Mrs Teresa A Polanska

Profession: Occupational therapist

Registration Number: OT32369

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 11/03/2016 End: 13:00 11/03/2016

Location: Scottish Health Service, Crewe Road South, Edinburgh, EH4 2LF

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegation

 During the course of your practice as an Occupational Therapist with NHS Fife between November 2009 to 18 March 2011:

1) You demonstrated poor record keeping in your patient records in that:

a) You did not record patient reasons for referral.

b) . You did not record patient consent and the nature of consent.

c) Patient identifiers were not properly recorded.

d) You did not properly record the date and your signature within patient notes.

e) You did not record the time of planned clinical activities.

f) Errors were not correctly amended and annotated.

g) You did not record details of your clinical reasoning, therapy purpose and patient progress.

h) You did not record the assessments and sessions intervention you carried out.

i) Your colleagues were not able to understand your notes because:

i. You did not use the correct terminologies and clinical terms.

ii. You were not clear and concise.

2) You demonstrated poor time management in that:

a) You did not prioritise your workload effectively.

b) You did not record your assessments and sessions with patients in a timely manner.

c) You were unable to identify the need to prepare for patient discharge and need to be prompted.

d) You were unable to judge how long patient interventions sessions would take.

e) You did not structure and direct your patient sessions to ensure that they were undertaken in a timely manner.

f) You did not effectively manage your caseload.

g) You did not effectively plan and prepare for sessions and home visits.

3) You demonstrated poor verbal communication skills in that:

a) You did not obtain all relevant information during initial interviews.

b) You did not listen to patients and respond appropriately.

c) You were not clear and concise.

4) You demonstrated poor clinical reasoning in that you were unable to explain your reasons and plan treatment after identifying the problem;

5) You were unable to set SMART goals in respect of patients;

6) REMOVED

7) You were unable to evaluate and grade activities;

8) You did not adequately assess and manage clinical risk;

9) The matters set out in 1 – 5, 7 and 8 amount to lack of competence.

10) By reason of that lack of competence, your fitness to practice is impaired.

Finding

Decision: 

1. The Panel heard submissions from both Ms Shenton and Ms Murray. At the outset of the hearing Ms Murray indicated that the Registrant intended to apply for registration with the Scottish Social Services Council “the SSSC”. Ms Murray told the Panel that there was some uncertainty about the effect of the proposed Voluntary Removal Agreement on the SSSC application. She asked the Panel for a short adjournment for further enquiries to be made of the SSSC in order to address Ms Polanska’s concerns about this. The Panel acceded to this request. When the hearing resumed, Ms Murray stated that the Registrant had been reassured by the response which had been given by the SSSC and was content to proceed with the hearing today to seek approval of the Voluntary Removal Agreement.    

2. The Panel heard from Ms Shenton about the allegations against the Registrant and the considerations which the HCPC has taken into account in proposing the Voluntary Removal Agreement. Ms Shenton submitted that there was no formal procedure for a Registrant to be removed from the HCPC Register while facing allegations that her fitness to practise is impaired. She explained that a Voluntary Removal Agreement had been agreed between the parties and she referred the Panel the HCPC’s Practice Notes on Disposal of Cases by Consent. She confirmed that the allegations related to lack of competence and invited the Panel to approve the Agreement.

3. In her submission to the Panel, Ms Shenton outlined the history of the case. At a hearing by a panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee held on 24 and 25 September 2012, the registrant’s fitness to practise was found to be impaired by reason of her lack of competence and a suspension order for a period of 12 months was imposed. That order was reviewed on 4 October 2013 and the suspension order was extended for a further period of 12 months. The order was again reviewed on 18 September 2014 and the suspension order was replaced by a conditions of practice order for a period of 18 months.

4. Ms Murray confirmed that the Registrant accepted that her fitness to practise is impaired by reason of her lack of competence and was content with the terms of the Voluntary Removal Agreement which properly reflected what had been agreed by the parties and had been signed by her. She said that she had admitted the allegations against her and recognised that her fitness to practise is impaired. 

5. The Panel has considered the submissions which it has received and also the documents contained in the bundle. The Panel noted that the allegations related to concerns about the Registrant’s practice as an Occupational Therapist including her failure to deal properly and appropriately with such matters as record keeping, time management, prioritising her workload, patient assessments, clinical reasoning and managing risk.

6. The Panel noted that the Registrant had worked as an Occupational Therapist for NHS Fife since 2001. The Panel noted that she appeared to have had a satisfactory career as a Band 7 practitioner in the Learning Disabilities Service until 2009 when an informal performance improvement process had been instituted. There followed a number of capability processes which had resulted in her banding being reduced to Band 5. However, it was found by NHS Fife that her performance had continued to fall far below the expected standards and her employment had been terminated on 18 March 2011.

7.  At the hearing today, the Registrant has confirmed that, although she has been working as an Assistant Care Manager and had attempted to improve her skills, she has not been working as an Occupational Therapist and sees no possibility of resuming her profession in the future. She therefore wishes to be removed from the Register.

8. The Panel had before it a Voluntary Removal Agreement which had been agreed between the Health and Care Professions Council and the Registrant and has been signed and executed by the parties, in terms of which the Registrant admitted the allegations which had been made against her and agreed that she will resign from the HCPC Register on the terms and conditions fully set out in that Agreement. A Declaration that there was no other matter of which the Registrant was aware which might give rise to any other allegation was also signed by the Registrant.

9. The Panel considered that the Voluntary Removal Agreement was a comprehensive agreement which clearly set out the basis for revoking the existing conditions of practice order. The Panel was satisfied that the public interest was well served by the provisions of the Voluntary Removal Agreement. In particular, the Panel was satisfied that public interest considerations, including maintenance of the reputation of the Occupational Therapy profession and upholding proper standards of conduct and competence, were adequately served by the removal of the Registrant’s name from the HCPC Register. On the basis of the submissions which it has received, the Panel considers that it is in the Registrant’s interests and also in the public interest to facilitate the removal of the Registrant from the HCPC by approving the Voluntary Removal Agreement. 

10. In reaching its decision, the Panel has accepted the submissions of both Ms Shenton and Ms Murray and has also accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel has therefore determined to approve the Voluntary Removal Agreement and to grant the Consent Order in the form accompanying the Voluntary Removal Agreement and to revoke the existing conditions of practice order.

Order

The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Teresa A Polanska from the Register with immediate effect.

Notes

This Conduct and Competence Committee Voluntary Removal Agreement Hearing is taking place at the Scottish Health Service Centre in Edinburgh on Friday 11 March 2016 at 10:00am.

 

If the removal is granted the registrant will not be permitted to seek readmission to the register for a period of 5 years.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mrs Teresa A Polanska

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
11/03/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed