Mr Ian Ritchie

Profession: Operating department practitioner

Registration Number: ODP34538

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 07/12/2020 End: 17:00 11/12/2020

Location: Virtually via video conference

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Adjourned

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Allegation

Whilst registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as an Operating Department Practitioner and during the course of your employment with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, you:

  1. Inappropriately used the anaesthetic machine to deliberately inhale nitrous oxide on one or more of the following dates:

a) An unknown date in September 2018;

b) On an unknown date in around September or October 2018;

c) On 24 October 2018; and/or

d) On 26 October 2018.

2. The matters described in paragraph 1 amount to misconduct.

Finding

Application to adjourn the Hearing

1. The Registrant was neither present nor represented. Ms Sheridan, on behalf of the HCPC, informed the Panel that clearer copies of some of the documents from the main bundle had been sent to the parties and to the Panel on 4 December 2020. The Registrant had then made contact with the HCPC’s solicitors, Kingsley Napley, to inform them that he had not received the Notice of Hearing.

2. Ms Sheridan referred the Panel to a 4 December 2020 telephone attendance note of a call to the Registrant from the HCPTS, responding to his concern and advising him of the options open to him.

3. Ms Sheridan also referred the Panel to an email dated 6 December 2020 from the Registrant to the HCPTS which stated:

“After some thought on how to go forward I have decided I would in fact like to request a hearing adjournment. I desperately want the tribunal over with and be able to move forward but feel I’ve no time to prepare at all. As I discussed with you I’m on longs days over the weekend and so far we have been very busy. It’s too short notice to source colleagues to provide testimony/ references etc. Similarly, I would like to provide a personal statement for the panel and I am not able to do this justice in such a short time frame. If I’d been aware of the hearing and had received the email specifying the time and date I would have been adequately prepared.”

4. Ms Sheridan said the problem appeared to have arisen as a result of a typographical error contained in the email address for himself supplied to the HCPC by the Registrant. She stated that the HCPC adopted a neutral position in respect of the Registrant’s application for an adjournment.

5. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

6. The Panel had careful regard to the documents put before it in relation to the application and to the views of both parties. It also had in mind the guidance provided in the HCPTS Practice Note of Postponement and Adjournment of Proceedings.

7. The Panel recognised that it must exercise its discretion judicially, and that the crucial factor is that the Registrant is entitled to a fair hearing, but the convenience of the parties is not sufficient reason for an adjournment.

8. The Panel was mindful of the inconvenience that would be caused to the witnesses who had expected to attend the Hearing, if the matter were to be adjourned. It also had firmly in mind the general need for expedition in the conduct of proceedings, as well as Ms Sheridan’s submission that the failure of the Notice of Hearing appeared to be the result of a typographical error in the email address provided by the Registrant.

9. The Panel gave careful consideration to the extent to which the Registrant’s right to a fair trial would be compromised if his application was to be refused.

10. In light of the Registrant’s representations, the Panel concluded that refusal of his application could so significantly affect the outcome of the Hearing that the interests of justice and fairness required the Panel to provide the Registrant with the opportunity to properly prepare a personal statement and obtain references and testimonials to put before the Panel.

11. The Panel granted the Registrant’s application to adjourn the Hearing.

Order

No information currently available

Notes

This hearing has adjourned, with no evidence heard. The date for the rescheduled hearing is to be confirmed.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Ian Ritchie

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
07/12/2020 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Adjourned