Mrs Anne M Y Kotecha

Profession: Occupational therapist

Registration Number: OT58595

Hearing Type: Voluntary Removal Agreement

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

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegation

Whilst registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as an Occupational Therapist, and employed by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust you:

1. On or around 13 June 2016 during the course of treating Service User 1:

a) delayed ordering the required equipment;

b) based your decision to consider bed rails on concerns raised by Service User 1’s daughter rather than your clinical assessment.

2. In respect of Service User 2:

a) on or around 14 September 2016 did not record sitting tilt angle recommendations;

b) on or around 30 June 2016 did not propose alternative plans for rehabilitation at the best interests meeting when was considered to have limited rehabilitation potential.

3.On or around 16 June 2016 whilst treating Service User 3, did not call Service User 3’s nursing home to assess suitability for discharge.

4. On or around 21 June 2016, in respect of Service User 4, did not call the social worker to check if there were any issues about hoisting the patient.

5. On or around 18 August 2016, in respect of Service User 5 did not establish and/or record:

a) patient pre admission function;

b) baseline mobility information;

c) what equipment Service User 5 had at home.

d) level of social and carer support Service User 5 had;

e) capacity;

f) contact with next of kin;

g) contact with Neuro Physiotherapist;

6. On or around 18 August 2016, in respect of Service User 7:

a) did not obtain the patient's consent for a stairs assessment, and/or document doing so;

b) completed a stairs assessment when the records indicated it was not necessary;

c) did not establish and/or document pain score before assessment;

7. On or around 4 November 2016 in respect of Service User 8:

a) set the frame at an uneven height before leaving it for the family of Service User 8 to collect;

b) did not show Service User 8’s family members how to fit the frame correctly;

c) did not trial the frame height while Service User 8 was on the ward;

d) did not document providing instructions for fitting a toilet frame to for Service User 8.

8. On or around 21 October 2016 you ordered a bed lever for Service User 9 but you:

a) advised the bed lever would be delivered that day without checking the lever was in stock;

b) did not check that the Therapy Support Worker was competent to fit the lever before arranging for them to fit it.

9. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 – 8 constitute lack of competence.

10. By reason of your lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Service and proceeding in absence

1. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant received proper notice of this hearing. A Notice of Hearing dated 17 July 2019 detailing the date, time, and location was sent to the Registrant’s registered address and to her email address.

2. The Panel was satisfied, therefore, that Notice had been properly served as required by Rules 3 and 5 of the Health and Care Professions Council (Health Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 (“the Rules”).

3. Ms Ktisti submitted that it was appropriate to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. She submitted that the Registrant was aware of the hearing and that there was therefore no reason not to proceed. In an email dated 22 July 2019 from the Registrant, she stated that she would not be attending the hearing and neither would she be represented.

4. The Panel was aware that its discretion to proceed in absence is one which should be exercised with care. The Legal Assessor gave advice to the Panel and referred it to the guidance in Adeogba v GMC [2016] EWCA Civ 162 and the HCPTS Practice Note on “Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant”. The Panel was advised that it should exercise discretion whether or not to proceed having regard to all the circumstances. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant is aware of the hearing and that it is appropriate to proceed in her absence.

Background

5. This is an application for voluntary removal of the Registrant from the Register. The Registrant is a registered Occupational Therapist. Concerns regarding the Registrant’s practice were raised with the HCPC by the Registrant’s previous employer on 23 February 2017. The HCPC considered the documentation before it and drafted multiple allegations in the terms set out in the Voluntary Removal Agreement (VRA), Schedule A.

6. On 18 April 2019, an Investigating Committee of the HCPC found that there was a case to answer in respect of those allegations.

7. On 9 May 2019, the Registrant contacted the HCPC to inform them that she had not practiced in the profession since she had resigned from employment in December 2016.

8. The HCPC reviewed the case and considered that it was suitable for disposal by way of voluntary removal from the Register. The Registrant confirmed in an email on 6 June 2019 that she wished for the matter to proceed by way of voluntary removal and she did not contest the allegations. She subsequently signed the VRA on 4 August 2019, accepting that her fitness to practise is impaired and confirming that she has no intention of returning to practise.

Decision

Submissions

9. Ms Ktisti, on behalf of the HCPC, referred the Panel to the background of this matter. She submitted that this is a case concerning lack of competence as a result of poor communication and record-keeping. She submitted that voluntary removal from the Register is appropriate in this case and would protect the public and the wider public interest. She noted that the case did not involve issues of dishonesty or misconduct. Finally, she invited the Panel to dispose of the case in the terms set out in the VRA.

Panel’s Decision

10. The Panel had regard to the HCPTS Practice Note on “Disposal of Cases by Consent”, dated March 2018. In particular, it noted:

“….a Panel should not agree to a case being resolved by consent unless it is satisfied that:

• the appropriate level of public protection is being secured; and

• doing so would not be detrimental to the wider public interest.”

11. The Panel noted that this case concerns a range of fundamental expectations of an Occupational Therapist that were not being met by the Registrant. In her communications to the HCPC, she recognises her own shortcomings. In her reflective statement dated 4 June 2019, she states:

“After an extended consideration and time for reflection, I have considered to voluntary remove myself from the register … Since my resignation … I have pursued a new path way in the family business of property renovations … I feel my journey as an OT has been a long process with many learning outcomes for reflection and personal change however, I intend not to return to the profession in the foreseeable future”.

12. In all the circumstances, the Panel was satisfied that the HCPC has put forward an objectively justified explanation for why the matter is suitable for disposal by a VRA.

13. The Panel was satisfied that the public would be protected by the removal of the Registrant from the HCPC Register.

14. The Panel were also satisfied that the wider public interest will also be served by the VRA, and dealing with the matter in this way is a pragmatic and proportional response to the concerns raised. The Panel noted the concerns related to lack of competence rather than misconduct.

15. The Panel was satisfied that the need to maintain public confidence in the profession would not be undermined if this matter was disposed of by consent, and that a substantive hearing was not required in order to uphold and declare professional standards.

16. The Panel therefore approves the signed VRA dated 30 July 2019.

Order

The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Mrs Anne M Y Kotecha from the Register with immediate effect.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mrs Anne M Y Kotecha

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
28/10/2019 Conduct and Competence Committee Voluntary Removal Agreement Voluntary Removal agreed