Mr Stuart Brown

Profession:

Registration Number: PH107475

Interim Order: Imposed on 13 Mar 2018

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 03/09/2019 End: 17:00 09/09/2019

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

Panel: Health Committee
Outcome: Conditions of Practice

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Allegation

By reason of your physical and/or mental health your fitness to practise as a Physiotherapist is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary matters:


Hearing in private
1. Ms Vignoles, on behalf of the HCPC, made an application for the entire hearing to be conducted in private, under Rule 10(1)(a) of the Health Professions Council (Health Committee) (Procedure) Rules, 2003. The reasons she gave were to protect the private life of the Registrant, as the case concerned the Registrant’s health, as well as the private life of a family member of the Registrant, who was likely to be mentioned during the hearing. Ms Hart for the Registrant agreed with the application.


2. Having received advice from the Legal Assessor, the Panel granted that application, for the reasons provided by Ms Vignoles. The Panel considered, given the Registrant’s health is inextricably linked with his fitness to practise, it would be difficult to hear part of the case in public and part of the case in private. Accordingly, the Panel determined that the entire hearing will be conducted in private.


Evidence by video/telephone link
3. Ms Hart made an application for Ms SVD to give her evidence by video link (although this later became an application for evidence by telephone link due to the sound failing on the video link) pursuant to Article 32(3) of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001. The reasons for this are that Ms SVD is a busy clinician and is unable to take time away from work.


4. The Panel granted the application for Ms SVD to provide evidence video/telephone-link.


Background:
5. The Registrant was employed by Walsall NHS Trust (the Trust) as a Band 5 Rotational Physiotherapist from 10 August 2015 until 27 November 2017. He participated in four-month rotations across four clinical areas. This involved working across the Trust in a range of clinical settings throughout the hospital and community.


6. It was alleged that, during the period above, there were a series of wide-ranging and serious clinical failings and incidents of absenteeism. As a result, a capability process was instigated i.e. a time-limited process providing support, monitoring and supervision to give the Registrant an opportunity to demonstrate improvements in his practise. An informal capability process commenced in January 2017, followed by a formal capability process in February 2017. The HCPC allege that the Registrant was unable to demonstrate sufficient improvements during the currency of those capability procedures.


7. By November 2017 the Registrant was no longer working for the Trust.


Evidence before the Panel at the hearing
8. The Panel heard oral evidence from the following witnesses:


Ms MC, Clinical Team Lead, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust


9. The Panel heard oral evidence from Ms MC. She confirmed her written statement was true and provided further elaboration of the points raised. She confirmed that the Registrant worked with her on his respiratory rotation. She said the Registrant did not meet the expected competencies such as clinical reasoning and discharge planning. She said she noticed little improvement during the time the Registrant was on rotation with her. She stated that this was notwithstanding the fact that the Registrant was working on a reduced caseload.


10. Ms MC further confirmed that she instigated the Trust’s capability procedures which involved regular monitoring and supervision of the Registrant over a period of time. She said that she was aware of the Registrant’s health conditions at the time he joined the respiratory team. She said she later became aware of the advice of the Occupational Health team once she re-referred the Registrant to them. She said she felt she had implemented the reasonable adjustments suggested by the Occupational Health team.


11. Ms MC was concerned that the Registrant’s progress within the respiratory team was significantly impeded by his frequent absences due to sickness. She said that, as a result, the Registrant was not operating at a comparable level to those of his fellow colleagues.


12. Ms MC conceded in cross examination that she was not aware of any evidence of any concerns during the palliative care rotation in relation to the Registrant’s practice and confirmed that she was surprised that the Registrant was underperforming in view of his good academic credentials. She acknowledged that the Registrant recognised and apologised for his mistakes and was co-operative and attempted to improve his performance.


13. The Panel found Ms MC to be a reliable, consistent, experienced and credible witness, and accepted her written and oral evidence. The Panel accepted her evidence that during the Registrant’s various rotations, he was seriously falling short of the expected competencies owing to his health. The Panel also accepted that the Registrant was frequently absent from work, again, owing to ill health.


Dr PC
14. The Panel considered carefully the report of Dr PC which suggests that the Registrant is currently fit to work, subject to an initial two week period of supervision.


15. He confirmed his opinion that the Registrant is currently fit to practise, provided he remains in remission and subject to a period of close supervision.


16. In terms of the Registrant’s insight, Dr PC stated that it had ‘shifted a little bit’. Dr PC said that when he met the Registrant in May 2019, the Registrant did not really acknowledge the concerns in relation to his past performance at work and the impact of his health on patients. During his interview with the Registrant at the start of this hearing, the Registrant was asked whether his actions put patients at risk and his response was ‘maybe’. Dr PC said that there was a small degree of minimisation as to frequency and the number of problems that arose with respect to the Registrant’s practice.


17. In relation to a risk of relapse, Dr PC indicated that the Registrant is doing all he can to reduce these risks. He said the Registrant was very motivated to get back to work, he was receiving the correct treatment and appeared to be compliant with medication.


18. Dr PC stated that he believed that the Registrant could currently return to a Band 5 physiotherapy role (providing he remained in remission), but this would depend on his competence to do so. He said it would be sensible to assess the Registrant’s ability/competence to undertake a Band 5 role whilst he was in remission from his health conditions. He said that the Registrant recognised that he was not ready for a Band 5 role at this stage and wished to carry on for a further 6 months in his current role before applying for a more senior role.


19. The Panel accepted Dr PC’s written and oral evidence as being balanced. It was clear, considered and authoritative. The Panel accepted the conclusions reached by Dr PC that the Registrant is fit to practise whilst his condition is in remission and subject to a period of supervision, although Dr PC accepted that his recommended supervision period of 2 weeks may be too short.


20. The Panel remained concerned however as to the level of insight developed by the Registrant into the impact his health condition had or could have had on past service users.


Ms SVD, Physiotherapy Team Lead, Princess of Wales Community Hospital
21. Ms SVD provided a testimonial letter dated 14 January 2019 in relation to the Registrant working as a Physiotherapy Assistant, at the Worcestershire and Health and Care NHS Trust (the ‘Worcestershire Trust’) since September 2018. Within that letter she said that the Registrant was performing well in his role. She confirmed this in her oral evidence.


22. Ms SVD indicated that she is a Band 7 Physiotherapy Lead and is the Registrant’s line manager. She said she has had no concerns as to his performance whilst employed at the Worcestershire Trust. She said that she thought he would be capable of becoming a Band 5 Physiotherapist in the future. She indicated various plans that could be put in place to achieve this aim, including a preceptorship as an Assistant Physiotherapist which involved indirect and direct supervision, for a 3-month period if the Registrant was in the same specialism of geriatrics, but this may require a longer period if he was to enter another specialism. If the Registrant was to immediately enter a Band 5 position Ms SVD stated that there would be the possibility of undertaking a rotational Band 5 scheme, supervised by a Band 6 or 7 Physiotherapist.


23. When cross examined by the HCPC, Ms SVD accepted that the Registrant’s current role as an Assistant Physiotherapist carried less responsibility than a Band 5 physiotherapist. Band 5 Physiotherapists, for example, would undertake assessments and devise treatment plans. Having said that, she indicated that the main difference within the Worcestershire Trust of working as a Band 5 would relate to the additional administrative responsibilities, assessments and treatment plans rather than an increased workload.


24. In Panel questions, Ms SVD stated that she believed that the Registrant was able to work full time as a Band 5, but may need to be monitored closely. Since working at the Worcestershire Trust, she said there had been no issues with punctuality but that the Registrant had been off for five periods of sickness leave. She also indicated that a CPD programme was available to the Registrant including mandatory and in-house training


25. The Panel considered that Ms SVD was an impressive witness who provided very careful and considered evidence. The Panel was particularly impressed by the supportive way in which she had assisted the Registrant with his health conditions by providing suitable strategies to enable the Registrant to practise as an Assistant Physiotherapist.


The Registrant
26. The Panel carefully considered the Registrant’s detailed written statement.


27. In terms of the Registrant’s current health the Registrant accepts that he suffers from the health conditions set out in the Allegation.


28. He further provided an update as to his current circumstances, namely that he has worked for the Worcestershire Trust as a Physiotherapy Assistant in general geriatric rehabilitation since September 2018. Since his employment he stated that his line manager is aware of his health conditions and worked out strategies to overcome matters which may become an issue.


29. At the outset of his oral evidence, the Registrant agreed with the expert opinion of Dr PC. He said that he agreed with the expert’s suggestions to work on a part-time basis and in a supported environment. The Registrant further accepted that any return to a Band 5 position would have to be on a phased basis, as suggested by Ms SVD.


30. In cross examination the Registrant accepted that there was a ‘long road ahead’ before he could resume practising as a Band 5 Physiotherapist. He explained this as meaning he required time to improve his health and ensure he can function fully as a qualified physiotherapist.


31. He said that both his line manager and the Worcestershire Trust have been very supportive and good employers.


32. In Panel questions, when asked about working hours the Registrant said he would be willing to work full time, at least within his current assistant role.


33. The Panel considered that the Registrant gave consistent, clear and credible evidence. He has engaged well with the HCPC as well as participating and presenting well at the hearing.

Decision on Facts:
34. Ms Vignoles for the HCPC clarified the Allegation, which conflated facts and impairment. She indicated that the HCPC’s case was that the facts alleged against the Registrant were that he is suffering from two health conditions. If these facts are found proved, she indicated that the statutory ground is met, and that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired as a result.


35. Ms Hart on behalf of the Registrant admitted that the Registrant is suffering from the health conditions and that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired at the time he was working for the Trust. In relation to current impairment, she stated this was a matter for the Panel’s judgment, although the Registrant did not seek to dispute the evidence of Dr PC.


36. The Panel was mindful that the burden of proving the facts is on the Council. The Registrant is not required to prove anything. Any fact alleged is only found proved if the Panel is satisfied on the balance of probabilities.


37. The Panel accepted the diagnosis made by Dr PC and took account of the Registrant’s admission. In view of this, the Panel found the facts proved.


Decision on Statutory Ground:
38. The Panel determined that the statutory ground of ‘physical or mental health’ was met in this case, pursuant to the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001, due to the health conditions found proved.


Submissions on Impairment
39. Ms Vignoles submitted that current impairment was the main issue in this case. She referred the Panel to the personal component indicating that there had been concerns in the past in relation to the Registrant’s record keeping and not seeking assistance or guidance.


40. Ms Vignoles accepted that a finding of impairment could not be made on the basis of competency issues since this was not pleaded within the Allegation.


41. Finally, Ms Vignoles suggested that a finding of impairment was necessary on public interest grounds in view of the past history and the current concerns of Dr PC and the Registrant’s own recognition that he would not intend to practise as a Band 5 Physiotherapist.


42. Ms Hart made clear that the Registrant wished to leave the issue of impairment for the Panel to determine which demonstrated insight on the Registrant’s part. She went on to make three points. Firstly, she said there was no dispute that the Registrant had in the past underperformed due to his health conditions. Secondly, she said that the mere fact of relapse does not necessarily result in a finding of impaired fitness to practise. Finally, she submitted that the Panel should consider whether the Registrant can return to work safely unrestricted.


43. In respect of the past, Ms Hart submitted a short chronology to demonstrate the correlation between the Registrant’s health, personal circumstances and clinical practice, suggesting that there were particular circumstances which existed in the past which led to a deterioration in the Registrant’s health conditions.


44. Ms Hart addressed the Panel as to whether the Registrant could return to a Band 5 role unrestricted. She asked that the Panel take into account the Registrant’s insight and judgment which was to approach the future cautiously, in view of his evidence that there was a ‘long road ahead’. He was committed to a phased return before applying for any Band 5 role, which would enable him to develop any competencies.


45. Finally, Ms Hart submitted that a finding of impairment on public interest ground was unnecessary. She said that an informed observer, being aware of all of the evidence in the case, would not consider it necessary to find impairment solely on the basis of past concerns.


Decision on Impairment:
46. The Panel considered and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.


47. The Panel was aware that impairment is a question for its own judgement. The Panel bore in mind that although it read and understood what the Registrant had said about his own fitness to practise, the Panel had to form its own judgment. In reaching its decision the Panel considered both the personal component and the public component of fitness to practise, which includes the need to protect service users, maintain confidence in the profession and the regulatory process and uphold proper standards of conduct and behaviour.


48. In deciding whether the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired the Panel had regard to the following matters set out in NMC v CHRE v NMC and P Grant [2011] EWHC 927 (Admin), namely:


“Do our findings of fact in respect of the doctor's misconduct, deficient professional performance, adverse health, conviction, caution or determination show that his fitness to practise is impaired in the sense that he:
a. has in the past acted and/or is liable in the future to act so as to put a patient or patients at unwarranted risk of harm; and/or
b. has in the past brought and/or is liable in the future to bring the medical profession into disrepute; and/or
c. has in the past breached and/or is liable in the future to breach one of the fundamental tenets of the medical profession; and/ or
d. ……”


49. The Panel also had regard to the public interest, namely the need to uphold proper professional standards and maintain public confidence in the profession.


50. The Panel reminded itself of its finding that the Registrant is currently suffering from two health conditions. The Registrant has also accepted that these health conditions resulted in his fitness to practise being impaired in the past, such that it affected his performance and had the potential to cause patient harm.


51. The Panel took account of the following positive features of the Registrant’s case:


• Dr PC provided positive evidence about how the Registrant and is managing his health conditions
• The Registrant is complying with treatment
• The Registrant has worked for 12 months as an Assistant Physiotherapist without incident
• The Registrant currently has good support from his line manager at the Worcestershire Trust
• The Registrant has developed strategies to assist him when he identifies that his health issues may present a concern


52. Whilst the Panel was very encouraged by the steps the Registrant has taken to address his health condition, it remained concerned that he had not sufficiently developed insight into his past health condition and its impact on service users. The Panel reminded itself of the evidence of Dr PC that the Registrant’s insight had ‘shifted a bit.’ The Panel did not consider this to be sufficient in circumstances where, in the past, there had been such wide-ranging and serious concerns identified by Ms MC.


53. The Panel considered, notwithstanding the positive factors stated above, that the Registrant’s insight into his health condition and its impact was central to the determination of the issues in this case. In particular, by further developing insight the Registrant is likely to reduce his risk of relapse.


54. In the Panel’s view, the Registrant requires a further period of reflection to demonstrate that he has adequately reflected on the impact his health condition had on service users in the past. Once he has gained an understanding of this, he is likely to appreciate more fully the impact of how his health condition may affect patients in the future.


55. The Panel also noted that the Registrant himself accepted that he is not currently fit to practise as a Band 5 physiotherapist.


56. The Panel considered the suggested options open to the Registrant, if he wished to resume practice as a Band 5 Physiotherapist within the general geriatrics team. Ms SVD said that this would most likely involve a period of preceptorship as an assistant with indirect supervision by a Band 6 or 7 Physiotherapist. Any elements of Band 5 work would have direct supervision. In that situation, the Worcestershire Trust would be able to provide this support. Ms SVD said that if the Registrant wished to undertake a full-time role as a Band 5 Physiotherapist they would have to consider whether direct supervision could be made available all the time. It would certainly not be available if the Registrant worked as a Band 5 Physiotherapist on call weekend rota. The Panel remained concerned that whilst this proposed preceptorship may be utilised by the Registrant if he remained within his current team of general geriatrics, it may not be open to him if he sought to apply for a Band 5 role in another discipline.


57. For all these reasons the Panel considered that the Registrant was currently impaired in relation to the personal component. It further considered, in view of these findings as to the Registrant’s insight, that trust in the profession would be undermined if a finding of impairment were not made on public interest grounds, and a finding on this ground is also made.


Decision on Sanction:
58. Having found that that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of his health conditions, the Panel considered what, if any sanction to impose on the Registrant.


59. Ms Vignoles submitted that she did not intend to make any recommendation as to a proposed sanction and this was a matter for the Panel. In reaching its decision, she suggested that consideration of aggravating and mitigating factors was unhelpful in a health case, rather she referred the Panel to specific factors that were relevant in protecting the public, particularly the requirement for a further period of reflection by the Registrant. She reminded the Panel, when considering which sanction to impose, that the supportive environment the Registrant is currently in may not be available to him if he moves to work in a Band 5 role.


60. In conclusion, Ms Vignoles stated that any sanction should be no more than is necessary to protect the public.


61. Ms Hart reminded the Panel that the primary function of any sanction is to protect the public and should be one that is proportionate in the circumstances. She focused her submissions on persuading the Panel that a sanction of conditions was most appropriate. She said that a sanction of suspension would be disproportionate, not only due to the financial impact on the Registrant but it would also remove the opportunity to continue in a career in which he has invested considerable time and energy.


62. She relied on the positive findings of the Panel, namely that the Registrant had apologised and expressed remorse in relation to the failings identified in his practice whilst working at the Trust.


63. Ms Hart said that the basis for the finding of impairment was the need for a further period of reflection in order for the Registrant to develop insight. In the interim period she accepted that the Registrant was not intending to work as a Band 5 physiotherapist. She suggested that any conditions should follow the same lines as the interim conditions imposed within his current employment. She said that a condition of full-time supervision may be an issue if the Registrant was employed as a full time Band 5 physiotherapist. Further, she stated that it was unduly onerous for a requirement for supervision by a Band 7 physiotherapist.


64. As for the length of time for any conditions of practice she suggested a period of six to twelve months in view of the time necessary to complete the reflections required.


65. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and had regard to the HCPC’s Sanctions Policy dated July 2019 (SP).


66. The Panel is aware that the purpose of sanction is not to be punitive but to protect the public and the wider public interest which includes the reputation of the profession and public confidence in the profession and the regulatory process.


67. The Panel found that this was not a case where it was helpful to consider mitigating and aggravating factors, although the Panel bore in mind that the Registrant appears committed to addressing his health conditions.


68. The Panel also took account of the evidence of Ms SVD, who was satisfied with the Registrant’s performance during the past 12 months. In doing so, when considering the public interest, the Panel reminded itself that there is a strong public interest in good professionals returning to the profession when it is appropriate and safe for them to do so.


69. The Panel also bore in mind the principle of proportionality and balanced the Panel’s duty to protect the public against the rights of the Registrant.


70. The Panel considered the sanctions available to it in ascending order of severity.


No action
71. The Panel first considered whether to conclude this case by taking no action. However, the Panel determined this was inappropriate, given the seriousness of the health conditions and the evidence that the Registrant is not currently fit to practise as a Band 5 physiotherapist without restrictions being in place.


Caution Order
72. The Panel reminded itself of the Sanctions Policy (SP), namely that a Caution Order is appropriate where:


• the issue is isolated, limited, or relatively minor in nature;
• there is a low risk of repetition;
• the Registrant has shown good insight; and
• the Registrant has undertaken appropriate remediation.


73. Relying on its findings, the Panel did not consider that these factors were engaged in this case, nor did it consider that a Caution Order was sufficient to protect patients or the public interest, and therefore determined that a caution order was not appropriate in this case.


Conditions of Practice
74. The Panel next considered whether it would be sufficient to impose conditions on the Registrant’s registration. It has borne in mind that any conditions imposed would need to be appropriate, proportionate, workable and measurable.


75. The SP suggests that a Conditions of Practice Order is likely to be appropriate in cases where:


• the Registrant has insight;
• the failure or deficiency is capable of being remedied;
• there are no persistent or general failures which would prevent the Registrant from remediating;
• appropriate, realistic and verifiable conditions can be formulated;
• the panel is confident the Registrant will comply with the conditions;
• a reviewing panel will be able to determine whether or not those conditions have or are being met; and
• the Registrant does not pose a risk of harm by being in restricted practice.


76. Considering these factors, the Panel determined that this was a case where suitable conditions would be appropriate, realistic, verifiable and workable because:


• The Registrant has developing insight into his health conditions;
• Although the Registrant’s health conditions are not capable of an absolute remedy, they are in remission and the Registrant is positively addressing his health by way of treatment;
• There is no risk posed by the Registrant continuing in restricted practice;
• The Registrant is very willing to comply with conditions.


77. The Panel considered that the following conditions would be appropriate in this case:


Whilst working as a Physiotherapist:


(1) You must confine your employment to Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust


(2) You must place yourself and remain under the indirect supervision of a workplace Band 6 or 7 Physiotherapist registered with the HCPC and supply details of your supervisor to the HCPC within 7 days of obtaining such employment and/or commencing Physiotherapy work. You must attend upon that supervisor as required and follow their advice and recommendations


(3) You must send a report from your supervisor giving details of the progress of your performance at work, to the HCPC every 2 months


(4) You must not undertake on-call weekend rota work


(5) You must remain under the care of your GP and/or any other health professional responsible for your treatment and care and follow his or her advice and inform him or her that you are subject to these conditions


(6) You must send a report from your GP, and/or any other health professional responsible for your treatment and care giving details of your health, to the HCPC, by no later than 28 days prior to the review hearing


(7) You must keep your professional commitments under review and limit your professional practice in accordance with the advice of your GP and/or any other health professional responsible for your treatment and care


(8) You must cease practising immediately if you are advised to do so by your GP and/or any other health professional responsible for your treatment and care


(9) You must prompty inform the HCPC if you cease to be employed by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust


(10) You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary proceedings against you by your employer


(11) You must promptly inform the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust that your registration is subject to these conditions


(12) You must provide a reflective piece, detailing how your health conditions impacted upon patient safety whilst at the Trust, to include a specific case example, and how you would approach such patient care now. Such reflection to be provided to the HCPC at least 28 days before the review hearing


78. The Panel considered that the appropriate and proportionate period for the conditions of practice to be 12 months. This not only takes account of the Registrant’s own case that he would not intend to apply for a Band 5 role for at least 6 months, but it would also allow the Registrant to further develop the necessary reflections/insight.


Suspension
79. The Panel considered the sanction of suspension but did not consider that the concerns in this case were sufficiently serious to warrant suspension. The concerns can be reasonably addressed by a Conditions of Practice Order for the reasons mentioned above.


80. Accordingly, the Panel imposed a Conditions of Practice Order for a period of 12 months.


81. A reviewing panel may be assisted by the following:


• Evidence that the Registrant has kept his CPD up to date
• Any testimonials


82. The Panel reminds the Registrant that he has a right to seek an early review of this decision pursuant to Article 30(2) of the 2001 Order.

Order

The Registrar is directed to annotate the Register to show that, for a period of 12 months, from the date that this Order comes into effect (“the Operative Date”), you, Mr Stuart Brown, must comply with the following conditions of practice:


Whilst working as a Physiotherapist:

1. You must confine your employment to Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust


2. You must place yourself and remain under the indirect supervision of a workplace Band 6 or 7 Physiotherapist registered with the HCPC and supply details of your supervisor to the HCPC within 7 days of obtaining such employment and/or commencing Physiotherapy work. You must attend upon that supervisor as required and follow their advice and recommendations


3. You must send a report from your supervisor giving details of the progress of your performance at work, to the HCPC every 2 months


4. You must not undertake on-call weekend rota work


5. You must remain under the care of your GP and/or any other health professional responsible for your treatment and care and follow his or her advice and inform him or her that you are subject to these conditions


6. You must send a report from your GP, and/or any other health professional responsible for your treatment and care giving details of your health, to the HCPC, by no later than 28 days prior to the review hearing


7. You must keep your professional commitments under review and limit your professional practice in accordance with the advice of your GP and/or any other health professional responsible for your treatment and care


8. You must cease practising immediately if you are advised to do so by your GP and/or any other health professional responsible for your treatment and care


9. You must prompty inform the HCPC if you cease to be employed by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust


10. You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary proceedings against you by your employer


11. You must promptly inform the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust that your registration is subject to these conditions


12. You must provide a reflective piece, detailing how your health conditions impacted upon patient safety whilst at the Trust, to include a specific case example, and how you would approach such patient care now. Such reflection to be provided to the HCPC at least 28 days before the review hearing


This order will be reviewed again before its expiry.

Notes

Right of Appeal:
You may appeal to the High Court in England and Wales against the Panel’s decision and the order it has made against you.
Under Article 29(10) of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001, any appeal must be made within 28 days of the date when this notice is served on you. The Panel’s order will not take effect until the appeal period has expired or, if you appeal, until that appeal is disposed of or withdrawn.

European alert mechanism:
In accordance with Regulation 67 of the European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2015, the HCPC will inform the competent authorities in all other EEA States that your right to practise has been restricted.
You may appeal to the County Court against the HCPC’s decision to do so. Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the date when this notice is served on you. This right of appeal is separate from your right to appeal against the decision and order of the Panel.


Application for an Interim Order:

1. Ms Vignoles made an application for an interim order on the grounds of public protection and in the public interest. She submitted that an interim order was necessary as the Registrant could practise as a Physiotherapist immediately, and the conditions would ensure that restrictions were in place.

2. Ms Hart agreed to the application subject to suggesting that condition 12 relating to the reflective piece be excluded, since this was not an applicable condition during any interim appeal period.


3. The Panel accepted the advice of the legal assessor, namely that pursuant to Article 31of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001, a Panel may impose an interim order only if it is satisfied that in doing so:


• is necessary for the protection of members of the public;
• is in the interests of the registrant concerned; or
• is otherwise in the public interest.


4. The Panel considered that it was necessary to impose an interim conditions of practice order for the reasons set out by Ms Vignoles and relying on its findings within its determination. The Panel considered this was necessary on both public protection and public interest grounds, and for a period of 18 months to cover any potential appeal.


5. The Panel agreed with Ms Hart’s submission that condition 12, of the main conditions of practice, would not be applicable during any appeal period and therefore the Panel only imposed conditions 1 – 11 for the interim conditions.

Interim Conditions of Practice Order:
The Panel makes an Interim Conditions of Practice Order under Article 31(2) of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001, the same being necessary to protect members of the public and being otherwise in the public interest. 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, subject to a maximum period of 18 months.


The interim conditions of practice are as follows:


Whilst working as a Physiotherapist:

1. You must confine your employment to Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust


2. You must place yourself and remain under the indirect supervision of a workplace Band 6 or 7 Physiotherapist registered with the HCPC and supply details of your supervisor to the HCPC within 7 days of obtaining such employment and/or commencing Physiotherapy work. You must attend upon that supervisor as required and follow their advice and recommendations


3. You must send a report from your supervisor giving details of the progress of your performance at work, to the HCPC every 2 months


4. You must not undertake on-call weekend rota work


5. You must remain under the care of your GP and/or any other health professional responsible for your treatment and care and follow his or her advice and inform him or her that you are subject to these conditions


6. You must send a report from your GP, and/or any other health professional responsible for your treatment and care giving details of your health, to the HCPC, by no later than 28 days prior to the review hearing


7. You must keep your professional commitments under review and limit your professional practice in accordance with the advice of your GP and/or any other health professional responsible for your treatment and care


8. You must cease practising immediately if you are advised to do so by your GP and/or any other health professional responsible for your treatment and care


9. You must prompty inform the HCPC if you cease to be employed by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust


10. You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary proceedings against you by your employer


11. You must promptly inform the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust that your registration is subject to these conditions

 

 

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Stuart Brown

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
03/09/2019 Health Committee Final Hearing Conditions of Practice