Miss Natasha Badhan

Profession: Operating department practitioner

Registration Number: ODP35972

Hearing Type: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 03/01/2019 End: 12:30 03/01/2019

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Struck off

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Allegation

On 11 May 2016 at Black Country Magistrates’ Court you were convicted of:

  1. Driving a motor vehicle after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in your breath, namely 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, exceeded the prescribed limit.
  2. By reason of your conviction as set out in paragraph 1 your fitness to practise as an Operating Department Practitioner is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Proof of service

1.The documentation before the Panel indicated that on 30 November 2018 a notice of hearing was sent to the Registrant at her registered address. The notice set out all relevant information about today’s proceedings. A confirmatory email was sent to the Registrant on the same day. The Panel was therefore satisfied that service had been effected in accordance with the rules.

Proceeding in the absence of the Registrant

2.Ms Knight applied for the hearing to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. She said that the Registrant is aware of these proceedings but has not engaged with the HCPC. Ms Knight submitted that the Registrant has therefore waived her right to be present. The Registrant had not applied for an adjournment and there is nothing before the Panel today which would indicate that she would be likely to attend if the matter were to be adjourned.

3.In reaching its decision the Panel considered all the information before it together with the submissions of Ms Knight and the HCPC Practice Note on proceeding in absence. It accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

4.This is a mandatory review of a substantive order.  The Panel was aware that the Registrant did not attend either the substantive hearing or the review hearing. The Panel concluded that the Registrant has voluntarily absented herself from this hearing. There is a public interest in proceeding with this review and no useful purpose would be served if it were to be adjourned. The Panel is therefore satisfied that it is appropriate to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. 

Background

5.The Registrant, Natasha Badhan, was employed as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) by Dudley Group Hospital (the Hospital).

6.On the morning of 22 February 2016, the Registrant was charged with driving with excess alcohol. On the 11 May 2016 at Worley Magistrates Court she was convicted of driving a motor vehicle with excess alcohol. The level of alcohol was in excess of twice the legal limit. She was disqualified from driving for 1 months, fined four hundred and fifty pounds, with costs of three hundred pounds.

7.On 11 May 2016 the Registrant self-referred her conviction to the HCPC. 


8.On 28 June 2016 the Registrant, by email to the HCPC, gave an account of how she came to be driving with excess alcohol.

9.The Substantive hearing in this matter was heard on 6 January 2017 when that Panel found the Registrant’s fitness to practise to be impaired by reason of her conviction and it imposed a 12 month Condition of Practice order.

10.On 15 December 2017 at a review hearing the Conditions of Practice Order was replaced by a Suspension Order for 12 months.

11.The Registrant did not attend either the substantive hearing or the review hearing.

Decision

12.In reaching its decision the Panel considered all the information before it together with the submissions of Ms Knight. It had regard to the HCPC Standards of Conduct Performance and Ethics; Practice Note Review of Article 30 Sanction Orders; and Indicative Sanctions Policy. It accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. It has exercised the principle of proportionality at all times.


13.The Panel had regard to the decisions of previous panels but it has comprehensively reviewed the matter.


14.The Panel first considered whether the Registrant fitness to practice is currently impaired by reason of her conviction. 

15.The Panel had regard to the matters identified by the Panel at the substantive hearing:

The Panel was particularly concerned, in light of the level by which she was over the prescribed limit, that the Registrant did not appear to have realised that she was still under the influence of alcohol when she went out that morning and drove her car.

The Panel noted that the Registrant has shown some remorse and that, in pleading guilty to the offence, she has acknowledged her wrongdoing. However, the Panel was concerned that the Registrant had shown only limited insight into that wrongdoing.

The Panel was concerned that the most recent information before it was in the Registrant’s written representations dated 28 June 2016. It had no information about the Registrant’s practice either before or since the matter that led to her conviction. There are no references or testimonials from her employer or her colleagues there, despite there being a reference to such in the Registrant’s written representations.

The Panel was also concerned that, in those written representations, the Registrant appeared to have been on her way to work when she was stopped by police and subsequently arrested. If that is so, there is a clear risk to service users (i) in any ODP working whilst under the influence of alcohol and (ii) in the Registrant’s case as she did not appear to realise the effect the alcohol had on her.

The Panel noted that, in her written representations, the Registrant had stated that she would not repeat this conduct. She refers to having seen her GP and that she had received support. However, there is no evidence as to what she had actually done in order to remedy her shortcomings such as educating herself as to the effects of alcohol. In those circumstances, the Panel is unable to say other than that there is a risk of repetition.

16.The Registrant has not engaged with the HCPC since the previous review and as a consequence there is no new information before the Panel. Furthermore the Registrant has not provided the information suggested by the previous reviewing panel. In the absence of anything to indicate insight or reflection the Panel could not be satisfied that there is not a risk of repetition.

17.The Panel has therefore concluded that the Registrant’s fitness to practice remains impaired. It had reached this decision having considered the need to protect service users and also to maintain public confidence in the profession and in the HCPC as Regulator.

18.In regard to sanction the Panel determined that in the absence of any current information from the Registrant appropriate and sufficient conditions of practice could not be formulated. It therefore considered whether a further period of suspension would be appropriate, sufficient to protect the public and to address public interest concerns. It concluded however that in the absence of engagement from the Registrant, she now having been subject to conditions for 12 months and suspension for 12 months, a further period of suspension would be inappropriate.

19.The Panel has therefore concluded that the only appropriate, sufficient and proportionate sanction is that of a strike off order.   

Order

The Panel decided to impose a Strike Off Order from the day this order comes into effect.

This Order comes into effect on 03 February 2019.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Miss Natasha Badhan

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
03/01/2019 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Struck off
15/12/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
06/01/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Conditions of Practice