Miss Melanie R Wczasek

Profession: Speech and language therapist

Registration Number: SL28614

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 08/06/2018 End: 16:00 08/06/2018

Location: Health and Care Professions Council, 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegation

 

From 06 April 2010 to 3 May 2013, during the course of your employment as a Speech and

 

Language Therapist by The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust:

 

1. On 01 July 2010, you carried out an assessment of Patient A, and you:

 

(a) Did not accurately record the assessment within the case note entries in that you:

 

(i) Did not include patient identifiers;

 

(ii) Did not specify how long Patient A was seen for;

 

2. In relation to Patient B (DT):

 

(a) On 04 August 2010, you made an entry within DT’s case notes without including a

 

signature or specifying how long DT was seen for;

 

(b) You did not complete case note entries for assessments carried out on:

 

(i) On 25 August 2010;

 

(iii) On 18 January 2011.

 

(c) You did not accurately complete the Assessment Sheet.

 

3. In relation to Patient C:

 

(a) You did not complete case note entries for assessments carried out on:

 

(i) 7 December 2011;

 

(ii) 26 November 2012;

 

(iii) 29 November 2012;

 

(iv) 6 February 2013;

 

(v) 4 March 2013;

 

(b) You did not complete reports in respect of care planning.

 

4. In relation to Patient D:

 

(a) You did not complete case note entries for assessments carried out on:

 

(i) 05 November 2010;

 

(ii) 11 May 2011;

 

(iii) 7 July 2011;

 

(iv) 1 November 2011.

 

(b) You did not complete accurate records in that you:

 

(i) Did not include client identifiers on the assessment sheet;

 

(ii) Did not include patient identifiers within the case note entry for 17 February

 

2011;

 

(iii) Did not include client identifiers on the continuation sheet dated 1 November 2011.

 

5. In relation to Patient E, you did not complete case note entries for two assessments

 

carried out on 8 November 2012.

 

6. In relation to Patient F:

 

(a) You did not complete case note entries for assessments carried out on:

 

(i) 28 January 2011;

 

(ii) 4 February 2011.

 

(b) Your case notes were incomplete for assessments carried out on:

 

(i) 27 January 2012

 

(ii) 10 December 2012;

 

(iii) 11 February 2013;

 

7. In relation to Patient G (LR), you did not complete a written report for an assessment carried out on 29 May 2012.

 

8. In relation to Patient H (MR), you did not complete a written report until four months after the patient's assessment on 25 June 2012.

 

9. In relation to Patient I (MK), you did not complete a written report for an assessment carried out on 11 July 2012.

 

10. You did not complete appropriate reports, in that:

 

(a) In a treatment plan for Patient J dated 11 March 2013, you did not fully outline the aims of intervention;

 

(b) In a report for Patient K dated 25 March 2013, you did not fully outline Patient K’s progress;

 

(c) In a discharge report for Patient L dated 28 March 2013, you did not accurately complete details about Patient L’s speech and language;

 

(d) In a treatment plan for Patient M dated 4 March 2013, you did not accurately explain the progress, aims of intervention and targets;

 

(e) In a discharge report dated 2 April 2013, you did not accurately set out Patient N’s understanding of language.

 

11. The matters described in paragraphs 1 – 10 amount to misconduct and/or lack of competence.

 

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

 

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Proof of service

1. The Panel saw a Notice of today’s hearing, originally listed as a substantive order review, 25 April 2018, which was sent to the Registrant’s registered address by first class post on the same date. Following this, the purpose of today’s hearing was altered so that a Voluntary Removal Agreement (“VRA”) could be considered by the Panel. To this effect, an amended Notice of today’s hearing, listed as a VRA hearing and dated 18 May 2018 was sent by first class post to the Registrant’s address. The Panel noted that the Registrant, by way of an email dated 20 May 2018, has waived the statutory notice period in respect of the latter Notice.

2. The Panel was therefore satisfied that notice had been properly served as required by Rules 3 and 5 of the Health and Care Professions Council (Health Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 (“the Rules”).

Proceeding in absence

3. Miss Wills, on behalf of the HCPC, applied for the hearing to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. The Panel took into account the HCPTS Practice Note entitled “Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant”, and 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.

4. The Panel had sight of an email sent by the Registrant on 6 June 2018 in which she confirms that the she is aware of the Voluntary Removal Agreement hearing and content for it to go ahead without her presence. The Registrant stated that she will participate via the telephone if the application is unsuccessful and reverts back to a substantive review hearing.

5. The purpose of this hearing is to consider the terms of a VRA agreed between the HCPC and the Registrant which has been signed by her. The Panel was of the view, in light of the manner in which she agreed that the hearing should proceed, that there was little if any prejudice to the Registrant in proceeding today. The Panel considered that it was in the public interest and in the Registrant’s interests that the agreement should be considered expeditiously. Accordingly, the Panel decided to proceed in the Registrant’s absence as it was satisfied that she had voluntarily absented herself.

Background

6. The Panel has been convened to consider a Voluntary Removal Agreement Application made jointly by the HCPC and the Registrant.

7. On 11 April 2014 a Panel of the Investigating Committee determined that there was a case to answer in relation to the Allegation above.

8. On 25 May 2015, a joint application was made by the HCPC and the Registrant that a Conditions of Practice Order be imposed by way of a Consent Order. The panel on that occasion approved the Consent Order and the following Conditions of Practice Order was imposed:

1. You must, within 28 days of you undertaking an SLT role:

a. Place yourself and remain under the supervision of a supervisor registered as an SLT by the HCPC;

b. Supply details of your supervisor to the HCPC.

c. Meet with your supervisor to formulate a Personal Development Plan ("PDP") which sets out a number of objectives is designed to address the deficiencies in your record-keeping skills, reportwriting skills, and any other areas identified by your supervisor.

2. You must, following the first meeting with your supervisor set out at 1(c), meet with your supervisor on a monthly basis and:

a. Discuss your progress and performance with reference to the PDP.

b. Produce written summaries of the monthly meetings, approved by your supervisor, and provide them to the HCPC every three months.

3. You must produce a reflective practice document setting out your progress against the PDP every six months after undertaking an SLT role.

4. You must attend upon your supervisor as required and follow their advice and recommendations.

5. You must allow your supervisor to provide information to the HCPC about your progress towards achieving the objectives set out in the PDP.

6. You must inform the following parties that your registration is subject to these conditions:

a. any organisation or person employing or contracting with you to undertake professional work as an SLT;

b. any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered with (at the time of application) as an SLT; and

c. any prospective employer (at the time of your application) as an SLT.

7. You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary proceedings taken against you by your employer as an SLT.

8. You must promptly inform the HCPC if you take up any other or further employment as an SLT.

9. On 25 September 2017, the HCPC received a voluntary de-registration request from the Registrant. The Registrant contacted the HCPC by telephone on 27 January 2018, confirming her wish to remove her name from the register. On 9 March 2018, the Registrant confirmed via email that she would like to remove her name from the register.

10. By way of Telephone Attendance File Note, dated 8 June 2018, the Registrant confirmed that she fully understands the Voluntary Removal Agreement Process and that she does not intend to return to practise in the foreseeable future.

11. The Registrant has provided a signed Voluntary Removal Agreement.

Decision

12. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel had regard to the HCPTS Practice Note on Disposal of Cases by Consent. It noted that the HCPC’s overarching statutory objective is the protection of the public; the Panel must be satisfied that the appropriate level of public protection is being secured and doing so would not be detrimental to the wider public interest. The wider public interest includes the maintenance of trust and confidence in the profession and in the HCPC as its regulator.

13. In the circumstances of this case, the Panel is satisfied that it would not be detrimental to the public interest to dispose of this case by way of voluntary removal. The Panel notes that the Registrant previously admitted the allegations, a sanction was imposed but she has now confirmed that she no longer wishes to practice for the foreseeable future as a Speech and Language Therapist. The Panel is satisfied that the Registrant fully understands the nature of the Voluntary Removal Agreement. In the circumstances, the Panel is satisfied that it would not be in the public interest or the Registrant’s interest, to keep her case in the review cycle.

14. For the reasons above, the Panel grants the Voluntary Removal Agreement.

Order

The Panel Approved the Voluntary Removal Agreement

Notes

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 Miss Melanie R Wczasek

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
08/06/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed
27/05/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Conditions of Practice