Miss Amanda Levine

Profession: Physiotherapist

Registration Number: PH97706

Interim Order: Imposed on 12 Oct 2015

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 29/09/2016 End: 11:30 29/09/2016

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegation

During the course of your employment as a Physiotherapist within the Cardiothoracic Physiotherapy team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, between October 2014 and 31 August 2015 you:

1) Did not perform adequate assessments in relation to your patients including:
a. consistently addressing specific patient's needs;
b. consistently using assessment findings to identify patient's therapy needs and create problem lists/set patient goals.

2) Did not perform adequate intervention in relation to your patients including:
a. not adapting and modifying the treatment based on patient response;
b. not consistently facilitating timely and appropriate discharge planning;
c. not adequately informing/advising/instructing patient's around their physiotherapy management.

3) Did not demonstrate adequate communication including:
a. with MDT and patients on a regular basis;
b. in supervision meetings, teaching and peer lead discussion.

4) Did not demonstrate adequate professional development and reflection including:
a. self-awareness of own limitations;
b. identifying strengths and weaknesses in personal and others' therapy practice;
c. providing minimal input when formulating action plans and discussing areas of development

5) Did not consistently demonstrate an ability to risk assess situations and implement techniques safely.

6) The matters set out in paragraph(s) 1- 5 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

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

Finding

Preliminary Matters


Service of Notice and Proceeding in the Registrant’s Absence


1. The HCPC produced evidence that Notice of today’s hearing had been sent by way of letter which contained the full and correct details of today’s hearing. This letter had been sent using the appropriate postal service and posted in sufficient time on 16 August 2016 to the address shown on the HCPC’s register.  The Panel accepted that the rules relating to service of Notice had been complied with.

2. Mr Claughton for the HCPC made an application to proceed with the hearing in the Registrant’s absence. He advised that the Registrant had previously absented herself from HCPC hearings. He submitted service had been effected, all reasonable steps had been taken to serve notice and there was nothing to suggest an adjournment would secure the Registrant’s attendance.  He submitted that there was also a public interest in the matter proceeding today.

3. The Panel accepted the Legal Assessor’s advice on the matters to be considered. The Panel is aware that its discretion to proceed in absence is one which should be exercised with care.  The Legal Assessor gave advice to the Panel and referred it to the HCPC Practice Note on Proceeding in Absence and to the case of GMC v Adeogba [2016] EWCA Civ 162.  This makes clear that the first question the Panel should ask is whether all reasonable efforts have been taken to serve the practitioner with notice. Thereafter, if the Panel is satisfied in respect of notice, the discretion whether or not to proceed must be exercised having regard to all the circumstances of which the Panel is aware, balancing the interests of the practitioner against that of the HCPC and wider public interest with fairness to the practitioner being a prime consideration, but with fairness to the HCPC and the interests of the public also considered.  

4. The Panel having considered matters decided that it was fair and appropriate to proceed in the absence of the Registrant.  The Panel noted the Registrant has indicated her full acceptance of the Voluntary Removal Agreement (“VRA”) and she is aware of the hearing today.  Nothing would suggest that an adjournment would secure her attendance. Further, there was a public interest in proceeding today.

Background

Submissions for the HCPC


5. Mr Claughton told the Panel that the Registrant was a Physiotherapist in the Cardiothoracic Physiotherapist team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust between October 2014 and 31 August 2015. Various concerns arose as to the Registrant’s competence resulting in her being supervised and supported closely and placed on a formal Competency Programme. The Registrant subsequently resigned from her position with the Trust and was referred to the HCPC. 

6. Mr Claughton referred the Panel to the witness statements and to the allegations in the bundle.  The HCPC had found there was a case to answer.  The Registrant has now fully admitted the allegations, all as set out in the e-mails, letters and the VRA in the bundle.  He advised the Panel that the Registrant has engaged well with the HCPC and has told them that she has decided to cease practice and does not want to pursue her profession further.

7. Mr Claughton advised the Panel it must be satisfied on two issues – does the VRA provide the appropriate level of pubic protection, and secondly, is the VRA such that it is not detrimental to the wider public interest.  He advised that the HCPC is satisfied that in this case both issues are met. The allegations are competency focused and are fully admitted.  There was little public interest in holding a final hearing into those allegations.  The Registrant has agreed to leave the Register and has admitted the allegations in full in the VRA.

8. The Panel took the advice of the Legal Assessor who referred them to the HCPC Practice Note on Disposal of Cases by Consent and reminded them of the importance of full admissions by a Registrant of the allegation and the over-arching public interest, including the wider public interest. 

Decision


9. The Panel has reminded itself that it has to be satisfied that by adopting this process there is the appropriate level of public protection and that it would not be detrimental to the wider public interest.  It considered the submissions of the HCPC, the legal advice, the terms of the HCPC Practice Note and the VRA.   The Panel is aware that if it is not satisfied that the criteria have been met it may reject the VRA and allow the matter to proceed to a Final Hearing.

10. After careful consideration of all the information before it, the Panel has concluded that in all the circumstances of this case the approval of the proposed VRA is the appropriate course of action in this matter.  The VRA will protect the public, as the Registrant will be removed from the Register. The allegation covers issues of competence only and the Panel is satisfied that there would be no detriment to the wider public interest in that allegation not proceeding to a Final Hearing. The Registrant has made full admissions in the VRA which is signed and dated by her and the HCPC.

11. Accordingly, the Chair of the Panel has, on behalf of the Panel, signed and dated the Notice of Discontinuance which consents to the HCPC discontinuing these proceedings with immediate effect.

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Amanda Levine 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 Miss Amanda Levine

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
29/09/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed
09/09/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Conditions of Practice
23/06/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Conditions of Practice
04/04/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Conditions of Practice
13/10/2015 Investigating committee Interim Order Application Interim Conditions of Practice