Dr Tamsyn Packman

Profession: Practitioner psychologist

Registration Number: PYL27360

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 26/08/2016 End: 16:00 26/08/2016

Location: Health and Care Professions Council, 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegation

Between November 2012 and June 2014, during the course of your employment as a Practitioner Psychologist by Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, you:

1. Did not refer Patient A to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme for over 7 months after first seeing the patient.

2. Did not send GP letters and/or reports within the required timescales, in Relation to:

A. Patient B;
B. Patient C;
C. Patient D;
D. Patient E;
E. Patient F, and
F. Patient G;

3. Attended Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) meetings unprepared and/or unable to engage in discussions regarding clients and caseloads, in or around:

A. November 2012;
B. April 2013, and;
C. August 2013

4. Did not write a comprehensive formulation for Patient H despite treating this patient for 6 months.

5. In relation to Patient E, did not consider:

A. Systemic issues;
B. Dynamics between Patient E and his wife; and
C. Background issues relating to the patient's difficulties of communicating distress.

6. In relation to Patient I, you:

A. Did not formulate a clear time line of historical events and/or difficulties;
B. Did not formulate a clear plan for intervention;
C. Did not clarify the patient's coping strategies.

7. Did not efficiently close and/or discharge cases, relating to:

A. Patient D;
B. Patient J;
C. Patient K.

8. The matters described in paragraphs 1 - 7 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

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

 

Finding

Preliminary matters:
 
Service of Notice of Hearing
 
1. The Panel was informed by the Hearings Officer that notice of this hearing was sent by first class post to Dr Packman’s registered address by letter dated 5 July 2016, which stated the date, time and venue of today’s hearing. Moreover, Dr Packman replied by email dated 25 August 2016 stating that she had received the notice of hearing and did not intend to attend. The Panel was satisfied that the Notice of Hearing letter complied with the HCPC’s procedural Rules and that Dr Packman has had proper notice of today’s hearing. Hence, for these reasons, the Panel has determined that there has been adequate service of the Notice of Hearing.

Proceeding in Absence

2. The Panel received and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. It also paid regard to Rule 11 of the HCPC’s procedural Rules and the HCPC’s Practice Note on Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant.

3. The Panel noted that Dr Packman had not applied for an adjournment. The Panel also noted that she has written to the HCPC by email dated 25 August 2016 stating that she had received the Notice of Hearing and did not intend to attend. Therefore, the Panel concluded that Dr Packman has voluntarily absented herself and there was no evidence that she would attend any adjourned hearing. The Panel noted that the purpose of this hearing was to consider the terms of a Voluntary Removal Agreement agreed between the HCPC and Dr Packman. The Panel considered that it was in the public interest and in Dr Packman’s interests that the agreement should be considered expeditiously. Accordingly, the Panel decided to proceed in her absence.

Background

4. Dr Packman is a Clinical Psychologist, currently registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the HCPC. She was employed as a Clinical Psychologist by the Surrey Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) until June 2014.

5. The Particulars of Allegation set out above arose from failings in her practice discovered by the Trust. They relate to Dr Packman having failed to send out GP letters within prescribed timescales in the case of six patients and having failed to attend meetings in a prepared manner and where she failed to engage effectively in those meetings. It was further alleged that Dr Packman was unable to formulate plans and strategies for three patients and did not efficiently close cases of three other patients, and/or properly discharge them. These matters are alleged to have taken place over a period of time from November 2012 to June 2014. The Trust tried to improve matters for Dr Packman by reducing her working hours and also her work to one location. However, there was insufficient improvement so the Trust commenced its Capability Procedure. During this process Dr Packman resigned on 2 June 2014. On 16 June 2014, the Trust informed her that it was going to refer the matter to the HCPC and that took place on 15 July 2014.

6. On 24 November 2014 a Panel of the Investigating Committee of the HCPC determined that there was a case to answer on the Particulars of Allegation set out above. On 8 December 2014, Dr Packman applied for voluntary removal, to which the HCPC agreed. On 28 January 2015, the HCPC liaised with her on her application, including the reminder that she was required to admit in full the Particulars of Allegation and the effect of that, being the same as having been found impaired and having the sanction of a Strike Off.

7. On 10 March 2015. Dr Packman admitted the Particulars of Allegation without qualification and again requested voluntary removal. She signed a Voluntary Removal Agreement on 15 July 2015.

8. At the first Voluntary Removal hearing on 17 July 2015, after considerable discussion with the Panel and the Legal Assessor, Dr Packman indicated that she wished to re-consider her application and eventually decided that she no longer wished to agree to voluntary removal and instead to proceed with a contested final hearing.

9. After a period of reflection, Dr Packman wrote to the HCPC on 10 February 2016, stating that she no longer wished to practice as a Clinical Psychologist and would like to seek voluntary removal again. The HCPC agreed to this and sent a Voluntary Removal Agreement on 18 July 2016. She signed it on 2 August 2016. She stated that she admitted all the Particulars of Allegation and that she had no intention to work again as a Clinical Psychologist. Dr Packman reaffirmed that she wanted to be removed from the Register. The HCPC identified this as a suitable case for a Consent Order for Voluntary Removal and this was approved by the HCPC’s Director of Fitness to Practise. The HCPC’s case is based on these facts and that Dr Packman is not practising as a Clinical Psychologist and has not done so since June 2014. The HCPC submitted that, if approved by the Panel today, the Voluntary Removal of Dr Packman from the Register would allow the public to remain protected and would uphold the wider public interest.

Decision:

10. In reaching its decision, the Panel took into account the submissions of Mr Tallis. The Panel has also read the documentation and it has accepted the Legal Assessor’s advice. The Panel has exercised the principle of proportionality and has paid regard to the HCPC’s Practice Note on Voluntary Removal, entitled “Disposal of Cases by Consent”.

11. The Panel noted that it had the power to adopt one of two courses of action:

a. to deal with the case in an expedited manner by approving the proposal set out in the Voluntary Removal Agreement;

b. to reject the proposal and set the case down for a full hearing.

12. The Panel considered that the Particulars of Allegation were serious and concerned the safety of patients and the wider public interest in maintaining confidence in the profession and the regulatory process, as well as upholding proper standards of conduct and behaviour. Dr Packman’s various clinical failings over a considerable period of time were serious and attempts by the Trust to support her in improvement were unsuccessful. It was clear to the Panel that the Allegation reflected a serious falling below in the standards expected of a registered Clinical Psychologist, so as to impact on patient safety and undermine public confidence in the profession of Clinical Psychology.

13. However, the Panel paid regard to a number of important factors in determining whether or not to grant the application for Voluntary Removal. The Panel noted that Dr Packman had sought the Voluntary Removal herself. It also took into account that she has admitted the allegations in full with no qualification, as shown in the Schedule to the Voluntary Removal Agreement. Her latest application for Voluntary Removal and her admissions to the Particulars of Allegation, knowing that this would result in her being removed from the Register, indicated to the Panel a high level of insight into her position.

14. In relation to her change of mind about being voluntarily removed from the Register, the Panel has taken into consideration Dr Packman’s emails of 10 and 12 February 2016, in which she referred to her work and experience as a temporary unqualified Assistant Psychologist and how this has highlighted to her that she could no longer cope with working effectively and safely as a registered Clinical Psychologist. She expressly stated that she could never have reached this conclusion in July 2015. The Panel was considerably reassured by this important and insightful piece of evidence. In the Panel’s view, this was further evidence of Dr Packman’s insight into her deficiencies and her reflection on those, in the intervening period from the last hearing on 17 July 2015.

15. The Panel determined that Dr Packman has fully understood the consequences of the Voluntary Removal Agreement and that the effect of the Voluntary Removal Agreement was the same as a Striking Off Order under the sanctions’ powers of HCPC Panels after a finding of impaired fitness to practise.

16. The Panel has determined that the Voluntary Removal Agreement in Dr Packman’s case equated to a finding of impaired fitness to practise on the grounds of misconduct and/or lack of competence and a sanction of a Striking Off Order, as it will prevent Dr Packman from practising, or applying to re-join the Register, for a period of five years. In the Panel’s judgement, a Voluntary Removal Agreement in this case satisfies the need to protect the public, to uphold public confidence in the profession, to maintain the standards of the profession and to set a mark of deterrence to the rest of the profession.

17. For the reasons stated above, the Panel determined that the Voluntary Removal Agreement is the most appropriate and proportionate Order.

18. For these reasons, the Voluntary Removal Agreement is approved.

Order

Order:  The Panel approves the Voluntary Removal Agreement signed by the HCPC and by the Registrant, and directs that the Registrar is directed to remove the name of Dr Tamsyn Packman from the Psychologist Part of the Register with immediate effect.

Notes

If the Registrant seeks to return to the HCPC Register at any time, the application would be treated as if the registrant had been struck off as a result of that allegation.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Dr Tamsyn Packman

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
26/08/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed
17/07/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Hearing has not yet been held