was employed by the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RDEH) from 4 February 2013 to 22 August 2013 as a Band 5 BMS.  In his application to the Trust he listed PathCare Nigeria as a previous employer. 

14. On or around 12 December 2012 he applied, via the NHS jobs website, for a role as a Band 5 BMS at RDEH.  On the application form he set out in the employment history section that he had previously been employed at PathCare Nigeria as a biomedical laboratory scientist between January 2008 and March 2012 at a Band 6 equivalent. Further, within the application he set out more detail of his experience which was consistent with this grading.  The Trust who were looking for a candidate who was experienced and could settle into the role quickly were impressed by his experience at PathCare and his theoretical knowledge at interview and he was offered the role.  He commenced his employment with the Trust on 4th February 2013 as a band 5 BMS.  However, it became immediately apparent that there was a wide gulf between the expertise described in the application and his actual ability in the lab; Mr Eluwole could not perform any of the tasks or techniques listed in the job description to the standard required and expected of a band 5 BMS. 

15. On 25 July 2013, TB (Witness 6), Senior Counter Fraud Specialist, contacted RDEH to advise that he had received intelligence that Mr Eluwole may have supplied false information and references concerning his previous experience on his application form to RDEH. Mr Eluwole was placed on restricted duties.  One of the references provided was from KA (Supervisor 1) which stated that she was a lead medical laboratory scientist (histology) at PathCare Nigeria, that she had been the Registrant’s line manager and that he had been a BMS (histology) at PathCare Nigeria between 2008 and 2012.  On 25 July 2013, TB (Witness 6) contacted BO (Witness 3) from the Human Resources (HR) department at PathCare Nigeria to confirm details of Mr Eluwole’s past employment with the company.  She confirmed that Mr Eluwole had worked at PathCare as a Laboratory Scientist in Biomedical Sciences but only from 7 March 2011 to 30 September 2011. BO (Witness 3) also confirmed that whilst KA (Supervisor 1) was an employee with PathCare Nigeria, she was not an authorised person to provide an employment reference. At the conclusion of his investigation, TB (Witness 6) made a referral to the HCPC in respect of Mr Eluwole. On 22 August 2013, Mr Eluwole resigned from his position at RDEH.

Background: Ms Grace Oni

16. Ms Oni was employed as a cleaner at the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (BRI) between March 2012 and 6 September 2013. As set out above she was an HCPC registered BMS and she was seeking work in this role.  To that end in June 2013 she had registered with an employment agency called Your World Recruitment to whom she had provided a CV setting out details of her employment history.

17. The content of her CV suggested that she had significant experience as a BMS, in particular that she had worked at UHB as a BMS. 

18. As part of the checks undertaken by Your World Recruitment, Ms Oni was required to provide the details of two referees.  On 25 June 2013, she sent an email to Your World Recruitment containing the contact details for two referees.  One of these individuals was the fourth Registrant in these proceedings, Francis Ajeneye. 

19. On the basis of the contents of her CV and the references provided it was decided by GR (Witness 10) Deputy Pathology Manager at NHB that Ms Oni was suitable for the role.  On 8 July 2013, Ms Oni commenced her locum position as a Band 5 BMS at NHB. 

20. Straight away it became apparent that there was a significant discrepancy between the skills and experience set out in her CV and her actual ability and competence.   At the end of her first day, a number of members of staff raised concerns about her lack of knowledge of haematology.

21. As a result, on the morning of 9 July 2013, GR (Witness 10) contacted Your World Recruitment to make further enquiries.  He expressed concern that the information contained within Ms Oni’s CV did not accord with the level of knowledge demonstrated by her in the role.  He questioned whether Your World Recruitment had obtained a reference for Grace Oni and they confirmed that she had been employed by UHB.  He was sent the reference provided by Francis Ajeneye which stated that he was lead BMS at Homerton University Foundation NHS Trust (HH) and that he had been the Registrant’s supervisor between September 2010 and March 2011.

22. GR (Witness 10) contacted Francis Ajeneye by telephone to discuss Grace Oni’s level of experience and Mr Ajeneye stated that she had been a trainee.  At the end of her second day at NHB, it was reported that Grace Oni had been unable to demonstrate basic knowledge of haematology.

23. GR (Witness 10) contacted the Pathology Department at the UHB and discovered that she was employed by them, not as a BMS but a cleaner.

24. On 10 July 2013, GR (Witness 10) informed Ms Oni that she was unsuitable for the role and that she would no longer be working at NHB.

Background: Ms Titlayo Oyedele

25. Ms Oyedele applied for a role as a Band 5 BMS at the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHU) on 26 February 2013 (therefore about two weeks after her husband Mr Eluwole started work at RDEH).   She was successful at interview and commenced employment with the Trust on 2 April 2013 in the Haematology and Blood Transfusion Service.

26. Whilst working for EKHU there was an incident on 21 June 2013 in which she incorrectly cross-matched blood of the wrong typefor a patient’s transfusion.  She had been signed off as ‘trained’ in her training manual for this task but she had not yet been signed off as ‘competent’. This meant that all of her work had to be checked by a Senior BMS within the team.

27. During the morning of 21 June 2013, a request was made to the Blood Transfusion Department for three units of blood which were required for a transfusion for Patient A.  It was recorded on the request form submitted for Patient A that she was blood group O and Rhesus D (RhD) positive.  It was also recorded that she had Anti-C and Anti-E antibodies in her blood.  This meant that she needed to be transfused with units of blood which were C Negative and E Negative. 

28. Ms Oyedele did not retrieve the units of blood that had already been set aside for Patient A and instead she selected three units of group O RhD Positive blood from the blood bank. Ms Oyedele cross-matched and issued three units of blood for Patient A that were positive for the C antibody despite there being a 12 staged system of checks including computer system alerts which she would have had to approve and/or over ride at each stage. Further, she did not have her work checked by a senior member of staff as required.

29. The first unit of blood was collected by the ward at 11.30hrs on 21 June 2013 and transfused to Patient A. The second unit of blood was collected at 13.30hrs on the same date and the transfusion of that unit was commenced. 

30. At approximately 14.15hrs on 21 June 2013, a Senior BMS was called in the Transfusion Department to authorise a Group and Save request. A query arose regarding the appropriateness of Patient A receiving all three units of blood.  It was determined that the third unit of blood should not be given to Patient A and this unit was collected and returned to the stock blood bank.  At this point it was realised, from looking at the label on the blood bag, that the blood was C positive. The nursing staff were informed immediately.  At this time, the second unit of blood was being transfused to Patient A. The transfusion was stopped.

31. The result of this was that Patient A required an extended stay in hospital to enable the medical team to monitor her closely for any delayed transfusion reaction. 
32. Following this incident, an investigation was undertaken by KR (Witness 1), Head BMS. He found that the incident was caused by Titlayo Oyedele’s failure to respond to and adhere to computer and paper based information and warnings, a lack of basic blood transfusion knowledge and her failure to ensure that her work was checked by a senior member of the team.  The case was referred to a Disciplinary Hearing. 

33. In light of the concerns about the lack of knowledge demonstrated by Ms Oyedele, KR (Witness 1) decided to look at her personnel file and the information she had submitted as part of her application for a position as a BMS. 

34. KR (Witness 1) identified that, in support of her application, a reference had been supplied for Ms Oyedele by Francis Ajeneye, Senior BMS at HH.  In this reference, he stated that Ms Oyedele had worked with him in the Haematology Department as a voluntary biomedical scientist for a period of 3 months between February 2012 and October 2012. This information did not accord with Ms Oyedele’s application form as she had not recorded on this form that she had ever worked at HH. 

35. KR (Witness 1) raised concerns about the accuracy of the information supplied by Ms Oyedele as part of her application for employment at the Trust.  In light of this, a referral was made to Parkhill Counter Fraud Services to undertake an investigation in relation to the qualifications and career history supplied by Ms Oyedele. This investigation was conducted by SD (Witness 2), NHS Counter Fraud Specialist.  As part of his investigation, SD (Witness 2) conducted a review of the job application submitted by Ms Oyedele to the EKHU on 26 February 2013.

36. Ms Oyedele had provided details of three referees on her application form.  One of these referees was KA (Supervisor 1) of PathCare Nigeria.  Ms Oyedele recorded KA’s (Supervisor 1) job title as Lead BMS at PathCare Nigeria and, in response to the box entitled ‘relationship’, she recorded ‘supervisor’. A reference was provided by KA (Supervisor 1) for Ms Oyedele confirming the information she recorded in her application form.

37. SD (Witness 2) made enquiries with PathCare Nigeria and he was informed that there were no records held by their Human Resources Department of Ms Oyedele working for the company in any capacity.  He was advised that the provider of the reference, KA (Supervisor 1), was an employee of PathCare Nigeria but that she was not authorised to provide references. A witness statement was obtained from BO (Witness 3), Human Resources Manager at PathCare Nigeria, confirming this.

38. As there was a gap in Ms Oyedele’s employment history between August 2012 and December 2012, she was required to provide details of two character referees when she applied for the role at EKHU.  On 8 March 2013, Ms Oyedele sent an email to EKHU providing the names of her two character referees. One of these referees was Francis Ajeneye. Ms Oyedele provided his contact details at HH. 

39. On 8 March 2013, an email was sent by the EKHU to Francis Ajeneye informing SD (Witness 2) that Ms Oyedele had applied for a position as a BMS and asking him to provide a character reference for her.  A reference was duly provided by letter dated 13 March 2015 in the terms mentioned above.

40. SD (Witness 2) contacted the Human Resources Manager at HH, he confirmed that there were no records of Ms Oyedele held by Human Resources to confirm that she had worked there on a voluntary basis.  SD (Witness 2) was advised that, even if she had only been a volunteer, a Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) check would have been required and therefore a record would have been held by Human Resources if she had conducted work experience at HH. 

41. At the conclusion of SD’s (Witness 2) investigation, an interview under caution was arranged with Ms Oyedele for 5 August 2013. She requested that this interview be rescheduled to enable her to seek legal advice.  There has been no contact since. 

Background: Mr Francis Ajeneye

42. He knew both Ms Oni and Ms Oyedele but he had never worked with either of them in the United Kingdom.  However, he provided them both with references.

43. On 23 July 2013, the Human Resources Manager at HH, received a telephone call from NHB to advise that they had dismissed one of their staff members, Ms Oni. They reported concerns that a reference had been provided by Francis Ajeneye for Ms Oni and this was completely at odds with the skills and competence demonstrated by her.

44. A meeting was immediately convened with Francis Ajeneye on 23 July 2013.  At this meeting, he was asked to explain the disparity between the reference he had provided for Grace Oni and the concerns that had been reported in relation to her competence. Francis Ajeneye admitted that he had provided a reference for Grace Oni but he stated that the reference had been dictated over the telephone to the recruitment agency and that they had misrepresented what he had said.  

45. On 24 July 2013, the NHS Fraud Office contacted HH stating that they had concerns in relation to a reference that had been written by Francis Ajeneye in respect of a second individual, Ms Oyedele.

46. On 26 July 2013, Francis Ajeneye attended a formal investigatory interview.  During the interview, Francis Ajeneye was asked to provide an explanation in relation to the references he had written for Ms Oyedele and Grace Oni.  Francis Ajeneye said that he had known Grace Oni for over 20 years and that they had both been students together.  He said that ‘she contacted me when she came to the UK in 2010 and she expressed that she wanted to familiarise herself with the technology used in the laboratory’.  He said that Grace Oni had visited him at HH on four occasions and that he had ‘put her through some of the machines used’ in the laboratory. Francis Ajeneye admitted that Ms Oni was not employed by HH as a BMS. 

47. Francis Ajeneye said that Ms Oyedele was a qualified BMS. He confirmed that she was not employed at the Trust but that she had visited him at HH to observe the work undertaken in the laboratory.  He said that Ms Oyedele had contacted him and asked if she could come in and observe his work and that he agreed and that she attended HH to observe on approximately six to eight occasions. Francis Ajeneye said that the reference he provided for Ms Oyedele was a character reference.

48. During the meeting on 26 July 2013, Francis Ajeneye submitted his letter of resignation with immediate effect.  HH made a referral to the HCPC in respect of Francis Ajeneye.

DECISION: Mr Oladele Eluwole

Decision on Facts:

49. The Panel carefully considered all the documentary and oral evidence, the closing submissions of Mr Corrie. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

50. The Panel accepted the oral evidence of CH (Witness 7) in which she confirmed the contents of her written statement dated 8 August 2014. Her evidence was that she was the Cellular Pathology Laboratory Manager for the RDEH whilst Mr Eluwole was employed as a Band 5 BMS from 4 February 2013 until he resigned on 22 August 2013. She had interviewed him for that post with her colleague RG (Witness 8) on 21 December 2012, Mr Eluwole had put in his application that he had worked for PathCare Nigeria for over 4 years from January 2008 and his success at the interview was partly because of this claimed experience. The Trust received a reference from KA (Supervisor 1) on 28 December 2012 confirming Mr Eluwole’s employment at PathCare Nigeria from January 2008 to March 2012.

51. CH (Witness 7) explained that deficiencies in Mr Eluwole’s claimed skills, abilities and experience soon became evident, and led to him only being trusted to perform basic microtomy procedures, and he was struggling with those. On 25 July 2013 TB (Witness 6), Senior Counter Fraud Specialist informed her of doubts over Mr Eluwole’s qualifications, so she immediately gave instructions for him to be put on restricted duties and to be supervised at all times in the workplace.

52. The Panel also accepted the oral evidence of RG (Witness 8) who confirmed the contents of his witness statement dated 29 September 2014. He was employed by RDEH as the Histology Manager at the Hospital, had interviewed Mr Eluwole on 21 December 2012 together with CH (Witness 7), and thereafter had been his line manager. He told the Panel that Mr Eluwole had unexpectedly required “training from scratch” in all areas from the outset because he displayed a lack of competence and knowledge in a wide array of tasks. RG (Witness 8) considered that Mr Eluwole could not perform any of the tasks or techniques listed in the job description for his post or to be expected from a Band 5 BMS. RG (Witness 8) gave details of the deficiencies set out in his witness statement regarding Mr Eluwole’s inability to work unsupervised; to perform section cutting or special stains and embedding; to use the correct format when writing slides; to label slides correctly; to carry out routine maintenance of simple equipment, vehicle and systems components; to communicate effectively with colleagues; or to effectively use all IT systems within the Trust.

53. The Panel also accepted the oral evidence of TB (Witness 6), a Senior Counter Fraud Specialist employed by RDEH who confirmed his statement dated 11 October 2014. This detailed how, on 25 July 2013, RDEH’s Finance Director, had forwarded to him an email sent to RDEH by another Trust’s Counter Fraud Specialist. This had revealed that PathCare suspected that KA (Supervisor 1) had supplied a false reference for Mr Eluwole. TB (Witness 6) had immediately contacted PathCare to establish Mr Eluwole’s past employment with them. BO (Witness 3) replied by email on 26 July 2013 giving Mr Eluwole’s employment as a Laboratory Scientist from 7 March 2011 to 30 September 2011. TB (Witness 6) therefore contacted the registrar of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Nigeria, but the registrar refused to provide any confirmation at all of Mr Eluwole’s qualifications.

54. The Panel also received the written witness statement of BO (Witness 3), Human Resources Manager at PathCare Nigeria since November 2008, which stated that Mr Eluwole had been employed as a laboratory scientist between 7 March and 30 September 2011. She also stated that KA (Supervisor 1) had not been authorised to give a reference on behalf of PathCare Nigeria, nor had she ever been Mr Eluwole’s line manager or supervisor.

Particular 1 - proved

55. The Panel saw a copy of the application form. The Panel weighed the written evidence of BO (Witness 3) and considered that it was consistent with the available documentation and could be considered truthful and reliable. The Panel accepted the written evidence of BO (Witness 3) that Mr Eluwole was not employed at PathCare Nigeria from January 2008 to March 2012 as stated in the application form.

Particular 2 - proved

56. The Panel concluded that as Mr Eluwole had named KA (Supervisor 1) as a referee on the application form, he must have asked KA (Supervisor 1) to provide a reference falsely giving his dates of employment at PathCare Nigeria as January 2008 to March 2012.

Paragraph 3(a) — not proved

57. The job specification required Mr Eluwole to be able to work with minimal supervision. On 25 July 2013CH (Witness 7) instructed RG (Witness 8) to restrict Mr Eluwole’s duties and supervise him at all times. The reason for this was because of the alert CH (Witness 6) had received about Mr Eluwole’s qualifications, not because of his inability to work unsupervised.

Particular 3(b) – not proved 

58. The only evidence of inability to communicate effectively with colleagues was anecdotal and only from third parties. On the other hand, the direct evidence of RG (Witness 8) was that Mr Eluwole’s language skills were satisfactory and that he had presented well at interview.

Particular 3(c)(i) – (v) - proved

59. The Panel accepted RG’s (Witness 8) oral evidence that Mr Eluwole could not adequately perform each of the procedures alleged to the standard required of a Band 5 Biomedical Scientist, and heard no evidence to the contrary.

Particular 3(d) – not proved

60. No supporting examples of incorrect formatting were presented by the HCPC to the Panel, and the Panel found RG’s (Witness 8) evidence to be inadequate to substantiate this allegation.

Particular 3(e) - not proved

61. The Panel determined that whilst RG (Witness 8) had given isolated examples of incorrect labelling this was insufficient to establish that Mr Eluwole was unable to perform this task generally to the required standard.

Particular 3(f) – not proved

62. The Panel determined that whilst RG (Witness 8) had given isolated examples of Mr Eluwole’s inability to maintain equipment, vehicle and systems components, this was insufficient to establish that Mr Eluwole was unable to perform this task generally to the required standard

Particular 3(g) – not proved

63. There was insufficient evidence from RG (Witness 8) to prove Mr Eluwole’s inability to use all IT systems within the Trust. It was also the case on his evidence that Mr Eluwole had not progressed well through the department so had not advanced to undertake procedures which required use of the IT systems within the department.

Particular 4 - proved

64. The Panel first concluded that Mr Eluwole’s actions set out in allegations 1 and 2 would be considered to be dishonest by reasonable and honest people. Incorrect dates of employment had been put on his application; he had caused a false reference to be provided; he had extended his period of employment from 7 months to 4 years 2 months; and had inserted later dates for his last employment. These matters were at the heart of the application itself and the misrepresentation of that employment history and false reference would be regarded as dishonest, and not some excusable mistake. 

65. With regard to the second limb of the test for the proving of dishonesty, the Panel was of the view that these actions were so obviously dishonest by the standards of reasonable and honest people that Mr Eluwole must have realised that those actions were dishonest by those standards. He had provided details of KA (Supervisor 1) as a supervisor referee when he must have known that she had never been his supervisor or line manager at PathCare Nigeria. The Panel considered that to have presented at interview and answered questions about those matters, demonstrated that there was no element of mistake on the part of Mr Eluwole.

Decision on Grounds:

66. The Panel has exercised its own professional judgement after considering all the evidence and the submissions of Mr Corrie. The Panel has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

67. The Panel determined that the proven facts in particulars 1, 2 and 4 amount to breaches of the HCPC’s published “Standards of conduct, performance and ethics” (Jul 2008):
“1. You must act in the best interests of Service Users.
 3. You must keep high standards of personal conduct.
13. You must behave with honesty and integrity and make sure that your behaviour does not damage the public’s confidence in you or your profession.”

68. These breaches arose from Mr Eluwole’s deliberate and dishonest acts in respect of obtaining employment as a BMS at RDEH and can only be considered as serious breaches of the required standards of conduct. Falsification of employment history and associated experience, and the procuring of a false reference must be considered, in the Panel’s view, as at the most serious end of the spectrum of misconduct as it carries the risk of harm to patients from the obtaining of employment to a post for which the applicant would not be likely to have obtained without the deceit on the part of the applicant. Accordingly, the Panel determined that allegations 1, 2 and 4 amounted to the ground of misconduct.

69. The Panel then considered the allegation of lack of competence in respect of particular 3. The Panel reminded itself that the only allegations it found proved were particulars 3(c)(i) – (v) in respect of Mr Eluwole’s inability to perform to the standard of a Band 5 Biomedical Scientist. The proven deficiencies were, however, in respect of a number of the basic tasks he was employed to perform and were assessed over several months. The deficiencies amounted to a breach of standard 2b.4 of the HCPC’s “Standards of proficiency: Biomedical Scientists” (November 2007) that he must “be able to conduct appropriate diagnostic or monitoring procedures, treatment, therapy or other actions safely and skilfully”.

70. The Panel therefore determined that the ground of lack of competence applied to particulars 3(c)(i) – (v).

Decision on Impairment:

71. Mr Eluwole has not engaged with this regulatory process at all. There was therefore no evidence before the Panel of any insight of Mr Eluwole into his misconduct and lack of competence. There was accordingly no evidence of remediation of either the misconduct, which involves dishonesty, or the lack of competence. In these circumstances the Panel concluded that the risk of recurrence remained at present. Any recurrence would put patients at risk of harm and would undermine the public’s confidence in the profession of BMS.

72. The Panel determined that Mr Eluwole’s fitness to practise is impaired both by reason of the risk of his lack of integrity and his lack of competence present to patients, and by reason of the need to protect the public’s confidence in the profession. 

Decision on Sanction:

73. The Panel exercised its own judgement after considering all the evidence, the submissions of Mr Corrie and the HCPC’s “Indicative Sanctions Policy” (October 2014). The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

74. In its findings on the misconduct, the Panel has already determined that Mr Eluwole’s dishonest actions for personal gain were at the most serious end of the spectrum of misconduct. In its findings on impairment, the Panel determined that there was therefore no evidence of any insight into his misconduct and lack of competence. Those circumstances led the Panel to conclude that the risk of repetition in respect of both the misconduct and the lack of competence remained. 

75. In accordance with the principle of proportionality the Panel first considered whether any order was required. The Panel felt that there would be no protection for the public or the public interest if it made no order. The Panel considered that the misconduct and lack of competence in this case was too serious for it to be appropriate to make no order.

76. For the same reasons the Panel determined that a caution or mediation would not be appropriate.

77. The Panel next considered whether a conditions of practice order would be sufficient and appropriate. Without any evidence of engagement or insight into either the dishonest misconduct or the lack of competence, the Panel determined that conditions of practice were neither workable nor sufficient to protect the public and the public interest.

78. The Panel moved on to consider a suspension order and, for the same reasons as its rejection of a conditions of practice order, the Panel considered the sanction of suspension to be inappropriate and insufficient.

79. Having found that a suspension order would be inappropriate and insufficient to protect the public and the wider public interest, the Panel determined that the only appropriate and sufficient sanction was a striking off order.

DECISION: Ms Grace Oni

Decision on Facts:

80. The Panel accepted the oral evidence of GR (Witness 10) (NHB) in which he confirmed the contents of his statement dated 3 November 2014. GR (Witness 10) explained how he had requested Your World Recruitment on 26 June 2013 for the provision of a locum BMS with experience within blood transfusion/haematology for a minimum of two weeks. After being supplied with a job description, that agency forwarded Ms Oni’s cv in which she stated that she was working as a BMS at BRI and had done so since 2011.

81. The CV matched the criteria that NHB required and they engaged Ms Oni to commence work processing blood samples. From commencement on 8 July 2013 GR (Witness 10) observed Ms Oni’s poor IT skills and at the end of the day it was reported to him by three BMSs that they had concerns about Ms Oni’s lack of knowledge of haematology, such as the reference ranges of a full blood count. GR (Witness 10) therefore asked Ms Oni to shadow one of those BMS for the next day, 9 July 2013. At the end of the day it was reported by that colleague that she considered Ms Oni did not know basic haematology and was unable to maintain the laboratory equipment. This caused GR (Witness 10) to contact BRI to confirm Ms Oni’s previous employment in the pathology department. BRI called GR (Witness 10) back to inform him that Ms Oni had only been employed as a cleaner at BRI and had been refused the role of trainee BMS there.

82. On 10 July 2013 GR (Witness 10) spoke to Ms Oni and established that Ms Oni was not aware of basic haematology, was unable to perform basic biomedical scientific tasks, and was unable to demonstrate an understanding of normal ranges of a full blood count. GR (Witness 10) therefore dismissed Ms Oni that day.

83. GR (Witness 10) told the Panel that on 11 July 2013 he spoke to Mr Ajeneye who had provided a reference for Ms Oni. He was employed at HH as the lead BMS (Blood Transfusion). It immediately became apparent that the reference he provided for Ms Oni contained false information in support of her qualifications and experience in that he now stated that she had only worked at HH for six months in early 2012 as a trainee BMS, but not as a BMS 1.

84. GR (Witness 10) also told the Panel that whilst he did not see it himself, his wife and her colleague informed him that they had seen Ms Oni take photos and make recordings of colleagues and equipment at work with her phone, which she did not have permission to do.

85. The Panel accepted the oral evidence of JB (Witness 5), Recruitment and Resourcing Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant. She confirmed, as set out in her statement dated 30 July 2014 that she was instructed on 13 February 2014 by the Head of Recruitment and Transactional Services to investigate whether Ms Oni had been employed by or had made any job applications to NHS Blood and Transplant. She carried out a database search that day and established that Ms Oni had made six applications between 2 April 2013 and 12 June 2013, four were for positions as BMS, and two for positions of Higher Healthcare Technical Officer. Copies of these were before the Panel in the hearing bundle in which Ms Oni had inaccurately set out her employment history at BRI.

86. RJ (Witness 11), Assistant Human Resources Advisor at BRI, gave oral evidence confirming her statement dated 17 June 2014. RJ told the Panel that her investigation of BRI’s records showed that Ms Oni had only ever been employed there as a cleaner. Her investigations had also established that Ms Oni was on unauthorised leave from her cleaning post at BRI when she was working at NHB on 8 and 9 July 2013. The Panel accepted RJ’s (Witness 11) evidence.

87. CW (Witness 13), Head of Diagnostic Services at HH gave oral evidence which confirmed his statement dated 21 October 2014. He confirmed that Ms Oni had never been employed in any capacity by HH. The Panel accepted his evidence.

88. The Panel also heard and accepted the oral evidence of JH (Witness 12), Specialist Biomedical Scientist and Training Officer at BRI in respect of Ms Oni having been scheduled for one week’s work placement experience in the Blood Services department of BRI to commence on 26 September 2011.

Particular 1(a) - proved

89. The Panel had a copy of the CV and there is no suggestion it was completed by anyone other than Ms Oni.

Particular 1(b) - proved

90. The evidence of RJ (Witness 11) established that Ms Oni was not ever employed by BRI as a BMS and was only ever employed as a cleaner (domestic) between March 2012 and September 2013.

Particular 2(a) - proved

91. As there is no other explanation put forward the Panel felt it could only conclude that Ms Oni had caused Mr Ajeneye to provide the reference of 25 May 2013, the Panel noted that this date was probably incorrect as Ms Oni only gave his details to the agency on 25 June 2013.

Particular 2(b) - proved

92. The Panel had a copy of that reference and the inaccuracy regarding Ms Oni having been employed as a BMS 1 between September 2010 and March 2011 is proved by the evidence of CW (Witness 13).

Particular 3(a) - not proved

93. The Panel has not heard direct evidence about this allegation from any witness and therefore does not find this allegation proved.

Particular 3(b) – not proved

94. The Panel has not heard direct evidence about this allegation from any witness and therefore does not find this allegation proved.

Particular 4 - proved 

95. This is proved by the evidence of RJ (Witness 11) and GR (Witness 10).

Particular 4 - proved 

95. This is proved by the evidence of RJ (Witness 11) and GR (Witness 10).

Particular 5(a) – (c) - proved 

96. The evidence of GR (Witness 10) establishes each of these deficiencies in the knowledge and abilities of Ms Oni.

Particular 6(a), 6(b), 6(c) and (e) – proved
Particular 6(d) and 6(f) – not proved

97. The Panel had copies of the applications to the departments alleged in particulars 6(a), 6(b), 6(c) and 6(e), and the evidence of JB (Witness 5) established that the applications were made to NHS Blood and Transplant by Ms Oni for those four different posts on the alleged dates. The Panel noted a typographical mistake in allegation 6(a) which referred to the “H&L” department rather than the “H&I” department. The Panel could see no prejudice to Ms Oni by amending this error in the allegation. The evidence of RJ (Witness 11) established the inaccurate employment history stated. Ms Oni had only ever worked as a cleaner (domestic) at BRI.

98. Particulars 6(d) and 6(f) referred to departments to which there was no evidence that Ms Oni had applied on those dates.

Particular 7 – proved in respect of particulars 1 and 6
Particular 7 - Not proved in respect of particulars 2, 3 and 4

99. The allegation in particular 2(a) was that Ms Oni caused Mr Ajeneye to provide a reference. There is no wrongdoing alleged in that allegation so the Panel considered it could not be dishonest.

100. As regards particular 2(b), it was not alleged that Ms Oni asked Mr Ajeneye to provide an inaccurate reference. Accordingly no wrongdoing was alleged against Ms Oni, so the Panel again determined that there could not be any dishonesty.

101. The Panel did not believe that taking unauthorised leave from one employment in order to work in other employment would be regarded as dishonest by reasonable and honest people. It therefore found that dishonesty was not proved in respect of particular 4. Particular 3 has been found not proved.

102. As regards the other allegations, the Panel did consider that reasonable and honest people would regard providing inaccurate information about your own employment history in a CV, and causing another person to provide a reference supporting that inaccurate information, as dishonest.

103. With regard to the question of whether Ms Oni realised at the time of these acts that she was being dishonest by those standards, the Panel cannot see how these could be innocent mistakes, and therefore concludes that Ms Oni must have realised that what she was doing would be regarded as dishonest by the standards of reasonable and honest people.

Decision on Grounds:

104. The Panel has exercised its own professional judgement after considering all the evidence and the submissions of Mr Corrie. The Panel has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

105. The Panel determined that the proven facts in particulars 1, 4, 6(a), 6(b) 6(c), 6(e) and 7 amount to breaches of the HCPC’s published “Standards of conduct, performance and ethics” (Jul 2008):

“1. You must act in the best interests of Service Users.
 3. You must keep high standards of personal conduct.
13. You must behave with honesty and integrity and make sure that your behaviour does not damage the public’s confidence in you or your profession.”

106. These breaches arose from Ms Oni’s deliberate and dishonest acts in respect of seeking to obtain employment as a BMS as proven and can only be considered as serious breaches of the required standards of conduct. Falsification of employment history and associated experience, must be considered, in the Panel’s view, as at the most serious end of the spectrum of misconduct because it carries the risk of harm to patients from the obtaining of employment to a post which the applicant may not have obtained without the deceit on the part of the applicant. Accordingly, the Panel determined that particulars 1, 4, 6(a), 6(b) 6(c), 6(e) and 7 amounted to the ground of misconduct.

107. Particulars 3 and 6(d) and 6(f) had not been proven as facts and therefore could not amount to misconduct.

108. The Panel determined that the ground of lack of competence was made out in respect of particular 5 because the proven lack of knowledge and expertise amounted to breaches of the “Standards of proficiency: Biomedical Scientists” (November 2007) as follows:

           “2a.4 be able to analyse and critically evaluate the information collected
            2b.4 be able to conduct appropriate diagnostic or monitoring procedures, treatment, therapy or other actions safely and skilfully
            3a.1 know and understand the key concepts of the bodies of knowledge which are relevant to their profession-specific practice.”

109. These breaches were serious because of the potential risk of harm they presented to patients.

Decision on Impairment:

110. Ms Oni has not engaged with this regulatory process at all. There was therefore no evidence before the Panel of any insight of Ms Oni into her misconduct and lack of competence. There was accordingly no evidence of remediation of either the misconduct, which involved dishonesty, or her lack of competence. In these circumstances the Panel concluded that the risk of recurrence remained at this time. Any recurrence would put patients at risk of harm and would undermine the public’s confidence in the profession of BMS.

111. The Panel determined that Ms Oni’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of the risk Ms Oni’s proven lack of integrity and her lack of competence present to patients, and by reason of the need to protect the public’s confidence in the profession.  

Decision on Sanction:

112. The Panel exercised its own judgement after considering all the evidence, the submissions of Mr Corrie and the HCPC’s “Indicative Sanctions Policy” (October 2014). The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

113. In its findings on the misconduct, the Panel has already determined that Ms Oni’s dishonest actions were at the most serious end of the spectrum of misconduct. She had dishonestly applied for many BMS jobs with inaccurate applications and her lack of competence related to basic knowledge and skills. In its findings on impairment the Panel determined that there was no evidence of any insight into her misconduct and lack of competence. Those circumstances led the Panel to conclude that the risk of repetition in respect of both the misconduct and the lack of competence remained. 

114. In accordance with the principle of proportionality the Panel first considered whether any order was required. The Panel felt that there would be no protection for the public or the public interest if it made no order. The Panel considered that the lack of competence in this case was too serious for it to be appropriate to make no order.

115. For the same reasons the Panel determined that a caution or mediation would not be appropriate.

116. The Panel next considered whether a conditions of practice order would be sufficient and appropriate. Without any evidence of engagement or insight into either her dishonest misconduct or her lack of competence, the Panel determined that conditions of practice were neither workable nor sufficient to protect the public and the public interest.

117. The Panel moved on to consider a suspension order and, for the same reasons as its rejection of a conditions of practice order, the Panel considered the sanction of suspension to be inappropriate and insufficient.

118. Having found that a suspension order would be insufficient to protect the public and the wider public interest the Panel determined that the only appropriate sanction was a striking off order.

DECISION: Ms Titlayo Oyedele

Decision on Facts:

119. Ms Oyedele was employed by the EKHU as a Band 5 BMS in the Haematology and Blood Transfusion Service. KR (Witness 1) Head BMS at EKHU gave oral evidence to the Panel about his investigation. He had been informed that, on 23 June 2013, Ms Oyedele had selected and issued three units of incompatible blood for transfusion to Patient A, of which she received one and a half units before the error was realised and the procedure stopped. Blood group O, Rhesus D positive, C positive was issued rather than blood group O, Rhesus D positive, C negative as requested.

120. Ms Oyedele had the correct details on both the request form and the report from NHS Blood and Transplant Service. He explained that during the cross-matching process, Ms Oyedele will have had to enter details on a computer system which would have alerted her to the fact that the blood required had to be antigen negative i.e. C- E-. He further explained that there were 11 different steps that should have alerted Ms Oyedele to the fact that she was about to issue incompatible blood for Patient A.

121. KR (Witness 1) confirmed that he had spoken to Ms Oyedele about the incident and had requested a written statement from her.  Ms Oyedele’s written statement was in the hearing bundle. This statement did not explain how Ms Oyedele had made so many errors when selecting the blood. KR (Witness 1) had obtained little further explanation from Ms Oyedele at a meeting on 25 June 2013, but at the investigatory interview on 28 June 2013 Ms Oyedele had admitted that it was a “terrible oversight” for her to have selected three units that were not C and E negative.

122. KR (Witness 1) said that his concerns over the incident and lack of knowledge demonstrated by Ms Oyedele led him to check her original application form for employment and the reference provided in support from Francis Ajeneye, Senior BMS at HH. He noted that the reference spoke of Mr Ajeneye working with Ms Oyedele at HH for several months in 2012, but Ms Oyedele’s application form made no mention of ever working there.

123. JS (Witness 4), Senior BMS at EKHU gave oral evidence to the Panel. She told the Panel that she had become aware of the error in the blood type and spoke to Ms Oyedele about this. Ms Oyedele had first said that she had been told to issue C positive blood, but when asked who had told her to do this, Ms Oyedele said that no one had told her, she had “just thought it”. JS asked for further explanation but Ms Oyedele did not provide any further explanation, and did not seem to understand the significance of extended rhesus grouping in such cases.

124. SD (Witness 2), gave oral evidence to the Panel concerning his investigation in late June 2013 into the contents of Ms Oyedele’s application form dated 26 February 2013 and her subsequent provision of details of referees for the post she obtained at EKHU. Ms Oyedele had provided details of a referee, KA (Supervisor 1), as being her supervisor whilst employed as a Biomedical Scientist from 2008 to 2012 at PathCare Nigeria Limited. SD’s (Witness 2) enquiries established that PathCare Nigeria had no record of her ever working for them in any capacity. He obtained a statement from BO (Witness 3) to that effect.

125. SD (Witness 2) explained that the records showed that when EKHU had requested details of character referees on 7 March 2013, Ms Oyedele had named Mr Ajeneye, a Senior BMS at HH in her email of 8 March 2013. A reference was received by EKHU on 13 March 2013 from Francis Ajeneye on HH headed notepaper asserting that he had worked with Ms Oyedele at that hospital for three months between February 2012 and October 2012, a time when Ms Oyedele’s application stated she was working for PathCare Nigeria. SD (Witness 2) therefore contacted the Human Resources Manager at HH and was informed that they had no trace of Ms Oyedele, even as a volunteer. SD (Witness 2) said that he believed that Ms Oyedele had left the UK and stated that he had made the referral to the HCPC on 6 August 2013.

126. The Panel found all three witnesses to be credible and reliable in their evidence and therefore accepted their evidence in full.

127. The Panel also received the written witness statement dated 8 August 2013 of BO (Witness 3), Human Resources Manager at PathCare Nigeria since November 2008, which stated that Ms Oyedele had never been employed at any time or in capacity whatsoever at PathCare Nigeria. She also stated that KA (Supervisor 1) had not been authorised to give a reference on behalf of PathCare Nigeria.

Particular 1 – proved as amended

128. The Panel noticed that the words at the beginning of all the allegations made no sense if applied to allegation 2 and 3, and should therefore be inserted into, and form part of allegation 1 only. The Panel considered that correcting this rather obvious mistake would not cause injustice to Ms Oyedele and accordingly made the amendment so that particular 1 read:
“During the course of your practice as a Biomedical Scientist at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust on 21st June 2013, you crossmatched and issued incompatible blood to Patient A.”

129. The evidence of KR (Witness 1) and JS (Witness 4) was clear that the error had been made by Ms Oyedele and that Ms Oyedele accepted that she had made a mistake when asked about the incident.

Particular 2(a) - proved

130. The Panel has seen a copy of the application form which asserts Ms Oyedele’s employment at PathCare Nigeria Limited.

Particular 2(b) - proved

131. The evidence of SD (Witness 2) demonstrates that, upon his enquiry, PathCare Nigeria Limited have stated that they have no record of Ms Oyedele ever working for them. The Panel therefore finds the information given in 2(a) to be inaccurate.

Particular 3(a) – proved

132. The Panel has seen Ms Oyedele’s email of 8 March 2013 which states that a reference could be provided by Francis Ajeneye. This led EKHU to seek a reference from Mr Ajeneye, which he provided. Ms Oyedele therefore caused Mr Ajeneye to provide the reference.

Particular 3(b) - proved

133. The evidence of SD’s (Witness 2) enquiries of HH shows the inaccuracy of the reference’s assertion that Ms Oyedele had ever worked there as a BMS or at all.

Particular 3(c) - proved

134. The Panel has seen a copy of the application form in which Ms Oyedele named KA (Supervisor 1) at PathCare Nigeria as a referee and stated that that individual was her supervisor.

Particular 3(d) - proved

135. The inaccuracy is proven by SD’s (Witness 2) evidence that PathCare Nigeria informed him that Ms Oyedele had never been employed by them and BO’s (Witness 3) written statement to the same effect.

Particular 3(e) - proved

136. Having named KA (Supervisor 1) as a referee in her application form the Panel has determined that Ms Oyedele caused Supervisor 1 to provide the reference.

Particular 3(f) - proved

137. The inaccuracy is proven by SD’s (Witness 2) evidence that PathCare Nigeria informed him that Ms Oyedele had never been employed by them and BO’s (Witness 3) written statement to the same effect.

Particular 4 – proved in respect of 2(a)-2(b), 3(c), 3(d), 3(e) and 3(f) not proved in respect of 3(a) and 3(b)

138. The Panel applied the two stage test for the proof of dishonesty. First it determined that reasonable and honest people would consider that Ms Oyedele’s actions in particulars 2(a)-2(b), 3(c), 3(d), 3(e) and 3(f) would be dishonest.

139. In the case of the reference provided by Mr Ajeneye, particulars 3(a) and 3(b), without any evidence that Ms Oyedele instructed that referee to write what he did, the Panel considered that no actions on the part of Ms Oyedele can be established as dishonest regarding the contents of the references.

140. However, in relation to the reference provided by KA (Supervisor 1), particulars 3(c), 3(d), 3(e) and 3(f), the Panel considered Ms Oyedele had colluded with KA (Supervisor 1) to provide the false reference.

141. With regard to whether Ms Oyedele realised that her actions in particulars 2(a)-2(b), 3(c), 3(d), 3(e) and 3(f) would be regarded as dishonest by the standards of reasonable and honest people, the Panel determined that Ms Oyedele must have realised that those actions would be regarded as dishonest. She was giving information which she must have known was false in an application for employment.

Decision on Grounds:

142. The Panel has exercised its own professional judgement after considering all the evidence and the submissions of Mr Corrie. The Panel has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

143. The Panel determined that Ms Oyedele’s actions in particular 1 involved her conscious overriding of many system warnings in respect of the cross matching required in accordance with the request. She also decided not to have the selected blood checked. Ms Oyedele knew what she should do, but chose not to apply that knowledge on this occasion, despite the obvious risk of harm to Patient A if she were transfused with the wrong type of blood.

144. Ms Oyedele’s actions amounted to breaches of the following standards set out in the HCPC’s published “Standards of conduct, performance and ethics” (Jul 2008):
“1. You must act in the best interests of Service Users.
1. You must act within the limits of your knowledge, skills and experience and, if necessary, refer the matter to another practitioner.
2. You must communicate properly and effectively with service users and other practitioners.”

145. The Panel therefore decided that these deliberate actions in particular 1 amounted to misconduct rather than mere lack of competence.

146. With regard to the dishonest actions in particulars 2(a)-2(b), 3(c), 3(d), 3(e) and 3(f), these breached the following standards set out in the HCPC’s published “Standards of conduct, performance and ethics” (Jul 2008):
“3. You must keep high standards of personal conduct.
13. You must behave with honesty and integrity and make sure that your behaviour does not damage the public’s confidence in you or your profession.”

147. The Panel determined that the dishonest falsification of employment applications clearly amounted to misconduct which was serious.

Decision on Impairment:

148. Ms Oyedele has not engaged with this regulatory process at all. There was therefore no evidence before the Panel of any insight of Ms Oyedele into her misconduct and lack of competence. There was accordingly no evidence of remediation of either the misconduct, which involved dishonesty, or her lack of competence. In these circumstances the Panel concluded that the risk of recurrence remained at this time. Any recurrence would put patients at risk of harm and would undermine the public’s confidence in the profession of BMS.

149. The Panel determined that Ms Oyedele’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of the risk of repetition of her proven lack of integrity and her lack of competence present to patients, and by reason of the need to protect the public’s confidence in the profession.

Decision on Sanction:

150. The Panel exercised its own judgement after considering all the evidence, the submissions of Mr Corrie and the HCPC’s “Indicative Sanctions Policy” (October 2014).

151. The misconduct had involved Ms Oyedele’s conscious overriding of alerts and a failure to have her selection of blood type checked with consequent risk of harm to patient A.

152. In accordance with the principle of proportionality the Panel first considered whether any order was required. The Panel felt that there would be no protection for the public or the public interest if it made no order. The Panel considered that the dishonest misconduct in this case was too serious for it to be appropriate to make no order.

153. For the same reasons the Panel determined that a caution or mediation would not be appropriate.

154. The Panel next considered whether a conditions of practice order would be sufficient and appropriate. Without any evidence of engagement or insight into her dishonest misconduct, the Panel determined that conditions of practice were neither workable nor sufficient to protect the public and the public interest.

155. The Panel moved on to consider a suspension order and, for the same reasons as its rejection of a conditions of practice order, the Panel considered the sanction of suspension to be inappropriate and insufficient.

156. Having found that a suspension order would be insufficient to protect the public and the wider public interest the Panel determined that the only appropriate sanction was a striking off order.

DECISION: Mr Francis Ajeneye

Decision of Facts:

157. The Panel has exercised its own professional judgement after considering all the evidence and the submissions of Mr Corrie and Mr Walker. The Panel has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

158. CW (Witness 13) Head of Diagnostics Services at HH gave oral evidence which confirmed his statement dated 21 October 2014. He told the Panel that he had conducted a meeting with Mr Ajeneye about his reference for Ms Oni on 23 July 2013, when Mr Ajeneye said he had given the reference over the telephone to Your World Recruitment agency and had told CW (Witness 13) that she had not worked at HH. Subsequently CW (Witness 13) had obtained a copy of Mr Ajeneye’s emailed reference to the agency. He later ascertained from the HR department at HH that Ms Oni had not been employed there in any capacity. He stated that Ms Oni had never been employed in any capacity by HH.

159. On 25 July 2013 CW (Witness 13) held another meeting with Mr Ajeneye, this time about his written reference for Ms Oyedele as well as the written reference for Ms Oni. A formal investigatory meeting was conducted by CW (Witness 13) with Mr Ajeneye on 26 July 2013 regarding both references. He said that Mr Ajeneye stated that he accepted that he had made a mistake when he wrote both references, and that he had “not reflected on the intentions” and how the references would be used. He said that he had not realised that they would be used as the main employment references for Ms Oni and Ms Oyedele.

160. KB (Witness 9) Quality and Compliance Manager at Your World Recruitment Group gave oral evidence to the Panel about Your World’s procedure regarding references and produced their records in respect of Ms Oni and Mr Ajeneye’s reference in relation to her.

161. KR (Witness 1) gave oral evidence to the Panel about his concerns over the incident on 21 June 2013 and the lack of knowledge demonstrated by Ms Oyedele. These led him to check her application form and the reference provided in support from Mr Ajeneye, Senior BMS at HH. He noted that the reference indicated that Mr Ajeneye had worked with Ms Oyedele at HH for several months in 2012, but Ms Oyedele’s application form made no mention of her ever working there.

162. SD (Witness 2), gave oral evidence to the Panel concerning his investigation in late June 2013 on behalf of EKHU. This included identifying the reference received by EKHU on 13 March 2013 from Mr Ajeneye asserting that he had worked with Ms Oyedele at HH for 3 months between February 2012 and October 2012, when Ms Oyedele was working as a volunteer BMS.

163. GR (Witness 10) told the Panel that on 11 July 2013 he spoke to Mr Ajeneye who had provided a reference for Ms Oni. He was employed at HH as the lead BMS (Blood Transfusion). It immediately became apparent that the reference he provided for Ms Oni contained false information in support of her qualifications and experience in that he now stated that she had only worked at HH for six months in early 2012 as a trainee BMS, but not as a BMS 1.

164. On 2 September 2015, Mr Ajeneye provided a written statement dated 1 September 2015 to the Panel and gave oral evidence.

165. Mr Ajeneye said he had known Ms Oni for over 20 years having been students together in Nigeria. After Ms Oni had come to the UK following her successful registration with the HCPC as a BMS, he had assisted her by allowing her to come informally into his department in or around March 2011. He stated that she spent “about 3 to 4 hours on the first 3 occasions, and 7-8 hours on the last occasion”. Under questioning, Mr Ajeneye admitted that Ms Oni had not worked at HH at all. He said it was not unusual to show people around the department informally. He said that he had not detected any deficiencies in Ms Oni’s knowledge or skills when she had attended. He further told the Panel that because he was busy he had asked the agency to send a written version of what he had told them over the telephone, but that he had not checked it when it came through. He therefore had not spotted the inaccuracies in the written reference which did not reflect what he had said over the telephone. He accepted that he had signed, albeit electronically, the references and returned them to the agency.

166. With regard to his reference for Ms Oyedele, he told the Panel in evidence that she had visited his department 5 times over 4 to 5 months in 2012. When asked for a character reference by EKHU he said that he had not intended to mislead any employer about her periods of experience, and he had seen a copy of her CV at that time. Even so, he stated she had “worked as a voluntary BMS for 3 months between February and October 2012”.

167. In cross-examination, Mr Ajeneye admitted allegations 1 and 2, but he denied dishonesty. He said that mistakes had occurred in the references because he had difficulty with dates. He stated that he met Ms Oyedele “at a church programme in October 2012.” He maintained that he had just tried to help Ms Oni and Ms Oyedele, but had not intended to mislead anyone. He said he took responsibility for not checking the reference for Ms Oni. He suggested the agency had misrepresented his input to the reference, but could not explain how that had occurred. In addition, he accepted that his references, in both cases, went further than mere character references and that he had given the impression that he had worked with both women. Mr Ajeneye said that he had not been acting dishonestly, he had acted mistakenly over both references.

Particular 1 - proved

168. Mr Ajeneye admitted this allegation. The Panel read the reference for themselves and concluded from the evidence of SD (Witness 2) that Ms Oyedele had never worked at HH as a BMS.

Particular 2 - proved

169. Mr Ajeneye also admitted this allegation. The Panel read the reference for Ms Oni and heard evidence from CW (Witness 13) and GR (Witness 10), which they accepted, that Ms Oni had never worked at HH.

Particular 3 - proved

170. The Panel applied the two stage test for the proof of dishonesty. First it determined that reasonable and honest people would consider that Mr Ajeneye’s actions in providing references with many inaccuracies as set out in particulars 1 and 2 would be considered dishonest by reasonable and honest people. The Panel determined that reasonable and honest people would regard those actions of sending inaccurate and misleading references as being dishonest.

171. Turning to the subjective element of the test, the Panel considered Mr Ajeneye’s evidence and the way he gave it. The Panel considered Mr Ajeneye did not answer questions directly, instead giving discursive explanations. The Panel did not find Mr Ajeneye to be a credible or reliable witness. The Panel rejected Mr Ajeneye’s evidence that the inaccuracies in the references arose by simple mistake on his part, and rejected his evidence that he was not fully aware of the content of the references he provided. On that basis the Panel concluded that Mr Ajeneye must have realised he was being dishonest by the standards of reasonable and honest people at the time that he provided the two references.

Decision on Grounds:

172. The Panel has exercised its own professional judgement after considering all the evidence and the submissions of Mr Corrie and Mr Walker. The Panel has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

173. Mr Ajeneye’s dishonest actions within particulars 1 – 3 amounted to breaches of the following standards set out in the HCPC’s published “Standards of conduct, performance and ethics” (Jul 2008):
“1.You must act in the best interests of service users 3. You must keep high standards of personal conduct.
 7. You must communicate properly and effectively with service users and other practitioners.
13. You must behave with honesty and integrity and make sure that your behaviour does not damage the public’s confidence in you or your profession.”

Decision on Impairment:

174. The provision of these false references to support job applications for posts of BMS could only be considered as serious breaches of those required standards of conduct, and, as such, amounted to the ground of misconduct. 

175. The Panel has exercised its own professional judgement after considering all the evidence and the submissions of Mr Corrie and Mr Walker. The Panel has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

176. Mr Ajeneye has engaged with this regulatory process to some extent. There was some evidence before the Panel of his insight into his misconduct by reason of his admissions in evidence in respect of particulars 1 and 2. Also, he demonstrated some insight by undertaking online courses in data protection principles and document management. The Panel considered that this showed insight which was limited. He displayed no understanding of the potential risk of harm to patients brought about by his actions. He had disputed dishonesty and shown no remorse, and there was accordingly no evidence of remediation of his dishonesty. In these circumstances the Panel concluded that the risk of recurrence remained at this time. Any recurrence of his provision of untrue references in support of applications for posts as a BMS could put patients at risk of harm and would undermine the public’s confidence in the profession of BMS.

177. The Panel determined that Mr Ajeneye’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of the risk Mr Ajeneye’s proven lack of integrity presents to patients, and by reason of the need to protect the public’s confidence in the profession. 

Decision on Sanction:

178. The Panel exercised its own judgment after considering all the evidence, the submissions of Mr Corrie and Mr Walker, and the HCPC’s “Indicative Sanctions Policy” (October 2014).

179. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

180. On Mr Ajeneye’s behalf, Mr Walker submitted that his instructions from Mr Ajeneye were that he accepted the Panel’s findings on dishonesty and misconduct. He was full of remorse and undertook never to provide inaccurate references again. He had learned a hard lesson well from his massive error of judgment. On this basis, Mr Walker submitted that the Panel could be satisfied that there was a low risk of repetition and, given Mr Ajeneye’s previous good character and his clear commitment to his career as a BMS, a caution order was an appropriate and sufficient order.

181. In accordance with the principle of proportionality the Panel first considered whether any order was required. The Panel felt that there would be no protection for the public or the public interest if it made no order. The Panel considered that the misconduct in this case was too serious for it to be appropriate to make no order.

182. The Panel determined that this was not a case where mediation would be appropriate as the misconduct did not involve Mr Ajeneye’s present employers. 

183. The Panel next considered whether a caution order would be sufficient and appropriate. Whilst the misconduct involved dishonesty, it was only in respect of two references. Mr Ajeneye seems to have been drawn into the provision of those references by Ms Oni and Ms Oyedele as there was no evidence that he had suggested himself as a referee, or had gained any personal benefit from providing them. The Panel took into account that the personal testimonials supported Mr Walker’s submission that Mr Ajeneye had an otherwise unblemished record in a career that he clearly relished. In these circumstances, the Panel was prepared to accept the truth behind the assertions made through Mr Walker,that Mr Ajeneye accepted the findings of the Panel, totally regretted his misconduct, and would never again provide inaccurate references. 

184. For those reasons the Panel determined that a caution order would sufficiently protect the public and the public interest. It would send a message to the public and the profession that inaccurate references should never be provided, whilst allowing Mr Ajeneye to continue in safe and effective practice as a BMS. To mark the seriousness of the misconduct, however, the caution order would be for the maximum period of five years.

185. Having found that a caution order would be sufficient to protect the public and the wider public interest, the Panel determined that any greater sanction would be disproportionate and therefore inappropriate.

 

 

 


 

 

Order

The Panel directed to strike the name of Mr Oladele Eluwole from the Register on the date this order comes into effect.

Notes

The Order comes into effect on 07 October 2015.

Please note: the above hearing was joined with Mrs. Grace Oni, Mr. Francis Ajeneye and Ms Tilayo Oyedele - please see separate Registrant outcome for each.

This hearing was held at the Health and Care Professions Council, Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BU from 24 August 2015 - 07 September 2015 and 09 September 2015 - 14 September 2015, and at etc Venues, Avonmouth House, 6 Avonmouth St, London SE1 6NX on 08 September 2015.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Oladele Eluwole (Hearing joined with Mrs. Grace Oni & Ms. Titlayo Oyedele )

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
24/08/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Struck off