Mrs Christy A Henderson
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1. Did not keep a record of all your technical repeat mammograms between July 2013 to November 2013.
2. Knowingly deleted 30 mammographic images you took, contrary to the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000, (IR(ME)R 2000).
3. As a result of you actions in paragraph 2, the records of the dosage /exposure received by the patients were inaccurate.
4. Your actions set out in paragraph 2 were dishonest.
5. The matters described in paragraphs 2 and 4 constitute misconduct.
6. The matters described in paragraphs 1 and 3 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.
7. By reason of that misconduct and/or lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.
1. The Registrant was not present or represented. The Panel noted that notice of the hearing had been properly served on the Registrant in terms of rules 3 and 6 of the Conduct and Competence (Procedure) Rules 2003. The Panel thereafter considered Mr Mason’s application to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. The Panel is aware that its discretion to proceed in absence is one which should be exercised with the utmost care and caution. In reaching its decision, the Panel has had regard to the HCPTS’s Practice Note on Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant. The Panel has been advised that the Registrant confirmed by telephone on 23 May 2018 that she would not be attending the hearing and that at that time she was offered the option of attending by telephone. The Registrant advised that she would contact the HCPC if she intended to take up that option and has not done so. There has been no request for an adjournment. In addition the Registrant has been in email contact with the HCPC in June and has signed the Voluntary Removal Agreement
2. The Panel is of the view that the Registrant has voluntarily absented herself and would be unlikely to attend at a future date, if the matter were adjourned. The Panel has also taken account of the nature of this hearing which was convened in response to a request from the Registrant. In all the circumstances, the Panel has agreed to proceed in her absence as it is satisfied that it is both in the public interest and the Registrant’s interest to do so.
3. The Registrant was employed as a Mammographer at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust (the Trust) between 2 September 2012 and 16 January 2014 when she was dismissed. At a final hearing held on 16 – 18 March 2015, a Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee found proven allegations that the Registrant had deliberately deleted 30 mammographic images of patients, as well as failed to make accurate records of the radiation each patient had been exposed to. The Panel further found that this conduct was dishonest, and likely an attempt to deliberately distort her performance figures, and that this amounted to misconduct.
4. The Panel noted the importance of keeping accurate records of the dosage each patient received. They found that the Registrant had placed her patients at an unwarranted risk of harm and had brought the profession into disrepute. In the absence of any evidence of appropriate insight or any attempts to remedy her failings, the Panel was of the view that there was a risk of repetition and found that the Registrant’s fitness to practice was impaired. The Panel imposed a Suspension Order for a period of 12 months and noted that it would assist a future review panel if the Registrant could demonstrate full insight and acceptance of responsibility for her actions.
5. The Registrant did not attend the first review hearing on 17 March 2016, but did provide submissions via email. The Panel still had concerns regarding the Registrant’s lack of insight and remediation and extended the Suspension Order for another 12 months
6. The Order was next reviewed on 14 March 2017 when the Panel was informed by Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust that the Registrant had acted dishonestly in withholding relevant information in employment application forms submitted to that Trust in 2014. But for the Registrant’s resignation before the holding of formal disciplinary proceedings, she would have been dismissed for gross misconduct.
7. The Registrant attended the review hearing, and gave evidence of what the Panel accepted to be genuine remorse and insight as well as an acceptance of responsibility for her actions. The Panel were however concerned that the Registrant had not provided any evidence to corroborate her continued professional development. There was also no evidence that the Registrant had disclosed information about the FTP proceedings to her current employer. Accordingly the Panel extended the Suspension Order for another 6 months. Again, in their decision, the Panel provided suggestions as to what the Registrant could provide to satisfy a future Panel.
8. The Order was last reviewed on 13 September 2017. The Registrant attended the hearing, and provided documentation including a written reflective statement, CPD certificates and three references. Despite this, the Panel concluded that the Registrant remained impaired. The Panel were not satisfied that the Registrant had developed full insight into her dishonesty and its effect. The Panel were also of the view that the Registrant had not demonstrated proper recognition of the serious impact on patient health that could have resulted through her actions. The Panel also found that the Registrant’s evidence of CPD was limited and was not targeted towards the issues identified by previous panels. That Panel extended the Suspension Order for another 12 months.
9. On 8 March 2018 the Registrant emailed the HCPC to request that her name be removed from the HCPC Register. The matter was reviewed internally by the HCPC before it was decided that voluntary removal would be a suitable disposal of this matter.
10. The Panel heard from Mr Mason who outlined the background to the case and the circumstances which led to the imposition of the original Suspension Order. Mr Mason advised the Panel that the Registrant had indicated that she wished to have her name removed from the HCPC Register. He also advised that the HCPC was satisfied that it would meet its statutory objective of protecting the public if the Registrant was permitted to be removed from the Register on similar terms to those which would apply if the Registrant had been struck off the Register in terms of Article 29(5)(a) of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001. Mr Mason advised the Panel that the Registrant had signed the Voluntary Removal Agreement. Mr Mason asked that the Panel revoke the current Suspension Order and approve the Voluntary Removal Agreement.
11. The Panel considered all of the information and representations by Mr Mason on behalf of the HCPC. The Panel has applied its own judgement to the application to revoke the current Suspension Order and to approve the Voluntary Removal Agreement. The Panel has also had regard to the HCPTS’s Practice Note on Disposal of Cases by Consent and has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.
12. The Panel noted that the HCPC is satisfied that it would be meeting its statutory objective of protecting the public if the Registrant was permitted to be removed from the Register on similar terms to those which would apply if she were subject to a striking off order under article 29(5) of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001.
13. The Panel had before it a Voluntary Removal Agreement which has been agreed between the Health and Care Professions Council and the Registrant and signed and executed by the parties in terms of which it is clear that the allegation was well founded and in which the Registrant agrees that she will resign from the HCPC Register on the terms and conditions fully set out in that Agreement. A declaration that there was no other matter of which the Registrant was aware which might give rise to any other allegation was also signed by the Registrant.
14. The Panel firstly considered whether there were any factors which would make it undesirable to allow the matter to be dealt with on the consensual basis as set out in the Voluntary Removal Agreement. The Panel has concluded that in the circumstances of this case, there are no such overriding public interest factors. The matters have already been considered at a public hearing.
15. The Panel has also considered whether the Voluntary Removal Agreement would secure an appropriate level of public protection. The Panel is aware that if the Registrant seeks to return to the HCPC Register at any time in the future, her application would be treated as if she had been struck off as a result of the allegation. The Panel is therefore satisfied that this secures the necessary degree of public protection.
16. In all the circumstances, the Panel is satisfied that both public protection and the public interest would be adequately served by the terms of the agreement reached between the Registrant and the HCPC in as much as the Registrant will henceforth be prevented from acting as a Radiographer and should she wish to apply to return to the Register, she will be treated as though she had been struck off. In addition the Panel is satisfied that this is an efficient method of disposing of this matter in an appropriate and proportionate manner which is in the interests of the public, the HCPC and the Registrant and accordingly revokes the current Suspension Order and approves the Voluntary Removal Agreement.
The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Mrs Christy A Henderson 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 Mrs Christy A Henderson
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