Ms Elizabeth Sarah Kincaid

Profession: Occupational therapist

Registration Number: OT34184

Hearing Type: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 12:30 14/07/2016 End: 16:00 14/07/2016

Location: Health and Care Professions Council, 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Conditions of Practice

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Allegation

**Redacted Allegation

 

Whilst registered as an Occupational Therapist, on 27 February 2013 at Colchester Magistrates Court you:

 

1. Received a conviction

 

2. By reason of your conviction as set out at paragraph 1 your fitness to practise is impaired

Finding

Proceeding in private
1. The Panel heard submissions on whether to go into private session if any reference to the Registrant’s health was to be given in detail during the hearing. The Panel accepted the Legal Assessor’s advice and it noted Rule 10 of the Health and Care Professions Council’s Conduct and Competence Committee (Procedure) Rules 2003. The Panel allowed parts of the hearing to be in private, should it arise, where the Registrant’s private and family life, including any medical condition, might be raised.

Background
2. The above conviction speaks for itself. The Registrant self-referred herself to the HCPC. At the Final Hearing, the Panel determined that the heath condition which led to the conviction remains and that as a result the Registrant's fitness to practise was impaired. That Panel imposed a Suspension Order for nine months which was reviewed in the last occasion when the Conditions of Practice Order was imposed. The Panel on the last occasion found that the Registrant had significant insight and had taken active steps to address her health condition.
Submissions

3. Mr Chan, on behalf of the HCPC, submitted that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remained impaired. He recognised the progress that she had made, but also pointed out that there was no evidence that the Registrant was able to return to unrestricted practice. He told the Panel that the Registrant accepted that her fitness to practice remains impaired and that it was an indication of the insight that the Registrant possessed into her health condition.

4. The Registrant gave evidence on oath. She told the Panel that apart from a relapse of 12 days in April 2016, she had complied with the conditions imposed upon her practice. She also gave evidence of a support network that she has in place and of the coping mechanisms to be used when faced with stressful situations in the future.

5. The Registrant told the Panel that she had worked as an Occupational Therapist locum for six weeks at Broomfield Hospital in the accident and emergency department. She produced evidence of a supervision session and a draft Personal Development Plan created during her time there. She stated that it had not been completed because of the shortness of time she had worked there. She told the Panel that she remained committed to returning to practice as an Occupational Therapist and that she hoped to find further employment in the near future in a less pressurised environment. She informed the Panel that she was no longer disqualified from driving, and that this would assist her in obtaining employment as an Occupational Therapist.

Decision
6. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Legal Assessor reminded the Panel that its purpose today was to conduct a comprehensive appraisal of the Registrant to determine if she was fit to return to unrestricted practice. Its role is not to conduct a rehearing of the allegations nor is it to go behind the previous findings. He advised that in carrying out this assessment, the Panel must exercise its own independent judgment.

7. The Legal Assessor advised the Panel that if it determined the Registrant’s fitness to practise remained impaired then, any of the options under Article 30 of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001 could be exercised by the Panel. He advised the Panel that it should bear in mind the principle of fairness and proportionality and had regard to the Indicative Sanctions Policy document issued by the HCPC. He reminded the Panel that any order that it makes under Article 30 should not be punitive in purpose, and that it should be the least restrictive order that would suffice to protect the public and/or is otherwise in the public interest.

8. The Panel first considered whether the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired. The Panel took into consideration all the documentation before it, the oral evidence of the Registrant and the submissions of both parties.

9. The Panel was impressed by the Registrant’s insight, her efforts and the progress made by her in her rehabilitation. However the Panel noted she had not completed her PDP so had not yet fulfilled the current Conditions of Practice.

10. Having determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practice remained impaired by reason of the conditions which led to the conviction, the Panel went on to consider what action to take today. The Panel took into account the HCPC’s Indicative Sanctions Policy document and considered its powers under Article 30(1).

11. The Panel first considered taking no further action and allowing the Order to lapse upon expiry. The Panel determined that this was not appropriate as the Registrant’s fitness to practise remains impaired today and taking no action would neither protect the public nor be in the public interest. 

12. The Panel went on to consider whether to impose a Caution Order upon the expiry of the current order. For the reason set out above, the Panel determined that the imposition of a Caution Order upon expiry of the current order is not appropriate.

13. The Panel next considered the imposition of a current Conditions of Practice Order and determined that it was the appropriate and proportional response that would protect the public and also protect the public interest. It determined that workable and measurable conditions could be drafted that would not only protect the public and the public interest but which would also enable the Registrant ultimately to return to unrestricted safe practice.

14. The Panel considered extending the order for suspension but considered that this would be disproportionate taking into account the Registrant’s engagement with the process, her level of insight and the active remediation that she has undertaken.

15. The Panel has determined that pursuant to Article 30(1) of the 2001 Order that conditions of practise be imposed upon the Registrant’s practice for a period of 12 months upon the current Order lapsing on 28 July 2016. The Order would provide a framework, structure and time to enable the Registrant to fully remediate the shortcomings in her practice and demonstrate that her practice is no longer impaired by reason of the underlying health condition which led to the conviction.

16. It is open to the Registrant to seek an early review of this order under Article 30(2) of the 2001 Order.

Order

Order
 The Registrar is directed to extend the Conditions of Practice Order against the registration of Ms Elizabeth Sarah Kincaid for a further period of 12 months on the expiry of the existing order. 
Terms of the Conditions of Practice Order:
Conditions relating to your practice as an Occupational Therapist

1. You must notify the HCPC within 14 days of any Occupational Therapist appointment (whether paid or unpaid) you accept within the United Kingdom or elsewhere and provide the HCPC with contact details of your employer.

2. At any time that you are employed or otherwise providing services as an Occupational Therapist you must place yourself and remain under the supervision of a workplace line manager, mentor or supervisor nominated by your employer. Such supervision is to include the formulation within 14 days of starting work of a Personal Development Plan designed to ensure that within three months of resuming your practice as an Occupational Therapist you are fully up-to-date with your professional knowledge and practice in accordance with the HCPC’s Returning to Practice guidance.

3. You must send a report from your line manager, mentor or supervisor (or their nominated deputy) setting out the standard of your performance and your progress towards achieving the aims set out in your Personal Development Plan to the HCPC at least 14 days before the review of this Order.

4. Redacted

5. You must attend regular meetings of any other recognised support group, and you must provide the HCPC with evidence of your attendance at such meetings on request and, in any event, at least 14 days before any review of this Order.

6. You must place yourself and remain under the care of a general practitioner (GP) and attend upon them as required by them and follow their advice and recommendations. You must inform your GP that you are subject to a Conditions of Practice Order under HCPC’s fitness to practise procedures and disclose the conditions to them.

7. You must allow your GP to exchange information about your health, treatment and compliance with this Conditions of Practice Order to the HCPC at least 14 days before any review of this order.

8. You must promptly inform the HCPC of any criminal or professional disciplinary proceedings taken against you within 14 days of you being aware of them.

9. You must inform the following parties that your registration is subject to these conditions:

a) any organisation or person employing or contracting with you to undertake work as an Occupational Therapist;

b) any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered with as an Occupational Therapist (at the time of application)

c) any prospective employer seeking to employ you as an Occupational Therapist ( at the time of application)

10. You will be responsible for meeting any and all costs associated with complying with these conditions.

11. Any condition requiring you to provide information to or obtain the approval of the HCPC is to be met by you sending the information or request for approval to the offices of the HCPC marked for the attention of the Director of Fitness to Practise.

Notes

This Order will be reviewed on or before 28 July 2017 or earlier if  new evidence  which is relevant to that Order becomes available after it was made.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Ms Elizabeth Sarah Kincaid

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
14/07/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
29/06/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Adjourned
15/12/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice