Luke Banfield

Profession: Dietitian

Registration Number: DT07739

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 17/08/2021 End: 17:00 20/08/2021

Location: Virtually via video conference

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Caution

Please note that the decision can take up to 5 working days to be uploaded onto the HCPTS website. Please contact one of our Hearings Team Managers via tsteam@hcpts-uk.org or +44 (0)808 164 3084 if you require any further information.

 

Allegation

As a registered Dietitian (DT07739) your fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct. In that:

 1. On 4 March 2019 you made inappropriate comments to colleague A in that you requested   colleague A to come to your office and told them “When I see you, I just want to play with   myself”, or words to that effect.

2. Your conduct in relation to allegation 1 was sexually motivated.

3. The matter set out in allegations 1 and 2 constitute misconduct.

4. By reason of misconduct your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary matters:

Application to conduct hearing partially in private

1. Ms Reid for the HCPC applied to have the hearing held in private where there is reference
to the Registrant’s family and health matters. Mr Buxton agreed and the Panel, having
taken advice from the Legal Assessor on the interests of justice, concluded that it
was fair and appropriate to conduct those parts of the hearing in private which related to the
Registrant’s private life and health.

2. Mr Buxton advised the Panel that the Registrant admitted the allegation and that his conduct, as alleged, was sexually motivated and amounted to misconduct. The Registrant did not admit that by reason of misconduct his fitness to practise is currently impaired.

Background

3. The Registrant is a registered Dietitian, employed by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (the Trust). It is alleged that on 4 March 2019, the Registrant called the Critical Care department asking for Colleague A to go and speak with him. It is then alleged that during the meeting between the Registrant and Colleague A in the Registrant’s office, he said to her “when I see you, I just want to play with myself”, or words to that effect.

4. The Panel heard from two witnesses for the HCPC, Colleague A, a Health Care Assistant, and Ms Lynn Keightley, an Employment Relations Advisor and Casework Manager who took
over the disciplinary investigation and prepared a management report on the incident. It also
heard from the Registrant.

5. Ms Keightley conducted a management investigation for the Trust and the Registrant was
disciplined. Her redacted management report dated 14 August 2019 is before the Panel. The HCPC received a referral from the Trust in respect of the Registrant dated 19 September 2019.

Witness 1 – Colleague A

6. The Panel heard from Colleague A. She was supported by a colleague and special measures were in place requiring the Registrant to attend only by way of telephone during her evidence. She referred to her witness statement and told the Panel about the incident.

7. Colleague A is a Band 3 Health Care Assistant at the Trust and she explained her role
to the Panel. She told the Panel that she had encountered the Registrant in the work
place and she told the Panel about the incident on 4 March 2019. She said the Registrant had
asked her to attend at his office and she had telephoned him. He told her that he wanted to run something by her. She said went to his office. She said he was blushing and fidgety and that after about 10 or 15 minutes he had said “you might slap me” and then said “..when I see you I want to play with myself.” Colleague A said that he had asked her not to say anything as his wife worked at the Trust. She said she had just wanted to leave the room, had panicked and felt really shocked.

8. Colleague A said she that she did not sleep that night and she now feels wary and hesitant
with male colleagues and the Registrant’s conduct was always on her mind. She said she had
thought she was safe at work and was annoyed with herself for going to his office. She
said the Registrant had insulted her intelligence and made her feel horrible, foolish and
vulnerable.

9. Two years after the incident she said that she thought it was disgusting and was not right.
She said she had given him no indication that what he said was acceptable. She said she
trusted nobody now and had learned to say no to people. She now felt distrustful of men.

10. Mr Buxton asked about the letter of apology from the Registrant dated 11 September 2019 that he had passed to the HR department at the Trust. She said she did not recall receiving any letter or any apology. Mr Buxton said the Registrant wanted to apologise to her and was remorseful. Colleague A did not want the Registrant’s letter of apology read out by Mr Buxton.

11. Colleague A said that the Registrant’s conduct was out of character and it was simply not
right. She said she felt a little angry as the apology was too late as the damage had been done. She felt that an apology at the time would have made no difference.

Witness 2 - Lynn Keightley

12. The witness confirmed her witness statement was true to the best of her knowledge and belief. She is an HR professional and she took over the investigation. She had received statements and documents, including three witness statements from Colleague A, Ms Keightley and another employee.

13. Ms Keightley referred to the management report she had prepared following her
investigation. She said that, when interviewed, the Registrant had been distressed,
upset, remorseful and apologetic for his conduct. He had admitted his conduct at the time.

14. In response to Mr Buxton, she said she was not present at the meeting where the apology was discussed with the Registrant. However, she was aware of, and must have been told that Colleague A had declined an apology, as it is referred to in the report.

15. Mr Buxton took the witness to the Registrant’s notice of appeal against the finding of the
disciplinary process. She said that she had been made aware that the Registrant had not been
suspended and had been reinstated and moved to other duties and was aware that he continued to work at the Trust.

The Registrant’s Evidence

16. The Registrant apologised for putting Colleague A through giving her evidence today
and said his conduct had been misconduct and it had been “abhorrent.” Colleague A had done nothing to deserve it.

17. The Registrant told the Panel about his reflective statement which he said he had worked on for some time. He told the Panel about his testimonials and his colleagues who provided them. He said he did not now recognise the man who said what he had in 2019.

18. The Registrant said he did not tackle his health issues at the time and had not been aware of the impact on him. He said he cannot now recall the meeting during the investigation when he wanted to apologise to Colleague A for his behaviour. He said he had written an apology letter dated 11 September 2019 and had not been aware that Colleague A had never received the letter. He said he has never before, or since, had any concerns raised about his professional conduct or competence.

19. The Registrant said that since he was reinstated he has been working as a Band 7 senior
Dietitian in the community, not in the hospital. He was covering care homes and making home visits and has been working in a clinical setting, most recently in a team leader role. He said he was at times working alone when not attending clinics. He said there was a huge difference in him since 2019. He said he could now see his previous role had been “relentless”. He said his current position was “wonderful” and he had now recognised what a privilege it is to work in his professional role. He said he had a better perspective on life, was grateful for what he had and “counted his blessings”.

20. The Registrant told the Panel about his written reflection. He said his own learning and
counselling had greatly helped him, and reflection was now part of what he did every day. He said he had sought to understand what he did at the time, and why, in order to make sure it will not happen again and wanted to fully address the issues. He said he would now recognise if his health was deteriorating as he was monitoring that as part of his daily routine. He was under the care of his GP and had also done a six-week CBT course. He said he now meditated daily which had helped him a lot.

21. The Registrant told the Panel about his consideration of the impact of his conduct on his
colleagues and his profession. He said he feels guilty about his behaviour and having let down his colleagues. He is now in a role where he assists colleagues on mental health issues
and approaches his profession far more holistically. He was keen to support colleagues and to be a good role model. The Registrant told the Panel of his future plans in relocating to Scotland to be nearer family.

22. The Registrant was cross-examined by Ms Reid for the HCPC. She reminded the Panel
that he had made the alleged comments and that he admitted they were sexually motivated. He said that he had no clear recollection of the day and did not recall the telephone call he had made to Colleague A such was the stress and anxiety he was under at the time. He said he could not recall the details of specifically asking for Colleague A but he did recall her being in his office and saying to her what is alleged. He said he remembered being anxious and stressed. He did not recall saying to Colleague A not to say anything as his wife worked for the NHS. He said Colleague A’s account was probably more accurate than his, and he was not disputing what she has said. He accepted what he said to her was ‘awful’, but he did not think that he had been using his power or status to humiliate her.

23. The Registrant said he would do anything to make it up to Colleague A and he knows the pain he has caused and was deeply ashamed.

24. The Registrant told the Panel about his plans to remain working in a community role and, although he may return to a hospital setting, he would not seek a management role again.

Day Two – Wednesday 18 August 2021

25. The Registrant told the Panel that his actions had let the profession and himself down significantly, including his colleagues. He said he had thought about the impact on Colleague A and he could not expect her, or colleagues to understand the intricacies of his health. He felt he had done all he could do redeem himself. He said that every day he tried to put that right and he strives to do what he can so that the public have a positive view of the profession. He said he understood how one incident can have a negative impact.

26. The Registrant said he has recently handed in his notice but he has not applied for any new positions in Scotland yet as he wanted to await the outcome of this hearing. He said he will need to be very open with any future employers about what has happened and his health. He said that he was thinking about for applying for a community post as he has found that role very fulfilling.

27. The Registrant said that he understood his acute and chronic stress and he said he has been seeking to understand the underlying stressors and he was addressing those, and the work with his counsellor had really helped him to develop a self-awareness. He said he was now more open about his health and has said to colleagues that they should prompt him if they notice any changes in his behaviour. The Registrant said that if he felt a major event occurred which affected his ability to practice, then he would step away from his role. He said he would not put himself or others at risk again.

28. The Registrant told the Panel about his counselling sessions where the incident has been discussed in detail and why he acted as he did. He said he has done a course around sexual harassment at work in September 2019. He has done reading in that regard and could now see his conduct from Colleague A’s perspective. He had been shocked and surprised by her response and the impact of his conduct on her. He said that he was now more aware of his conduct with colleagues and patients. He said he was not that man anymore and had entered the profession to help others.

Submissions for the HCPC

29. Ms Reid provided the Panel with written submissions. She submitted that the Panel should find particulars 1, 2, 3 and 4 proved and to find misconduct and current impairment. She referred the Panel to the evidence and the relevant case law.

30. Ms Reid asked the Panel to disregard the outcome of the management report as it was for the Panel to make its own decision on the facts. She also submitted that it should not have regard to the opinion offered by the Registrant’s counsellor about the risk of repetition, as that was a matter for the Panel.

31. Ms Reid referred to the HCPC Standards of conduct, performance and ethics and drew attention to Standards 2.1, 2.5, 6.1 and 6.3.

32. Ms Reid submitted that the Registrant’s apparent inability to recall in detail the incident may raise concerns about his insight. She submitted that there was a need to make a finding of impairment on the personal element of impairment. She also sought a finding on public interest grounds given the seriousness of the misconduct.

Submissions for the Registrant

33. Mr Buxton took no issue with the case law quoted by Ms Reid in her written submission. He reiterated that the Registrant has faced his regulator and unburdened himself. He submitted that the lack of full recollection by the Registrant was a point that fails to acknowledge that the Registrant at the time was acutely unwell and there was no question about that. He submitted that the Registrant’s conduct was an aberration by a professional man with over 20 years of unblemished practice before and no issues since.

34. Mr Buxton submitted that the Registrant presents as an honest and humble individual who daily continues to bear these matters in mind and seeks to present “the best version of myself”. He reminded the Panel that the Registrant admits the allegation, sexual motivation and misconduct.

35. Mr Buxton referred the Panel to section 4 of the management report by Ms Keightley and to the two OH reports attached to it. He submitted that the Registrant’s health was central to this case and that made it difficult for the Registrant to explain and rationalise his behaviour. Mr Buxton submitted that the Registrant was plainly unwell at the time and this was a one off incident. He submitted that the report contained helpful information as to the cause of the incident as it recorded what he had said and his feelings shortly after the incident in 2019.

36. Mr Buxton submitted that it was hard to understand why the Registrant had behaved as he did, and that was important in assessing impairment and the risk of repetition. He submitted that the management report states that it was not possible to say whether his health was the cause of the incident, but it was clear that the Registrant had health issues at the time that were not fully recognised and treated, as is stated in the OH report of 6 August 2019.

37. Mr Buxton submitted that the Registrant now recognised, and was aware of, his health issues. Mr Buxton referred to what Dr Radford states in the 6 August 2019 OH report who states that the Registrant was at that time more aware of his health issues and that his insight and understanding of his health was ever present. He submitted that the Registrant is developing insight and has never sought to deflect blame or responsibility for his actions. That was clear from the grounds of his appeal to the Trust. Mr Buxton submitted that the Registrant’s appeal submissions made clear that he accepted full responsibility for his actions.

38. Mr Buxton referred to the letter from the Registrant’s counsellor and submitted that the Panel was entitled to consider that and assess the evidence from the Registrant in that light. The Registrant has consistently expressed shame, embarrassment and self-loathing. The Panel had also seen the letter of apology the Registrant wrote to Colleague A, which she appeared to know nothing of. That was a matter of considerable regret for the Registrant. He submitted that the Registrant fully appreciates the impact of his behaviour on Colleague A and he has looked at all facets of his behaviour, including sexual harassment.

39. Mr Buxton submitted that the Registrant’s health issues were very relevant to his behaviour, the conduct was out of character and was an isolated incident. The successful appeal noted that the Trust had found no risk by the Trust in relation to the Registrant working with females on a one-to-one basis.

40. Mr Buxton submitted that the Registrant was not currently impaired and has worked tirelessly to remediate his practice. He remains under the care of his GP and his counsellor. The Registrant has demonstrated that he is serious about dealing with his health and has shown that he has an understanding and recognition of what he has done, and that it must
never happen again and he fully appreciates the impact on the profession.

41. Mr Buxton submitted that an informed member of the public would consider that the Registrant has demonstrated that he is not a risk to the public or to public confidence in the profession. He has worked for two years without incident since the date of the allegation. Mr Buxton submitted that the public interest therefore did not require a finding of impairment.

Legal Advice

42. The Legal Assessor reminded the Panel to assess all the evidence on the balance of probabilities, the onus of proof resting upon the HCPC. It should consider the admissions and the evidence and be mindful of the guidance in Basson v GMC [2018] EWHC 505 (Admin) and Haris v GMC [2021] EWCA Civ 763 regarding findings of sexual motivation. He reminded the Panel that it was the primary finder of facts and that the outcome of the Trust investigation and management report should not be taken into account by them. He also reminded the Panel that evidence of opinion, unless expressed by a certified expert witness, was irrelevant.

43. Once the Panel has made a decision on the facts it should next consider misconduct, a matter for the Panel’s professional judgement and on which no onus rested on the HCPC. The Legal Assessor reminded the Panel of the guidance on misconduct in Roylance v GMC [2001] 1 AC 311. On impairment, the Legal Assessor referred the Panel to the HCPTS Practice Note on Finding that Fitness to Practise is Impaired and to the authoritative guidance in CHRE v NMC & Grant [2011] EWHC 927 (Admin). Impairment was a matter for the Panel’s professional judgement and it required the Panel to consider the central issues of insight, remediation, remorse and the risk of repetition. The Panel should look to past conduct and to the future in assessing the risk of repetition. The Panel must at all times keep at the forefront of its mind the fundamental considerations and overarching objectives of protecting the public and the wider public interest, including the reputation of, and public confidence in, the profession.

Decision on Facts

44. The Panel first assessed the witnesses. It found Colleague A was open, and consistent in her account of the incident. She was straightforward and sought to assist the Panel and the Panel found her both credible and reliable.

45. Ms Keightley was open and sought to assist the Panel. Whilst her remit was limited she appeared well informed, fair and balanced.

46. The Registrant was open and sought to assist the Panel with giving detailed evidence of the incident as best he could remember with the passage of time.

47. The Panel took account of the management report but it was mindful that the Panel is the primary fact-finder and it did not take account of or place any weight on the outcome of the Trust’s investigation.

48. The medical evidence before the Panel, such as it is, was of assistance. The Panel was mindful however, that it has no expert medical evidence before it. There is no dispute that the Registrant at the time of the incident had, and continues to have, serious health issues and that he remains under the care of his GP and attends counselling. Whilst the Panel acknowledged and took account of the Registrant’s undisputed health issues, it did not make any findings on the extent to which those health issues may have caused or contributed to the conduct found proved.

Particular 1 - Proved

49. The Panel noted the Registrant admitted this particular. His admission is wholly supported by Colleague A and by the Trust’s investigation. The Panel found that the comment was made by the Registrant and that it was inappropriate.

Particular 2 - Proved

50. The Panel noted the Registrant admitted that his comments were sexually motivated. The words he used were overtly sexual, and it was a comment making reference to a sexual act. The evidence from Colleague A and the management report also supports this finding. There is no evidence, and there was no suggestion, that there was any other, more plausible non-sexual explanation and motivation for the comments made.

Decision on Misconduct

51. The Panel found that the conduct found proved was serious and that it was conduct that fell well below what would have been proper in the circumstances. It was sexually motivated conduct toward a female colleague in private in the Registrant’s office. It caused Colleague A to panic and to feel vulnerable, and to continue to feel vulnerable some two years later, as expressed at this hearing. The Panel concluded the conduct at particulars 1 and 2 amounted to misconduct.

52. The Panel considered the HCPC Standards of conduct, performance and ethics (2016). It found that the Registrant breached standards 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and 9.1:-

Identify and minimise risk
6.1 You must take all reasonable steps to reduce the risk of harm to service users, carers and colleagues as far as possible.

6.2 You must not do anything, or allow someone else to do anything, which could put the health or safety of a service user, carer or colleague at unacceptable risk.

Manage your health
6.3 You must make changes to how you practise, or stop practising, if your physical or health may affect your performance or judgement, or put others at risk for any other reason.

Personal and professional behaviour
9.1 You must make sure that your conduct justifies the public’s trust and confidence in you and your profession.

Decision on Impairment

53. The Panel next considered the issue of current impairment of fitness to practise. It accepted the legal advice and it considered the guidance in the Grant case and the HCPTS Practice Note on Impairment.

54. The Panel found that the Registrant has shown well developed insight. He has taken, and continues to take, steps to deal with his health through treatment and on-going counselling. He has shown considerable and genuine remorse and he has apologised. He did so shortly after the incident, although this appears never to have been made known to
Colleague A. He has fully engaged with this process and he has admitted the allegation from the outset.

55. The Registrant has undertaken a significant amount of reflection and has demonstrated good insight into his conduct. He has undertaken a considerable amount of counselling which he says has, in part, involved a detailed reflection on the incident. He continues to attend counselling. He completed a course on sexual harassment shortly after the incident in 2019. He has shown that he has carefully reflected on the impact of his conduct on Colleague A, on his colleagues and on public confidence on the profession.

56. The Registrant is now open with his colleagues about his health issues and said he is “constantly scanning” and monitoring his health and behaviour. He has told colleagues about his health and asked them to tell him if they detect any issue with his behaviour. He has not sought to deflect or minimise his conduct which he described as “abhorrent”. The Panel found that his lack of recall of the specifics of the incident was genuine.

57. The Panel found that the Registrant has taken meaningful and positive steps to remediate his practise and to demonstrate that he has developed good insight into both his conduct and his health, including strategies to manage and monitor his health. He has gone to considerable lengths through reflection and counselling to acknowledge and understand his misconduct. The Panel found that he has, so far as he reasonably can, remediated his professional practice.

58. The Panel concluded that the Registrant is not likely in the future to repeat his conduct and place colleagues at risk of harm, in the sense of harm arising from his sexual misconduct. The Registrant is not likely in the future to bring the profession into disrepute, or to breach a fundamental tenet of the profession. The Panel found, in all these circumstances, that the risk of repetition of the misconduct was low.

59. The Panel therefore concluded that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is not currently impaired on the personal component.

60. The panel next considered the important public interest considerations, that is the public component of fitness to practise. It was mindful of the advice in the Grant case which states:-
“71...it is essential, when deciding whether fitness to practise is impaired, not to lose sight of the fundamental considerations ….. namely the need
to protect the public and the need to declare and uphold proper standards of conduct and behaviour so as to maintain public confidence in the profession.
“73. Where a FTPP considers that the case is one where the misconduct consists of violating such a fundamental rule of the professional relationship between medical practitioner and patient and thereby undermining public confidence in the medical profession, a finding of impairment of fitness to practise may be justified on the grounds that it is necessary to reaffirm clear standards of professional conduct so as to maintain public confidence in the practitioner and in the profession.”

61. In Grant the case of Cohen v GMC [2008] EWHC 581 (Admin) is referred to and approved. This states:-
“[62] Any approach to the issue of whether a doctor’s fitness to practise should be regarded as ‘impaired’ must take account of ‘the need to protect the individual patient, and the collective need to maintain confidence [in the] profession as well as declaring and upholding proper standards of conduct and behaviour of the public in their doctors and that public interest includes amongst other things the protection of patients, maintenance of public confidence…”

62. The Panel was mindful of its findings, which include sexual misconduct. The sexual misconduct was directed at a female colleague in the workplace, leaving her feeling panicked, upset and vulnerable. Notwithstanding the Registrant’s remediation and insight, the finding remains very serious and such a finding of misconduct has a significant impact on the public and on public confidence in the profession.

63. The Panel concluded, with the guidance in Grant in mind, that in the circumstances of this case given the nature and gravity of the misconduct, that not to make a finding of current impairment would undermine public confidence in the profession, and in the regulator. It would also fail to uphold and declare proper professional standards. This is the position despite the remediation and insight demonstrated by the Registrant.

64. The Panel accordingly found that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired on the public component of impairment.

Submissions on Sanction for the Registrant

65. Mr Buxton submitted that the risk of damage to public confidence is reduced on account of the findings made by the Panel, and he referred to paragraphs 62 and 63 of the Panel’s decision. Mr Buxton submitted there were mitigating factors which reduced the ongoing risk and may reduce the severity of the sanction. A key factor was the extent to which the Registrant has recognised his failings and has taken steps to remedy his practise.

66. Mr Buxton submitted that the mitigating factors included:-

• The Registrant’s personal stressors and health difficulties
• The responsible attitude taken by him at all stages
• His acceptance of responsibility
• His clear demonstration of insight
• His remorse, that he continues to feel
• His apology was made to Colleague A shortly after the incident.

67. Mr Buxton submitted that the risk was lower and there are features in this case that could allow the Panel to adopt a merciful and lenient approach, notwithstanding the seriousness of the findings. With proportionality in mind, he submitted that the Panel can consider a Caution Order. He submitted that in this particular case that was an appropriate sanction. He referred to the fact this was an isolated incident and limited in the sense that it was not at the higher end of sexually motivated conduct, albeit serious. In addition, there was a low risk of repetition and insight and remediation were well demonstrated.

68. Mr Buxton submitted that a Suspension Order in this case could be punitive and disproportionate as the effect would be to place the Registrant in a very disadvantaged position. Firstly, the Registrant could not work, and that would impact on his ability to look immediately for new employment, and secondly, it would cause him financial hardship.

69. Mr Buxton said that the wider public will appreciate the need to uphold proper standards. He submitted that, having found impairment on the public component only, the Panel may show that this conduct is serious and not to be repeated by imposing a Caution Order. That will serve as a reminder and properly marks the misconduct as unacceptable.

70. The Legal Assessor referred the Panel to the HCPC Sanctions Policy and reminded it of the importance of acting proportionately. He advised the Panel to consider sanction in ascending order of severity, and that it should apply the least restrictive sanction necessary to protect the public and the wider public interest. It should consider any aggravating and mitigating factors and always keep in mind the public interest and that the primary purpose of sanction was to protect the public.

Decision on Sanction

71. The Panel was mindful of its earlier finding of misconduct and its finding of impairment on public interest grounds only. It accepted the legal advice and it considered the HCPC Sanctions Policy.

72. The Panel identified what it considered to be the principle mitigating and aggravating factors in this case. The mitigating factors identified are:-

• Early admissions
• Low risk of repetition
• It was an isolated incident
• Good insight
• No previous regulatory concerns before, or since
• Good engagement and remediation
• No harm to service users
• Previous unblemished career
• Positive testimonials

73. The Panel identified the following aggravating factors :-

• Breach of trust
• Intimidating sexually motivated conduct involving a female colleague in the work place

74. The Panel first considered taking no action. The Panel decided that sexual misconduct is too serious to be dealt with by way of taking no action. That order would fail to send the appropriate message to the profession and to the public that the conduct is unacceptable.

75. The Panel next considered a Caution Order and it considered paragraphs 99 to 102 of the Sanctions Policy. The Registrant has shown good insight and he has taken considerable steps through medical help and counselling to ensure, so far as he can, that this conduct will not occur again. The Panel has found there is a low risk of repetition and accepted his conduct was out of character, as supported by the positive testimonials from his professional colleagues. The incident was isolated, although serious. The Panel has made a finding of impairment on public interest grounds only.

76. With reference to paragraph 101 of the Sanctions Policy, the Panel was mindful that the misconduct found was not ‘relatively minor in nature’. However, the Registrant has remediated and his insight is good. The Panel has found that there is no impairment on the personal component and the Registrant presents a low risk of repeating his misconduct.

77. The Panel concluded in all the circumstances, that the misconduct can be proportionately and appropriately marked by way of a Caution Order for one year. Given its finding on the public component of impairment only, the Panel decided that there is no need to restrict the Registrant’s practice in order to protect the public or the public interest, and that to do so would go further than was necessary and would be disproportionate.

78. The Panel concluded that a Caution Order for one year is sufficient to mark the conduct as unacceptable and that order will also serve as a deterrent to other health professionals. The Panel concluded that a one year Caution Order would mark the seriousness of the misconduct and uphold and declare proper professional standards.

79. The Panel considered conditions of practice. In light of the nature and gravity of the misconduct, and the remediation found, the Panel decided that a conditions of practice order was not an appropriate or meaningful sanction in this case, in the sense that there is a finding of remediation, no personal impairment of fitness to practise, and no clinical concerns.

80. The Panel also considered a Suspension Order, but concluded in light of its findings on insight, remediation and impairment, that such an order would be disproportionate and would be punitive.

81. The Panel therefore imposed a Caution Order for one year.

Order

Order: The Registrar is directed to annotate the register entry of Luke Banfield with a caution which is to remain on the register for a period of one year from the date this order comes into effect.

Notes

Right of Appeal:


You may appeal to the High Court in England and Wales against the Panel’s decision and the order it has made against you.


Under Article 29(10) of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001, any appeal must be made within 28 days of the date when this notice is served on you. The Panel’s order will not take effect until the appeal period has expired or, if you appeal, until that appeal is disposed of or withdrawn.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Luke Banfield

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
17/08/2021 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Caution