Mr Ashok Chitte Sreenivas

Profession: Physiotherapist

Registration Number: Mr Ashok Chitte Sreenivas

Hearing Type: Restoration Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 28/11/2019 End: 17:00 28/11/2019

Location: Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Restoration not granted

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Allegation

In the course of your employment as a Physiotherapist at Physiomatters on 15 January 2009 had an appointment to see (RH) and at that appointment you:

1.Compromised RH’s dignity in that you:

a) When asking RH to undress:

i) Failed to provide a private area for RH to get undressed;

ii) Did not leave the room whilst RH was getting undressed;

iii) Upon RH questioning you about a private area for her to get undressed, informed her that the changing room was locked and could not be used;

iv) Failed to provide a gown for RH to cover herself with whilst getting undressed;

v) Failed to provide a gown for RH to cover herself with whilst undressed, and;

vi) Said words to the effect of “There is no need” when RH asked about a gown.

b) Upon commencing treatment:

i) Said words to the effect of “I need to undo this” and unfastened RH’s bra without her consent;

ii) Prevented RH from holding her bra in place by lifting her arms in the air;

iii) Prevented RH from grabbing her bra when it fell down, and;

iv) Said words to the effect of “There is no need” in relation to RH trying to hold her bra in place.

c) Throughout the consultation:

i) At no point allowed RH to put her bra on.

d) At the end of the consultation:

i) Failed to provide a private area for RH to get dressed, and;

ii) Did not leave the room.

2.The matters set out in particulars 1a-d constitute misconduct.

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

Finding

Background
1. The matter that has been considered by the Panel is an application made under Article 33 of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001 for restoration to the HCPC Register of Mr Sreenivas (Nishad) who was struck off the Register as a result of an order made by another panel of this Committee on 5 July 2010.

2. At the material time, between January and September 2009, the Applicant was working as a Physiotherapist at ‘Physiomatters’.

3. The Applicant provided inappropriate treatment to three of his female patients during three separate consultations.

4. The first such consultation involved the compromising of his patient’s dignity by, amongst other things, not providing her with a gown whilst she undressed and by unfastening her bra without her consent.

5. The latter two consultations involved inappropriate massages upon his patients in the breast and vaginal region, none of which were clinically justifiable.

6. The motivation in all cases was found to be indecent and or sexual. In reaching its decision, the panel at the final hearing declared that the Registrant’s suggestion that all three complainants had been lying was not worthy of belief.

7. In finding the Registrant’s fitness to practise impaired, the panel concluded that he had shown no insight into his behaviour or the consequences of his actions on the patients or the reputation of the profession.

8. Since then, the Applicant has worked as a Health Care Advisor in Pharmacy and completed a BSc (Hons) Psychology degree from Derby University. He has also trained and registered to work as a Domiciliary Care Support Worker. 

9. The Applicant now wishes to return to his chosen profession of physiotherapy, if necessary, under supervision.

Decision
10. Throughout its deliberations, the Panel remained conscious that the burden of proving that Mr Sreenivas (Nishad) is a fit and proper person to be restored to the Register was on the Applicant and that the applicable standard of proof is the civil one.

11. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and reminded itself of the contents the HCPTS Practice Note entitled, “Restoration to the Register”.

12. In considering this application, the Panel paid due regard to all the documents in this case and the submissions made by both parties.

13. There is no doubt, in the view of the Panel, that the proved behaviour of the Applicant was serious in the extreme. There were three separate patients who were subjected to his sexually motivated inappropriate treatment.

14. The Panel noted the comments of the previous panel that, at the material time, the Applicant showed no insight into his behaviour or the consequences of his actions on the patients or on the reputation of the profession.

15. This Panel considered that the Applicant continues to lack any insight into the impact of his conduct in relation to these patients. He told this Panel that he would only accept the allegations “if it helps my case”. When questioned about the consequences to the patients, he said “they would be experiencing a really similar pain and being let down, the same as me”. In terms of the profession, Mr Sreennivas (Nishad) accepted that he had let the profession down.

16. The original panel considered that the “possibility of this misconduct being remediable was remote in the light of his denial”. This Panel was not provided with any evidence of acceptance and/or remediation relating to a breach of professional boundaries and trust. There is no current evidence of the Applicant’s ability to maintain proper professional boundaries.  Further, there were no up to date references or testimonials at all and therefore nothing before the Panel which attested to the Applicant’s good character from those who were aware of the result of the previous panel’s determination.

17. The Applicant told the Panel that he was willing to do anything required of him. However, there is no evidence before the Panel that could persuade it that these matters are capable of being resolved by the Applicant because of his total lack of insight into his misconduct.

18. In terms of remedial or rehabilitative steps taken by the Applicant, the Panel considers that nothing that has been presented to it demonstrates that the Applicant has kept his knowledge and skills up to date.  In fact, in response to a question from the Panel, the Applicant admitted that he had not kept abreast of things and that his physiotherapy journal reading was approximately 10 years out of date. Furthermore, the Panel considered his explanation about his future plan regarding CPD extremely vague.

19. The Panel concluded that, on the basis of all the information before it, the general requirement for restoration is not met. Furthermore, the Panel concluded that, based on the Applicant’s total lack of insight into the impact of his misconduct on the three patients and the impact upon the wider public interest, he is not a fit and proper person to practise as a Physiotherapist.

20. Therefore, this application for restoration to the Register is refused.
a

Order

No information currently available

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Ashok Chitte Sreenivas

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
28/11/2019 Conduct and Competence Committee Restoration Hearing Restoration not granted