Michael A Tebbutt

Profession: Paramedic

Registration Number: PA02535

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 05/01/2016 End: 13:00 05/01/2016

Location: Health and Care Professions Council, Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BU

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegation

While working as a registered Paramedic for the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust:

 

1. You attended an incident involving Service User A on 27 October 2013 and you:

 

a. Did not ensure that the Patient Clinical Record was fully completed in that it did not record:

 

i. Unconscious duration

ii. Blood glucose level

iii. Intubation outcome

iv. Blood pressure

v. Past medical history

vi. ST elevation

vii. Record of minor head injury

viii. The time at which the observations were taken

 

b. Did not ensure that the reversible causes were acted upon sufficiently

 

c. Did not ensure that external cardiac compressions and/or cardio pulmonary resuscitation were continued

 

d. Did not ensure that drug therapy was continued

 

e. At the time when attempts were being made to resuscitate Service User A, you called to discuss a vehicle fault with:

 

i. the night crew at Tenby station

ii. the Clinical Control Centre

 

f. Did not ensure that Service User A was transported to hospital in a timely manner

 

g. Agreed to, and/or did not object to, Paramedic B leaving the scene

 

h. Did not travel in the back of the ambulance with Service User A whilst transporting Service User A to hospital

 

2. The matters set out in paragraph 1 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence

 

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

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Service

1.             The Panel is satisfied that good service has been effected by service of the Notice of hearing to the Registrant’s registered address by email and by letter dated 9 November 2015.

Proceeding in absence

2.             On behalf of the HCPC, Mr Pye invited the Panel to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. He submitted that the Registrant has voluntarily waived his right to attend and be represented.

3.             The Panel notes an email from the Registrant dated 18 November 2015 has confirmed that he is aware of the date, location and purpose of this hearing. In it the Registrant has indicated that he will not be attending the hearing, nor will a representative attend the hearing on his behalf. The Registrant has also stated that he is “happy for the hearing to proceed without [his] attendance.”

4.             The Panel has concluded that the Registrant has voluntarily waived his right to be present or represented at this hearing and that it is in the public interest and in the Registrant’s interest that this hearing should proceed in his absence.

Proceeding in private

5.             Mr Pye applied for part of the hearing to be conducted in private, on the basis that matters raised in the application for voluntary removal related to a debilitating health condition which affected the Registrant. It was Mr Pye’s submission that conducting the part of the hearing which dealt with that matter in private was a proportionate way to balance protection of the Registrant’s private life and the public interest in fitness to practice proceedings being heard in public.

6.             Having considered the HCPC Practice Note on “Conducting Hearings in Private” and accepting the advice of the Legal Assessor, the Panel has decided that in the circumstances of this case it is appropriate to hear those matters which touch on the Registrant’s health in private.

Background

7.             The Registrant was employed by the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (“the Trust”) as a Paramedic. On 27 September 2013, the Trust received a call in respect of a 72-year-old patient, Service User A. The call required an emergency ambulance response. The Registrant and an Emergency Medical Technician (“EMT”) attended the patient in an Emergency Ambulance. They were supported by an Advanced Paramedic Practitioner (“APP”) in a rapid response vehicle.

8.             Having examined Service User A and obtained a history, the crew diagnosed Service User A as being in cardiac arrest and initiated resuscitation measures.

9.             The Registrant made calls to the Clinical Control Centre and to the ambulance station whilst attempts were being made to resuscitate Service User A.

10.          There was a delay in making the decision to transport Service User A to hospital. On route to hospital the EMT attended to Service User A whilst the Registrant drove the vehicle. The APP did not travel with Service User A. Service User A was declared dead by the hospital team.

11.          The Registrant referred himself to the HCPC on 22 October 2013.

12.          Following a Serious Adverse Incident Investigation, the Registrant was called to a disciplinary hearing on 7 April 2015 to face allegations that his handing of the incident on 27 September 2013 amounted to Serious Misconduct or Gross Misconduct. The Trust disciplinary panel concluded that the case of Gross Misconduct against the Registrant was proved. The Trust disciplinary panel took into account mitigating circumstances, which included 37 years of unblemished service and a full and frank acceptance of the deficiencies in his practice on the day of the incident. The Trust decided to offer the Registrant a non-registered, non- professional role as an EMT coupled with a final written warning for a period of two years as an alternative to dismissal.

13.          On 22 July 2015, an Investigating Committee of the HCPC determined that there was a case to answer in respect of the Registrant’s misconduct or lack of competence. There was correspondence between the HCPC and the Registrant. The Registrant confirmed that he had admitted the allegations made against him in full at his disciplinary hearing. He explained that because of an on-going health condition he did not wish to remain on the register. He asked the HCPC to consider entering into a voluntary removal agreement with him.

14.          On 1 September 2015, the HCPC confirmed that it was willing to invite a Conduct and Competence Committee to dispose of the Registrant’s case by way of a voluntary removal agreement. The proposed agreement was sent to the Registrant together with a letter dated 13 November 2015. The HCPC and the Registrant have signed and dated the agreement to enable the allegation to be withdrawn, so that the Registrant’s name can be removed from the Register as if a striking off order had been made against him.

15.          The Registrant retired from his employment on 20 December 2015.

 

Decision

16.          Before reaching its decision in this case, the Panel carefully considered all of the information and evidence before it. It heard submissions made on behalf of the HCPC, considered the HCPC Practice Note on “Disposal of Cases By Consent” and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

17.          The Panel reminded itself that its primary function was public protection. In that regard, its task was to consider the proposal to deal with this case by agreeing to a voluntary removal of the Registrant from the Register. If the Panel is satisfied that such a removal would secure the necessary degree of public protection and would not be detrimental to wider public considerations, it could approve that proposal. If the Panel is not satisfied of these matters, then the appropriate course would be to reject the voluntary agreement proposal and set the case down for a full hearing before a different Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee.

18.          The Panel notes that this is a case where a Service User unfortunately died. There is always a public interest in ensuring that such cases are dealt with appropriately. Importantly, in this case there is no suggestion that the Registrant’s failings caused or contributed to the death of Service User A.

19.          The Panel is aware that the Registrant suffers from a debilitating health condition. Information before the Panel suggests that the Registrant considered that his health might have impacted on the original incident in October 2013.

20.          From the material and information before it, the Panel has not identified any aggravating features that might require this matter to proceed to a final hearing. The Panel notes that the Registrant has admitted the allegation. He also self-referred to the HCPC at an early stage. Further, the Registrant has retired from his employment with the Trust and does not wish to continue working as a Paramedic. In all these circumstances, this Panel is satisfied that the public will be adequately protected if the Registrant is permitted to enter into a voluntary removal agreement. Such an agreement is not detrimental to the public or wider public interest considerations.

21.          Accordingly, the Panel agrees that the voluntary removal agreement should be made.

Order

That the Registrar is directed to remove the name of Mr Michael A Tebbutt 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 Michael A Tebbutt

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
05/01/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed