Miss Anne F Young
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1. The Panel was informed that the Notice of Hearing was sent to the Registrant’s address as it appears on the Register on 20 October 2016. Accordingly, the Panel concluded that service had been complied with in accordance with Rule 3 of the HCPC (Health Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 (“the Rules”).
Proceeding in the absence of the Registrant
2. Ms Sheridan submitted that in accordance with Rule 11 of the Rules, it was appropriate to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. Ms Sheridan invited the Panel to consider that the Registrant’s absence was a voluntary one. She submitted that no unfairness would be caused to the Registrant and that it was clear from the telephone note of a conversation with the Registrant dated 5 May 2016 that she would not be attending due to the stress the process is causing her and its effect upon her health.
3. The Panel considered the submissions made, the advice of the Legal Assessor and the content of the HCPC’s Practice Note “Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant”. The Panel considered the factors set out in the case of R v Jones  EWCA Crim 168 and has decided to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. There has been very limited engagement from the Registrant. She has been served with the medical report, and has not provided any evidence or submissions herself so she has not engaged on the actual issues save for attending the medical appointment. The Panel is aware that in the telephone note of 5 May 2016 the Registrant refers to continuing health difficulties. The Notice of Hearing has been served in accordance with the Rules but the Registrant has not requested an adjournment, so the Panel concludes it is unlikely she would attend even if the hearing adjourned today. Indeed, in the telephone note the Registrant stated she would not be attending the final hearing as she felt unable to do so. That telephone conversation took place in May 2016 and there has been no contact from the Registrant since. The Panel has no information on her current situation, whether she is currently employed and there is therefore a public interest issue in this matter being heard as soon as is possible. The Panel is also mindful that an expert witness is in attendance to give evidence today.
4. The Panel is satisfied that it is both in the public interest and indeed in the Registrant’s own interests to conclude the hearing without further delay and therefore is satisfied that it is appropriate and proportionate to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.
Application for the hearing to be heard in private.
5. Ms Sheridan then made an application for this hearing to be conducted in private under Rule 10(1)(a) of the Rules. She advised the Panel that much of the evidence it will hear relates to the Registrant’s health.
6. The Panel considered the submissions made, the advice of the Legal Assessor and the HCPC Practice Note ‘Conducting Hearings in Private’. The Panel, having read the contents of the hearing bundle, is aware that much of the evidence within that bundle relates to the Registrant’s health. Having considered this, the Panel finds, on balance, that the open justice principle is outweighed by the need to protect the private life of the Registrant and grants the application. As such, this is a redacted public copy of the decision.
That the Registrar is directed to suspend the registration of Miss Anne F Young for a period of 12 months from the date this order comes into effect.
The order imposed today will apply from 2 February 2017 (the operative date).
This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 2 February 2018.