Heather A Crawley

Profession: Biomedical scientist

Registration Number: BS64000

Hearing Type: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 08/05/2017 End: 11:00 08/05/2017

Location: Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS), 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegations (as amended at Final Hearing)
During the course of your employment as a Biomedical Scientist at Peterborough City Hospital:

1. While working on the blood culture bench during November 2012, you:

a. "mixed up" Gram stain results which resulted in an incorrect reporting of results
b. Incorrectly identified a Staphytect positive organism as coagulase - negative staphylococcus (CNST)
c. Reported a Trimethoprim resistant organism as sensitive
d. Used an incorrect methodology for inoculum for a API 20E
e. Used an incorrect antibiotic disk set for a Gram - positive rod
f. Reported a Staphylococcus aureus in blood culture when it was CNST
g. Reported Gram negative bacteria in the Gram film of a negative blood culture
h. Did not inform the consultant when a coliform was identified.

2. While working on the routine 24 hour read bench during November 2012, you:

a. Reported a CAP screen as negative, when it was a Streptococcus pneumoniae positive.
b. Did not identify a Haemophilus species in a specimen.

3. While working on the routine 24 hour read bench during December 2012 you did not inform the Consultant when a beta haemolyfic Group B streptococcus (BHSB) was identified from a significant site.

4. While working on the routine 24 hour read bench during January 2013, you:

a. incorrectly identified BHSB as present in a High Vaginal Swab (HVS), when it was Enterococcus faecalis (ENFA) in relation to specimen 2676,
b. incorrectly identified a penile swab as 3+MCO, 3+PYO and SBHSG when BHSG was ENFA in relation to specimen 2709,
c. incorrectly identified a skin swab from a neonate as scanty coliforms (pure) when it was not pure and should have been reported as UBF in relation to specimen 2728
d. incorrectly identified a throat swab from a neonate screening as 3BHSB and 2C0LI when coliform was not a target organism and was mixed in relation to specimen 2761
e. incorrectly identified skin flora with mixed coliform on an IQA sample when significant pathogens were present and a growth of ++  Staphylococcus aureus was found in relation to two specimens
f. did not report sensitivity to Pseudomonas aeruginosa in relation to specimen 7674 
g. incorrectly identified skin flora only (diphtheroid) instead of Staphylococcus aureus in relation to specimen 7703 
h. conducted a Staphytect Test on Branhamella Catarrhalis instead of catarrhalis disc testing in relation to specimen 7940

5. While working on the MRSA bench on 20 April 2013 you incorrectly identified and reported a sample as nose, throat and groin positive when it was not groin positive.

6. While working on the routine 24 hour read bench during May 2013, you:

a. were unable to detect Trichomonas vaginalis with 3+ white cells in a wet prep slide
b. incorrectly identified a specimen as no growth when 4 colonies of Staphylococcus aureus were present.
c. incorrectly identified a specimen as skin flora with 2 types of CNST however it was skin flora with Staphylococcus aureus
d. incorrectly identified a specimen as Group C strep and Staphylococcus aureus however it was Group D and C mixed with coliforms.

7. On 24 January 2013 you did not follow direct management instruction in that colleague A advised you to stay on the Routine Bench and not go to Specimen Reception and you worked in Specimen Reception.

8. You stated to colleague A that your Specialist Portfolio had been shredded by your previous employer.

9. Your statement at paragraph 8 above was incorrect.

10. While working on the MRSA bench on or around 15 April 2013, you did not record:

a. that a urine sample had been received
b. the results in relation to the urine sample

11. Your actions at paragraph 8 and 9 were dishonest.

12. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 – 10 constitute misconduct/lack of competence.

13. The matters set out in paragraph 11 constitute misconduct.

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



1. The Registrant, Miss Crawley was employed as a Band 5 Biomedical Scientist in the Clinical Microbiology Department at Peterborough City Hospital between 1 October 2012 and 5 June 2013 as maternity cover. During this time she was managed by Senior Biomedical Scientists Karen Randall, Asghar Dayala and Andrew Simsey. In October/November 2012 a number of errors were highlighted in relation to Miss Crawley’s work. Miss Crawley did not pass her initial competency assessment in November 2012 and the team set up weekly meetings to try to assist her to manage her workload effectively. This involved supervising her work and appointing a mentor to work with her. By 21 January 2013 there were significant concerns over errors and Mr Dayala instituted formal performance management meetings. On the 15 May 2013, Mrs Randall made a referral to the Council in relation to Miss Crawley’s competency. Miss Crawley’s maternity leave contract came to an end in June 2013.

2. During her employment Miss Crawley advised Karen Randall and Asghar Dayala that her Specialist Portfolio had been shredded by her former employer, James Paget University Hospital. The Council contend that this statement was false and dishonest.

3. The Panel heard from the following HCPC witnesses:

a) Karen Randall (Witness 1) Senior Biomedical Scientist and Training Officer at Peterborough City Hospital. Witness 1 was the Registrant’s Line Manager.
b) Asghar Dayala (Witness 2), Senior Biomedical Scientist at Peterborough City Hospital. Witness 2 was the Registrant’s Line Manager.

c) Fiona Brown (Witness 3), Biomedical Scientist at Peterborough City Hospital.

d) Lisa Hannant (Witness 4), former Lead Biomedical Scientist at James Paget University Hospital. Witness 4 was the Registrant’s Line Manager.

4. The Substantive Panel found misconduct, and that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired by reason of her misconduct. The Panel imposed a suspension order for a period of 12 months.


5. The Panel heard submissions from Ms Royer who submitted that the HCPC was satisfied that voluntary removal from the Register was an appropriate disposal of this case and would adequately protect the public and was in the public interest. This was because its effect is the same as a strike-off from the Register following a finding of impairment of fitness to practise.
6. The Panel took into account an email from the Registrant to the HCPC dated 27 March 2017 in which the Registrant requested that she be voluntarily removed. In that email, as reiterated by the Registrant to the Panel today, the Registrant stated that prior to the substantive hearing she had not worked in the profession since 2013. She had previously declined to enter into a VRA due to the fact that she did not accept the dishonesty allegation brought against her, but now that she had been cleared of that allegation, she accepts the findings of the substantive Panel. She confirmed that she does not wish to return to the profession. The Registrant signed a Voluntary Removal Agreement (VRA) with the HCPC dated 8 May 2017.

7. The Panel received and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. 

8. The Panel first reminded itself of the guidance offered in the HCPC 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 to review the suspension order pursuant to Article 30 of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001.

9. The Panel noted the facts have been proved, impairment has been found, and the Registrant has subsequently signed the VRA which indicates her acceptance of the matters found proved and the substantive Panel’s decision.

10. The Panel was satisfied that the public would be protected, and the public interest served, by the Voluntary Removal Agreement, taking into account the findings of the previous Panel. The Panel also took into account the Registrant’s representations about the fact that she left the profession in 2013 and does not wish to return to it. 

11. For all these reasons, the Panel revokes the current suspension order and approves the signed Voluntary Removal Agreement dated 8 May 2017. 


The current Suspension Order is revoked and the Voluntary Removal Agreement is approved.


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 Heather A Crawley

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
08/05/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed
18/04/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended