Lorna Young

Profession: Paramedic

Registration Number: PA35048

Hearing Type: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 08:30 11/05/2015 End: 10:30 11/05/2015

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

1. Between the period June 2012-August 2012, you falsified Practice Educator EW’s signature in your Practice Assessment Document (PAD) on 6 occasions, in relation to entries dated:

a. 9 June 2011 on 3 occasions;
b.  26 August 2011 on 1 occasion;
c. 11 June 2011 on 1 occasion; and
d. 10 August 2011 on 1 occasion

2. Your actions in paragraph 1 were dishonest.

3.  The matters described in paragraphs 1 - 2 constitute misconduct.

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

Finding

Preliminary matters:
1. The Panel determined that there was good service under the Health and Care Professions Council Rules 2003, as amended, of the Notice of hearing dated 10 April 2015 sent by post to the Registrant’s HCPC registered address.

2. The Registrant participated in this hearing by telephone and she has supplied written representations for this review. The Panel accepted the Legal Assessor’s advice to take account of the Indicative Sanctions Policy.
Background:
3. The Registrant is a registered Paramedic; she admitted the factual particulars and it was determined by the final hearing panel that all the facts were found proved (after amendment) and that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired by reason of her misconduct. She was employed by the London Ambulance Service as a student Paramedic. In July 2012 the Registrant stated that her Practice Placement Educator Miss EW had a signature which was easy to forge. An investigation was then undertaken which established that the signatures of Miss EW in the Registrant’s practice assessment document, had been forged by the Registrant on 6 occasions in relation to 4 separate dates in 2011. The panel rejected the suggestion from the Registrant that it was common practice to forge signatures in this way. The panel determined that her misconduct was aggravated by the fact that the signatures of a colleague were forged on a number of occasions and there was: “…no credible evidence as to why the Registrant engaged in such behaviour.”

4. That Panel decided that there was a risk to service users, because the Registrant was presented as competent in a number of clinical scenarios on the basis of the false signatures. The Registrant admitted the misconduct when interviewed. The appropriate and proportionate sanction was to impose a Suspension Order of 12 months’ duration, to: “…allow the Registrant to further reflect and develop insight into her dishonest conduct”.

5. The Panel suggested ways in which a future review panel might be assisted. These included evidence of the Registrant’s current employment and testimonials. The Registrant has given evidence, provided a personal statement and supplied written evidence of her employment with Collingwood Medical Services.  She has also supplied testimonials from DC, NL, FS, AC, AV, KC, MP and SH and a copy of her marriage certificate, dated 18 November 2014.


Decision
6. This is a review under Article 30 of the 2001 Order.

7. In reaching its decision today, this Panel cannot go behind the findings of the original panel. The Panel has accepted the Legal Assessor’s advice, exercised the principle of proportionality and had regard to the HCPC’s Indicative Sanctions Policy.

8. The Registrant has engaged with the HCPC since the sanction was imposed. The previous panel was clear about what a review Panel might consider helpful evidence. The HCPC today submitted that the Registrant has explained what she has been doing since April 2013 and provided evidence of insight. The HCPC submits that an order is still required to reflect the finding of dishonesty and failure to comply with the HCPC Standards of Conduct in 2011.

9. The Panel accepts the evidence of the Registrant who says she regrets her actions and her conduct arose from desperation to obtain her Paramedic qualification. The finding of dishonesty has been a cause of shame and regret to her. She will not behave in the same way again; after 18 months of frustration and upset at not being able to put her training into effect. Her skills have been maintained to some extent by working as a technician with other Paramedics. She is willing to undertake a refresher course and to ensure her current skills are adequate. She worked at a festival where she had to assist Paramedics with several emergencies, due to drug and violence incidents. She has been working privately as a technician and hopes to obtain employment in Dorset when she returns to work. She works as bank staff with a private company covering events which fit in with her child care and she is currently pregnant and expecting a baby in August 2015. She would like to get back to front line Paramedic employment and plans to return to work from December 2015. Her family situation is much improved and she lives with her husband and two children, with extended family support and friends in the area.

10. The Panel has determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remains impaired by reason of her misconduct.

11. The public interest includes the need to protect service users, to declare and uphold proper standards of behaviour and to maintain public confidence in the Paramedic profession.
12. In reviewing the current suspension order before it expires, the Panel first considered taking no action or mediation and rejected these outcomes as, in the circumstances, it would be wholly inappropriate and inadequate to take no further action. The misconduct was too serious despite the evidence of insight.

13. The Panel next considered imposing a Caution Order and rejected this sanction. The Panel determined that this sanction could not meet the safeguards currently required to ensure the Registrant is able to safely return to practise and to protect the public.

14. The Panel next considered replacing the current Suspension Order with a Conditions of Practice Order. The Panel determined that there are suitable, verifiable and workable conditions that meet the level of misconduct and fully address the risk to service users highlighted by the previous panel in this case. Therefore, the Panel has decided to impose conditions of practice due to the nature of the misconduct and lack of recent practice.

15. The Panel has taken into account that HCPC sanctions are not intended to be punitive; but are only imposed when it is necessary to do so, to safeguard the public and to maintain public confidence in the Paramedic profession and the regulatory process. A further suspension order is not appropriate because the Registrant has demonstrated the necessary insight, to facilitate a return to practice.

16. This order will be reviewed before it expires and the Panel considered that it may assist that reviewing panel for the Registrant to provide details of her progress from her supervisor(s) and a full record of private and formal study undertaken.

Order

Order

 

The Registrar is directed to annotate the HCPC Register to show that for a period of twelve months from the date of expiry of the current Suspension Order you, Miss Lorna Young, must comply with the following conditions of practice:

 

1.            You must place yourself under the supervision of a paramedic registered by the HCPC and supply details of your supervisor to the HCPC within six months of the operative date. You must attend upon the supervisor as required and follow their advice and recommendations.  During this period of supervision you must spend at least two days placement in a delivery unit.

 

2.    Forward a copy of the following evidence to the HCPC 28 days before the date of the review hearing; a full progress report from your supervisor(s) and a detailed record of your private and formal study undertaken.

 

3.    You must inform any prospective employer or contracting party who might engage you to undertake paramedic work (at the time of application) that your registration is subject to these conditions.

 

This order will be reviewed before its expiry.

Notes

This order comes into effect on 16 June 2015.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Lorna Young

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
11/05/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice