Mr Martin Grogan
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During the course of your employment as a Paramedic with North West Ambulance NHS Trust; you
1. Deliberately caused delays during the course of your shifts in order to:
a. Claim for late and/or missed meal breaks; and/or
b. To manipulate an on-time and/or early finish to your shifts:
i. On 12 April 2015;
ii. On 10 May 2015;
iii. On 14 May 2015;
iv. On 27 May 2015;
v. On 7 June 2015;
vi. On 5 August 2015; and
vii. On 5 May 2015.
2. The matters described in Particulars 1(a) – (b) are dishonest.
3. The matters described in Particulars 1-2 constitute misconduct.
4. By reason of your misconduct, your fitness to practise is impaired.
1. The Panel was informed by the Hearings Officer that notice of this Voluntary Removal Panel hearing was sent to the Registrant’s registered address by letter dated 18 September 2017. The Panel was satisfied that notice had been properly served as required by the Rules.
Proceeding in absence:
2. Mr Demissie applied for the hearing to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. The Panel received and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor who advised that the Panel’s discretion to proceed in the Registrant’s absence should only be exercised with the utmost care and caution and should have regard to the public interest in the expeditious disposal of cases.
3. The Panel was satisfied that notice of this hearing was sent to the Registrant’s registered address and had been served in accordance with the rules. The Panel concluded that the Registrant had voluntarily absented himself and there was no evidence that he would attend an adjourned hearing. The Panel noted that the purpose of this hearing was to consider the terms of a voluntary removal agreement agreed between the HCPC and the Registrant which had been signed by him. The Panel considered that it was in the public interest and in the Registrant’s interests that the agreement should be considered expeditiously. Accordingly, the Panel decided to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.
4. The Registrant is a registered Paramedic. At the time of the allegation, he was seconded to the Ambulance Liaison Office west sector of greater Manchester area. The Registrant had been employed by North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (‘the Trust’) since 6 February 2006. Following the allegations, which were received by the service that the registrant was manipulating the meal break system by deliberately causing delays during shifts. A brief audit was undertaken, which identifies some irregularities. Following disciplinary proceedings taken by the Trust the Registrant was dismissed and the matter was referred to the HCPC.
5. On 14 May 2017, the Registrant requested that he be allowed to be removed from the register by way of a voluntary removal agreement. Subsequently, a voluntary removal agreement was signed by the Registrant and the HCPC.
6. The Panel heard submissions from Mr Demissie who submitted that the Registrant had voluntarily absented himself. Mr Demissie further submitted that, the HCPC was satisfied that voluntary removal from the Register was an appropriate disposal of this case and would protect the public and was in the public interest. This was because its effect was the same as a strike-off from the Register following a finding of impairment of fitness to practise in that it would prevent the Registrant from practising or applying to re-join the Register for a period of five years.
7. The Panel received and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.
8. The Panel first reminded itself of the guidance offered in the HCPTS Practice Note entitled “Disposal of Cases by Consent”. The Panel noted that it had the power to adopt one of two courses of action:
i. to deal with the case in an expedited manner by approving the proposal set out in the Voluntary Removal Agreement;
ii. to reject the proposal and set the matter down for a substantive hearing.
9. The Panel noted that the Registrant had admitted the allegation, had acknowledged his misconduct and had accepted that his fitness to practise is impaired by signing the Voluntary Removal Agreement. The Panel considered that the dishonesty in this case was not the most serious.
10. In terms of patient protection, the allegations cover specific dates between April and August 2015. The misconduct in this case involved some financial loss to the Trust. In addition, some potential harm could have been caused to patients as a result of an ambulance not being available. Whilst a Striking Off Order could be considered at any substantive hearing, the Panel was satisfied that the public would be protected by the Voluntary Removal Agreement which has the same effect as a striking off order. Accordingly, the Panel was satisfied that the signed Voluntary Removal Agreement was a proportionate and appropriate response.
11. With regard to the public interest, the Panel believe that that Voluntary Removal Agreement serves the public purpose in that its publication on the HCPC website will act as a deterrent for others and preserve the reputation of the profession and the regulator. Furthermore, it will save the cost of a full substantive hearing.
12. For all these reasons, the Panel considered it appropriate to approve the signed Voluntary Removal Agreement dated 29 October 2017.
ORDER:The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Mr Martin Grogan from the register with immediate effect.
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.
History of Hearings for Mr Martin Grogan
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|18/12/2017||Conduct and Competence Committee||Voluntary Removal Agreement||Voluntary Removal agreed|