Mr Ovie A Agbagidi

Profession: Radiographer

Registration Number: RA45223

Hearing Type: Restoration Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 19/08/2020 End: 17:00 19/08/2020

Location: Virtual Hearing

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Restored

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Allegation

‘As amended’

In the course of your employment as a Sonographer at Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and whilst registered as a Radiographer:

1. Not proved;
2. On 29 April 2008, whilst carrying out an obstetric scanning on a patient you failed to identify an abdominal wall defect containing liver and bowel;
3. On 12 June 2008, failed to maintain adequate records, in that you entered a patient’s report onto another patients demographics;
4. On 24 February 2009, you failed to maintain adequate records, in that you entered a patient’s report onto another patient’s demographics;
5. Between 8 July 2009 and 2 September 2009, you performed at least
two scans on Patient A who was pregnant at the time and, you:
a) Failed to accurately scan Patient A
b) Failed to identify the foetal abnormalities, in that you missed the lower limbs deformity;
c) Failed to prepare an accurate report of Patient A’s foetal images in that you incorrectly documented that both feet were visible during the scan.
6. The matters set out in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5a, 5b and 5c constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.
7. By reason of that misconduct and/or lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.

 

Finding

Background

1. On 17  February 2012, a panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee heard evidence and the following allegation was found proved against the Applicant:
In the course of your employment as a Sonographer at Homerton University Hospital NHS foundation Trust, and whilst registered as a Radiographer:

1. [NOT PROVED]
2. On 29 April 2008, whilst carrying out an obstetric scanning on a patient you failed to identify an abdominal wall defect containing liver and bowel;
3. On 12 June 2008, failed to maintain adequate records, in that you entered a patient's report onto another patient's demographics;
4. On 24 February 2009, you failed to maintain adequate records, in that you entered a patient's report onto another patient's demographics;
5. Between 8 July 2009 and 2 September 2009, you performed at least two scans on Patient A who was pregnant at the time and, you:
a) failed to accurately scan Patient A
b) failed to identify the foetal abnormalities, in that you missed the lower limbs deformity;
c) failed to prepare an accurate report of Patient A's foetal images in that you inaccurately documented that both feet were visible during the scan.

2. The panel on that occasion found that the Applicant's fitness to practise was impaired because it did not have any information about the Applicant's insight or remediation. This is because the Applicant did not attend the hearing to give evidence or provide any written submissions. That panel imposed a sanction of 12 months suspension from the HCPC register.

3. The substantive order was reviewed on 28 February 2013 by another panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee. On that date the Applicant did not attend nor had he engaged since the imposition of the order of suspension. The panel on 28 February 2013 determined that in the light of the lack of engagement by the Applicant, it had no information that could satisfy that the Applicant's fitness to practise was no longer impaired. It also determined that a further period of suspension would serve no useful purpose and imposed a Striking Off Order.


Decision

4.  Prior to the hearing, the Panel had received a bundle of documents from the HCPC that included documents provided by the Applicant relating to courses he had undertaken, which included a MSc in Medical Ultrasound  and a statement from him.

5. Ms Eales outlined the background to the case and the decisions of the previous panels of the Conduct and Competence Committee.

6. The Panel then heard oral evidence on affirmation from the Applicant and also submissions from both Ms Eales and Mr Danialu.

7. The Applicant told the Panel that he accepted the findings of the previous panels. He said that the reason he did not engage with the process at the time was because he was so ashamed of his lack of competence and the impact it had upon his patients and his colleagues. He told the Panel that at the time he had apologised to patients personally and also to his colleagues and the Department for the shortcomings in his practice. He said that he recognised that his actions meant that patients had been deprived of options that might have been open to them and also brought his profession and his department into disrepute. He told the Panel that part of the reason for the misdiagnosis, or rather the lack of diagnosis, in those two cases was because he lacked confidence and experience at the time to make such a diagnosis.

8. The Applicant said that since that time he has been working at improving his knowledge, experience and confidence in Sonography. He outlined to the Panel what he had been doing since his registration was removed. He had been working as a radiographer since 2011 in Nigeria, where he has been living until 2019 when he returned to the United Kingdom. He said that he had found a supervisor to supervise his work as a radiographer. He also said that he had been undertaking some Sonography work in Nigeria, albeit it started out as watching and observing experienced sonographers and having them test his knowledge before they would allow him to carry out limited work. He said that he was always supervised in his work.

9. He produced evidence that he had completed an MSc in Medical Ultrasound with Bournemouth University in 2014. He said that course included both theoretical elements and practical elements where he was required to observe practitioners. He told the Panel of the supervision he was receiving from a sonographer who was registered with the HCPC.

10. He outlined that part of the problem in the past was due to his method of working, which was to deal with multiple patients and records at the same time and which was the normal practice for several of his colleagues. He said that he recognised that he could not work that way and now he has devised a method for himself when carrying out scans of patients. He said that he now only deals with one patient at a time, completing their records, before going on to the next patient. He said that the time allowed for him to deal with each patient at that time was about 15-20 minutes, which he found to be insufficient.

11. Mr Danialu, on behalf of the Applicant, submitted that the Applicant met the general requirements for registration and that he is a fit and proper person to practise as a Radiographer and that  the Panel take account of the particular  circumstances that led to the striking off. He submitted that the Applicant had demonstrated the willingness to learn and adapt his practice. He said that the Applicant was not the same practitioner as he was in 2008. He pointed out that at the time the Applicant was a newly qualified Radiographer. Mr Danialu submitted that the Applicant now has more experience and knowledge. He submitted that the Applicant should be allowed back onto the HCPC's register.

12. Ms Eales reminded the Panel that the burden of proof lay with the Applicant that he satisfied the requirements of Article 33(5) of the 2001 Order. She referred the Panel to the HCPC's guidance document on restoration to the register and the guidance therein. She pointed out that the original panel that imposed the suspension order had indicated that a future panel reviewing the order might be assisted by the following:

1. Independent evidence of relevant continuing professional development (CPD)

2. A credible demonstration that the Registrant has addressed concerns and strategies identified to avoid such concerns in the future. The Panel would be particular assisted by evidence demonstrating accurate record-keeping, ultrasound scanning and interpretation of scan results.

13. Ms Eales asked the Panel to take into consideration that the Applicant had said that in Nigeria the time he was allowed for scanning each patient was about 35-45 minutes whereas the time he had been allowed in the UK per patient was about 15 minutes. She submitted that if the Applicant were allowed to practice in the UK those same pressures due to time constraints would still be present. She accepted that the Applicant has provided some evidence of continuing professional development.

14. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. He advised the Panel that it was not just merely concerned about the Applicant's fitness to practise. This is because the Panel has the power to allow conditional registration, which by implication relates to fitness to practise that is currently impaired. He advised the Panel that part of its consideration should be, if it considered the Applicant's fitness to practise to remain impaired, whether the risks presented by such impairment could be met by conditional registration.

15. The Panel carefully considered the evidence and the submissions of both parties. It determined that there was limited independent evidence verifying the Applicant's radiographic work in Nigeria or his learning. The Panel also determined that the Applicant had demonstrated insight and remorse but there was limited evidence to demonstrate that he had fully resolved the shortcomings in his practice. There were no character or work references provided to the Panel by the Applicant. Furthermore, the Applicant has not met the current Return To Practice requirements of the HCPC.

16. However, the Panel determined that conditional registration could adequately address the risk presented by the lack of evidence of full remediation, and would also provide the Applicant with the opportunity to obtain such evidence.

17. Therefore, the Panel determined that the Applicant has met the requirements of article 33 (5) of the 2001 order and that he be restored to the HCPC's register, subject to him meeting the Return To Practice requirements of the HCPC and further subject to conditions imposed upon his registration.

 

Order

Order

The Registrar is directed to restore the name of Mr Ovie Agbagidi (the Applicant) to the Radiographer Part of the Register, but restoration is only to take effect once the Applicant has:

(a) provided the Registrar with the information and declarations required for admission to the Register; and

(b) paid the prescribed restoration fee.

AND

The Registrar is further directed to annotate the Register to show that, from the date that this Order takes effect , the Applicant must:

(a) undertake a 60 day period of professional updating in accordance with the HCPC Standards for Return to Practice; and

(b) limit his practice to the completion of that updating until such time as the Applicant provides evidence which satisfies the Registrar that the Applicant has successfully completed that period of updating.

FURTHERMORE

The Registrar is further directed to annotate the Register to show that, for a period of 18 months from the date that this Order takes effect, and once the Applicant has successfully completed that period of updating, the Applicant must comply with the following conditions of practice:

1. You must not carry out Sonography work unless directly supervised by a HCPC registered Radiographer who is qualified to practise as Sonographer.
2. You must place yourself and remain under the supervision of a workplace supervisor registered by the HCPC or other appropriate statutory regulator and supply details of your supervisor to the HCPC within 14 days of starting any role that requires registration with the HCPC. You must attend upon that supervisor as required and follow their advice and recommendations.
3. You must work with your workplace supervisor to formulate a Personal Development Plan designed to address the deficiencies in the following areas of your practice:
a) ultrasound scanning; and
b) interpretation of scan results

4. Within three months of starting a role as a Radiographer you must forward a copy of your Personal Development Plan to the HCPC.
5.  You must meet with your workplace supervisor on a monthly basis to consider your progress towards achieving the aims set out in your Personal Development Plan.
6.  You must allow your workplace supervisor to provide information to the HCPC about your progress towards achieving the aims set out in your Personal Development Plan.
7.  You must maintain a weekly reflective diary detailing every occasion when you carried out Sonography during that week and must provide a copy of that diary to the HCPC on a monthly basis or confirm that there have been no such occasions in that period, the first diary or confirmation to be provided within one month of starting any radiographer role after completion of the period of updating.
8. You must promptly inform the HCPC if you cease to be employed by your current employer or take up any other or further employment.
9.  You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary proceedings taken against you by your employer.
10.  You must inform the following parties that your registration is subject to these conditions:

A.  any organisation or person employing or contracting with you to undertake radiography work;
B.  any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered with (at the time of application) as a Radiographer; and
C.  any prospective employer seeking to employ you as a Radiographer (at the time of your application).

Notes

Right of Appeal
You may appeal to the appropriate court against the order of the Panel. In this case the appropriate court is the High Court in England and Wales.
Under Articles 33(12), (13) and 38 of The Health Professions Order 2001 an appeal must be made to the court not more than 28 days after the date when the attached of this decision is served on you.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Ovie A Agbagidi

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
19/08/2020 Conduct and Competence Committee Restoration Hearing Restored