Andrew Mark Lynn

Profession: Hearing aid dispenser

Registration Number: HAD00905

Hearing Type: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 08:30 12/06/2015 End: 11:30 12/06/2015

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

Allegation:
During the course of your employment as a Hearing Aid Dispenser with Amplifon:
1. Between January - February 2011 you:

a) Fitted a demo hearing aid to (Service User A) and allowed him to keep it when you were not authorised to do so;

b) Did not record that you had dispensed the demo hearing aid to Service User A on GOAL, the electronic record system.

2. A clinical audit of your Patient notes took place on 29 February 2012, in relation to 35 Customer/Service User appointments between 23 January 2012 and 20 February 2012, during which it was established that you had not maintained patient records in that you:

a) Did not complete and/or correctly use record cards; 
b) Did not ask and/or record answers to medical questions;
c) Recorded incomplete customer details;
d) Did not carry out and/or document all relevant tests on Service Users;
e) Did not complete full written notes or electronic notes for all your appointments;
f) Did not sign an audiometry;
g) Did not give and/or record advice given to Service Users;
h) Did not refer and/or record referrals of Service Users to GPs, when required to do so.

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

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

Finding

Preliminary Matters

1. The Panel was satisfied that good service had been effected under the HCPC’s procedural Rules.

2. Ms Dwomoh-Bonsu made an application for the hearing to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. She informed the Panel that the HCPC has had no contact from the Registrant since the last hearing on 16 June 2014.

3. The Panel had regard to the HCPC’s submissions, and it accepted the Legal Assessor’s advice. It also took into account the guidance in the HCPC Practice Note “Proceeding in the Absence of a Registrant”. The Panel considered this matter with the utmost care and caution and balanced the Registrant’s interests and the public interest, exercising the principle of proportionality. The Panel decided that it was appropriate to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. The Registrant has not engaged at all with the HCPC either prior to or following the final hearing on 12 June 2013. He has not requested an adjournment and there is no indication that if the Panel were to adjourn the hearing, he would attend on a future date. As the current order against the registrant is due to expire within a few weeks from today’s date, in the Panel’s judgement, it is in the public interest that the current order is reviewed today. The Panel decided that the Registrant’s interests are outweighed by the public interest in reviewing the order before it expires.

Decision

4. Ms Dwomoh-Bonsu referred the Panel to the decision of the Final Hearing on 12 and 13 June 2013. The final hearing panel found that allegation 1b and 2a to 2h were of a similar nature. The failings included lack of evidence of appropriate referrals to a doctor, limited evidence of appropriate hearing tests having been carried out and many instances of incomplete records. The findings amounted to poor clinical practice and could potentially have an impact on service users’ management and wellbeing. The original panel found significant breaches of HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics and the Standards of Proficiency for Hearing Aid Dispensers. It also found that the facts proved amount to misconduct because the conduct fell short of what would be proper in the circumstances and the Registrant would have known how to do the tests, keep the records and work to the expected standard, but did not.

5. In addition, the final hearing panel found that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired. The Registrant lacked insight and there was no evidence of remorse. The misconduct was capable of remediation through appropriate and relevant training, but there was no evidence of any remediation. The risk of repetition remained, unless the Registrant remediated his clinical practice to the required standard. The final hearing panel considered that the appropriate sanction was a suspension order for a period of twelve months, which would also enable the Registrant to remediate his clinical practice.

6. The last review panel determined that, with no further information at that time, the Registrant had not demonstrated any remediation commencement, had made no inroads into insight and remorse and he remained a risk to the public. Indeed, that Panel concluded that there was a danger that the Registrant’s skills may have been further reduced because of the time that had passed since his past employment as a Hearing Aid Dispenser. That Panel imposed an extension to the existing Suspension Order of a further 12 months. It stated that it bore in mind the HCPC Indicative Sanction Guidance that the sanction should be the least restrictive sanction sufficient to protect the public. Although the Registrant’s lack of engagement with the HCPC was a factor which could have invoked a Striking Off Order rather than a Suspension Order at that time, that Panel concluded that the misconduct was still remediable and that, in any event, a Striking Off Order is a sanction of the last resort.

7. In reaching its decision today, on this second review, this Panel has paid regard to Ms Dwomoh-Bonsu’s submission, the Legal Assessor’s advice and the HCPC’s Indicative Sanctions Policy. It has taken into account that, as a Reviewing Panel, it must give respect to the previous panels’ decisions, but that it should review that case completely. The Panel approached each option from the least serious first.

8. The Panel considered taking no action, mediation or imposing a Caution Order and rejected these outcomes. In light of the failings highlighted and those failings remaining un-remediated, the Panel concluded that there was still a high risk of repetition and the public remained at risk, should the Registrant be returned to unrestricted practice. Moreover, the Panel concluded that the public’s trust and confidence in the profession and in this regulatory process would be undermined if these outcomes would be imposed.

9. The Panel next considered a Conditions of Practice Order. The Registrant has not engaged in this process to date for almost two years and the Panel has no information on any aspect of his life and current employment circumstances, if any. In those circumstances, the Panel was unable to formulate any conditions which would be workable, realistic and verifiable and sufficient to protect the public.

10. The Panel next considered further extending the existing Suspension Order. Although the misconduct was described as remediable and the guidance in the Indicative Sanctions Policy states that a Striking Off Order is a sanction of the last resort, the Panel has determined that a further Suspension Order would be of no benefit in this case because the Registrant has failed to engage for many years, to date. In the Panel’s opinion, this makes remediation increasingly difficult, if not impossible. In addition, the Panel has concluded that the confidence that the public is entitled to expect from this regulatory body would be undermined if this Panel were to allow yet another period of time to pass in this case with a Suspension Order in situ, where the Registrant apparently has no interest in engaging. Therefore, the Panel has concluded that a further Suspension Order would not now be appropriate or proportionate.

11. Therefore, for these reasons, the only proportionate and appropriate sanction today is that of a Striking Off Order. The Panel is satisfied that the risk to the public would be avoided and the wider public interest would be upheld with the sanction of Strike Off.

 

Order

Order: That, upon the expiry of the existing Order, the Registrant is struck off the register.

Notes

This order comes into effect on 11 July 2015.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Andrew Mark Lynn

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
12/06/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Struck off