Mr Brian Simpson
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By reason of your physical and/or mental health, your fitness to practise as an Operating Department Practitioner is impaired
Proof of Service
1. The Panel was provided with a signed certificate as proof that the Notice of Hearing had been sent in a letter, by first class post on 16 September 2019, to the address shown for the Registrant on the Health and Care Professions Council (‘HCPC’) Register.
2. The Notice of Hearing was also sent to the Registrant by email on the same date. The Panel was satisfied that Notice had been properly served in accordance with Rule 3 (Proof of Service) and Rule 6 (date, time and venue) of the Health and Care Professions Council (Health Committee) (Procedure) Rules.
Proceeding in Absence
3. Ms Simpson, on behalf of the HCPC, made an application for the hearing to proceed in the Registrant’s absence, under Rule 11 of the Health and Care Professions Council (Health Committee) (Procedure) Rules.
4. The Panel was advised by the Legal Assessor and accepted that advice. The Panel also took into account the guidance as set out in the HCPTS Practice Note ‘Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant’.
5. The Panel determined that it was fair and reasonable to proceed with the hearing in the absence of the Registrant for the following reasons:
i. the Panel determined that good service of the Notice of Hearing had been effected;
ii. the Panel was satisfied that the Registrant was aware of today’s proceedings owing to his signature, dated 21 October 2019, on the Voluntary Removal Agreement which highlighted the date of today’s hearing;
iii. the Registrant has not made an application to adjourn and there is no indication that if the case were to be adjourned that he would attend on any future date;
iv. the Panel had regard to the Registrant’s email to the HCPC, dated 26 July 2019, where he stated “I would like for this [email] to be read out in any hearing to come”. The Panel inferred from the Registrant’s email that he did not intend on attending the hearing and that consequently, he had waived his right to appear in person;
v. there is no disadvantage to the Registrant as he has made it clear in his communications with the HCPC that he wishes to be removed from the Register; and
vi. it is in the public interest and in the Registrant’s own interests that this hearing commences and proceeds expeditiously.
Application for hearing to be heard in private
6. Ms Simpson invited the Panel to conduct all of the hearing in private. She submitted that conducting the hearing in private would protect the Registrant’s right to a private life. She further submitted that owing to the nature of the Allegation it would be impractical to hear parts of the case in private and parts in public owing to the fact that the Registrant’s health was inextricably linked to the Allegation and its particulars contained therein.
7. The Panel accepted the Legal Assessor’s advice and had regard to the HCPTS Practice Note on ‘Conducting Hearings in Private’.
8. The Panel also carefully considered the documentary evidence provided, Ms Simpson’s submissions and the public interest grounds in the case being heard in public.
9. The Panel was satisfied, taking into account the medical reports and evidence before it, that there was a need to protect the Registrant’s right to a private life. The Panel also accepted Ms Simpson’s submission that the Registrant’s health was inextricably linked to the Allegation.
10. Further, the Panel considered that it would be impractical and unworkable to consider the parts of the hearing pertaining to the Registrant’s health only, in private. Consequently, the Panel ordered that all of the case should be heard in private.
11. As such, this is the redacted version of the decision.
12. Prior to reaching a decision on the application for voluntary removal from the Register, the Panel carefully considered all of the information and evidence before it and the terms of the Voluntary Removal Agreement. The Panel also took into account the oral submissions made by Ms Simpson and the correspondence between the HCPC and the Registrant.
13. On the advice of the Legal Assessor, the Panel considered the criteria for voluntary removal.
14. Based on the documentary evidence and the full admissions made by the Registrant, the Panel was satisfied that the particulars of the Allegation were capable of being found proved on the balance of probabilities. The Panel took into account the nature and gravity of the Registrant’s conduct and was satisfied that these factors would have supported a finding of current impairment of fitness to practise. The Panel was of the view that this case does not raise concerns in regards to the wider public interest to such an extent that the matter must be disposed of at a final hearing. In addition, the Panel also noted the Registrant’s health issues and that a return to practice was unlikely.
15. In considering whether removal of the Registrant’s name from the Register was proportionate the Panel noted that his conduct had the potential to damage the reputation of the profession and was likely to undermine public trust and confidence in the profession. In all the circumstances, the Panel concluded that approval of the proposed Voluntary Removal Agreement is both proportionate and appropriate. The Panel also determined that there is a legitimate public interest in avoiding a substantive hearing where full admissions have been made as to the facts and grounds, and where the Registrant has expressed a clear desire to be removed from the Register.
16. Therefore, the Panel consented to the Voluntary Removal Agreement and was satisfied that the Allegation should be withdrawn.
The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Mr Brian Simpson from the Register with immediate effect.
No notes available
History of Hearings for Mr Brian Simpson
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|26/11/2019||Health Committee||Voluntary Removal Agreement||Voluntary Removal agreed|
|03/09/2019||Investigating Committee||Interim Order Review||Interim Suspension|
|13/05/2019||Investigating Committee||Interim Order Review||Interim Suspension|
|15/11/2018||Investigating committee||Interim Order Application||Interim Conditions of Practice|