Mrs Helen A Zenon

Profession: Dietitian

Registration Number: DT05525

Hearing Type: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 20/01/2016 End: 13:00 20/01/2016

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

Please note that the decision can take up to 5 working days to be uploaded onto the HCPTS website. Please contact one of our Hearings Team Managers via tsteam@hcpts-uk.org or +44 (0)808 164 3084 if you require any further information.

 

Allegation

During the course of your employment as a Dietitian, during August 2008 to July 2010, you:

1.     Added or accepted patients as friends on Facebook and shared personal information with them.

2.     Sent an email to a patient on 27 May 2010, and used unprofessional language in that you said “PITA” which meant ‘Pain in the Arse.’

3.     Did not store patient records appropriately in that you:

a.     Placed confidential patient records unsecurely on your desk.

b.     Placed reports in patient records when those reports expressly stated that they were not to be stored in patient records.

c.     Stored patient records from your previous role at Queen Mary’s Sidcup NHS Trust, on your desk, which you were not authorised to hold.

4.     You did not provide adequate patient care in that you did not complete follow-up actions after patient appointments and/or referrals.

 

Finding

Preliminary Matters:

1. This hearing was originally listed as the third review of a substantive Conditions of Practice Order made on 24 July 2013. By a letter dated 13 January 2016, from Thompsons Solicitors, on behalf of the Registrant, the HCPC was put on notice that the Registrant wishes to seek the voluntary removal of her name from the Register.

2. A Voluntary Removal Agreement [“VRA”], signed by the Registrant was received by the HCPC on 19 January 2016. It’s effective date, should the Panel agree that confirmation of the VRA is an appropriate course of action in this case, is 20 January 2016.

3. At the invitation of Miss Owusu-Akyem, on behalf of the HCPC, the Panel was invited to proceed to consider the revocation of the Conditions of Practice Order and confirmation of the VRA in place of the review hearing.

Service:

4. The Panel first considered an application to waive the standard notice period of 28 days, required by Rule 6(2) HCPC (Conduct & Competence Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 (“the Rules”), in respect of the disposal by consent.  Formal notice of the change in purpose of this hearing was communicated to the Registrant by way of a letter dated 15 January 2016. The Panel considered the submissions and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel agreed to proceed today notwithstanding the fact that the statutory notice period had not been observed.

5. The Panel is satisfied, on the proof of service documentation provided, that notice has been served, in accordance with Rules 3 & 13 of the Rules, in respect of the mandatory review hearing. The Registrant is in attendance and represented today.  Further, she is content to waive the notice period and there are no objections to this course of action. The Panel was therefore satisfied that the public interest and the interests of justice would be best served by it proceeding to hear the application today, there being an absence of prejudice to either party and bearing in mind the overriding public interest in cases being dealt with expeditiously.


The Original Allegation
During the course of your employment as a Dietitian, during August 2008 to July 2010, you:
1. Added or accepted patients as friends on Facebook and shared personal information with them.
2. Sent an e-mail to a patient on 27 May 2010, and used unprofessional language in that you said “PITA” which meant ‘Pain in the Arse’.
3. Did not store patient records appropriately in that you:
 a) Placed confidential patient records insecurely on your desk.
 b) Placed reports in patient records when those reports expressly stated that they were not to be stored in patient records.
 c) Stored patient records from your previous role at Queen Mary’s Sidcup NHS Trust, on your desk, which you were not  authorised to hold.
4. You did not provide adequate patient care in that you did not complete follow-up actions after patient appointments and/or referrals.
5. The matters set out in paragraphs 1, 2, 3a, 3b, 3c and 4 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.
6. By reason of your misconduct and/or lack of competence your fitness to practice is impaired.

Background:

6. At a hearing which took place from 22-24 July 2013, the allegation detailed above, was held to be well founded on the sole ground of misconduct. Accordingly, a Conditions of Practice Order was made for 12 months. This order was extended at a review hearing on 4 August 2014 for a further 12 months.  At a subsequent review hearing on 30 July 2015, the order was extended for a further six months, subject to amended terms, in order to allow the Registrant sufficient time to address the issues identified by the Committee in 2013.


Decision:

7. This is an application for revocation of a substantive Conditions of Practice Order and confirmation of a VRA, signed by the Registrant, with an operative date of 20 January 2016. 

8. The Panel has considered all of the information before it.  It has taken into account the submissions of Miss Owusu-Akyem on behalf of the HCPC and Ms Brown on behalf of Mrs Zenon and considered the terms of the VRA. It has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and noted the guidance in the HCPC Practice Note ‘Disposal of Cases by Consent’ dated August 2012.

9. The Panel noted that the Registrant has not worked in a dietetic role since 2012 and has come to the decision, after much reflection, that she will not practise as a Dietitian in the future. This demonstrates insight on the part of the Registrant into her abilities, given the lengthy period of opportunity provide by the HCPC for her to address the failings identified.

10. In these circumstances, the Panel considers that the appropriate level of public protection would be secured by acceding to the application.  Further, given the absence of evidence to suggest some of the issues identified by the Committee in 2013 have been remedied, the Panel is satisfied that the voluntary removal of Mrs Zenon’s name from the Register would not be detrimental to the wider public interest in maintaining confidence in the profession and the regulatory process. The Panel has also been encouraged by Mrs Zenon’s engagement with the HCPC throughout the fitness to practice process and that she has received appropriate legal advice.

11. Accordingly the Conditions of Practice Order is revoked immediately, on the basis that the Registrant wishes her name to be removed from the Register voluntarily, and the Voluntary Removal Agreement is confirmed. 

Order

Order:

The Registrar is directed to revoke the current Conditions of Practice Order and remove the name of Mrs Helen Zenon from the Register with immediate effect.

Notes

Ensure that the notes box includes ‘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 Mrs Helen A Zenon

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
20/01/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed