Mr Lee A Campbell
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Your fitness to practise as an Operating Department Practitioner is impaired by reason of your physical and/or mental health.
1. The Panel was provided an unredacted copy of the service bundle. On 27 August 2020, the HCPC sent the notice of this Hearing to the registered email address recorded for the Registrant. 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 informed the Panel that on 28 August 2020, the HCPC had received two emails from the Registrant in response to the notice. The first read: “Sorry, I don’t want to take part in this” and the second said “So leave me alone??”. In light of this, Ms Denholm submitted that an adjournment would serve no useful purpose; and the indication from the Registrant was that he would not be attending. Ms Denholm submitted that the Registrant had voluntarily absented himself and that it was in the public interest to proceed as today’s hearing was a mandatory review of a substantive order.
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. His emails of 28 August 2020 indicated to the Panel that he did not intend to engage or participate in this review. 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, but this was a consequence he had brought upon himself through his non-engagement and non-participation. 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.
Application to proceed in private
7. At the outset of the case, Ms Denholm, on behalf of the HCPC, applied for the entirety of the hearing to be heard in private, in order to protect the Registrant’s private life. She explained that the substantive allegation had been in respect of the Registrant’s health and had been heard by the Health Committee in private.
8. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel noted that the matters related solely to the Registrant’s health. Consequently, the Panel was satisfied that it was justified to hear those parts of the case in private, in order to protect the Registrant’s private life.
The Registrar is directed to suspend the registration of Mr Lee A Campbell from the Register for a period of 12 months on the expiry of the existing Order.
A substantive review was held via video-link due to the COVID-19 pandemic.