Mrs Antoinette C Fugaccia
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By reason of your physical and/or mental health, your fitness to practice as an Occupational Therapist is impaired.
Service of Notice and Proceeding in the Registrant’s Absence
1. The HCPC provided evidence that Notice of today’s hearing regarding the Voluntary Removal Agreement (VRA), had been sent by letter on 19 December 2019 to the Registrant’s registered address on the HCPC register. The Notice contained details of the date, time and venue for today’s hearing and had been posted in sufficient time in advance of the hearing. The Panel was satisfied that the rules relating to service of Notice have been complied with.
2. Ms Ktisti made an application to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. The Registrant has acknowledged that this hearing is taking place and she has signed the VRA. Ms Ktisti had a telephone call with the Registrant on 10 March 2020 when she confirmed she would not be attending or be represented at the hearing and was aware of the nature of these proceedings. The Registrant previously indicated by email on 9 March 2020 to the HCPC that she would not be attending the hearing. The Registrant has not asked for an adjournment. Ms Ktisti submitted that the Registrant had voluntarily absented herself from the hearing and it was in the public interest, and in the Registrant’s own interests, that the hearing proceed.
3. 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 to the HCPTS Practice Note on ‘Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant’ and to the guidance in GMC v Adeogba  EWCA Civ 162.
4. The Panel agreed to proceed in the Registrant’s absence as 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 a clear indication from the Registrant on 9 and 10 March 2020 that she would not be attending and was content that the hearing proceed in her absence. The Panel balanced fairness to the Registrant with fairness to the HCPC and the public interest. No useful purpose would be served by adjourning the hearing. The Panel is of the view that the Registrant has voluntarily absented herself as she has clearly indicated that she would not be attending and wishes to be removed from the Register. In these circumstances the Panel is satisfied that it is fair and appropriate to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.
Application to conduct the hearing in private
5. Ms Ktisti applied to hold the entire hearing in private given that health issues will be raised, this being a health case. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and decided that it was appropriate and in the interests of justice to hold the entire hearing in private given the health issues arising.
The Panel directs that Registrar to remove the name of Mrs Antoinette Fugaccia from the Register with immediate effect.
No notes available
History of Hearings for Mrs Antoinette C Fugaccia
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|13/03/2020||Health Committee||Voluntary Removal Agreement||Voluntary Removal agreed|