Dr Ildiko Ridley

Profession: Practitioner psychologist

Registration Number: PYL26094

Interim Order: Imposed on 17 Jul 2017

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 20/11/2018 End: 17:00 27/11/2018

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Conditions of Practice

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Allegation

 

Whilst registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and employed by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, between December 2014 and July 2016, you:

 

1. Breached professional boundaries, in that you:

 

a) continued to work with Service User 1 despite a recognition that, and/or, in the knowledge that, you were developing romantic feelings towards him;

 

b) did not declare any potential conflict and/or raise in supervision and/or seek management advice regarding Service User 1;

 

c) engaged in a sexual relationship with Service User 1, during and/or shortly after, your treatment of him had ceased.

 

2. Denied, on more than one occasion, whether you were engaging in a sexual relationship with a current or recently discharged service user.

 

3. Did not maintain accurate and/or contemporaneous records of your work with Service User 1.

 

4. Your actions in paragraph 2 were dishonest.

 

5. The matters set out in paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4 constitute misconduct.

 

6. By reason of your misconduct, your fitness to practise is impaired.

 

Finding

Preliminary Matters


 Application for part of the proceedings to be heard in private


1. Following an application from Mr Smith and having heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor, the Panel directed that any evidence that related to the private life of a witness should be heard in private. In the event, only a very small part of the evidence that fell into that category was received in private; otherwise the hearing was conducted in public.


The Registrant’s position as regards the particulars in the Allegation.


2. The Allegation was put to the Registrant. The Registrant has made a written statement dated 20 November 2018. In that statement she has made partial admissions to the particulars in the Allegation. Mr Smith submitted that notwithstanding the partial admissions in the written statement, the HCPC should prove all the particulars in the Allegation. The hearing proceeded on that basis.


Procedure


3. The Panel decided to consider the facts, misconduct and impairment as a single stage and then, if appropriate, to consider sanction separately.


Background as outlined by the HCPC


4. The Registrant qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 2010. She commenced her employment with the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (“the Trust”) on 1 November 2010. The Registrant was employed by the Trust as a Band 8a Principal Clinical Psychologist (Physical Health), working in Oncology, Plastics, and Surgery at the time the concerns came to light in 2015/2016. In August 2016, the Registrant took up a more senior role as a Band 8b Principal Clinical Psychologist (Medicine). The Registrant was responsible for service users with complex psychological presentations who were struggling to cope with the demands of diagnosis, treatment and end of life issues. She saw inpatients and outpatients in a general hospital setting and supported primary carers and close family.


5. The partner of Service User 1 had her first session with the Registrant in January 2013. Her last session with the Registrant was on 5 November 2014, before she died in December 2014. Service User 1’s partner brought Service User 1 with her to her final appointment on 5 November 2014. Following his partner’s death, Service User 1 requested bereavement support from the Registrant. From 30 January 2015, the Registrant saw Service User 1 on a one-to-one basis for bereavement support.


6. In late 2015, the Registrant spoke to her colleague, Witness 1, Principal Clinical Psychologist, about a patient she was seeing, Service User 1. She told Witness 1 that she was developing feelings for Service User 1. Witness 1 advised the Registrant to discharge Service User 1 from her service.


7. In early 2016, the Registrant told her colleagues, Witness 1 and Witness 2, Principal Psychotherapist, that she was having an extra-marital affair. In June 2016, Witness 1 became suspicious that the person the Registrant was seeing was Service User 1.


8. Witness 1’s suspicions led her to check the patient records of Service User 1 and she found that a number of records were missing when she cross-referenced them with the Registrant’s diary.


9. Witness 1 and Witness 2 discussed their concerns with each other and raised them with Witness 3, Head of Psychology, on 18 August 2016. Witness 3 appointed Witness 4, Professional Lead Occupational Therapy, to investigate the concerns in October 2016.


The Meeting on 27 October 2016.


10. On 27 October 2016 at a meeting conducted by Witness 4 (the investigating officer appointed by the Trust) the Registrant admitted that whilst Service User 1 was receiving therapy from her, she developed “feelings” for him. She said that she had discussed it with two colleagues in supervision. She further said that she had “discharged” Service User 1 in March 2016. She said that after that date, the relationship between herself and Service User 1 became a sexual one. With regard to the records that are identified in particular 2 of the Allegation, she accepted that the formal records were written up in August 2016 and were not contemporaneous with the sessions to which they related. She said that the records had been written up from hand written notes which were contemporaneous with the relevant sessions. Subsequently the Registrant went on sick leave. She was then dismissed by the Trust and has not worked since that time.


The Registrant’s statement.


11. The Registrant has submitted to the Panel a written statement (her statement). This statement is dated 20 November 2018. In that statement the Registrant stated “While working with Service User 1, I became aware of a degree of attraction towards him; we had developed an easy rapport and I found him physically attractive. When I realised this I discussed the matter with my supervisor Witness 2 and also took it to peer supervision with Witness 1. However I gave no indication to him of my attraction and I anticipated to continue and close the therapeutic relationship as I otherwise would have done”. With regard to the allegation of a sexual relationship with Service User 1 she said “I partially accept the charge. I would like to highlight that no unprofessional conduct occurred during the time of Service User 1 attending therapy”. She said that the relationship started some weeks after the termination of the therapy “we developed a close relationship which continues to this day”. With regard to the allegation that she did not maintain accurate or contemporaneous records the Registrant said “I partially accept this charge. I understand that my patient records were not complete, though I cannot clearly recall the details of this.” In summary she said that she typed up the written records from hand written notes that she had made at the time “as soon as I could”.


Summary of the evidence and other material before the Panel


12. The witnesses relied on by the HCPC were:


a) Witness 1, who was employed by the Trust as a Band 7 Clinical Psychologist from January 2015 to October 2016. She met with the Registrant for “peer supervision”. She has made a written statement dated 5 April 2018, which the Panel has read. She gave oral evidence to the Panel.


b) Witness 2, who is employed by the Trust as a Principal Psychotherapist (Nurse Psychotherapist) based in the Psychology Services Department. She was a supervisor of the Registrant and also met with the Registrant for “peer supervision”. She has made a written statement dated 28 March 2018, which the Panel has read. She gave oral evidence to the Panel.


c) Witness 3, who is employed by the Trust as a Consultant Health Psychologist and head of Psychology services. At all material times she was the Registrant’s line manager. She has made a written statement dated 15 March 2018, which the Panel has read. She gave oral evidence to the Panel.


13. In addition, there was also a written statement dated 16 April 2018 from Witness 4, the investigating officer. The Panel has read this statement.


14. The HCPC has produced a substantial bundle of documents, which the Panel has read.


15. The Panel considered that all the three witnesses called by the HCPC were honest and credible. They had sought to assist the Panel. Their oral evidence was consistent with their previously written statements. They all acknowledged when they were unable to recall a fact or could not otherwise assist the Panel.


16. The Registrant gave oral evidence and responded to questions. She adopted the contents of her written statement. In summary, her evidence, both oral and written, was as follows:


• She confirmed the accuracy of her written statement.


• She accepted that she commenced a sexual relationship with the Service User some few weeks after she had terminated therapy with Service User 1 in March 2016. She confirmed that the relationship was still ongoing.


•  She said that Service User 1 was not a “vulnerable Service User” and that she never regarded him as such.


• She said that she did discuss her feelings of attraction to Service User 1 with both Witness 1 and Witness 2 during the time that the therapy was continuing. She could not recall whether the discussion was in a formal or in an informal setting.


• She accepted that she did not discuss having a sexual relationship with a former Service User with either Witness 1 or Witness 2. However she  accepted that after the discharge of Service User 1 in March 2016, she did reveal to both Witness 1 and to Witness 2 that the was in an extra-marital relationship, albeit without mentioning that the relationship was with a former Service User.  She emphasised that these discussions occurred after the discharge of Service User 1 in March 2016.


• She emphasised that during the period of the therapy her relations with Service User 1 were entirely proper. She did not allow her feelings of attraction to impact on her conduct. She did not anticipate that a relationship would develop and the subsequent meeting with Service User 1 was entirely by chance. With regard to providing therapy to a partner of a deceased service user to whom she had been providing clinical services, she said that such provision  was infrequent but not unusual.


• She accepted that a breach of professional boundaries by a psychologist could impact on the confidence that the public would have in the profession.


• She emphasised the lessons that she had learnt from what had happened and how she would now act; in particular, seeking the advice of her line manager.


• She accepted that the relevant records were typed up in August 2016. She said that they were typed up from the hand written notes that she had prepared at the end of the sessions to which they related. She accepted that this was not good practice but said that the delay  did not impact on the care of Service User 1. She explained the reasons for the delay.


• She said that she had not worked since leaving employment with the Trust. She described what she had done to maintain her  professional knowledge. She confirmed that she was very anxious to return to work as a psychologist.


Submissions made as to the facts, misconduct and impairment.


17. The Panel heard the submissions of Ms Ryan in respect of the facts, misconduct and impairment. In brief summary, she submitted as follows:


• That on the evidence that it had received, the Panel was entitled to find all the particulars in the Allegation proved.


• That the conduct as set out in the particulars of paragraph 1 of the Allegation and/or the failure to maintain contemporaneous records as set out in paragraph 2 of the Allegation, was sufficiently serious as to amount to misconduct.


• That by reason of the facts set out in Allegation, the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired. 
18. The Panel heard the submissions of Mr Smith in respect of the facts, misconduct and impairment. Mr Smith provided the Panel with written submissions. In brief summary, he submitted as follows:


• That the Panel should find all the particulars in paragraphs 1 and 2 of  the Allegation not proven.


• With regard to 1 a) Mr Smith submitted that there was no breach of “professional boundaries”. With regard to 1 b) Mr Smith submitted that the Registrant had raised her feelings with her supervisor; further that the Registrant’s failure to raise the matter with her line manager could not be regarded as a “breach of professional boundaries”. With regard to 1 c) Mr Smith submitted that the evidence was that the sexual relationship with the Service User commenced after his discharge from therapy in March 2016 and that this could not be regarded as a breach of “professional boundaries”.


• With regard to paragraph 2 of the Allegation Mr Smith submitted that the Registrant maintained contemporaneous hand written notes and had thereby discharged her record keeping duty. He said that there was no evidence that those notes were inaccurate. Accordingly he submitted that the Panel should find the allegations not proved.


• With regard to the allegation of “misconduct” Mr Smith submitted that the facts if proven were insufficiently serious as to amount to misconduct. He further submitted that in any event the Registrant’s fitness to practise was not presently impaired.


19. The Panel was concerned by the fact that when responding to questions from members of the Panel the Registrant appeared on occasion to be evasive and some of her answers were not consistent with her own and other evidence that the Panel had received during this hearing.


20. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor as to facts, misconduct and impairment.


21. The Panel was aware that on matters of fact the burden of proof rests on the HCPC and that the standard of proof is the civil one, namely on the balance of probabilities. The Panel noted that in all particulars in paragraph 1 of the Allegation the Registrant is alleged to have “breached professional boundaries”. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor that when considering the particulars comprised within paragraph 1 of the Allegation, the Panel had to consider not only whether the factual allegations comprised within particulars (a), (b) and (c) had been proved but also whether in respect of those facts it has been proved that they constituted a breach of “professional boundaries”.


Decision on facts


22. Having considered all the evidence that it has received, together with all the submissions  and representations that have been made, the Panel finds particulars 1 c) and 2 proved in the  partial respects that are set out below. It found Particulars 1 a) and 1 b ) not proved


23. With regard to the allegation in Particular 1 a), the Panel concludes that the allegation is not proved. In summary its reasons are as follows. The Panel concludes from all the evidence that it has heard, that whilst she was providing therapy to Service User 1, the Registrant did develop romantic feelings towards him and that she was aware of those feelings. It further concludes that notwithstanding the Registrant’s recognition that she was developing those feelings she continued to work with Service User 1. In coming to these conclusions the Panel notes the admissions of the Registrant in her statement, in the meeting on 27 October 2016 and in her oral evidence to the Panel, that she continued working with Service User 1 despite the fact that she was aware that she had developed romantic feelings toward him. The Panel also notes and accepts the evidence of both Witness 2 and Witness 1 that the Registrant did discuss with them the fact that she was developing romantic feelings toward a service user and that these discussions occurred whilst Service User 1 was receiving therapy from the Registrant. The Panel notes the evidence of the Registrant that her developing feelings did not impact on her clinical performance. However the Panel concludes that whilst it was unwise of the Registrant  to continue to provide therapy to Service User 1 after she had become aware of her developing feelings, it could not be said that she was thereby in breach of “professional boundaries” which is an essential part of the particular as drafted.


24. With regard to the allegation in Particular 1 b), the Panel concludes that the allegation is not proved. In summary its reasons are as follows. The Panel accepts the evidence of the Registrant, Witness 2 and Witness 1, that the Registrant did discuss her feelings with them. The Panel notes that the Registrant did not discuss her feelings with her line manager Dr Seddon or seek Dr Seddon’s advice. However the Panel also notes and accepts the evidence of Dr Seddon that it was acceptable for the Registrant to discuss her feelings in informal supervision and in formal and informal peer supervision. The Panel concludes that the Registrant complied with her obligations and in any event could not be said to be in breach of ‘professional boundaries’.


25. With regard to the allegation in Particular 1 c),  the Panel concludes that the allegation is proved in part. In summary its reasons are as follows. The Registrant has admitted, in her statement, in her oral evidence to the Panel, in the meetings held on 1 September 2016 with Dr Seddon and on 27 October 2016 with Witness 4, that she had a sexual relationship with Service User 1. She said that this began after her treatment of him had ceased in March 2016.  There was no evidence called by the HCPC to establish that the Registrant had a sexual relationship with the Service User 1 whilst he was receiving treatment from the Registrant. Accordingly Panel determines that the allegation that the Registrant had a sexual relationship with Service User 1 during her treatment of him was not proved, but that the allegation that she had a sexual relationship with him after treatment had ceased was proved. 


26. In respect of the allegation in Particular 1 c) that it has found proved,  the Panel determines that the HCPC has proved that such conduct was a breach of “professional boundaries’. In coming to that conclusion the Panel notes that the relationship began, on the Registrant’s own admissions, within a few weeks of the treatment of Service User 1 having ceased. The Panel notes that Witness 1 and Witness 2, both fellow practitioners of the Registrant, regarded such conduct as being unacceptable.  The Panel also notes that this view was shared by Dr Seddon. The Panel took into account the relationship of  a psychologist to service users and the duty of a psychologist not in any way to abuse that relationship. The Panel also took into account the fact that Service User 1 was grieving for the death of his partner and sought bereavement support for this, and could thus be regarded as being vulnerable. The Panel further noted the document dated 21 September 2007 in the bundle adduced by the HCPC which stated that as a trainee at the University of Liverpool, the Registrant had read the BPS [The British Psychological Society] Professional Practice Guidelines [1995] and BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct [2006]. The former document states that “psychologists must not enter into a sexual relationship with former clients for at least two years after discharge and the ending of services”. The latter document states that psychologists should “recognise that conflicts of interest and inequity of power may still reside after professional relationships are formally terminated” and “should refrain from engaging in any form of sexual or romantic relationship with persons to whom they are providing professional services, or to whom they owe a continuing duty of care or with whom they have a relationship of trust. This might include a former patient”. The Panel concludes that in all the circumstances the conduct which it has found proved was a breach of the Registrant’s “professional boundaries”.


27. With regard to the allegations in particular 2 of the Allegation, the Panel concludes that the allegation has been proved in part. There was no evidence that the records maintained by the Registrant were inaccurate and accordingly the Panel finds that part of the particular not proved. However the Panel concludes that the Registrant did not maintain contemporaneous records of her work with Service User 1 in respect of the sessions held on the dates that are specified in the particular. In summary its reasons are as follows. The Panel concludes that the handwritten notes which the Registrant said that she had made following the sessions with Service User 1, could not be regarded as records for the purpose of the particular. Those handwritten notes were not accessible to fellow practitioners. Moreover the Registrant herself, in her statement  described those handwritten notes as “aides memoire for typing up later”.  The Panel determines that the only relevant notes  for the purposes of the Allegation are those entered into the electronic record. The Registrant accepted, both in her oral evidence and in her statement, that she entered those handwritten notes into the electronic record at a later date. In her oral evidence the Registrant accepted the evidence adduced by the HCPC that she had done this between 4 August 2016 and 18 August 2016. The Panel notes and accepts the evidence of Dr Seddon that this delay was unacceptable. Accordingly the Panel finds proved the part of this particular which alleges that the Registrant did not maintain contemporaneous records of the work done on the specified dates.


 Decision on Misconduct and Impairment


28. The Panel next considered whether the matters found proved under Particulars 1c) and 2 amount to Misconduct and if so whether the Registrant’s fitness to practise is thereby impaired.The Panel took into account the submissions on both points made by Ms Ryan on behalf of the HCPC and by Mr Smith on behalf of the Registrant.


29. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. In particular, the Legal Assessor referred the Panel to relevant cases and to the Practice Note issued by the Health and Care Professions Tribunals Service. The Panel is aware that any findings as to Misconduct and Impairment are matters for the independent judgement of the Panel and that, in respect of both issues, there is no burden or standard of proof.


Misconduct.


30. The Panel determines that having regard to the guidance given by the courts in the relevant authorities, the facts that have been found proved as regards particulars 1 c) and 2 are sufficiently serious as to amount to misconduct. Its reasons are as follows;


• In respect of particular 1c), that having regard to all the circumstances identified above and which are relevant to the finding that the Registrant’s conduct was a breach of “professional boundaries”, her conduct would properly be regarded as deplorable by fellow practitioners. The Registrant’s conduct in forming a sexual relationship with Service User 1 was an abuse of her professional position. The Registrant was the  psychologist who had initially encountered Service User 1 through the provision of professional and clinical care for his partner. The Registrant had then provided bereavement support to Service User 1 for a year. The knowledge the Registrant had of Service User 1 and his partner created a power imbalance. This imbalance alone would make a service user a vulnerable person in the relationship. In the opinion of the Panel this was a serious departure from the standards of conduct that could properly be expected of the Registrant.


• In respect of particular 2, the Panel accepts the evidence of Dr Seddon that a delay of many months in inputting the handwritten notes into the electronic record was unacceptable. The Panel notes the passage in the relevant edition of the “Standards of Conduct, performance and ethics” published by the HCPC that all records must be completed promptly. The Panel considers that by failing to input the handwritten notes into the electronic record “contemporaneously’, the Registrant ran the risk of creating an inaccurate record and deprived other clinicians, who might be required to provide treatment to Service User 1, of a reliable and accessible record of his relevant clinical history. Such a failure could have put Service User 1 at risk.   In the opinion of the Panel this is a serious departure from the standards of conduct and performance that could properly be expected of the Registrant.
Impairment.


31. Having determined that the Registrant’s conduct, as found proved in respect of Particulars 1 c) and 2 amount to Misconduct, the Panel proceeded to consider whether the Registrant’s fitness to practise is thereby impaired. The Panel is aware that what is to be assessed is the Registrant’s current fitness to practise. In considering this issue the Panel considered and applied the principles stated by Mrs Justice Cox in the case of the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence v Nursing and Midwifery Council; Paula Grant [2011] EWHC 927 [Admin]. In particular the Panel considered whether there was a risk that the Registrant would in the future act in a way similar to that found proved. The Panel also considered whether public confidence in the profession, in the HCPC as its regulator and the need to maintain proper standards of conduct, would be prejudiced if a finding of current impairment was not made.


32. The Panel concluded that the Registrant’s current fitness to practise is impaired by reason of the facts that have been found proved. 


33. In respect of the allegation found proved in particular 1c), the Panel considers that the Registrant has not developed full insight into the importance of observing proper “professional boundaries”. The Panel is not persuaded that the Registrant fully understands the imbalance that exists between a psychologist and a service user, and that this imbalance can survive beyond the termination of the professional relationship. In her witness statement and evidence before the Panel, the Registrant stated that she did not consider Service User 1 to be vulnerable when their relationship began. Further, she did not consider there to be a power imbalance because she quickly divulged information about herself. The Panel is unable to exclude the possibility that the Registrant’s failure to fully understand the importance of maintaining proper professional boundaries could lead to breaching these boundaries in her relations with future service users. In coming to this conclusion, the Panel kept in mind that the Registrant told the Panel that she has undertaken a two-hour accredited course which deals with maintaining professional boundaries. However she said that this course did not cover dual relationships and was “mainly about current clients”.


34. In respect of the allegation found proved in particular 2, the Panel does not consider that the Registrant fully understands the importance of maintaining contemporaneous records.  The Registrant did not appear to appreciate that service users could be placed at risk when records were not completed contemporaneously. Further, the Panel was not convinced by the explanations that the Registrant gave as to why she had not completed the records contemporaneously. For example, the Registrant accepted that she overran her sessions with Service User 1 into a second hour, but that this was only by 10 minutes. The Registrant’s explanation that she had other administrative tasks to do for the remainder of that hour demonstrates that she did not prioritise record keeping. The Panel also noted the explanations advanced by the Registrant as to the lack of relevant support were not consistent with the evidence given by Dr Seddon and were also inherently unconvincing. Accordingly, the Panel is unable to exclude the possibility that the Registrant might in the future fail to maintain contemporaneous records. If she did fail to do so, future service users could be put at risk.


35. The Panel further concluded that having regard to the considerations set out above public confidence in the profession and in the HCPC as its regulator would be undermined by a finding that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was not impaired. Moreover in the opinion of the panel a finding of present impairment is necessary in order to sustain proper standards within the profession.
36. The Panel therefore finds impairment on both the public and personal components.


Decision on Sanction


37. Having concluded that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired, the Panel proceeded to consider what, if any Order is both appropriate and proportionate to protect the public and to safeguard the public interest.


38. Ms Ryan made submissions on behalf of the HCPC and Mr Smith made submissions on behalf of the Registrant.


39. Ms Ryan emphasised that the decision as to the appropriate sanction to be imposed was a matter for the judgement of the Panel and the HCPC did not intend to make any specific submissions  as to the appropriate sanction. She reminded the Panel of the principle of proportionality. She said that the Panel should have regard to the Indicative Sanctions Policy published by the HCPC. She reminded the Panel that it should have regard to both aggravating and mitigating factors; in respect of the former she identified in particular that the Registrant had abused the relationship that existed between a psychologist and a person who had been a former service user, for whose therapy she had been responsible.


40. Mr Smith submitted that the Panel could properly impose a Caution Order. He further submitted that if the Panel did not regard a Caution Order as being a sufficient and appropriate sanction, a Conditions of Practice Order should be imposed. He identified a number of conditions that he submitted would adequately address any risk that the Panel might identify. He further submitted that a Suspension Order would be disproportionate. He asked the Panel to take into account a number of mitigating factors which included the following: that the Registrant had developed substantial insight; that she was a person of previous good character; that she had engaged with the HCPC and had made partial admissions; that there were no other concerns with regard to her practice; that the misconduct was restricted to a single service user with whom she   had an ongoing relationship and that the misconduct was not to be regarded as being at the upper end of the spectrum of gravity.


41. The Panel has considered all the submissions and evidence that it has heard and read. It has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. It has taken account of the Indicative Sanctions Policy published by the HCPC and dated 22 March 2017.


42. The Panel took into account the principles of proportionality, balancing the interests of the Registrant with the public interest.


43. The Panel also took into account the relevant aggravating and mitigating factors. As regards the former, the Panel noted that the Registrant’s sexual relationship with Service User 1 was a serious breach of  professional boundaries and an abuse of her professional position and obligations. Moreover the Registrant’s insight into her misconduct is limited. In respect of the mitigating factors, the Panel kept in mind that the Registrant was of previous good character, had engaged fully with the HCPC and has made partial admissions.


44. The Panel has concluded that to take no action would be wrong. Such an outcome would be inappropriate having regard to the facts of the case. It would not protect the public or   maintain public confidence in the profession or in the HCPC as its regulator.


45. In view of the submissions made by Mr Smith the Panel has given very careful consideration to imposing a Caution Order. In its consideration, the Panel took full account of the guidance given in the Policy Document published by the HCPC and in particular to paragraphs 28 and 29 of that document. It has concluded that a Caution Order was not appropriate. In coming to this conclusion the Panel noted that that the Registrant’s misconduct was not minor and there was a risk that she would in the future transgress professional boundaries. The Panel also noted that the Registrant’s  insight into her misconduct was not complete and there was only evidence of limited remediation.
46. The Panel next considered making a Conditions of Practice Order.  It has taken into account the guidance in the Indicative Sanctions Policy and in particular paragraphs 30-38 of that document. It has concluded that a Conditions of Practice Order was proportionate and would protect the public and address the public interest. In coming to this conclusion the Panel noted in particular that the Registrant’s misconduct was capable of correction and that it was isolated. The Panel also considered that the Registrant would comply with the conditions imposed, which the Panel considers to be workable, relevant , proportionate and enforceable. Accordingly the Panel has decided to make a Conditions of Practice Order in the terms set out below for a period of 12 months. The Panel considers that such a period would be sufficient enable the Registrant to address the risks which have been identified and to take the appropriate remedial action.


47. The Panel did consider making a Suspension Order but concluded that given that an appropriate Conditions of Practice Order can be formulated to address the risks identified, a Suspension Order is unnecessary and disproportionate.

 

Order

Order: That the Registrar is directed to annotate the Register to show that for a period of 12 months, you Dr Ildiko Ridley when working as a psychologist must comply with the following conditions of practice:


1) You must renew your registration and update your practice in accordance with the HCPC ‘Returning to Practice’ requirements.


2) You must promptly inform the HCPC if you obtain employment or if you commence any self-employment. 


3) You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary proceedings taken against you by your employer.


4) 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;


B. Any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered with (at the time of application)


C. Any prospective employer (at the time of your application).


5) You must provide a detailed written reflective piece regarding the Panel’s findings, to be forwarded to the HCPC 28 days before this order is reviewed.


6) Before returning to practice you must undertake courses on maintaining professional boundaries and record-keeping, and evidence of this to be forwarded to the HCPC 28 days before this order is reviewed.


7) You must supply details of your clinical supervisor to the HCPC within 14 days or your return to work.


8) You must allow your clinical supervisor to provide a written report to the HCPC about your adherence to maintaining professional boundaries and how you have complied with the requirement to maintain accurate and contemporaneous records. This report is to be forwarded to the HCPC 28 days before the order is next reviewed.

Notes

A hearing concluded in London on 23 November 2018 when Conditions of Practice were imposed. 

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Dr Ildiko Ridley

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
20/11/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Conditions of Practice
23/08/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Conditions of Practice
01/08/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Adjourned
06/04/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Conditions of Practice
08/01/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Conditions of Practice
18/07/2017 Investigating committee Interim Order Application Interim Conditions of Practice