Mr Senu Sejoro
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Service of Notice
1. The Panel found that there had been good service of the Notice of Hearing by a letter dated 27 January 2020 sent to the Registrant’s registered address informing him of the date, time, and venue of the hearing.
Proceeding in the absence of the Registrant
2. Ms Oppong made an application for the hearing to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. She referred the Panel to the Notice of Hearing sent by post and e-mail and a follow up e-mail from herself dated 14 February 2020 in which she invited the Registrant to provide an update on his circumstances. There has been no response from the Registrant.
3. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and had regard to the HCPTS Practice Note “Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant”.
4. The Panel noted the history of the Registrant’s engagement with the HCPC. The Registrant has not engaged with the HCPC since August 2016, prior to the substantive hearing. The Registrant advised that he would not attend the substantive hearing because he was in Nigeria. The Registrant did not attend the substantive hearing in March 2017, or the review hearings in February 2018 and March 2019. The Panel concluded that the Registrant’s absence is voluntary and that there was not a realistic prospect that he would attend a review hearing at a later date.
5. The Panel was satisfied that there was no unfairness to the Registrant by proceeding in his absence. He has not requested an adjournment and there was no indication that he wished to engage with the HCPC process. The Panel noted that the hearing is a mandatory review of a substantive order which is due to expire on 4 April 2020. The Panel considered that any disadvantage to the Registrant if the case were to proceed in his absence was outweighed by the public interest in the review being conducted expeditiously.
6. The Panel therefore decided to proceed with the hearing in the absence of the Registrant.
7. The Registrant was employed as a Band 7 Sonographer by the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust (“the Trust”) from 1 April 2015. His appointment was subject to a six month probationary period. The Registrant underwent an induction and his first probationary review was held on 3 June 2015 when areas of concern were identified in relation to his skills and practice. He was provided with an action plan with specific tasks for improvement, and it was agreed that there would be additional training sessions provided by staff on the ultrasound systems used in the hospital. On 10 June 2015 he was placed on a formal performance management plan because his performance had not improved to a satisfactory level. There was a further meeting on 12 June 2015 when the Registrant was informed that he would be called to a formal hearing regarding his performance. His employment was terminated on 28 July 2015. The Trust subsequently referred the Registrant to the HCPC.
8. At the substantive hearing, which was held 6-7 March 2017, the Panel found impairment by reason of lack of competence and imposed a Suspension Order for a period of 12 months. The Suspension Order was reviewed and extended for a further twelve months at the first Substantive Order Review on 28 February 2018 and at the Second Substantive Order Review on 1 March 2019.
9. The Panel at the second Substantive Order Review Hearing stated that a review panel might be assisted by information about any paid or voluntary work that the Registrant has undertaken since February 2016; evidence of any appropriate continuing professional development undertaken since February 2016; references from any recent employers; and further reflections from the Registrant including an indication of how he intends to modify or change his practice to address the shortcomings which have been identified and ensure that they are not repeated.
10. Ms Oppong submitted that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remained impaired and that it was now appropriate and proportionate to replace the current Suspension Order with a Striking Off Order.
12. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and had regard to the HCPTS Practice Note “Review of Article 30 Sanction Orders”.
13. The Panel conducted a comprehensive review of the Registrant’s fitness to return to unrestricted practice. It exercised its own independent judgement with regard to current impairment.
14. There was no evidence before the Panel that there had been any change in the level of the Registrant’s insight. Prior to the substantive hearing the Registrant had expressed remorse and demonstrated some insight. However, his reflections did not adequately explain what steps he had taken to ensure that there would be no repetition of the incidents found proved, and there was no evidence about how the reflections have been incorporated into his practice to ensure he is a safe and competent Radiographer or Sonographer.
15. There was no evidence before the Panel that the Registrant has taken remedial action to address the failings identified by the substantive hearing Panel. In the circumstances, the Panel concluded that there is currently a real risk of repetition of the Registrant’s lack of competence. This ongoing risk of repetition engages the public component because there is a risk of harm to members of the public. A finding of impairment is also required to maintain public confidence in the profession and to uphold the required standards for Radiographers.
16. The Panel therefore decided that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remains impaired on the basis of the personal component and the public component.
17. The Panel next considered the appropriate sanction and took into account the Sanctions Policy (SP). The Panel bore in mind that the purpose of a sanction is not to punish the Registrant but to protect the public and the wider public interest. Further, a sanction must be proportionate, so that any order is the least restrictive order that would be necessary to protect the public and the wider public interest.
18. The Panel first considered the options of taking no action or imposing a Caution Order, but decided that these options would be insufficient to protect the public and meet the public interest. They would not protect the public against the ongoing risk of repetition of the lack of competence.
19. The Panel next considered a Conditions of Practice Order. The Panel decided that conditions of practice were inappropriate and unworkable in circumstances where the Registrant has not engaged with the HCPC since 2016. The Panel could have no confidence that the Registrant would comply with conditions of practice.
20. The Panel next considered the option of extending the Suspension Order. While a Suspension Order would protect the public against the risk of harm, the Panel decided that it was not the appropriate or proportionate sanction. The Panel was of the view that the Registrant has had ample time and opportunity to engage with the HCPC and take steps towards remediating his lack of competence. Previous review Panels have provided guidance on the steps the Registrant might take to engage with the process, but he has not provided any evidence for the Panel. The Panel inferred that the Registrant is unable or unwilling to resolve his lack of competence.
21. The option of a Striking Off Order is available to the Panel and the Registrant was advised prior to this hearing that the HCPC would be inviting the Panel to impose this sanction. The Registrant has not responded.
22. The Panel considered that the option of imposing a further period of suspension would not be sufficient to maintain public confidence in the profession and the regulatory process. It is not in the public interest that Registrants who are not engaging with their Regulator should remain in the review cycle where there is no realistic prospect of rehabilitation to the register.
23. The Panel next considered a Striking Off Order. It considered that the guidance in the SP applied because the Registrant has been continuously suspended for over two years and has failed to address a lack of competence.
24. The Panel therefore decided that the appropriate and proportionate sanction is a Striking Off Order. This new Order is to take effect on expiry of the existing Order.
Order: The Registrar is directed to strike the name of Mr Senu Sejoro from the Register on the date this Order comes into effect.
A Substantive Review hearing was held in London on 26 February 2020 and the Registrant's name was struck off the Register.
History of Hearings for Mr Senu Sejoro
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|26/02/2020||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Struck off|
|01/03/2019||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Suspended|
|28/02/2018||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Suspended|
|06/03/2017||Conduct and Competence Committee||Final Hearing||Suspended|