Miss Katie Shinner
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The Registrant’s fitness to practise as a Paramedic is impaired by reason of their mental/physical health.
1. The Panel was informed by the hearings officer that notice of this hearing was sent to the Registrant’s registered address by letter dated 10 May 2018. A copy was also sent by email on the same date.
2. Having seen copies of the Notice of Hearing dated 10 May 2018, the Registrant’s Certificate of Registration, and the proof of posting, and receiving the advice of the Legal Assessor, the Panel determined that the Notice of Hearing had been served in accordance with the applicable Health and Care Professions Council (Health) (Procedure) Rules 2003 (the Rules).
Proceeding in the absence of the Registrant
3. Ms Knight, on behalf of the HCPC, applied for the hearing to proceed in the absence of the Registrant under Rule 11 of the Rules. She informed the Panel that the Registrant has now made contact with the HCPC by email on 23 May 2018, attaching a letter “outlining my intentions and a health update.” The Registrant stated, “I am unable to attend the review as I will be out of the country however I would like this letter to please be used on behalf of myself.” Ms Knight submitted that the Registrant had voluntarily absented herself. Ms Knight referred the Panel to the Registrant’s detailed written representations and submitted that the Registrant had not requested an adjournment and that there was nothing to suggest that the Registrant would attend on a future date if the hearing today were adjourned. Ms Knight reminded the Panel that this was a mandatory review of a Suspension Order due to expire on 11 July 2018 and submitted that the public interest to proceed today should prevail.
4. The Panel 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. The Panel also took into account all the factors set out in the HCPTS Practice Note “Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant”.
5. The Panel read the Registrant’s email of 23 May 2018, confirming that she would not be attending the hearing, and providing written representations for the Panel’s consideration. The Registrant did not seek an adjournment.
6. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant was aware of today’s review hearing and had decided not to attend, or to seek an adjournment, but had instead provided written representations to the Panel. The Panel concluded that the Registrant’s absence was voluntary. The Panel was satisfied that there would be no significant risk of unfairness to the Registrant if it decided to proceed in her absence and further recognised that there was a public interest in conducting a mandatory review of the substantive order currently in place. Accordingly, the Panel decided to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.
7. Ms Knight made an application for the entire hearing to be conducted in private as the case concerned the Registrant’s health. Having received advice from the Legal Assessor, the Panel granted that application in view of the principles set out in the HCPTS Practice Note, Conducting Hearings in Private.
The Registrar is directed to suspend the registration of Miss Katie Shinner for a further period of 12 months on the expiry of the existing order.
The order imposed today will apply from 11 July 2018.
This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 11 July 2019.