Mrs Rachel Ireland

Profession: Occupational therapist

Registration Number: OT60749

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 20/12/2016 End: 17:00 20/12/2016

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 October 2009 and April 2015, during the course of your employment as an Occupational Therapist with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council, you:

 

1) Did not complete moving and handling assessments safely and/or

independently, including for:

a. Service User A

b. Service User B

c. Service User C

d. Service User D

e. Service User E

 

2) Did not complete and/or document assessments and/or treatment plans adequately, in that you:

a. did not conduct holistic assessments recognising the needs and/or wishes of service users and/or carers, including for;

I. Service User F

II. Service User G

III. Service User H

IV. Service User I

b. did not provide detailed observations and/or measurements, including for;

I. Service User G

II. Service User J

III. Service User K

IV. Service User L

c. did not identify and/or assess and/or prioritise risks, including for;

I. Service User A

II. Service User C

III. Service User M

IV. Service User F

V. Service User H

VI. Service User N

VII. Service User D

VIII. Service User B

IX. Service User L

d. did not evidence clinical reasoning clearly, including for;

I. Service User A

II. Service User D

III. Service User 0

IV. Service User E

V. Service User G

VI. Service User K

e. did not demonstrate consistency between case notes and/or functional assessments and/or goals and/or interventions, including for;

I. Service User J

II. Service User K

III. Service User D

f. did not write full assessments in a timely manner, which including for;

I. Service User P

II. Service User B

III. Service User D

IV. Service User Q

g. did not maintain records appropriately and/or accurately, including for:

I. Service User O

II. Service User D

 

3) Did not communicate plans clearly, in that you did not provide clear and/or accurate communication to service users and/or carers, including for;

a. Service User C

b. Service User R

c. Service User A

d. Service User S

e. Service User E

f. Service User D

g. Service User E

h. Service User K

 

4) Did not provide adequate treatment interventions, in that you;

a. did not identify and/or provide correct advice and/or education to reduce risk, including for:

I. Service User A

II. Service User F

b. did not arrange for appropriate equipment, including for;

I. Service User R

II. Service User T

c. did not ensure that interventions were actioned in a timely manner, including for:

I. Service User B

II. Service User U

III. Service User V

IV. Service User O

V. Service User Q

VI. Service User W

VII. Service User X

 

5) The matters described in paragraphs 1 - 4 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

 

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

Finding

Preliminary Matters:


Service:


1. The Panel was informed by the hearings officer that notice of this Voluntary Removal Panel hearing was sent to the Registrant’s registered address by letter dated 12 October 2016.  The Panel was satisfied that notice had been properly served as required by the Rules.


Proceeding in absence:


2. Ms Bentley applied for the hearing to proceed in Mrs Ireland’s absence. The Panel received and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor who advised that the Panel’s discretion to proceed in the Registrant’s absence should only be exercised with the utmost care and caution.


3. The Panel was satisfied that notice of this hearing was sent to the Registrant’s registered address and had been served in accordance with the rules. The Panel was provided with a note of a telephone call between Mrs Ireland the HCPC on 12 October 2016 in which she stated that she would not be attending the hearing. The Panel concluded that Mrs Ireland had voluntarily absented herself and there was no evidence that she would attend an 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 Mrs Ireland which had been signed by her. The Panel considered that it was in the public interest and in Mrs Ireland’s interests that the agreement should be considered expeditiously. Accordingly, the Panel decided to proceed in Mrs Ireland’s absence.


Background:


4. At the relevant times the Registrant was a registered Occupational Therapist employed by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM). Following the raising of serious concerns about her practice, a meeting was held with the Registrant in which the Registrant was informed that she would be managed informally under RBWM’s capability procedure. The concerns relating to the Registrant’s practice were around (i) Identification and prioritisation of risk; (ii) Timeliness of case recording; (iii) Consistency within her case recording; (iv) Clinical reasoning; and (iv) Case recording.


5. In June 2014, due to the seriousness of the concerns about her practice, the Registrant was removed from front line services and a clinical mentor was employed to work with her on a 1-to-1 basis for 6 months between June 2014 – December 2014. Notwithstanding the provision of direct supervision, the Registrant was unable to show any significant improvement in her practice nor to demonstrate that she was a safe practitioner.

6. On 13 March 2015, RBWM held a formal meeting to review the Registrant’s practice and she was issued with a formal written warning due to continued concerns regarding her capability.

7. On 7 April the Registrant was suspended from duty with immediate effect due to an allegation of potential gross misconduct involving her failure to undertake appropriate risk management in relation to a service user. The Registrant resigned on the same date and the matters were referred to the HCPC by RBWM on 27 April 2016.

Decision:


8. The Panel heard submissions from Ms Bentley. She submitted that the Registrant had admitted the allegations in full and had indicated that she wished to be removed from the Register. Ms Bentley further submitted that the HCPC was satisfied that voluntary removal from the Register would be an appropriate disposal of this case and would protect the public and was in the public interest, given its effect was the same as a strike-off from the Register following a finding of impairment of fitness to practice.


9. The Panel first reminded themselves of the guidance offered in the HCPC Practice Note entitled “Disposal of Cases by Consent”. The Panel noted that it had the power to adopt one of two courses of action:
i. to deal with the case in an expedited manner by approving the proposal set out in the Voluntary Removal Agreement;
ii. to reject the proposal and set the case down for a substantive hearing.


10. The Panel considered that the allegations whilst numerous, concerned the Registrant’s lack of competence rather than the causing of harm to service users. The Panel was satisfied that the public and the public interest would be protected by the Voluntary Removal Agreement, given the Registrant’s full admissions and her wish to be removed from the Register. The Panel considered that a public hearing was not required in the wider public interest.


11. The Panel determined that consenting to the Voluntary Removal Agreement which has a similar effect to striking-off order, would adequately address the public safety and wider public interest issues in this case, as it prevents the Registrant from practising or applying to re-join the Register for a period of five years.


12. For all these reasons, the Panel agrees to the discontinuance of the allegations against the Registrant and the Voluntary Removal Agreement dated 19 October 2016 is approved.

Order

Allegations Discontinued and the Voluntary Removal Agreement is approved.

Notes

If the Registrant should at any time seek to be restored to the Register the case would be considered in the same way as if she had been struck off as a result of this allegation

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mrs Rachel Ireland

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
20/12/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed