Graham D. Evans

Profession: Paramedic

Registration Number: PA08669

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 29/02/2016 End: 17:00 29/02/2016

Location: Park Plaza Cardiff, Greyfriars Road, Cardiff, CF10 3AL

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegation

At its meeting on 13 May 2015, a Panel of the Investigating Committee determined that there is a case to answer in relation to the following allegation:

 

During the course of your employment as a Paramedic with the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust on the night of 30 to 31 January 2014, you:

 

1. Entered a reading relating to Blood Glucose Level during transit to hospital on a Patient Clinical Record form (form number 3232769) when you had not, in fact, measured the patient's Blood Glucose level during the journey to hospital.

 

2. Took the action set out in paragraph 1 above in order to conceal that you had left the relevant equipment, namely, a Blood Monitoring device, at the scene of the incident.

 

3. Your actions in 1 and 2 above were dishonest

 

4. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 - 3 constitute misconduct

 

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

Finding

Preliminary Matters


Service


1. The Panel found that there had been good service of the notice of hearing by a letter dated 11 January 2016.


Proceeding in Absence


2. Ms Simpson made an application for the hearing to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. She referred the Panel to the e-mail exchange between the HCPC and the Registrant and to a file note dated 25 February 2016 of a telephone conversation between the Registrant and herself. The Registrant stated that he would not attend today’s hearing and would not be represented. She submitted that the Registrant has waived his right to attend the hearing.

3. The Panel took into account the HCPC Practice Note “Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant” and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. This is an application for voluntary removal from the Register. The Registrant has been engaging with the HCPC and he has confirmed that he wishes to apply to be removed from the Register. In these circumstances the Panel concluded that his absence is voluntary and it is unlikely that he would attend at a later date if this hearing was adjourned. The Panel carefully considered both the Registrant’s interests and the public interest and decided that it is in both the Registrant’s interests and the public interest for the hearing to proceed today. The Panel therefore decided to proceed in the absence of the Registrant.


Background


4. The Registrant is a registered Paramedic. He was employed by the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (“the Trust”).

5. On 27 February 2014 the Registrant referred himself to the HCPC following an incident in the early morning on 31 January 2014. The Registrant and a colleague attended a patient and transported her to hospital. During the assessment a blood sugar recording was recorded on the patient’s clinical record by the Registrant. It was identified at the start of the next shift that the blood monitoring device was not on the vehicle and had been left at the patient’s house. During the conversation regarding how this had happened the Registrant informed his colleague that he had made up the blood sugar recording on the patient record.

6. A Datix adverse incident report was raised and a disciplinary investigation was undertaken by the Trust. The Registrant resigned prior to a disciplinary hearing on 19 February 2015. The disciplinary hearing proceeded in his absence and a decision was made that the Registrant’s actions were considered to be gross misconduct and that if he had been employed he would have been summarily dismissed.

7. On 13 May 2015 an Investigating Committee of the HCPC decided that there was a case to answer in relation to the allegation and the case was referred to the Conduct and Competence Committee.


Decision


8. Ms Simpson referred the Panel to the exchange of e-mails and correspondence between the Registrant and the HCPC. On 10 February 2016 the HCPC requested that the Registrant signed and returned the signed and witnessed Voluntary Removal Agreement (VRA) and sent a further chasing letter on 19 February 2016. On 25 February Ms Simpson prepared a file note of her telephone conversation with the Registrant. This records that the Registrant told her that he posted the signed VRA to the HCPC on 20 February by second class mail. He said that he was not able to deliver the VRA in person on 29 February.

9. The Registrant agreed with Ms Simpson that he would print and sign the VRA and e-mail the HCPC pictures of the form. He would also sent an e-mail to the HCPC.

10. The Registrant has sent to the HCPC pictures of the signed pages of the VRA and an e-mail dated 25 February 2016 stating “I have sent photos of sign vra forms which I would like the hearing panel to accept as my consent for the vra”. On 25 February 2016 the Registrant told Ms Simpson that he has retired and is drawing his pension from the NHS. He does not plan to return to work for the NHS in any capacity. He has a new job and is much happier and he wants the VRA process to be over.

11. The Panel was concerned that the VRA sent by the Registrant on 20 February 2016 has still not arrived. Ms Simpson made enquiries at the HCPC and the administrative team confirmed that it had not arrived in the weekend or today’s post.

12. Ms Simpson told the Panel that the HCPC was content that the signature pages and the Registrant’s e-mail dated 25 February 2016 were sufficient. She submitted that if the Panel required further confirmation, the Panel could decide to make the Panel’s agreement to the discontinuance of the allegation conditional on the Registrant sending a signed copy of the agreement to the VRA.

13. Ms Simpson submitted that the proposed VRA provided a sufficient measure of protection for the public because the Registrant cannot practise as a Paramedic and if he were to seek to return to the HCPC Register the application will be treated as if he had been struck off the Register as a result of the allegation. Ms Simpson submitted that the proposed VRA would not be detrimental to the wider public interest.

14. The Panel took into account the guidance in the HCPC Practice Note “Disposal of Cases by Consent” and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

15. The Panel first considered whether is appropriate in this case. The Panel decided that the VRA is sufficient to protect the public. It provides the same level of protection for the public as a Striking Off Order.

16. The Panel next considered the wider public interest considerations, particularly the need to uphold standards of behaviour and to maintain confidence in the profession and the regulatory process. The Panel considered whether there is a need for a Final Hearing, given the admissions the Registrant has made.

17. This case involves a serious allegation of dishonesty. Dishonesty is a breach of a fundamental tenet of the profession and the dishonesty in this case relates to patient care. The Panel therefore identified that there are wider public interest considerations. Members of the public would be concerned, particularly because of the trust that is placed in Paramedics when completing patient record forms and the general importance of integrity in the profession.

18. The Panel considered carefully the circumstances of this case and whether the proposed VRA would be detrimental to the wider public interest. In this case the Registrant referred himself to the HCPC, he did not attempt to cover up his dishonesty, and he made early admissions both to his employer and to the HCPC. The Registrant made a statement to his employer that he accepts “that this was not a professional action and have been highly critical of myself as a result”. The Panel has not heard directly from the Registrant, but the available evidence indicates that he has insight. There is evidence in the bundle that he was extremely distressed when his employer spoke to him about the events.

19. The Panel has evidence relating to difficulties in the Registrant’s personal life. The Registrant’s employer was aware that he had difficult personal problems which had been on-going for approximately twenty years. The Registrant’s wife has mental health issues which led to police involvement and financial difficulties. The Registrant had received counselling and had been subject to capability procedures. The Registrant stated that this background was relevant to his misconduct.

20. The Panel considered carefully whether a full Final Hearing in this case would be appropriate in the public interest. The Panel’s view was that this hearing has covered the background and the nature of the allegation and that a Final Hearing would add little, given that the Registrant admits the allegation.

21. In all the circumstances the Panel decided that the proposed VRA is not detrimental to the wider public interest and that in principle it is appropriate to approve the proposed VRA.

22. The Panel next considered whether the Panel’s agreement to discontinuance of the allegation should be conditional on receipt by the HCPC of a signed VRA from the Registrant.

23. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor on the requirements for a deed. The Panel decided that the Registrant’s intention was clear that he wished to be removed from the Register, that he admitted the allegation and that he consented to the terms of the VRA. Nevertheless the Panel decided that it was appropriate for the Registrant’s intention to be formalised and confirmed by the delivery by the Registrant to the HCPC of a full copy of a signed VRA.  The Panel decided that a period of fourteen days was appropriate to allow time for the HCPC to inform the Registrant of the Panel’s decision and for him to make arrangements to send the signed VRA.

24. The Panel therefore decided to approve the proposed VRA and discontinuance on condition that the HCPC receives from the Registrant a signed and witnessed copy of the VRA within fourteen days from today.


 

Order

The Panel agreed to the Voluntary Removal Agreement.

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 Graham D. Evans

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
29/02/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed