Miss Sara-Louise Randall

Profession: Chiropodist / podiatrist

Registration Number: CH15272

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 31/08/2016 End: 16:00 31/08/2016

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

During the course of your employment as a Podiatrist at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust (‘the Trust’) you:

1. In 2015, on more than one occasion, self-administered a Trust local anaesthetic into your hands, whilst on duty.

2. The matters described in particular 1 constitute misconduct.

3. By reason of that misconduct your fitness to practise is impaired.

 

Finding

Preliminary Matters:
1. The Panel found good service proved, the correspondence having been sent to the Registrant’s registered address in good time.  The Panel was then invited to consider proceeding in the absence of the Registrant by Ms Carson on behalf of the HCPC.  Ms Carson referred the Panel to correspondence from the Registrant who, through her actions, had indicated her agreement that the matter proceed in her absence. Ms Carson submitted that it was both in the public interest and in the interest of the Registrant that the matter proceed today.

2. The Panel considered this matter, having taken and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.  The Panel were careful to exercise their discretion on whether to proceed in the absence of the Registrant with the utmost care and caution.  The Panel followed the procedure as set out in the relevant HCPC Practice Note and reflected in current case law.

3. The Panel determined that the case should proceed in the absence of the Registrant.  The Panel considered that the Registrant was well aware of the hearing today but had been informed that her attendance was not mandatory, as evidenced by the email dated 8th July 2016 responding to her query of whether her attendance was required. The Registrant had provided an explanation for non-attendance and made her intentions clear by her actions in signing a Voluntary Removal Agreement (“VRA”). Her non-appearance suggested that she had chosen to absent herself from this hearing.  Given her signing of a VRA, her intentions were clear and the Panel decided that no unfairness would be caused by proceeding in her absence.

Background
4. The Registrant was a Podiatrist, employed by the Walsall Healthcare Trust (“the Trust”), at the material time.  The Allegation relate to a period in 2015 and concern the self-administration of a Trust local anaesthetic into her hands.  The Registrant was observed to have a syringe and needles in her pencil case while at work; on being questioned, she said that she used them on herself.

5. The Registrant who had been working for the Trust since 2003 as a Podiatrist was subject to an investigation by the Trust.  She admitted that she had injected anaesthetic into her hand on a number of occasions.  She had been diagnosed with a chronic health condition in 2012 that caused her pain. While she had had the support of her line manager and Occupational Health since her diagnosis, she felt the need to use anaesthetic to relieve the pain when other painkillers did not work adequately.  Initially, on being questioned, she had indicated that, given this anaesthetic was destined for disposal, she did not consider that she had done anything wrong. On reflection, she recognised that irrespective of the destination of the anaesthetic, her actions were contrary to Trust policy.

6. The Registrant has admitted the Allegation to the HCPC and has stopped working as a Podiatrist.  She now works in a non-clinical role outside the health sector.  She does not wish or intend to return to work as a Podiatrist.

Hearing

7. The application at this time from the HCPC is to discontinue the Allegation, and dispose of this matter by way of VRA against the Registrant.  The Registrant, having admitted the Allegation  and having made the decision not to work as a Podiatrist, the HCPC is satisfied that discontinuing the Allegation and permitting the Registrant to resign from the Register by a VRA, would adequately protect the public, while avoiding the costs  associated with a full hearing.  The Registrant has made it clear that she wishes for the matter to be disposed of in this way by signing the VRA.

8. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor who referred it to the relevant HCPC Practice Notes.  The Panel considered the reasons provided by both the HCPC and the Registrant to be sound.  The Registrant has fully engaged with the HCPC, and recognised that her chronic health condition makes it difficult for her to work as a Podiatrist. She has found gainful employment in an administrative role.  She has entered into the VRA freely and signed to confirm her comprehension that, were she to apply for readmission to the HCPC Register in the future, the VRA would operate as if she had been stuck off of the Register as a result of the Allegation being found proved.  It was clearly in the public interest to permit the discontinuing of the Allegation and to accept a VRA.

 

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Ms Sara-Louise Randall from 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 Miss Sara-Louise Randall

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
31/08/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed