Mr Michael Xavier Takie

Profession: Radiographer

Registration Number: RA64752

Hearing Type: Restoration

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 29/06/2018 End: 16:00 29/06/2018

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Restored

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Allegation

1. On 30 June 2012 at Hendon Magistrates' Court you were convicted of Obtaining a Pecuinary Advantage by Deception.

2. For the above offence, on 25 July 2012 at Harrow Crown Court you were sentenced to twenty-eight (28) months' imprisonment.

3. By reason of your conviction your fitness to practise as a radiographer is impaired.

Finding

Background

1. Mr Takie was present and represented himself. Ms Royer for the HCPC set out the position.  She referred to the relevant rules of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001 (“the Rules”) and to Article 33 on restoration. She set out in summary the background, including the conviction of the Applicant for obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception. At the HCPTS Final Hearing in February 2013, the Applicant was struck off the register. That panel found the allegation was serious involving sustained dishonesty.  Thereafter, in July 2017, the Applicant sought to review the strike off order under Article 30(7).  Whilst that panel agreed there was new information about the Applicant’s immigration status given his successful appeal of his deportation order, it dismissed the review having concluded that  the new evidence did not alter the position on the sanction of strike off.

2. An issue arose as to the July 2017 Article 30(7) Review application.  The Panel took the advice of the Legal Assessor.  It determined that the rules were ambivalent as to whether a Review application was to be treated as a Restoration application.  The rules appear to draw a procedural equivalence between Article 30(7) Reviews and Restoration under Article 33.  The Panel considered the 12 month period applied by Article 33(2) which appears to be concerned with preventing repeated Restoration applications within a twelve month period.  On a strict view, the current application is several weeks within the 12 month period since the Article 30(7) Review.  However, that arises only if the Article 30(7) Review in July 2017 is formally treated as a Restoration application. 

3. The Panel was mindful of the overarching purpose of the regulator and the need to act expeditiously and fairly. The Panel determined that it was not appropriate to take a narrow and strict view of the rules which were not, in any event, clear on this point. It determined that it was appropriate to hear the Restoration application and that no useful purpose would be served by delaying the hearing.  

The Applicant’s Evidence

4. The Applicant took the oath. He told the Panel he had worked hard to get his professional qualifications.  He said that in 2003 (when he overstayed his visit visa to the UK) he was in a life and death situation due to his political activities in Cameroon. His subsequent dishonest action in obtaining a false identity was untypical and he was sorry for what he had done.  He had reflected on his crime when in prison and he told the Panel that his faith had helped him.  He had reflected on what his crime had done to his job, family and the profession. The Applicant said that he would not find himself in the same position again as he now had full refugee status and lived in the UK legally with his family.

5. The Applicant set out his professional background.  He said he was presently working for the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (“the Trust”) as a Radiography Assistant Practitioner. He had completed four years of study to gain his qualification as a Radiographer. Whilst in prison he had undertaken CPD courses, including courses on employability and customer service. He referred to the character references from his colleagues.

6. The Applicant said he accepted the findings of the panel which struck him off, which were absolutely correct. The Applicant explained his background in Cameroon. He came to the UK in 2003.  He did not have food or a home and he obtained the forged document as he saw it as the only option to sustain his life.  He used that document to get a job as a hospital porter which eventually led to his training as a Radiographer.  He said it was out of extreme desperation that he obtained the forged document. He said that before his arrest he had applied to the Home Office to seek asylum. His asylum case was dealt with whilst he was in prison.  He told the Panel that he applied to the HCPC for a Review of the striking off order as he had obtained legal status to remain.  He was not denying the fact of his conviction.

7. On the impact of his dishonesty on the profession, the Applicant explained that colleagues would  be concerned about his criminal behaviour and he accepted that he had taken what could have been someone else’s job. He explained that he had served 14 months of the 28 month prison sentence and was placed on probation when he was released in 2014.  He had admitted the criminal offence at the first court hearing.

8. The Applicant explained that he had taken courses in prison that had helped him.  He had mentored and had done some teaching of other prisoners.  He had sat and passed exams whilst in prison. When he was first released it had been very hard but he had never claimed any benefits. He had returned to his previous hospital initially on a voluntary basis and in August 2015 had been engaged as a Bank member of staff undertaking administrative duties in the MRI department. In July 2016, he had been appointed, again as Bank staff, as a Radiography Assistant Practitioner. His colleagues had supported him and he said he would never dream of doing anything illegal again.  He now had a support network. In the same circumstances he would now contact the appropriate authorities.  He told the Panel that the Trust had been supportive although they had reported him to the police.  He said he had been open and apologised to the Trust for placing them in a difficult position.

9. From 2016 he had worked as a Radiography Assistant Practitioner with patients but under supervision. In this capacity, he was taking steps to keep his professional knowledge and skills up-to-date.  The Applicant explained the transferrable skills of an assistant practitioner to that of a radiographer which included patient positioning for plain film x-ray. He said that as an assistant practitioner some radiographic areas were out of his scope of practice, such as mobile or theatres. Therefore, the Applicant came in at weekends on a voluntary basis to observe these areas. He wished to return as a Band 5 radiographer in a general capacity. His employers were willing to support his return to work as a radiographer. He kept up to date with technology, read periodicals and attended all the training offered.

10. The Applicant told the Panel that his work on the Bank system amounted to full time employment on day shifts including weekends. He said he had done some Computerised Tomography (CT) work but was just observing. He told the Panel about the course he had done on the duty of candour and he explained that he was trained to be open and report any errors. 

Mr Weldon’s evidence

11. Mr Jeremy Weldon is a Consultant Radiographer. He has worked with the Applicant closely for over 10 years. Mr Weldon spoke highly of the Applicant who had, since his return to work at the Trust, undertaken extra, voluntary work in the department and completed CPD.  Mr Weldon explained that he supervised and met with the Applicant on a weekly basis.  He said that he had no concerns whatever about the Applicant’s honesty or integrity.  The Applicant was committed, diligent and his work was exemplary. The Trust intended to employ the Applicant as a Radiographer if he was restored to the Register.  The Trust’s Chief Executive was fully aware of the circumstances.  He explained he was the Applicant’s mentor from 2004.  Mr Weldon told the Panel that he had represented the Registrant at the HCPC final hearing. The Applicant had written to him from prison and had been open and apologetic in describing the circumstances of his offence. He considered the Applicant had much to offer the health care system.

12. Mr Weldon explained his overall supervision of the Applicant, who was directly supervised by other colleagues. He met with the Applicant  and his supervisors on a frequent basis. Clinically, Mr Weldon said that the Applicant could return at Band 5 level and he was hopeful he would progress further. The Applicant would need to learn some new skills, such as CT scanning.  Supervision could be put in place if required, and there was a strong team environment in the department.  The Applicant has done some voluntary work to experience aspects of the radiography role, such as work in the operating theatre.

Dr Shavron’s Evidence

13. Dr Shavron is a Consultant Radiologist and Clinical Lead at the Trust. He provided a very positive testimonial for the Applicant. He told the Panel he thought highly of the Applicant. Before the Applicant’s arrest he had worked frequently with the Applicant and had got to know him well. He said what the Applicant had done was wrong but that was in the past and he had served his sentence.  The Applicant had a good work ethic and he had worked hard to earn his qualifications. Dr Shavron said that he now works in a different location from the Applicant, but he had no concerns about the Applicant’s trust and integrity. He had seen nothing to suggest the Applicant was other than of good character with good Christian values, and he considered the Applicant would never again be dishonest. He considered the Applicant to be an asset to this country. 

Closing Submissions

14. The Applicant told the Panel in closing that he was grateful to have been given the opportunity to present his case. He said he had worked hard to obtain his qualification as a Radiographer. He wanted to return to his profession to serve patients and the public.

15. Ms Royer closed the HCPC case.  She reminded the Panel of the HCPTS Practice Note on Restoration to the Register and its role in considering the restoration application and its powers to impose conditions of practice.  She adopted a neutral position on what decision the Panel ought to take.

16. The Legal Assessor referred the Panel to the HCPTS Practice Note on Restoration to the Register.  He reminded it about the factors to be carefully considered in light of all the evidence it has heard.  It must be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the application is made out and he pointed out that the Panel may make restoration subject to conditions, and it may apply conditions of practice. 

Decision on Restoration

17. The Panel carefully considered the HCPTS Practice Note and assessed all the evidence before it. The Panel found the Applicant was honest, credible and reliable in his testimony. It found both witnesses credible, consistent and reliable. Both are highly qualified, senior practitioners who set out their views of the Applicant clearly and helpfully.

18. The Panel noted that the Applicant now has refugee status following a ruling at the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) on 10 November 2014, a copy of which was before the Panel. The circumstances in which the dishonesty occurred were very particular and were unlikely to be repeated.  In his evidence the Applicant showed good insight and reflection about his conviction and imprisonment.  The Panel consider that he is highly unlikely to repeat his dishonesty.  The Applicant clearly accepts what he did was wrong and he did not seek, to any extent, to excuse his behaviour. The Panel found good evidence of insight and reflection in the fact that, whilst in prison, the Applicant wrote to his colleagues at the Trust to apologise. Whilst in prison the Applicant also undertook relevant courses. Both of the witnesses maintained contact with the Applicant throughout his sentence and have supported him in the HCPC and the Immigration proceedings.

19. The Panel noted that the Applicant had resolved his immigration status and there was clear evidence from both witnesses that the Applicant is hard working and highly committed, going so far as to do voluntary work at the Trust to develop his confidence and professional skills. The Panel considered, in light of the evidence from the Applicant and the witnesses, that the Applicant has done all he could have done to continue to develop his professional skills and to remediate and rehabilitate himself. 

20. His professional colleagues clearly expressed in their evidence that they had high regard for the Applicant and were supportive of his practice and return to his profession. This support extended to other senior staff at the Trust. Neither witness had any doubt as to the Applicant’s honesty, integrity and his clinical skills, and both spoke of the commitment and professionalism shown by the Applicant in his current role. The Applicant also demonstrated in his evidence that he understood that he needed to develop his skills and work with supervision and support on any return to practice.

21. In all these circumstances, and having regard to the circumstances in which the Applicant was struck off, the Panel was satisfied that the Applicant meets the requirements for registration and that he is a fit and proper person to be restored to practice.

22. The Panel, having considered educational requirement and conditions of practice, took the view that the Applicant’s competence and professionalism are not in question.  Given the evidence from the witnesses as to the environment in which the Applicant would work and the support he would receive, the Panel did not consider there was a need to impose any requirements or conditions of practice to the restoration.

Order

The Registrar is directed to restore the name of Mr Michael Xavier Takie (the Applicant) to the Radiographer Part of the Register, but restoration is only to take effect once the Applicant has:

a) provided the Registrar with any information and declarations required for admission to the Register;

b) paid the prescribed restoration fee; and

c) satisfied the Registrar that, in relation to the Applicant, there is or will be in force appropriate cover under an indemnity arrangement.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Michael Xavier Takie

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
29/06/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Restoration Restored