Mr Christopher J Walsh

Profession: Radiographer

Registration Number: RA39038

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 14/10/2019 End: 17:00 15/10/2019

Location: The 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

(As amended at the final hearing commencing 14 October 2019).

While registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Radiographer:

1. On 1 March 2018 at Greater Manchester Magistrates' Court, you were convicted as follows; On 23/1/2018 at Wythenshawe Hospital in the County of Greater Manchester stole medical drugs and paraphernalia, of a value unknown belonging to Manchester NHS Trust, contrary to Section 1(1) and 7 of the Theft Act 1968.

2. On or around 24 January 2018, you self-administered drugs that you had taken from your place of work.

3. The matters set out in paragraph 2 constitute misconduct.

4. By reason of your conviction and / or misconduct, your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Service

1. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant had been properly served with a Notice of Hearing dated 16 August 2019, in accordance with the Rules.

Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant

2. Mr Lloyd made an application for the hearing to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. He referred the Panel to an email dated 11 October 2019 at 9:46pm from the Registrant to the HCPTS stating that he would not attend today’s hearing due to his work commitments and asking for the opportunity to make a statement for the Panel to take into account in the event that the hearing proceeded in his absence.

3. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and took into account the HCPTS Practice Note “Proceeding in the absence of the Registrant”. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant had voluntarily waived his right to attend. There was no application for an adjournment. In the circumstances, the Panel decided that it should proceed with the hearing in the absence of the Registrant.

Application to amend the Allegation

4. Mr Lloyd applied to amend Particular 2 of the Allegation to change the date from 23/1/2019 to 23/1/2018. The Panel was informed by Mr Lloyd that the Registrant was aware that this application would be made and did not oppose it. The Panel was satisfied that the proposed amendment was to correct a typographical error in the date and that no injustice would thereby be caused to the Registrant. The Panel therefore granted the application to amend.

Hearing in Private

5. Mr Lloyd submitted that the entire hearing should be conducted in private as the particulars of the Allegation were inextricably linked with issues relating to the health and private life of the Registrant. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel directed that, for the reasons relied upon by Mr Lloyd, the entire hearing should be in private.


Decision on Sanction

6. In the Panel’s judgment, the appropriate and proportionate sanction in this case is a Striking Off Order. This sanction protects the public and reflects the seriousness of the Registrant’s conduct. Public confidence in the profession and the Regulator would be undermined by the imposition of any lesser sanction.

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to strike the name of Mr Christopher J Walsh from the Register on the date this Order comes into effect.

Notes

Interim Order

1. Mr Lloyd made an application for an Interim Suspension Order for a period of 18 months to cover the appeal period or until any appeal lodged has been determined.

2. The Panel noted Mr Lloyd’s submissions and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

3. It considered whether to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. The Panel noted that the Notice of Hearing had set out the process for an interim order and the Registrant had been put on notice that, in the event of a finding that required consideration of this matter, the HCPC would be making an application. The Panel therefore decided that it will proceed with this application in the Registrant’s absence. There is no indication that the Registrant would attend at a future date if the Panel adjourned to make its decision on this issue and there is public interest in this matter being considered today.

4. Given the Panel’s findings that the Registrant’s actions are fundamentally at variance with remaining on the Register and a Striking Off Order has been imposed, it would be inconsistent with that need for public protection and the wider public interest not to impose some form of interim order. The Panel, for the same reasons it identified above, came to the conclusion that it is impracticable and inappropriate to formulate interim conditions of practice in this instance.

5. The Panel therefore makes an Interim Suspension Order under Article 31(2) of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001, the same being in the public interest, having regard to the Panel’s findings of fact and determination as to impairment and sanction.

6. This Order will expire: (if no appeal is made against the Panel’s decision and Order) upon the expiry of the period during which such an appeal could be made; (if an appeal is made against the Panel’s decision and Order) the final determination of that appeal. This Interim Suspension Order is made for the maximum period of 18 months.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Christopher J Walsh

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
14/10/2019 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Struck off