Mr Daniel Bolton
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1) On or around 1 May 2018, you incorrectly made an application for registration
to the Health and Care Professionals Council as Biomedical Scientist.
2) And in light of the above, your entry onto the Health and Care Professionals Council register on 1 May 2019 in the name of Daniel Bolton, PIN 72475, was made in error.
Notice and Proceeding in Absence
The Panel considered the notice of hearing sent to the Registrant on 20 October 2020. It correctly gives notice of the date, time and venue of this hearing to the Registrant and was sent to his registered email address. The Panel was satisfied that proper notice had been given to the Registrant.
2. Mr Bridges made an application to proceed in the absence of the Registrant who had responded to the Notice of Hearing by email, dated 17 December 2020, to the HCPC. He stated in that email that he was not likely to attend and was ‘happy’ for the hearing to take place in his absence. In February 2020, the Registrant in his pro forma response to the HCPC also stated that he would be not attending any final hearing and would not be represented.
3. Mr Bridges submitted that the Registrant had waived his right to attend and submitted that the Panel had discretion to proceed in his absence. The Registrant has not sought an adjournment and the Panel could be satisfied that the Registrant’s absence today is voluntary. Mr Bridges submitted that an adjournment would serve no useful purpose and there was a public interest in this matter being dealt with expeditiously.
4. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. He advised that, if the Panel is satisfied that all reasonable efforts have been made to notify the Registrant of the hearing, then the Panel has the discretion to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. He reminded the Panel that it should exercise its discretion with care and referred the Panel to the HCPTS Guidance Note on Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant and to the guidance in GMC v Adeogba  EWCA Civ 162. This makes clear that, if the Panel is satisfied that proper notice has been given, the discretion whether or not to proceed must be exercised having regard to all the circumstances of which the Panel is aware with fairness to the Registrant being a prime consideration, but with fairness to the HCPC and the interests of the public also considered.
5. The Panel agreed to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. It is satisfied that it is both in the public interest and in the Registrant’s interest to do so. In reaching this decision, the Panel has noted there has been no request for an adjournment and the Registrant has stated that it would be unlikely that he would attend and was happy for the hearing to proceed in his absence.
6. The Panel balanced fairness to the Registrant with fairness to the HCPC and the public interest. It decided that the Registrant had voluntarily absented himself and had not sought an adjournment. The Panel concluded that no useful purpose would be served by adjourning the hearing. The Panel balanced fairness to the Registrant with the need to protect the public and proceed with the case expeditiously. It was satisfied that it was is fair and appropriate to proceed in his absence
Application to Amend the Allegation
7. Mr Bridges applied to amend the allegation at the outset of the Hearing as follows:-
“1) On or around 1 May 2019 2018, you incorrectly made an application for registration to the Health and Care Professionals Council as Biomedical Scientist.
2) AND in light of the above, your entry onto the Health and Care Professionals Council register on 1 May 2019 in the name of Daniel Bolton, PIN 72475, was made in error.”
8. Mr Bridges sought that the allegation be amended as proposed to correct the dates. This was not a controversial amendment and corrected an error. The Registrant had received notice of these proposed amendments and had not objected.
9. The Panel, having accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor as to the interests of justice, determined that it was fair and appropriate to allow the amendment as proposed.
10. Daniel Bolton (‘the Registrant’) is registered with the HCPC as a Biomedical Scientist. On 1 May 2018, the Registrant applied to the HCPC to be registered as a Biomedical Scientist. On 1 May 2019, the Registrant became registered with the HCPC.
11. Concerns came to light on 31 May 2019, when the Registrant’s employer, Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust (‘the Trust’) contacted the HCPC to inform them that the Registrant had mistakenly applied and been approved for registration with the HCPC, despite having not completed all of the relevant qualifications for Registration. Having completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree, to qualify for registration the Registrant was also required to complete a certificate of competence with the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).
12. Following the referral from the Trust, the HCPC registrations department conducted an investigation and established that there was a ‘Daniel Bolton’ on the IBMS pass list, but the date of birth differed to that of the Registrant.
Submissions for the HCPC
13. Mr Bridges summarised the evidence and referred to the witness statement of Sammuel Yemane, a Registrations Officer at the HCPC who sets out the position with regard to the register. Mr Bridges made clear in his submissions that the HCPC in no way attributed any fault to the Registrant. The Registrant had made an application to the HCPC and the witness states that the Biomedical Science Degree was not, in fact, an approved programme to allow for registration.
14. Mr Bridges explained that thereafter, the HCPC made a clerical error on 1 May 2019 where this Daniel Bolton was entered on the register in error instead of another Daniel Bolton. There was no alleged mischief against the Registrant and this had simply been an error. The Registrant had responded and he accepted that his entry to the register was incorrectly made.
15. Mr Bridges referred to Panel to article 22(1)(b) of the Health Professions Order 2001 (As amended) which allows the Panel to consider an allegation as to an incorrect entry in to error the register, such as this.
16. Mr Bridges also referred the Panel to section 26(7) of the Health Professions Order 2001 which states the power of the Panel in light of a finding of an incorrectly made entry in the register. That states as follows:-
“26(7) In the case of an allegation of a kind mentioned in article 22(1)(b), if the Investigating Committee is satisfied that an entry in the register has been fraudulently procured or incorrectly made, it may make an order that the Registrar remove or amend the entry and shall notify the person concerned of his right of appeal under article 38.”
17. Mr Bridges submitted that in light of the evidence, removal from the register is the remedy sought by the HCPC.
Decision on Facts
18. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. He referred it to the relevant parts of the Health Professions Order 2001 and to its powers to remove an incorrectly made entry from the register, if it finds, as a matter of fact, that an incorrect entry has been made. The Panel should apply the balance of probabilities to the evidence before it and order removal if it finds the entry was incorrectly made. He reminded the Panel that it was in the public interest to maintain the integrity of the register.
19. The Panel considered the evidence of the witness and the Registrant. The Panel was satisfied that, on the balance of the probabilities, an incorrect entry had been made in the register. There is no contention on that central issue. As submitted by Mr Bridges, the Panel found that the error was a clerical error by the HCPC and that no fault lies with the Registrant. The Panel noted that the Registrant remains at liberty to apply to the register if and when he meets the criteria.
20. Given its finding of fact of the incorrect entry, the Panel exercised its powers under Article 26(7) and ordered the removal of the entry in the register.
ORDER: The Registrar is directed to remove the incorrect entry in the Register in the name of Mr Daniel Bolton, PIN 72475
History of Hearings for Mr Daniel Bolton
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|21/12/2020||Investigating Committee||Final Hearing||Removed|