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The registrants’ fitness to practise is impaired by reason of his health.
Service of Notice and Proceeding in the Registrant’s absence
1. The Panel was content that it had evidence before it that Notice had been sent in the correct form, by the appropriate postal means, to the address shown on the register and in sufficient time in advance of the hearing date. In addition there was evidence that, in accordance with the responsibility that rested with the Council that it had taken all reasonable steps to ensure the Registrant knew of the hearing, Notice had also been sent in an electronic format. This being the case, the Panel decided that there had been good service in accordance with the rules.
2. The Council made an application to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. The Council stated in support the following:
• The Registrant did not attend the Final Hearing nor was he at the subsequent Substantive Order Review Hearing.
• From the documentation before the Panel it will identify that there has been a clear pattern of non-engagement by the Registrant in the HCPC process with the exception of one email in which he states his intention not to return to practice.
• There has been no request for an adjournment.
• There is no indication that the Registrant would attend at a future hearing if this matter were adjourned.
3. The Panel was assisted in reaching its decision by knowing that it had the relevant power to do so, the Practice Note issued by the Council, and the advice of the Legal Assessor.
4. The Panel noted the representations made by the Council and after careful consideration came to the decision that it would proceed in the Registrant’s absence. The Panel considered that there was no greater likelihood of the Registrant attending if this matter were adjourned, that it could proceed without any injustice to the Registrant, that the Registrant had voluntarily absented himself and that it was in the public interest to proceed.
Hearing in Private
5. This is a matter in which the Registrant’s health is a core issue. Previous hearings of this matter had been held in private. There is a presumption that all hearings will be held in public unless, and to the degree, that this infringes the rights of the Registrant. The HCPC Rules do not provide for all Health Committee cases to automatically be heard in private. This being the case, the Council applied for the whole of the hearing to be heard in private as there would be the need to make extensive reference during the hearing to the health issues affecting the Registrant’s practice.
6. After receiving legal advice and referring to the relevant Practice Note the Panel made the decision that it would hold the entire hearing in Private as, in the Panel’s view, the Registrant’s right to a private life, in this instance, outweighed the public interest in this matter being held in public.
7. The hearing today having been conducted in private, necessitates that this decision should only be disclosed to any person or body who is entitled to be informed of what has occurred in hearings that have been conducted in private. Clearly the outcome of the hearing today, namely that a further period of suspension has been ordered, will of necessity be publicised. So far as the present Panel’s reasons for its decision is concerned, the Panel directs that no further information than the following should be made public:
8. On 13 August 2015 a Panel of the Health Committee undertook a review of a 12 months suspension order initially imposed on the Registrant on 22 August 2013. The suspension order was imposed on 22 August 2013 by a Panel of the Health Committee that determined to be well founded an allegation that the Registrant’s fitness to practise as an Operating Department Practitioner was impaired by reason of his physical and/or mental health. The review on 13 August 2015 was undertaken under Article 30 of the Health and Social Care Professions Council Order 2001. The reviewing Panel concluded that the circumstances continued to require Mr Tuxford’s registration to be suspended, and ordered that a further suspension order, for a period of 4 months, should follow the previous period of suspension.
The order imposed today will apply from 19 September 2015.
This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 19 January 2016
History of Hearings for Paul Tuxford
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|16/12/2015||Health Committee||Review Hearing||Struck off|
|13/08/2015||Health Committee||Review Hearing||Suspended|