Mr David S Mee
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Your fitness to practice is impaired by reason of your physical/mental health.
Proof of Service
1. The Panel was satisfied that the notice of hearing had been sent to the Registrant at his registered address on 15 August 2017 in accordance with the Conduct and Competence Procedure Rules 2003.
Proceeding in the absence of the Registrant
2. Ms Stark made an application for the hearing to proceed in the absence of the Registrant.
3. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and applied the guidance in the HCPTS Practice Note “Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant”.
4. The Panel noted that the Registrant sent an e-mail to the HCPC dated 9 August 2017. The Registrant stated that he had no representative and “would prefer not to have to travel for the hearing”. The Panel considered that there was nothing to suggest that he might attend a hearing if this hearing was adjourned to a later date. The Panel decided that it was in the Registrant’s interests and the public interest for this hearing to consider the Registrant’s voluntary removal from the Register to be determined today.
Application for hearing to be held in private
5. Ms Stark made an application for the hearing to be heard in private to protect the Registrant’s private life.
6. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and applied the guidance in the HCPTS Practice Note “Conducting Hearings in Private”.
7. The Panel decided that the whole of the hearing should be heard in private to protect the Registrant’s private life.
8. The Registrant commenced employment with East England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (the Trust) on 25 June 1979.
9. The Registrant held the position of Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) and was responsible for working as a single responder on a Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV). He worked 12 hour shifts, either during the day or at night. The Registrant was responsible for responding to all types of emergency 999 calls as well as routine non-life threatening calls.
10. The Registrant first began to exhibit symptoms of a health condition in 2010. Over the period 2010 to 2013 there were several extended periods of sickness absence. The Trust held a Capability Hearing on 10 June 2013.
11. A Panel of the Health Committee considered the Registrant’s case at a hearing on 8-9 February 2016. The Panel found that the Registrant was suffering from a health condition. The Panel found that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired. The Panel decided that the appropriate sanction was a Conditions of Practice Order for a period of 12 months.
12. On 20 January 2017 the Registrant wrote to the HCPC asking if his name could be removed from the Register because he has not practised as a Paramedic or kept up on his skills and knowledge.
13. The Conditions of Practice Order was reviewed by a Panel of the Health Committee on 9 February 2017. That Panel did not have the power to remove the Registrant from the Register, but noted the Registrant’s position. The Conditions of Practice Order was extended for a further period of 12 months.
14. Ms Stark submitted that the proposed Voluntary Removal Agreement was appropriate. It secured the appropriate level of public protection and was not detrimental to the public interest.
15. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and applied the guidance in the HCPTS Practice Note on “Disposal of Cases by Consent”.
16. The Panel noted that the Registrant has signed the proposed Voluntary Removal Agreement, which confirms his admission of the Allegation.
17. The Panel was satisfied that the proposed Voluntary Removal Agreement provides a high degree of public protection. Under the terms of the agreement, the Registrant agreed that he will not seek re-admission to the Register. The Registrant also agreed that if he were to seek re-admission to the Register, his application would be treated in the same way as if he had been struck off the Register. The Panel was satisfied that this provides sufficient protection for members of the public because it is the highest measure of protection available.
18. The Panel next considered the wider public interest. In this case, there has been a Final Hearing with a determination that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired and a sanction. The Panel was satisfied that this fully demonstrated that the Regulator had dealt with the matter appropriately.
19. The Panel noted that in this case, there were no conduct matters or criticism of the Registrant. Indeed the Registrant’s line manager described him as an “excellent clinician” and that it was a “loss to the profession”. The Panel was aware that the Registrant had an unblemished career in pre-hospital care for 38 years. The Panel also noted that the Registrant has demonstrated insight. For example, the Registrant has acknowledged that he has unfortunately been unable to keep his knowledge and skills up to date.
20. In all the circumstances, the Panel decided that it was in the public interest that the matter should be concluded as proposed by the Registrant and the HCPC. The Panel therefore revoked the Conditions of Practice Order and approved the Voluntary Removal Agreement.
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