Alison Reynolds

Profession: Operating department practitioner

Registration Number: ODP17887

Interim Order: Imposed on 26 Jun 2012

Hearing Type: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 14/12/2015 End: 12:30 14/12/2015

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Conditions of Practice

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Allegation

During the course of your employment as an Operating Department

 

Practitioner at Spire South Bank Hospital:

1. On 16 May 2012 you took without permission 8 ampoules of Propofol 200mg from the Operating Theatre Anaesthetic Room.

 

2. On 3 December 2012 at South Worcestershire Magistrates' Court you pleaded guilty to Theft of an ampoule of Propofol on 16 May 2012, for which you received a conditional discharge for 12 months.

 

3. On 18 occasions between May 2011 and March 2012 you:

a) attended work without cause or permission; and/or

b) accessed the sterile Operating Theatre area.

 

4. On or after 4 March 2012 you did not report damage to equipment

caused by an injury you sustained in a fall in the Operating Theatre.

 

5. The matters described in paragraphs 1-4 constitute misconduct.

 

6. By reason of your misconduct your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary matters
1. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant has been properly served with notice of the hearing. Ms Hamilton made an application for the Panel to proceed with the hearing in the absence of the Registrant after hearing submissions from the Registrant by telephone and considering her written representations. 

The Registrant has engaged with the HCPC since the review of the substantive order on 11 December 2014.

The Panel took into account the HCPC’s practice note on Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant. The Panel concluded that the Registrant has voluntarily absented herself from the hearing today and is unlikely to attend at a future date, if the hearing were to be adjourned. Accordingly, she has waived her right to attend and it is in the public interest that this mandatory review should be heard today.

 The Panel therefore granted the HCPC’s application to proceed with the hearing in the absence of the Registrant.  This hearing is to take place partly in private, on the basis that the case includes some issues concerning the Registrant’s health and the Panel has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor that it has the discretion to do so, in the circumstances.

Background:
2. At the substantive hearing in December 2013 the Panel found on the balance of probabilities that she removed eight ampoules of Propofol from the controlled drugs .on 16 May 2012.  The Panel also found proved that on 3 December 2012 at South Worcestershire Magistrates’ Court, the Registrant pleaded guilty to the theft of one ampoule of Propofol on 16 May 2012.  She received a conditional discharge for 12 months. The panel stated the theft of an ampoule is dishonest conduct and it is conduct which falls far below the standards expected of a registered health professional. The theft of a drug by an ODP is particularly serious and it is a breach of trust. It placed patients at risk and it placed the Registrant herself at risk. The risks were especially high because of the Registrant’s medical history. The Registrant demonstrated some insight. She acknowledged that her actions fell below the standards expected of her as a professional. The Registrant’s registration was suspended for 12 months.

3. The HCPC reviewing panel stated in December 2014 that the Registrant had taken some steps towards rehabilitation during the previous 12 months. Her physical health was fully restored and she no longer required any prescribed medication. She spoke persuasively of the help which she had received. She had reflected on, and learned from, the decision and reasoning of the panel at the substantive hearing. However, she recognised that she was not yet ready to return to practice without undergoing a refresher course and having the benefit of some ongoing support and supervision. Taking into account the progress that she had made, the panel determined that the appropriate sanction was a Conditions of Practice Order for 12 months.

Decision:
4. The Panel today has concluded that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remains impaired.

5. The Panel has considered the HCPC’s practice note on Impairment of Fitness to Practise and the Indicative Sanctions Policy, in accordance with the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel is satisfied that it would undermine public confidence in the ODP profession and the regulatory process, if she was free to return to practise as an ODP. In considering what sanction, if any to impose, the Panel took into account the HCPC’s Indicative Sanctions Policy, and considered the available sanctions in ascending order, whilst applying the principle of proportionality.

6. The Panel finds that a Caution Order would not protect the public. The Registrant has not returned to practice as an ODP but although she currently plans to embark upon an alternative career as a blood donor carer, if she were to return to practice, she has not demonstrated that her knowledge and skills are up to date. 

7. In all the circumstances, the Panel decided to extend the Conditions of Practice Order for a further 12 months. At the next review, the Panel is likely to be assisted by up to date medical evidence about the Registrant’s current health, evidence that she has sufficient knowledge and skills to work as an ODP and up to date references and testimonials from any employer for whom she has carried out work as an ODP on a paid or unpaid basis since the date of this order.

8. The Panel considered that a suspension order or a striking off order would be a disproportionate sanction.

Order

ORDER:
The Registrar is directed to extend the Conditions of Practice Order against the registration of Miss Alison Reynolds for a further period of 12 months on the expiry of the existing order.

Notes

The Interim Order Review hearing for Alison Reynolds took  place on Monday 14 November  2015 at 10:00am before the Conduct and Competence Committee at the Health and Care Professions Council.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Alison Reynolds

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
09/12/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Struck off
14/12/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice