Mr Paul Daly

Profession: Practitioner psychologist

Registration Number: PYL00408

Hearing Type: Voluntary Removal Agreement

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 29/06/2020 End: 17:00 29/06/2020

Location: Virtual Hearing, Video conference

Panel: Health Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegation

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

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Service
1. On or about 23 March 2020, in line with the Government’s recommendations in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic, the HCPC made the decision to suspend all public hearings. This included a new process of serving Notice of hearing by email alone.
2. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant had been properly served with Notice of today’s hearing by email dated 13 May 2020.
Proceeding in absence
3. Ms Simpson made an application for the hearing to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.
4. The Panel took into account the HCPTS Practice Note on Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant. In reaching its decision, the Panel had regard to the following matters:
• On 13 May 2020 a Scheduling Officer of the HCPTS served the Notice of Hearing on the Registrant at his registered email address. It advised him of the date and venue of the hearing and that the review would take place remotely.
• By email dated 18 May 2020 to the HCPC the Registrant stated that he would attend the hearing.
• The Registrant was sent the link to enable him to participate in the hearing remotely but did not join the meeting at the appointed time. Further, the Hearings Officer made efforts to contact the Registrant by email on Friday 26 June 2020 to encourage his attendance, and again this morning by telephone, but without securing a response in both instances.
• The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant had voluntarily absented himself and waived his right to attend today’s hearing.
• The purpose of today’s hearing is to consider the Registrant’s application to be voluntarily removed from the Register. It is therefore in the Registrant’s interests that it should proceed.
5. There is no application to adjourn today’s hearing and no grounds for an adjournment. Accordingly, the Panel decided to proceed with the hearing in the Registrant’s absence.

Background
6. The Registrant is a Practitioner Psychologist registered with the HCPC.
7. On 23 February 2016, at Leeds Magistrates Court, the Registrant was subject to a conditional discharge and restraining order for an offence of criminal damage committed on 8 December 2015.
8. On 25 February 2019, a panel of the Investigating Committee (ICP) determined that there was a case to answer in respect of an allegation of impairment by reason of misconduct against the Registrant. The factual particulars related to the conditional discharge and his failure to notify the HCPC thereof.
9. The HCPC subsequently ascertained that the ICP panel had not been provided with a letter dated 13 February 2018 from the Registrant’s GP relating to the Registrant’s health. The Registrant had forwarded this letter to the HCPC by email dated 9 August 2018 but it had been overlooked by the Case Manager and not presented to the ICP panel.
10. The HCPC received a further letter dated 22 March 2019 from the Registrant’s GP confirming the previously sent information. The GP expressed the opinion that the Registrant’s health might adversely affect his ability to practise as a Practitioner Psychologist.
11. On 9 January 2020 a preliminary hearing took place before a panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee to consider whether there was a case to answer in light of the evidence omitted from the ICP panel. The decision was that the case should be transferred to the Health Committee.
12. On 17 January 2020, a notice of allegation was sent to the Registrant stating that, by reason of his physical and/or mental health, his fitness to practise as a Practitioner Psychologist is impaired.

The application for voluntary removal
13. In a telephone note made by the HCPC on 30 May 2019, it was recorded that the Registrant had stated that he wished to come off the Register. The letter from the Registrant’s GP dated 22 March 2019 advised that the Registrant had retired from work.
14. On 18 February 2020 the Registrant acknowledged to the HCPC that his fitness to practise was impaired by his health and stated that he had no intention of returning to practice due to his health and age. The HCPC informed the Registrant that he would receive a voluntary removal agreement to sign and that the Tribunal Services would contact him in due course with a date for the hearing.
15. On being informed by Tribunal Services of the date for the hearing, the Registrant raised a number of concerns about the process. After the HCPC had responded to these concerns, the Registrant confirmed that he wished to proceed by way of voluntary removal from the Register and would like to attend the hearing virtually.
16. The Voluntary Removal Agreement was sent to the Registrant by email on 1 June 2020, which he duly signed and returned to the HCPC by post.

Decision
17. The Panel today was provided by the HCPC with a bundle of documents containing to the original allegation of misconduct, the subsequent matters leading to the preliminary hearing and transfer to the Health Committee and correspondence between the Registrant and the HCPC with regard to his request for voluntary removal and a signed VRA (the Agreement). In addition, the Panel had the benefit of a skeleton argument on behalf of the HCPC dated 22 June 2020.
18. The Panel noted that section 3.2.3 of the Agreement provides that the Registrant will not at any time seek re-admission to the Register. However, it is the Panel’s understanding that the effect of the Agreement is intended to be equivalent to an order removing the Registrant from the register. This would not prevent the Registrant from applying to be re-admitted to the register after a period of five years from the date of today’s hearing. Section 4 of the Agreement specifies how the HCPC would deal with an application by the Registrant to be re-admitted to the register.
19. The Panel first considered whether the proposed resolution of these proceedings would provide the appropriate level of public protection. The Panel took into account that the VRA was equivalent in its effect to a striking off order, which would prevent the Registrant from applying to be re-admitted to the Register for at least 5 years. In the unlikely event of an application for re-admission, he would be required to undertake a significant period of updating his professional skills and knowledge. The Panel was satisfied that the public would thereby be adequately protected.
20. The Panel further considered whether the proposed resolution of these proceedings would be detrimental to the wider public interest. The Panel was satisfied that there would be no such detriment and that public confidence in the profession and the Regulator would be maintained.
21. In all the circumstances, the Panel today was satisfied that a member of the public, properly informed as to the circumstances of the case, would be satisfied that the Voluntary Removal Agreement is an appropriate and proportionate disposal of the matter, that it addresses any public protection and wider public interest issues and is in the Registrant’s own interests.
22. The Panel therefore consented to the Registrant’s application for his name to be removed from the HCPC Register.

Order

ORDER: The Panel approves the Voluntary Removal Agreement on the basis that the Registrar will remove the name of Mr Paul Daly from the Register with immediate effect.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Paul Daly

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
29/06/2020 Health Committee Voluntary Removal Agreement Voluntary Removal agreed