Mr Simon Trafford

Profession: Paramedic

Registration Number: PA43299

Hearing Type: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 30/10/2020 End: 17:00 30/10/2020

Location: Virtual hearing - Video conference

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Suspended

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Allegation

Whilst registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a paramedic and employed with South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB) you;

1. Between in or around June 2017 and in or around June 2018, failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries in in relation to Service User A, , in that you;

c. Provided on-going treatment and/or advice to Service User A and/or her family

d. Provided a loan of £40 to Service User A

2. Sent inappropriate messages to Service User A, including:

a. ‘Its a shame yr with Person C otherwise I could have given you money in return for something Ive not had in nearly two years! Lol! (I so shouldn’t have text you that) I must behave! X ‘and/or

b. ‘Oh I see so technically yr with him. Sorry I was misbehaving & feeling deprived ive had nothing sexual for best part of two years!!!! Getting old to!!!’

3. Your actions described at paragraph 2 were sexually motivated

4. The particulars set out at paragraphs 1 to 3 constitute misconduct

5. By reason of your misconduct, your fitness to practise is impaired.

 

Finding

Preliminary Matters


Service


1. The Panel was provided an with an unredacted copy of the service bundle. On 29 September 2020, the HCPC sent the notice of this hearing to the registered email address recorded for the Registrant, but the delivery failed. On the same date, the HCPC sent a copy of the notice to the Registrant’s registered postal address. The notice contained the required particulars.

2. The Panel was satisfied on the documentary evidence provided, that the Registrant had been given proper notice of this hearing in accordance with the Rules.

Proceeding in absence of the Registrant
3. Ms Denholm, on behalf of the HCPC, applied for the hearing to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. She submitted that the Registrant’s absence was voluntary and he had therefore waived his right to attend. She explained that the Registrant had not applied for an adjournment, this was a mandatory review, and so she invited the Panel to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.
 
4. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor, who advised that the discretion to proceed in a Registrant's absence must be exercised with the utmost care and caution. It also had regard to the HCPTS Practice Note on proceeding in the absence of a Registrant.

5. The Panel was satisfied that the HCPC had fulfilled its obligations and taken all reasonable steps to serve the notice on the Registrant in accordance with the Rules. Although the email address appeared to be a work address and the Registrant was no longer working for that employer, the HCPC had also sent the notice by post. The Panel also noted that up until July 2020, the Registrant had engaged with the HCPC, but subsequently he had ceased communicating. He had not requested an adjournment, nor had he taken up the option of providing written submissions. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant knew how to communicate with the HCPC, as he had done so regularly until July 2020. He was also aware of the review process, as he had been providing information to the HCPC in compliance with his conditions. The Panel therefore inferred that the Registrant’s absence was voluntary, thereby waiving his right to attend.

6. The Panel was mindful that proceeding in the Registrant’s absence may disadvantage him. However, the Panel noted that there is a duty on a Registrant to engage with his Regulator, which he has failed to do in recent months. The Panel did not consider that an adjournment would secure his attendance. In all the circumstances, the Panel considered that it was in the public interest for the hearing to take place, as this is a mandatory review and the Order is due to expire on 5 December 2020.

Application to proceed in private


7. At the outset of the case, Ms Denholm, on behalf of the HCPC, applied for parts of the hearing to be heard in private, in order to protect the Registrant’s private life. She explained that those parts of the substantive hearing in November 2019 which related to the Registrant’s private life had been heard in private.

8. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel noted that there were likely to be references to the Registrant’s private life. Consequently, the Panel was satisfied that it was justified to hear such parts of the case in private, in order to protect the Registrant’s private life.

Order

The Registrar is directed to suspend the registration of Mr Simon Trafford from the Register for a period of 12 months on the expiry of the existing Order.

Notes

The Order imposed today will apply from the end of 5 December 2020.


This Order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 5 December 2021.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Simon Trafford

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
01/12/2020 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
30/10/2020 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
04/11/2019 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Conditions of Practice