Miss Janet P Cormode

Profession: Paramedic

Registration Number: PA11325

Hearing Type: Voluntary Removal Agreement

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 31/03/2020 End: 17:00 31/03/2020

Location: This hearing was conducted remotely on paper.

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegation

While working as a Paramedic and employed with Isle of Man Ambulance Service and registered with the Health Care Professions Council, on 27th and 28th June 2017 you attended an Incident at Service User 1’s residence, and:

1. Did not administer appropriate pain medication to Service User 1 despite a reported pain level of 10/10.

2. Did not record your reasons for not prescribing an antihistamine to Service User 1 in the Patient Record Form.

3. Were rude, dismissive and abrupt towards Service User 1 and Witness 1, making them feel as if:

a. They were wasting the ambulance crew’s time; and

b. As if Service User 1 did not need to go to hospital.

4. Were rude and abrupt towards Service User 1, by:

a. Saying ‘you only have a rash, you need to take some piriton, if we take you to hospital you’ll only be discharged’, or words to that effect.

b. Saying ‘do you want to go or don’t you, this is wasting our time’, or words to that effect.

5. The matters described in paragraphs 1 – 4 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

6. By reason of your misconduct and/or lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired. 

Finding

Preliminary Matters
 
1. Due to the current Covid-19 crisis and the Government’s advice in response to it, the Committee met to consider this matter via remote conferencing facilities.

2. The Notice of hearing was served upon the Registrant on 13 February 2020 and 3 March 2020. A further updated notice was sent via email to the Registrant on 30 March 2020 which advised her that, in the light of the current national Covid-19 crisis and the Government’s advice in response to it, it was proposed that the this matter would be conducted on the papers alone without the parties attending. The Panel was provided with the revised Notice of Hearing and also a note of a follow-up telephone conversation with the Registrant at 12:16pm on 30 March 2020 to discuss contents of the letter and the proposed manner of dealing with this matter on papers. The Registrant confirmed that she thought that dealing with this matter on the papers alone was a sensible course of action and agreed. She also indicated that she was aware that the hearing had been scheduled for today, and had not intended to attend.

3. The Panel considered whether to proceed and consider this matter on the papers alone.

4. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant had been given an opportunity to object to the matter proceeding on the papers alone, and was also informed of her right to provide written submissions to be placed before the Panel today. The panel also noted that it was now an expectation on the part of the Registrant that the matter would proceed on the papers alone.

5. The Panel determined that, in the circumstances, it was right and proper to consider this matter on the papers alone.


Background

6. The Registrant is a registered Paramedic. The HCPC received a referral on 03 November 2017, after a Patient complained about the Registrant who had attended an incident on 27/28 June 2017. The Patient alleged the Registrant had been abrupt, rude and dismissive. Comments were allegedly made to the effect that the ambulance crew’s visit was a waste of time, and the Patient’s Husband complained that no equipment was brought to the scene, nor was appropriate pain relief or antihistamine’s administered. The Patient subsequently was admitted to hospital for a number of days.

7. The Registrant’s employer conducted an Investigation, and provided the Report to the HCPC. The Registrant then requested to be moved from the
 
position of Paramedic with the Isle of Man Ambulance Service to that of an Ambulance Technician within the Trust. The Registrant articulated a desire to be removed from the HCPC Register.

8. On 05 September 2019, a Panel of the Investigating Committee determined that there was a case to answer in respect of the above allegation against the Registrant and referred the allegation to the Conduct and Competence Committee.

Decision

9. The Panel considered the written submissions of Ms Simpson on behalf of the HCPC. In it she outlined the circumstances that led to the referral to the HCPC, and submitted that a Voluntary Removal Agreement was the appropriate means of finalising this case. The HCPC was satisfied that the Registrant fully understood the effect of the Voluntary Removal Agreement and that granting the application would not compromise the protection of the public or have any detrimental effect on the wider public interest.

10. The Panel had the signed Voluntary Removal Agreement (“the VRA”) before it today. The Allegation was part of VRA as Schedule A and in paragraph C of the VRA, the Registrant admits the Allegation.

11. The Panel had sight of email correspondence from the Registrant, sent by her to the HCPC during July 2019, from which it is clear that she no longer wished to practise as a Paramedic and that she was under the impression that the HCPC had already taken her off the Register.

12. The Panel considered all of the information and representations by Ms Simpson. The Panel has applied its own judgement to the application to withdraw the allegation and to discontinue these proceedings. The Panel has also had regard to the HCPTS’s Practice Note on “Disposal of Cases by Consent” and has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

13. The Panel noted that the HCPC is satisfied that it would be meeting its statutory objective of protecting the public and the public interest, if the Registrant was permitted to be removed from the Register on similar terms to those which would apply if she were subject to a striking off order under article 29(5) of the Health Professions Order 2001. The Panel noted from the documents that the Investigating Committee had concluded that there was a case to answer, and were satisfied that the Registrant has fully admitted the allegation.

14. The Panel had before it the Voluntary Removal Agreement that had been agreed between the HCPC and the Registrant. It was signed and executed by
 
both parties in terms of which the Registrant admitted the allegations, which had been made against her. She agreed that she will resign from the HCPC Register on the terms and conditions fully set out in that Agreement. The Registrant also signed a Declaration that there was no other matter of which the Registrant was aware which might give rise to any other allegation.

15. The Panel firstly considered whether there were any factors that would make it undesirable to allow the allegation to be concluded on the consensual basis set out in the VRA. The Panel took into account the following factors:

(a) This matter arose out of a single incident involving one patient.

(b) There are apparent attitudinal issues involved. However, the Registrant has apologised and taken remedial steps that demonstrates that she has gained insight into her failings.

(c) The most serious particular of the allegation is particular 1, where the Registrant did not administer appropriate pain medication to Service User 1 despite a reported pain level of 10/10.

(d) The Registrant acknowledged her failings from an early stage and recognised that her fitness to practise was impaired. As a result she has chosen to leave the profession and operate as an Emergency Medical Technician. The Panel noted that the Registrant, working with her Training Officer, jointly reached this position. This demonstrates significant insight on the Registrant’s part.

16. The Panel was mindful of its overarching objective of protection of the public and the public interest. It determined that any risk to the public posed by the Registrant operating as a paramedic would be met by her voluntary removal from the register.

17. The Panel then considered whether or not these matters are so serious that a public hearing would be required in order to maintain the public’s confidence in the profession and in the regulatory process. The Panel determined that these matters were not at the upper spectrum of seriousness for misconduct and that the public’s confidence in the profession and in the regulatory process would not be undermined if these matters were withdrawn and the Registrant permitted to have her name removed from the Register and leave the Paramedic profession. The Panel carefully considered what a fair minded observer might take into account in terms of the necessity for a final public hearing. It considered that such a person, in possession of all the information before the panel today, including the circumstances pertaining to the Registrant’s personal life at the relevant time, the remedial steps taken and
 
her reflection on the allegation and desire to leave the profession, would not consider a public hearing necessary.

18. Taking the above into consideration, the Panel concluded that there are no overriding public interest factors that would require this matter to go to a full hearing.

19. The Panel is aware that if the Registrant seeks to return to the HCPC Register at any time in the future, her application would be treated as if she had been struck off as a result of the allegation. The Panel was satisfied from the correspondence contained within the bundle between the Registrant and the HCPC that the Registrant fully understands the consequences of her application today.

20. In all the circumstances, the Panel is satisfied that both the public and the public interest would be adequately protected by the terms of the agreement reached between the Registrant and the HCPC in as much as the Registrant will henceforth be prevented from practising as a Paramedic and, should she wish to apply to return to the Register, she will be treated as though she had been struck off.

21. Furthermore, the Panel is satisfied that this means of finalising this case is appropriate and proportionate, and is jointly in the interest of the public, the HCPC and the Registrant. Accordingly, the Panel approves the Voluntary Removal Agreement and the withdrawal of the allegation and discontinuance of those proceedings.

Order

The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Miss Janet P Cormode from the Register with immediate effect.

Notes

This is a Voluntary Removal Hearing taking place in London on Tuesday 31 March 2020.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Miss Janet P Cormode

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
31/03/2020 Conduct and Competence Committee Voluntary Removal Agreement Voluntary Removal agreed