Mr Paul R Butler

Profession: Occupational therapist

Registration Number: OT18586

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 Tribunal Service (HCPTS), 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegation

During the course of your employment as an Occupational Therapist with North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust between April 2003 and 10 May 2013:

1. In March 2012, in relation to two patients, you:
Did not conduct Occupational Therapy assessments, which led to the patients being discharged home without seeing an Occupational Therapist.

2. In or around April 2012, you did not record information in the ward log book in order to identify which member of staff had been allocated to each patient and / or which patients had been discharged.

3. Between September 2011 and October 2011, a Clinical Support Worker needed to remind you of tasks on a regular basis.

4. On 16 August 2011, during a home assessment with a patient, you:
a. Made the patient repeat a shower stool position assessment approximately five times;
b. In assessing mobility issues in the patient's lounge, advised the patient to remove her sofa completely, instead of making minor adjustments to the position of other furniture;

5. On 7 March 2013, you were assigned "Patient A" and you:
a. Did not:
i. Set out achievable SMART goals;
ii. Promptly organise the access visit;
iii. Attend the access visit in a timely manner.
b. Produced a report in relation to Patient A which you omitted:
i. Furniture measurements;
ii. Equipment needs and / or details of equipment that was already in-situ in
the patient's home;
iii. Flooring types;
iv. The correct type of heating;
v. A summary;

6. On 7 or 8 March 2013, further to a discussion with the wife of "Patient B", you did not record that B's wife stated she could not cope with B at home.

7. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 - 6 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

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

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.

 

 

Finding

Allegation (As found proved at a Final Hearing on 27 July 2016):


During the course of your employment as an Occupational Therapist with North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust between April 2003 and 10 May 2013:


1. In March 2012, in relation to two patients, you:
a) Did not conduct Occupational Therapy assessments, which led to the patients being discharged home without seeing an Occupational Therapist.


2. In or around April 2012, you did not record information in the ward  log book in order to identify which member of staff had been allocated to each patient and / or which patients had been discharged.


3. Between September 2011 and October 2011, a Clinical Support Worker needed to remind you of tasks on a regular basis.


4. On 16 August 2011, during a home assessment with a patient, you:


a) Made the patient repeat a shower stool position assessment approximately five times;
b) In assessing mobility issues in the patient's lounge, advised the patient to remove her sofa completely, instead of making minor adjustments to the position of other furniture.


5. On 7 March 2013, you were assigned "Patient A" and you:
a) Did not:
i. Set out achievable SMART goals;
ii. Promptly organise the access visit;
iii. Attend the access visit in a timely manner.
b) Produced a report in relation to Patient A which you omitted:
i. Furniture measurements;
ii. Equipment needs and / or details of equipment that was already in-situ in the patient's home;
iii. Flooring types;
iv. The correct type of heating;
v. A summary.

6. On 7 or 8 March 2013, further to a discussion with the wife of  "Patient B", you did not record that B's wife stated she could not cope with B at home.


7. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 - 6 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.


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

Service and Proceeding in absence


1. The Panel was satisfied that the notice of hearing had been properly served on the Registrant in accordance with the Health and Care Professions Council (Conduct and Competence Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 as amended.


In an email dated 13 April 2018 the Registrant stated:
“I would like to formally request  that my name be Voluntarily removed from the HCPC register as an Occupational Therapist. In addition to this I am in agreement with the Hearing proceeding in my absence as long as my ability to  learn from this challenging experience in addition to my feelings and wishes expressed in this email are considered”.


The Panel concluded that the Registrant’s absence from the hearing was voluntary,  that an adjournment would serve no useful purpose, and that it was in the public interest to deal with the matter expeditiously. In those circumstances the Panel exercised its discretion to proceed in the absence of the Registrant.

Decision


2. On 27 July 2017 a Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee found that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired by reason of misconduct and lack of competence. The Panel imposed Conditions of Practise for a period of 18 months. A copy of that determination is available as a public record. In essence the allegation related to deficiencies in the Registrant’s record keeping with regard to a number of patients, a failure to conduct patient assessments and a failure to act autonomously.


3. On 12 December 2017 the Registrant was notified that a substantive review hearing was due to take place on 17 January 2018. The Registrant responded on 15 December 2017, stating that he had not been practising as an Occupational Therapist since the substantive hearing and did not intend to practice as an Occupational Therapist in the future.  He requested information regarding voluntary removal.

On 29 December 2017 the HCPC received a formal voluntary de-registration request from the Registrant.
On 17 January 2018 a Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee  reviewed the substantive order and decided to extend it for a further 6 months with a view to exploring the possibility of voluntary removal from the register.


4. On 28 January 2018 the Registrant reiterated his request for voluntary removal.


The HCPC agreed to this course.
A copy of the Voluntary Removal Agreement, signed by the Registrant on 31 May 2018, was placed before the Panel.


5. The Panel was asked to decide whether it would be appropriate to grant the application or whether it should direct that the allegation be set down for a hearing. In making that decision, the Panel took into account the guidance given in the Council’s Practice Note, Disposal of Cases by Consent. In particular, it considered whether the appropriate level of public protection would be secured by the Voluntary Removal Agreement and whether or not granting the application would be detrimental to the public interest.

6. It was the submission of the HCPC that voluntary removal from the register was the appropriate means of resolving the matter, in that it is equivalent in effect to a striking-off order, and therefore the necessary public protection and protection of the wider public interest would be secured.

7. The Registrant, in an email dated 12 April 2018, stated that, over the last 20 months,  he had reflected on the decision reached by the Substantive Panel in July 2016. He acknowledged his shortcomings as a manager and the fact that he was unable to fully function effectively in his role as an Occupational Therapist. He confirmed that he had retired from the health service in May 2013 and had no plans to return to the Occupational Therapy profession in the future. He formally requested a Voluntary Removal Agreement.

8. The Panel agreed that it was appropriate to dispose of the matter by means of a Voluntary Removal Agreement in the circumstances of the case. The Registrant had previously admitted the allegation in full, and a full public hearing had been held before a Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee. The allegation had been found proved and a sanction had been imposed. The  Registrant had expressed his clear intention not to practise as an Occupational Therapist in future. The Panel accepted that voluntary removal from the register would have the same effect as a striking-off order.  The Panel was satisfied that the public would be protected, and the wider public interest would be maintained. The Panel reminded itself that if the Registrant were to seek 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 the allegation.

9. For those reasons, the Panel decided to grant the application.

Order

Order: The application to dispose of the current proceedings pursuant to a Voluntary Removal Agreement (VRA) made between the Registrant and the Council is granted.

Notes

A hearing was held in London on 8 June 2018 and a Voluntary Removal agreed.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Paul R Butler

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
08/06/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed
17/01/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
25/07/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Conditions of Practice
19/10/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Adjourned