Ms Janine Thomas

Profession: Occupational therapist

Registration Number: OT66279

Interim Order: Imposed on 06 Jun 2018

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 19/10/2020 End: 17:00 21/10/2020

Location: This will take place virtually

Panel: Health Committee
Outcome: Suspended

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Allegation

By reason of your physical and / or mental health, your fitness to practise as an Occupational Therapist is impaired.

 

Finding

No information currently available

Order

The Registrar is directed to suspend the name of Ms Janine Thomas for a period of 12 months from the date that this Order takes effect (the Operative Date).

Notes

Interim Order

1.The Panel heard an application from Mr Bridges to cover the appeal period by imposing an 18-month Interim Suspension Order on the Registrant’s registration. He submitted that such an order is necessary to protect the public and is otherwise in the public interest.

2.The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. It had careful regard to Paragraphs 133-135 of the SP and to Paragraph 7 of the HCPTS Practice Note on Interim Orders, which offers guidance on interim orders imposed at final hearings after a sanction has been imposed. The guidance states that registrants should be made aware of the potential for an interim order to be imposed on their registration after the panel has made a substantive order and should be given an opportunity to make representations in respect of an interim order.

3.The Panel noted that the Registrant had been informed by the Notice of hearing email dated 13 July 2020 that if this Panel found proved the allegation against her and imposed a conditions of practice order or a suspension order, the HCPC may make an application to the Panel to impose an interim order to cover any appeal period. For the reasons set out in its earlier decision to commence the hearing in the absence of the Registrant, the Panel determined that it would also be fair, proportionate and in the interests of justice to consider Mr Bridges’ application.

4.The Panel recognised that its power to impose an interim order is discretionary and that the imposition of such an order is not an automatic outcome of fitness to practise proceedings in which a Suspension Order has been imposed, and that the Panel must take into consideration the impact of such an order on the Registrant. The Panel was, however, mindful of its findings in relation to the health condition in this case and the risk of relapse.

5.The Panel decided to impose an Interim Suspension Order under Article 31(2) of the Health Professions Order 2001. The Panel was satisfied that an interim suspension order is necessary for the protection of the public and is otherwise in the public interest to maintain confidence in this regulatory process. The Panel has had regard to the nature and severity of the health condition it has found proved, and the resulting public protection concerns and the full reasons set out in its decision for the substantive order in reaching the decision to impose an interim order. In the circumstances, it also considered that public confidence in the profession and the regulatory process would be seriously undermined were the Registrant allowed to remain in practice as an Occupational Therapist during the appeal period.

6.The period of this order is for 18 months to allow for the possibility of an appeal to be made and determined.

7.If no appeal is made, then the interim order will be replaced by the Suspension Order 28 days after the Registrant is sent the decision of this hearing in writing.

8.That concludes this determination.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Ms Janine Thomas

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
19/10/2020 Health Committee Final Hearing Suspended
07/08/2019 Investigating Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension