Mr Simon White

Profession: Physiotherapist

Registration Number: PH98038

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 31/10/2018 End: 17:00 31/10/2018

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

During the course of your employment as a Physiotherapist with Bristol Community Health, between August 2012 and 23 January 2015;


1. In relation to Patient A you:

(a) Required prompting to ensure all the brakes on the commode were engaged prior to transferring Patient A to the commode;

(b) Did not plan for and/or show evidence of planning for Patient A’s discharge;

(c) Did not fully complete the notes of your session with Patient A on 23 June 2014;

(d) Did not develop exercise programmes for Patient A which were patient-specific and/or goal focused.


2. On 13 August 2014, whilst completing an initial physiotherapy assessment with an amputee patient, Patient B, you:

(a) Did not ensure that the surrounding area was safe and unobstructed prior to requesting Patient B to wheel themselves to the parallel bars.

(b) Did not move and/or prompt the patient to move the foot plate on the patient’s wheelchair before he stood up.

(c) Did not move the stump plate before allowing Patient B to transfer from the wheelchair to the parallel bars.

(d) Did not move the stump plate before allowing Patient B to sit back down.


3. On the 19 August 2014, whilst conducting a manual handling assessment and an initial assessment with Patient C who had a revision of a total hip replacement you;

(a) Did not notice that the chair available to Patient C was too low which increased the risk of Patient C’s hip dislocating.

(b) Positioned Patient C at the edge of the bed thereby increasing the risk of falling.

(c) Did not obtain full details regarding Patient C’s multiple sclerosis.

(d) Conducted limited objective assessments of Patient C and did not record the clinical reasoning as why this was the case.


4. On 20 August 2014 whilst assessing Patient D who was recovering from a fractured hip, you:

(a) Did not adequately observe Patient D undertaking a hip extension exercise thereby:

(i) Allowing her to perform the exercise incorrectly;

(ii) Leaving her at risk of hitting her head on the wall;

(b) Did not seek and/or record information regarding Patient D’s previous falls;

(c) Did not and/or had to be prompted to carry out a cognitive assessment of Patient D;

(d) Did not carry out a balance assessment;

(e) Did not plan and/or record planned treatment in relation to Patient D;

(f) Did not show evidence of clinical reasoning in relation to the patient’s risk of falling;

(g) Did not, without assistance, notice and/or record that Patient D’s left leg caused them the most difficulty with mobility;

(h) Did not, without assistance, record and/or analyse Patient D’s co-morbidities;

(i) Did not complete clear and/or comprehensive patient records regarding the range of motion in both of Patient D’s legs.


5. Assessed Patient E’s outdoor mobility on 30 October 2014, and you:

(a) Did not discuss the assessment with the patient and/or provide her with instructions prior to commencing the assessment;

(b) Did not prompt the patient to check for oncoming traffic before commencing a road crossing, which led to a colleague standing in the middle of the road to slow oncoming traffic;

(c) Did not record the incident referred to above in the patient notes.


6. On 3 November 2014, whilst attempting to carry out a sliding board transfer from a bed to a wheelchair in relation to Patient F you did not:

(a) Place the sliding board in the correct position underneath the patient in order to complete the transfer from the bed to wheelchair;

(b) React appropriately when Patient F became fatigued and/or moved too close to the end of the bed thereby increasing the risk of falling;

(c) Provide instructions to the rehabilitation worker assisting you with the transfer.


7. The matters set out in paragraphs 1-6 constitutes lack of competence.


8. By reason of your lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters:

Service:

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 4 September 2018 and by email on the same date. The Panel was satisfied that notice had been properly served as required by the Rules.

Proceeding in absence:

2.Ms Knight applied for the hearing to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. Ms Knight referred the panel to the contents of a telephone attendance file note dated 30 October 2018 in which the Registrant informed the HCPC that he would not be attending this hearing and that he did not want to attend by telephone. The Panel received 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.

3.The Panel had regard to the contents of the telephone attendance note dated 30 October 2018 and concluded that the Registrant was aware of this hearing and had voluntarily absented himself. Given the nature of this hearing, the Panel was also satisfied that no purpose would be served by adjourning to another date. Accordingly, the Panel decided to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.

Background

4.At the relevant times the Registrant was a registered Physiotherapist employed as a Band 5 Physiotherapist at Bristol Community Health (BCH). He was on six-monthly rotations as part of the Band 5 rotation programme. The Registrant was responsible for treating and assessing patients in the community, outpatients or those who were staying at the centre and was also required to plan for the discharge of patients. The Registrant joined the North Bristol Rehabilitation Centre (the North Centre) on 31 March 2014 where he worked for approximately six months before joining the South Community Rehabilitation Team.

5.Concerns were raised about the Registrant’s performance particularly in relation to his goal planning, treatment reviews, prioritisation and time management. Notwithstanding additional supervision over an extended period of time, across multiple teams, an action plan and a capability assessment, the Registrant’s performance did not improve and a referral was then made by BCH to the HCPC.

6.The allegations were considered by a Conduct and Competence Committee at a substantive hearing which took place between 14 – 16 November 2016. All of the facts were found proved and the statutory ground of lack of competence was established. The Registrant’s fitness to practise was found to be impaired and a sanction of a suspension order for 12 months was imposed.

7.The suspension order was first reviewed on 28 November 2017 resulting in the suspension order being extended for a further period of six months. The suspension order was again reviewed on 8 May 2018 which resulted in it being extended for a further period of 9 months from 14 June 2018 and due to expire on 14 March 2019.

Decision

8.The Panel heard submissions from Ms Knight who referred it to the skeleton argument in support of the application. Ms Knight referred the Panel to the contents of a statement from the Registrant which was sent to the HCPC by letter dated 1 May 2018 in which the Registrant, in asking for a voluntary removal, informed the HCPC that he had not worked as a Physiotherapist or used that title since the Trust first raised their concerns about his practice. He also stated that he did not intend to seek to return to practice as a Physiotherapist now or in the future.

9.Ms Knight submitted that the HCPC was satisfied that voluntary removal from the Register was an appropriate disposal of this case and would protect the public and was in the public interest. This was because its effect was the same as a strike-off from the Register following a finding of impairment of fitness to practise in that it would prevent the Registrant from practising or applying to re-join the Register for a period of five years. Further, any application for re-registration after 5 years would require a return to practice validation.

10.The Panel received and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

11.The Panel first reminded itself of the guidance offered in the HCPC Practice Note entitled “Disposal of Cases by Consent”. The Panel noted that it had the power to adopt one of two courses of action:

i.to deal with the case in an expedited manner by approving the proposal set out in the Voluntary Removal Agreement;

ii.to reject the proposal and set the matter down for a substantive hearing.

12.The Panel noted that the public is currently protected because the Registrant is suspended following a final hearing. If the Voluntary Removal Agreement is approved the public would continue to be protected as the Registrant would be unable to practise for at least 5 years and, if he wishes to return to practice, he would need to reapply and be subject to a revalidation process.

13.The Panel notes that the Registrant’s fitness to practise has been found to be impaired at a final hearing and two substantive review hearings. He had been subject to a sanction. These two elements satisfied the wider public interest by upholding standards and confidence in the profession and regulator. This would not be undermined by the granting of the Voluntary Removal Agreement.

14.For all these reasons, the Panel considered it appropriate to approve the signed Voluntary Removal Agreement dated 3 October 2018.

Order

The Panel approves the Voluntary Removal Agreement signed by the HCPC and by the Registrant. The Registrar is directed to revoke the current Suspension Order and remove the name of Mr Simon White from the Register with immediate effect.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Simon White

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
31/10/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed
08/05/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
28/11/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
14/11/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended