Mr Mark L O'Toole
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By reason of your physical and/or mental health your fitness to practise as an Operating Department Practitioner is impaired.
1. This is a hearing for the consideration and, subject to its consent, approval by the Panel, of an agreement for the voluntary removal [Voluntary Removal Agreement (VRA)] from the register of the name of Mr Mark L O’Toole [the Registrant]. A copy of the VRA dated 21 November 2019, signed by the Registrant and by an official of the HCPC was before the Panel together with an appropriate letter signed by the Registrant and an Agreed Statement. The Panel has read all these documents.
2. On 20 August 2019, a Panel of the Investigating Committee of the HCPC, determined that there was a case for the Registrant to answer in respect of the following allegation:
By reason of your physical and/or mental Health, as described in Schedule A, your fitness to practise as an Operating Department Practitioner is impaired.
3. For the purposes of this hearing, the HCPC has submitted and the Panel has read a Skeleton Argument, signed by Ms Louisa Simpson and dated 18 December 2019. [the Skeleton Argument].
4. The Panel was aware that written notice of these proceedings was posted by first class post to the Registrant at his registered address on 12 November 2019. The notice was also sent by email on the same date. The Panel was shown documents which established both the fact of the service and the identity of the Registrant’s registered address and of his email address. In these circumstances the Panel accepted that proper service of the notice had been effected in accordance with the rules.
Proceeding in the absence of the Registrant.
5. Ms Simpson on behalf of the HCPC submitted that the Panel should consider the case in the absence of the Registrant.
6. Ms Simpson told the Panel that the Registrant has informed the HCPC by an email dated 2 November 2019 that he did not wish to attend this hearing. The Panel has read this email.
7. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.
8. The Panel was aware that a decision to proceed in the absence of the Registrant was one to be taken with great care and caution. However the Panel has decided to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. The reasons are as follows:
• Service of the appropriate notice of this hearing has been properly effected.
• The Registrant has not applied for an adjournment.
• The Registrant has informed the HCPC that he does not wish to attend this hearing.
• The Panel has kept in mind the guidance contained in the Practice Note issued by the HCPTS.
• There is no reason to suppose that an adjournment would result in the future attendance of the Registrant.
• There is a public interest in proceeding in order to bring these proceedings to a conclusion, which is the wish of both the Registrant and the HCPC.
• In these circumstances it is deemed that the Registrant has voluntarily absented himself.
Proceeding in Private
9. Ms Simpson on behalf of the HCPC submitted that the entirety of this hearing should be in private. She explained that the state of the Registrant’s health would be central to the submissions that were to be made. Having heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor the Panel directed that the entirety of this hearing should be in private.
10. On 23 August 2019 the Registrant sent an email to the HCPC. In that email he explained the circumstances which he said had contributed to his actions. He explained the actions that he had taken and was taking, to address his underlying health problems. He accepted that there was a risk of repetition. He stated that he did not intend to practise as an Operating Department Practitioner in the future and he requested that the matter should be disposed of consensually. The Panel has seen a copy of the email.
11. Following the Registrant’s email of 23 August 2019, the HCPC reviewed the case and determined that subject to the normal procedures, the Allegation against the Registrant could properly be resolved by way of his voluntary removal from the register. The HCPC requested the Registrant to confirm his position as regards disposing of the Allegation by way of his voluntary removal from the register.
12. By an email dated 24 September 2019, the Registrant confirmed that he wished the Allegation against him to be resolved by way of his voluntary removal from the register.
The decision of the Panel
13. In deciding whether or not to approve the agreement for Voluntary Removal the Panel has had regard to the Practice Note published by the HCPTS in March 2018 and entitled Disposal of Cases by Consent.
14. The Panel has concluded that the VRA should be approved and that an order should be made in the terms set out. Its reasons are as follows;
• The Registrant has admitted the Allegation in full and did so soon after the Investigating Committee determined that he had a case to answer in respect of the Allegation detailed above. He has also admitted that his fitness to practise was thereby impaired.
• The public will be adequately protected by the voluntary removal of the Registrant’s name from the register, which will have the same effect as if he had been struck off.
• There are no reasons of a public interest kind to require a hearing of the Allegation.
15. For all the reasons that are set out above, the Panel has determined to approve the outcome sought in the VRA with immediate effect: In particular the Panel agrees that the HCPC should be permitted to withdraw the Allegation and that the Registrant shall voluntarily remove his name from the Register with effect from today’s date.
Order: The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Mr Mark L O’ Toole from the Register with immediate effect.
No notes available
History of Hearings for Mr Mark L O'Toole
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|18/12/2019||Health Committee||Voluntary Removal Agreement||Voluntary Removal agreed|