Mr Michael Udegbune

Profession: Biomedical scientist

Registration Number: BS46559

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 12/09/2016 End: 16:00 14/09/2016

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Struck off

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Allegation

While working as a registered Biomedical Scientist for University Hospital of North Durham, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, between April 2013 and April 2014 you:

1. On a number of occasions, you did not follow up and / or record following up Test results from external laboratories in that you:
a. did not update the Winpath system
b. did not complete the dedicated proforma

2. On a number of occasions, entered inaccurate information into the Winpath system in that you indicated test results were:
a. "not available" when this was not the case; and/or
b. "insufficient" when this was not the case;

3. Your actions at paragraph 2 were:
a. misleading and/or;
b. dishonest;

4. The matters set out in paragraphs 1-2 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence;

5. The matters set out in paragraph 3 constitute misconduct;

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

Finding

Preliminary matters:
Service of Notice
1. The notice of hearing was sent to the Registrant at his address as it appeared in the register on 7 June 2016. The notice contained the date, time and venue of today’s hearing in accordance with the Health and Care Professions Council (Conduct and Competence Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 (“the Rules”) and was sent within the specified notice period.
2. Accordingly the Panel is satisfied that notice of today’s hearing has been served in accordance with the rules.
Proceeding in the absence of the Registrant
3. The Panel then went on to consider whether to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. In doing so, it considered the submissions of Ms Mond Wedd on behalf of the HCPC.
4. Ms Mond Wedd submitted that the HCPC has taken all reasonable steps to serve the notice on the Registrant. She further submitted that the Registrant had engaged with the process and was aware of today’s proceedings. Ms Mond Wedd drew the Panel’s attention to the email dated 14 August 2016 wherein the Registrant stated that he would not be attending today’s hearing, would not be represented, and would not be calling any witnesses at the hearing. Ms Mond Wedd further submitted that it is implicit that the Registrant expects today’s hearing to proceed in his absence and that the Panel will take his representations into consideration. She submitted that the Panel can be satisfied that the Registrant’s absence today is voluntary and that he has waived his right to attend and to be represented. An adjournment would serve no useful purpose and there was a public interest in this matter being dealt with expeditiously.
5. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. He advised that if the Panel is satisfied that all reasonable efforts have been made to notify the Registrant of the hearing then the Panel has the discretion to proceed in the absence of the Registrant.
6. The Legal Assessor referred to the case of R v Jones [2002] UKHL 5 and the considerations therein, in relation to proceeding in a Registrant’s absence. He also referred the Panel to the case of GMC v Adeogba and Visvardis [2016] EWCA Civ 162. That case reminded the Panel that its primary objective is the protection of the public and of the public interest. In that regard, the case of Adeogba is clear that the “fair, economical, expeditious and efficient disposal of allegations made against medical practitioners is of very real importance”. It is also clear that “where there is good reason not to proceed, the case should be adjourned; where there is not, however, it is only right that it should proceed”.
7. It is clear from the principles derived from case law that the Panel is required to perform a balancing exercise to ensure that fairness and justice is maintained when deciding whether or not to proceed in a Registrant’s absence.
8. The Panel was satisfied that all reasonable efforts had been made by the HCPC to notify the Registrant of today’s hearing. The Registrant is clearly aware of today’s hearing as evidenced by his email.
9. In deciding whether to exercise its discretion to proceed in the absence of the Registrant, the Panel also took into consideration the HCPC practice note entitled ‘Proceeding in the Absence of a Registrant’. The Panel weighed its responsibilities for public protection and the expeditious disposal of the case with the Registrant’s right to a fair hearing.
10. In reaching its decision the Panel took into account the following:
• The Registrant has not made an application to adjourn today’s hearing, and implicit in his email dated 14 August 2016 is an expectation that proceedings today will proceed in his absence;
• The Registrant has engaged with the process and has submitted written representations;
• Witnesses have been warned, and have attended with the expectation that they will give evidence;
• There is a public interest that regulatory matters such as these are dealt with expeditiously.
11. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant had voluntarily absented himself from the hearing and had waived his right to be represented. It determined that it was very unlikely that an adjournment would result in the Registrant’s attendance at a later date. Having weighed the public interest in the expeditious disposal of this case with the Registrant’s own interest, the Panel decided to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.
Background:
12. The Registrant commenced employment as a Band 7 Senior Biomedical Scientist at Bishop Auckland Hospital (BAH) in 2006, part of the County Durham NHS Trust. He was transferred to the University Hospital North Durham’s (UHND) Department of Biochemistry in 2010.
13. The case concerns allegations that the Registrant incorrectly recorded a large backlog of tests as either ‘not available’ or ‘insufficient’. The concerns came to light when TL (Clinical Biochemistry Consultant) identified that there were a high number of entries of this nature on the system. He checked the results with the relevant external laboratories and it was identified that the results were in fact available. TL informed the Registrant’s line manager, RU (Blood Sciences Manager) of these allegations. RU conducted the investigation into these allegations.
14. The Panel heard oral evidence from TL and RU. It received a bundle of documents upon which the HCPC relied. It also received a bundle of documents sent to the HCPC by the Registrant, which contained his representations, training records and certificates.
Evidence of TL
15. TL gave evidence on oath. He told the Panel that he was the Consultant Clinical Scientist in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (“the Trust”) and that he had been in that role since April 2010. At the time of these matters, the Registrant was a Senior Biomedical Scientist in his department and TL has known him since TL started in the department in 2010.
16. TL told the Panel that he became concerned on a day at the beginning of April 2014 when he accessed the tests results queue on the WinPath system (the laboratory information management system) to review and authorise recently received results. He saw that a large backlog of test results was in the queue which showed a result of ‘not available or ‘insufficient’ without any corresponding hard copy report or completed proforma. He told the Panel that the referral of all tests to referral laboratories should be completed according to the Standard Operating Procedure (“SOP”) and that all laboratory staff are aware of the SOP as it is on the department’s data management system.
17. A test result is received from the referral laboratory in the form of a paper report and this is sent by post. The result should then be inputted into the WinPath system by a Biomedical Scientist or a Band 4 Scientist. Normally this would be done within 1-2 days of receipt of the paper copies but not longer than 5 working days.
18. TL told the Panel that when he looked into the large backlog of test results and the audit trail, he noticed the following:
a) There were two batches that were suspicious. The first had 21 test results which had the result of ‘not available’ or ‘insufficient’. The second batch had approximately 35 such results;
b) All these results related to tests that had been requested in July or August 2013 and so they had been overdue for at least 8 months;
c) The Registrant had inputted all of these results onto WinPath.
19. TL told the Panel that the backlog of test results was entered onto the system only a few days previously as he checked the test results queue several times a week. The purpose of his doing so was so that he could check what has been inputted into WinPath against the paper copy to ensure there is no transcription error, and also to forward on the results to the departments that requested the tests in the first place.
20. TL told the Panel that after he noticed the large backlog of suspicious results, he contacted the relevant referral laboratories. This was in relation to each result so as to check whether the entries ‘not available’ or ‘insufficient’ were in fact the correct results for these tests. He told the Panel that he contacted five referral laboratories to get the results, and he found out the following information:
a) Of the first batch of 21 suspicious test results, none of them had the result ‘not available’ or ‘insufficient’. All of them had actual results available;
b) Of the second batch of 35 suspicious test results, 15 of them did not have the result ‘not available’ or ‘insufficient’ and had actual test results;
c) Of the above actual results, all were available within the usual timescales.
21. TL provided computer printouts from the WinPath system. He confirmed that WinPath is the computer system which was used at the relevant time in the department for the input of test results. He confirmed that the WinPath was working normally at the time and that there was no problem with the system at that time as far as he was aware.
22. TL told the Panel that the Registrant was responsible for following up the test results if there was a delay and that it was his responsibility as the B7 in charge of his team to input the test results in a timely manner. The Registrant could have delegated that responsibility but he did not do so.
23. TL told the Panel that the delay in those results reaching the relevant requesting departments could have had serious ramifications. He gave the example of one of the test results, which related to a blood test for a new born baby who was found to be hypoglycaemic. That sample was the only sample available as it would have been too dangerous for the medical team to repeat it. This is because that would involve inducing hypoglycaemia in that infant, and that procedure can only be attempted in a tertiary paediatric centre. The test result had been available from 20 October 2013 and the Registrant’s failure to obtain and/or input those results when they were available meant there was a serious delay. Further the Registrant’s actions in 2014 of entering ‘not available’ meant that medically relevant information was not available to support the eventual diagnosis that the infant suffered from a condition related to insulin secretion.
Evidence of RU
24. RU gave evidence on oath. He told the Panel that he was the Registrant’s line manager and that when TL brought these matters to his attention he carried out an investigation into them. RU told the Panel that his line management responsibilities included managing the Department of Blood Sciences at UHND. The Registrant was a Band 7 Senior Biomedical Scientist and he was in charge of the Manual section. The Registrant’s role was to supervise the functioning of the Manual section, which included the completion of tests in the department and the referral of tests that could not be completed by the department.
25. RU had known the Registrant since 2006 and was his line manager from 2013. He worked with the Registrant on a daily basis but did not work directly with him. He confirmed that the Registrant was aware of the SOP and that the Registrant had signed an acknowledgement that he had read and understood the SOP.
26. RU told the Panel that there are tests that come to the department which cannot be completed onsite. In those circumstances, they are referred to specialist laboratories. Once the results are received they are entered into WinPath. He confirmed that all staff members had access to WinPath. He also outlined the procedure to be followed on the referral of the test to a specialist laboratory and how to process that result.
27. The main points about the process was that:
a) WinPath has an inbuilt turnaround time for each test, which can be 20 or 30 days depending on the test referred. If that time limit is exceeded the system automatically notes it and generates an ‘incomplete list’;
b) The results that are outstanding should be chased by telephoning the referral laboratory to request the result, and it is the responsibility of the Biomedical Scientist to do this on at least a weekly basis;
c) When the referral laboratory is contacted as above, then a Telephone Enquiry Form (‘the proforma’) should be completed as per the SOP, noting what the outcome was;
d) If the test result is not yet available, the reason why should be written on the proforma. What is written on the proforma must then be recorded on WinPath.
28. RU told the Panel that no proformas could be found in relation to the suspicious backlog identified by TL. No proforma was apparently completed, nor any entry on WinPath within a reasonable time, or at any time before the entries made by the Registrant.
29. RU told the Panel that at the Registrant’s disciplinary hearing, the Registrant stated that he had received the test results by fax and by calling the referral laboratories on the telephone. Further, he asserted that the results he had inputted into the system were what he had been told by the laboratories. The hearing was adjourned for further investigations to be carried out. RU told the Panel that he obtained the telephone and fax records from the telephones in the department and he exhibited those records.
30. RU told the Panel that he ascertained the relevant times when the Registrant could have contacted the laboratories by telephone by looking at the times when the Registrant was working around the time he entered those results into the system. RU told the Panel that his analysis revealed that no telephone calls were made to the referral laboratories during the relevant period. RU added that the records also showed that only one fax from a referral laboratory was received which was two months prior to the comments entered into WinPath by the Registrant. Furthermore, there was also confirmation from the Birmingham referral laboratory that it does not provide test results by fax.
31. RU told the Panel that when he pointed out the absence of any proformas in relation to those results, the Registrant said that he had filled them in and had put them into the appropriate box for processing.
32. RU told the Panel that when the disciplinary hearing reconvened, and the Registrant was shown the above evidence, he changed his story and stated that he had requested some of the results by email but did not provide any reason for not mentioning this sooner, nor any evidence to support his story.
33. RU told the Panel that there are serious consequences of Biomedical Scientists not chasing and inputting the correct results of tests. RU provided some background information regarding the patients whose specimen samples were being tested. The Registrant’s failure to chase the outstanding test results affected the management of these patients’ care. This meant that the diagnosis and provision of treatment to these patients were delayed for no good reason. In addition, some of the patients were very young infants who were therefore particularly vulnerable.
Decision on Facts:
34. The Panel considered all the evidence in this case together with the submissions made by Ms Mond Wedd on behalf of the HCPC.
35. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor who reminded the Panel that the burden of proof rests with the HCPC, and that the Registrant need not disprove anything. The Legal Assessor also reminded the Panel that the standard of proof is the civil standard, namely the balance of probabilities. This means that if the Panel was satisfied that it was more likely than not a factual particular occurred as alleged then it must find that Particular proved.
36. The Panel found TL and RU to be honest, credible and knowledgeable witnesses. Both witnesses impressed the Panel in that their evidence was clear, and consistent with other evidence in the case.
37. In relation to the computer evidence, the Panel was satisfied that if the contents of the computer printouts were given by direct oral evidence, they would be admissible in evidence. Furthermore, the Panel was satisfied that when the computer printouts were produced:
a) WinPath was used regularly to store the information for the purposes of the department;
b) the information contained in the printouts was of a kind regularly supplied to WinPath in the ordinary course of the activities of the department;
c) the computer system and WinPath were operating properly; and
d) the information contained in the printouts reproduces, and is derived from, information supplied to the computer and WinPath in the ordinary course of the activities of the department.
38. As such the Panel determined that the computer printouts were admissible to prove the facts contained therein.
39. The Panel firstly considered the each of the particulars of the allegation in turn, and made the following findings:
Particular 1
40. The Registrant did not attend the hearing today, and therefore the Panel did not have the opportunity of hearing from him. The Panel took into consideration his written representations put before it which amounted to a denial of all the factual particulars, but provided no explanation or evidence. However, the Panel took into account the explanations he had provided previously to the investigation by RU and at the disciplinary hearing. The Panel determined that the Registrant’s explanations were fanciful and improbable.  The obligation was on the Registrant to follow up and record test results within a reasonable time. It was highly unlikely that five different laboratories would have provided the Registrant with wrong test results in relation to so many referrals.
41. The reliable evidence is clear and cogent. In the circumstances, the reasonable and common sense conclusion from the evidence is that the Registrant did not follow up and/or record the outstanding test results from the external laboratories. This is evidenced by the fact that the results were available from the laboratories within a reasonable time of each referral, the absence of any hard copy paperwork in relation to those referrals, and the absence of any update on the WinPath system within a reasonable time of the results being available.   For the avoidance of doubt, the Panel does not consider the entries made in 2014 by the Registrant to be within a reasonable time, since they were made some 8-9 months after results were available. This is the case even if the results recorded were correct, which they were not.
42. Particular 1 is found proved.
Particular 2
43. The evidence is clear in relation to this particular. There were full results available from the five referral laboratories in relation to the tests to which the Registrant had entered “not available” and “insufficient” onto the WinPath system. Therefore the information the Registrant entered was inaccurate.
44. Particular 2 is found proved.
Particular 3(a)
45. In relation to those test results, the evidence is that the correct results would have been available to the Registrant had he checked with the referral laboratories, either when he should have done or just before he made those entries. It is implicit in the words “not available” and “insufficient” that the Registrant did make those checks. The evidence is that he did not, and therefore his actions in making those entries were misleading and intended to mislead.
46. Particular 3(a) is found proved.
Particular 3(b)
47. The Panel determined that, on the balance of probabilities, the Registrant’s actions would be considered to be dishonest by the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest Biomedical Scientists.
48. The Panel then went on to consider whether the Registrant himself must have realised that his actions at that time would be regarded as dishonest by those standards. The Panel reminded itself that dishonesty is a very serious allegation for any professional to face. The Panel reminded itself of the Legal Assessor’s advice as to good character, and how the Registrant’s good character might make a difference in its consideration.
49. However, the evidence in this case, and the Registrant’s own representations and accounts given at various times, exclude the possibility that his actions were due to inadvertence, carelessness, recklessness or negligence. These were intentional acts, and the Registrant must have realised that they would be considered to be dishonest by the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest Biomedical Scientists.
50. Particular 3(b) is found proved.
Decision on Grounds:
51. Having made its findings on fact, the Panel heard further submissions from Ms Mond Wedd on behalf of the HCPC.
52. Ms Mond Wedd submitted that Misconduct was the appropriate statutory ground to be applied in this case. The HCPC’s case was that the actions of the Registrant were intentional and not from a lack of competence on the part of the Registrant.
53. Ms Mond Wedd submitted that the Registrant had breached the following paragraphs of the HCPC’s standards of conduct, performance and ethics: 8,10, and 13.
54. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. He referred the Panel to the decisions in the following cases:
a) Andrew Francis Holton v General Medical Council [2006] EWHC 2960
b) Calhaem v GMC [2007] EWHC 2606 (Admin)
c) Roylance v GMC (2000) 1 AC 311
55. The Panel reminded itself that there is a two stage process in relation to impairment by reason of lack of competence and/or misconduct. The Panel recognised that it must first consider whether, on the facts found proved, the Registrant’s behaviour constituted a lack of competence and/or misconduct, and secondly, if applicable, whether his fitness to practise is currently impaired by reason of that lack of competence and/or misconduct.
56. As stated above, the panel exercised its own judgement in determining the issue before it. In considering the Registrant’s fitness to practise, the panel reminded itself of its duty to protect patients and its wider duty to protect the public interest which includes the declaring and upholding of proper standards of conduct and behaviour, and the maintenance of public confidence in the profession and the regulatory process
57. The Panel considered that on the facts found proved the Registrant had breached the following paragraphs of the HCPC’s standards of conduct, performance and ethics:
1.  You must act in the best interests of service users.
10. You must keep accurate records.
13. You must behave with honesty and integrity and make sure that your behaviour does not damage the public’s confidence in you or your profession.
58. The Panel also determined that the Registrant had breached the following paragraphs of the HCPC’s standards of proficiency for Biomedical Scientists:
Registrant biomedical scientists must:
1a.1 Be able to practise within the legal and ethical boundaries of their profession.
1a.5 be able to exercise a professional duty of care
2b.5 be able to maintain records appropriately
2c.2 be able to audit, reflect on and review practice
59. The Panel reminded itself of the advice of the Legal Assessor. He had reminded the Panel that misconduct is “a word of general effect, involving some act or omission which falls short of what would be proper in the circumstances”. He stressed that Misconduct is qualified by the word “serious”. It is not any professional misconduct which will qualify.
60. The Panel reminded itself that not every instance of falling short of what would be proper in the circumstances, and not every breach of the HCPC standards would be sufficiently serious such as to amount to misconduct in this context. Therefore, the Panel has had careful regard to the context and circumstances of the matters found proved.
61. The Panel considered that the facts found proved were serious enough so as to amount to Misconduct for the purposes of these proceedings. The Panel considered that the Registrant’s actions involved:
a) a serious failure on the part of the Registrant by not obtaining the results of tests in good time as he should have done;
b) the failure to act appropriately and obtain the said results before dealing with them on WinPath, notwithstanding eight to nine months had passed;
c) the concealment of his failure by entering false information into the computer system with the intent to deliberately mislead; and
d) the serious possible consequences of delay in the provision of diagnosis and care to a significant number of patients, some of whom were very vulnerable.
62. The Panel noted that there was no evidence that the Registrant lacked competence in any regard as to his practice and the Panel has already determined that his actions were intentional acts as opposed to inadvertent, careless, reckless, or negligent acts. Accordingly the Panel finds that all the facts found proved amount to the statutory ground of Misconduct.
Decision on Impairment:
63. The Panel then went on to consider, on the basis of the matters found proved, whether the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired by reason of his misconduct. It took into account the submissions of Ms Mond Wedd and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.
64. The Legal Assessor drew the Panel’s attention to the test set out in the case of CHRE v NMC and Grant (2011) EWHC 927 (Admin), and reminded the Panel that there was a personal and public component when considering whether the Registrant’s fitness to practise was currently impaired.
65. For this purpose, the Panel adopted the approach formulated by Dame Janet Smith in her fifth report of the Shipman inquiry by asking itself the following questions:
“Do our findings of fact in respect of the Registrant’s misconduct show that his fitness to practise is impaired in the sense that he:
a) has in the past acted and/or is liable in the future to act so as to put patient or patients at unwarranted risk of harm; and/or
b) has in the past brought and/or is liable in the future to bring the Biomedical Scientist profession into disrepute; and/or
c) has in the past breached and/or is liable in the future to breach one of the fundamental tenets of the Biomedical Scientist profession?; and/or
d) has in the past acted and/or is liable in the future to act dishonestly?”
66. The Panel determined that the answers to all the above questions are in the affirmative in relation to past, and future possible conduct. In coming to its decision it took into account the following factors:
a) These matters occurred within the context of the Registrant’s hereto unblemished career;
b) There is no evidence that the Registrant has reflected on his misconduct. He has not attended the hearing to provide evidence of such, nor does the bundle of documents he has submitted provide any such evidence;
c) Without insight, there can only be limited remediation. There has been no evidence of any action taken by the Registrant to remedy his misconduct;
d) Within the bundle of documents which the Registrant submitted, he has included certificates of completion for various courses he has completed online. However none of the courses were relevant to the issues of integrity and honesty;
e) The Registrant’s actions may have compromised the integrity of the diagnosis and treatment of the patients involved;
f) The Registrant has not accepted responsibility. He attempted to deflect blame onto others, despite strong evidence to the contrary.
67. The Panel also determined that the Registrant’s misconduct was such that the need to uphold professional standards and public confidence in the profession would be undermined if a finding of impairment were not made.
68. Therefore, the Panel determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired on both the personal and public interest considerations.
Decision on Sanction:
69. The Panel heard the submission of Ms Mond Wedd. She submitted that these were serious matters and honesty was a fundamental tenet of any profession. She further submitted that the Registrant’s misconduct directly affected patients. She pointed out that the Registrant has not provided any evidence of insight or remorse.
70. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.  The Panel had regard to all the evidence presented, and to the HCPC’s Indicative Sanctions Policy. The Panel reminded itself that a sanction is not to be punitive although it may have a punitive effect. The Panel bore in mind the principles of fairness and proportionality when determining what the appropriate sanction in this case should be.
71. The Panel considered the aggravating factors in this case to be:
a) The Registrant has not demonstrated any insight or remorse;
b) The Registrant was in a position of trust and his misconduct was a serious breach of trust;
c) His misconduct meant there was a serious risk of harm to others;
d) His actions were dishonest, and he maintained his dishonesty during the investigation, disciplinary hearing and to the HCPC;
e) His misconduct could have resulted in a vulnerable person being at high risk of harm;
f) The Registrant’s dishonesty was directly related to his role as a Biomedical Scientist;
g) The Registrant attempted to blame others for his misconduct;
h) There is no evidence of training having been undertaken which deals with the issues in this case, for example, ethics and record keeping.
72. The Panel considered the following to be mitigating features in this case:
a) There have been no previous referrals to the HCPC in relation to this Registrant;
b) There is no evidence of actual harm being caused to others.
73. In considering the matter of sanction, the Panel started with the least restrictive moving upwards.
74. The Panel first considered taking no action but concluded that, given the seriousness of the Registrant’s misconduct, this would be wholly inappropriate.
75. The Panel then considered whether to make a Caution Order. The Panel was mindful of its finding that the Registrant was likely to repeat his misconduct. Furthermore, these are matters that involved dishonesty on the part of the Registrant in relation to a large number of tests, which affected a significant number of patients. These matters are too serious for a Caution Order to be considered appropriate.
76. The Panel next considered the imposition of a Conditions of Practice Order. The Panel has found that the Registrant has not demonstrated insight into his misconduct. This was not a case where the Registrant’s clinical skills are in question. There are no identifiable areas of his practice, which might benefit from re-training. The Panel has no information as to the Registrant’s current circumstances nor does it have any information as to whether the Registrant would be willing to comply with Conditions of Practice. In any case, these are matters involving attitudinal issues, which cannot be addressed by the imposition of Conditions of Practice.
77. Taking into account all of the above, the Panel concluded that conditions could not be formulated which would adequately address the risk posed by the Registrant, and in doing so protect patients, colleagues and the public during the period they are in force.
78. The Panel went on to consider whether a period of suspension would be appropriate in this case. A period of suspension would be appropriate if the Registrant had demonstrated insight into his misconduct such that there was not a significant risk of repetition, and also if there was no evidence of deep seated-personality or attitudinal problems.
79. Unfortunately, that is not the case here. The Registrant has disengaged from the process, and has not provided any evidence of insight or remorse.  The Registrant has breached a fundamental tenet of the profession and the Panel has determined that there is a significant risk of repetition of his misconduct. The Panel took into consideration that a Suspension Order would prevent the Registrant from practising for a period. However, the Panel determined that such an order would not be appropriate because public confidence in the Profession and the regulatory process would be undermined in the circumstances of this case were a Suspension Order to be imposed. The Registrant has continued to deny any wrong doing, his acts were serious and deliberate, and he has not shown any insight or remorse.
80. In that light, the Panel determined that even the maximum period of suspension would not serve to protect the public in the long term or to protect the wider public interest.
81. Therefore, the Panel is satisfied that the only appropriate and proportionate response to protect the public and the wider public interest in these circumstances is to make a Striking Off Order.

Order

Order:


That the Registrar is directed to strike the name of Mr Michael Udegbune from the Register on the date this order comes into effect.


 

Notes

The order imposed today will apply from 12 October 2016. An Interim Suspension Order has been imposed to cover the immediate period and any appeal period.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Michael Udegbune

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
12/09/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Struck off