Mrs Helen Purdy

Profession: Occupational therapist

Registration Number: OT58534

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 11/01/2021 End: 17:00 18/01/2021

Location: Virtual hearing - video conference

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Struck off

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Allegation

Whilst registered as an Occupational Therapist and working for Locala CIC Partnership:

1) On or around 20 April 2017:

A. you recorded that you visited Patient 1 on 17 April 2017, when you had not;

B. you recorded detailed information regarding Patient 1's intervention and/or outcome of intervention for a visit on 17 April 2017, despite this visit not taking place;

C. you recorded a telephone call to Patient 2 on 17 April 2017, when this did not take place on this date.

2) On or around 20 April 2017, you advised your line manager that you had visited Patient 1 and/or spoken to Patient 2 on 17 April 2017, when you had not.

3) On 17 April 2017, you did not undertake a visit to Patient 2b that had been arranged by a team leader

4) You did not keep contemporaneous and/or adequate records in that:

A. On or around 14 April 2017, in relation to Patient 3,you did not record a joint visit;

B. On or around 4 January 2017, you did not record in relation to Patient 4;

i) a referral to physiotherapy;

ii) an assessment of a different walking aid.

C. On or around 12 January 2017 and/or 18 January 2017, you did not record joint visits that had been undertaken to Patient 5.

D. On 2 September 2016 you undertook a visit to Patient 6 but did not make a record of this visit until 5 September 2016.

E. In relation to Patient 7;

i) On or around 30 December 2016, you did not record that you had not attended a scheduled visit;

ii) Following an entry made on 6 February 2017,you did not record whether hand rails had been ordered and/or fitted.

F. Between 10 January 2017 and 10 February 2017, in relation to Patient 8, you;

a) did not provide and/or record adequate updates to the patient’s husband regarding equipment that had been ordered;

b) did not undertake and/or record a follow up visit with the patient once the chair was in-situ.

G. On or around 11 January 2017, you did not record; whether a visit had been undertaken to Patient 9.

H. In relation to Patient 10;

i) Between 7 February 2017 and 22 February 2017,you did not record whether equipment had been ordered;

ii) On or around 23 February 2017; you recorded that equipment was being used properly but did not record how this had been assessed and/or whether the patient had been visited.

I. In relation to Patient 11, between February 2017 and April 2017 you;

a) Did not record your joint visit with a community nurse on 20 February 2017;

b) Did not record an assessment of the patient and/or a review of the equipment that had been provided.

J. On or around 31 March 2017, you did not record; whether you had undertaken a visit to Patient 12.

K. On or around 31 January 2017, in relation to Patient 13 you did not record an assessment and/or a review of the bath lift that had been provided to them.

L. In relation to Patient 14:

(i) On or around 29 December 2016, you did not record the risks of hoisting the patient at the top of the stairs;

(ii) On or around 3 January 2017, you did not record a risk assessment in relation to moving the patient from the stair lift.

M. In relation to Patient 17:

(i) On or around 30 January 2017, you did not record a visit to Patient 17 in a timely manner;

(ii) Between 30 January 2017 and 19 April 2017 you did not record an information regarding your pursuit of equipment for Patient 17;

(iii) On or around 20 April 2017, you did not record your assessment of Patient 17 prior to ordering a knee wedge;

N. In relation to Patient 18:

(i) On or around 23 February 2017, you did not record an assessment following delivery of a chair to Patient 18;

(ii) On or around 5 May 2017, you did not record whether you contacted Patient 18's next of kin to

obtain the number for the key safe when Patient 18 was unable to mobilise to the front door.

O. In relation to Patient 19:

(i) On 26 April 2017, you did not record an assessment of a Zimmer frame provided to the patient.

P. In relation to Patient 20:

(i) Between 30 January 2017 and 12 February 2017,you did not record any attempts to contact Patient 20 and/or their next of kin following a nurse referral.

(ii) Between 30 January 2017 and 25 April 2017 you did not undertake and/or record any visits to Patient 20.

Q. In relation to Patient 21:

(i) On 16 January 2017, you discharged Patient 21 without recording a review of his newly acquired recliner chair and/or gel cushion;

(ii) Between 17 January 2017 and 18 April 2017 you recorded no further actions in relation to Patient 21,despite being advised that his newly acquired pressure cushion was unsuitable.

R. On or around 24 March 2017, in relation to Patient 29, you ordered a mattress elevator; but did not record this in the clinical notes.

S. In relation to Patient 30;

(i) You did not undertake and/or record undertaking agreed actions following a safeguarding meeting on 06 September 2016.

5) Between 30 March 2017 and 20 April 2017, you did not undertake and/or record an initial appointment with Patient 24.

6) On or around 5 April 2016, you ordered Patient 25 a replacement banana board without conducting and/or recording:

(i) an assessment and/or

(ii) a face to face visit.

7) In relation to Patient 26, on 18 January 2017 you recorded that bed loops were being used appropriately but did not record an assessment and/or any discussion with the patient in relation to this equipment.

8) On 25 January 2017 in relation to Patient 27, you did not make a record of your visit until 30 January 2017;

i) Did not undertake and/or record a referral to Age UK.

9)In relation to Patient 29:

(i) you did not document that you had ordered a mattress elevator.

10) Your actions at paragraphs 1 and 2 were dishonest.

11) Your actions at paragraphs 1 – 9 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

12) Your actions at paragraph 10 constitute misconduct.

13) By reason of your misconduct and/or lack of competence, your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Service of Notice

1. The Panel was satisfied by the production of the Notice of Service dated 24 September 2020 that it was sent to the Registrant’s registered email address on that date. The Notice informed her that the hearing would be conducted remotely, and the powers open to the Panel.

Proceeding in the absence of the Registrant

2. Mr Bridges applied to the Panel for the matter to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. He submitted that there was a clear public interest in the case going ahead; he had witnesses present and there was no information from the Registrant that she wanted an adjournment. He highlighted her Pro Forma Response form received in advance of the hearing in which she indicated she would not be attending. He also asked the Panel to note the Registrant had responded to email correspondence as recently as 8 January 2021, so she was clearly aware of the hearing taking place but had not requested that the matter be adjourned.

3. The Panel reminded itself that the discretion to proceed in the absence of the Registrant should be exercised with great care and caution, mindful of the right of any Registrant to attend their hearing. The Panel was satisfied in this case that the Registrant had voluntarily absented herself; she clearly knew about the hearing and had not applied for an adjournment. In fact, she had indicated in her Pro-Forma response that she would not be attending. In addition, there was a clear public interest in having the matters dealt with, these were serious allegations dating back some years and witnesses were in attendance. The Panel therefore decided to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.

Application For Hearing in Private

4. Mr Bridges then applied to the Panel to hear those parts of the hearing that dealt with the Registrant’s private and family life to be heard in private. The Panel acceded to this as being in the interests of justice. The hearing would be in public but those parts that related to purely private life matters would be appropriately redacted.

Application to Amend

5. Mr Bridges then applied for Allegation 9 to be amended by way of deletion. He submitted Allegation 9 was a duplicate allegation and such deletion could be made without prejudice to the Registrant. The Panel acceded to this application as it was satisfied that no prejudice would be caused to the Registrant in doing so.

Background

6. Mrs Helen Purdy (the Registrant) was employed as a Band 6 Occupational Therapist at Locala CIC Partnership (“Locala”). She was employed between 5 December 2016 and 28 July 2017. The Registrant was initially employed as a locum Occupational Therapist within the Integrated Care Team. From March 2017, when a permanent position became available, she applied for and was successful in being appointed to a permanent position within the same team.

7. In April 2017, a concern came to light regarding the Registrant’s conduct. The Registrant was due to work on 17 April 2017, which was a Bank Holiday Monday. The next day, 18 April 2017, on reviewing the patient record system (System 1) Witness 1, Team Leader, identified that the Registrant had not logged-on to System 1 or made any notes for any patient visits on 17 April 2017. Witness 1 was therefore concerned that the Registrant had not in fact worked on 17 April 2017, despite being on the rota. Witness 1 spoke to the Registrant on 18 April 2017 and asked her whether she had been at work the day before. The Registrant confirmed that she had worked, but not for the whole day. Witness 1 then asked the Registrant if she could provide a list of patients she had seen on 17 April 2017, the Registrant confirmed that she would.

8. On 20 April 2017, Witness 1 spoke to the Registrant again about this issue and asked her to confirm which patients she had visited on 17 April 2017. The Registrant agreed to let her know later that day. The Registrant subsequently provided Witness 1 with the names of Patient 1 and Patient 2. She stated that she had undertaken a face to face visit with Patient 1 and had made a telephone call to Patient 2 on 17 April 2017. Witness 1 checked System 1 and identified that the Registrant had, on 20 April 2017, recorded a visit to Patient 1 and a telephone call to Patient 2 for 17 April 2017.

9. Due to her concerns about the Registrant’s work on 17 April 2017, Witness 1 called Patient 1 who informed her that the Registrant had not visited on 17 April 2017. She also called Patient 2, and Patient 2’s wife advised that they had received a telephone call from the Registrant, but she could not recall when this was. Witness 1 was concerned that, as the Registrant had not accessed System 1 on 17 April 2017, she would not have had access to Patient 2’s contact details.

10. On 2 May 2017, Witness 1 met with the Registrant to discuss her work on 17 April 2017. During this meeting, the Registrant admitted that she had not visited Patient 1 or spoken to Patient 2 on 17 April 2017. As a result of this concern, a formal investigation was undertaken by Barbara Connelly, Investigation Manager, and Witness 2, Human Resources Business Partner. During the investigation, the Registrant went on extended sickness leave and her caseload had to be picked up by other members of the team. This resulted in the identification of a number of concerns in relation to gaps in clinical records and concerns regarding patient cases. Witness 1 therefore undertook an audit of all the clinical records for the patients on the Registrant’s caseload.

11. The Registrant submitted her resignation which took effect as of 28 July 2017.

Decision on Facts

12. The Panel heard live oral evidence from three witnesses. These were Witness 1, Team Leader and Physiotherapist, Witness 2, Human Resources Business Partner, and Witness 3, Occupational Therapist. Each witness adopted their witness statements as their evidence in chief with supporting exhibits which included patient records. Each was asked additional questions by Mr Bridges and also by the Panel. The Panel was satisfied from the evidence of Witness 1 that she had selected a fair sample of the Registrant’s clinical workload for consideration by this Panel.

13. The Panel reminded itself that the burden of proving the case rests on the HCPC to the civil standard of a balance of probabilities. It was reminded of the legal definition of dishonesty as set out in the case of Ivy v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd t/a Crockfords [207] UKSC 67. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor throughout.

14. In respect of Allegation 1) A, the Panel was satisfied from a review of Patient 1’s records that the Registrant had documented she had visited Patient 1 on 17 April 2017 and that this was a 15 minutes face to face visit with 10 minutes administration plus 10 minutes travel time. The Panel noted Witness 1’s evidence that she called Patient 1 on 20 April 2017 who confirmed that the Registrant had not visited them on 17 April 2017. The Panel noted Witness 1’s further evidence that at an informal meeting on 2 May 2017 between her and the Registrant, the Registrant admitted she had not in fact visited Patient 1 on 17 April 2017. In addition, the Panel had sight of the Registrant’s Pro Forma Response to the HCPC, dated 03 September 2020, where she stated “I admit the allegation of not visiting Patient one on 17 April”. Accordingly, the Panel found Allegation 1) A proved.

15. In respect of Allegation 1) B, the Panel noted the relevant clinical record which recorded information about the visit to Patient 1. The Panel noted the level of detail contained there which described interventions and outcomes for Patient 1 which had not in fact taken place, as was subsequently admitted by the Registrant on 2 May 2017. Accordingly, the Panel found Allegation 1) B proved.

16. In respect of Allegation 1) C, the Panel noted Witness 1’s documentary and oral evidence that the Registrant had told her on 20 April 2017 that the Registrant had called Patient 2 on 17 April 2017. The Panel noted the relevant clinical record which recorded information about the telephone call to Patient 2, as well as the level of detail contained there. Witness 1 gave evidence that her own interrogation of the System 1 patient contact system had revealed the system had not been accessed at all by the Registrant on 17 April 2017 so the Registrant would not have been able to access Patient 2’s phone number until 20 April 2017 when she made the entry about the telephone call. In light of the Panel’s finding that the Registrant subsequently admitted she had not in fact worked at all on 17 April 2017, the Panel finds this Allegation proved. The Panel was satisfied as more likely than not that the Registrant did not telephone Patient 2 on 17 April 2017 as she was not at work on that day and therefore would no have had access to the Patient’s telephone number to call the patient. The records show she did not access System 1 at all on this day. Accordingly, the Panel found Allegation 1) C proved,

17. In respect of Allegation 2, the Panel finds this allegation proved in its entirety in light of its acceptance of Witness 1’s evidence that on 20 April 2017, the Registrant informed her at approximately mid-morning that she had visited/spoken to Patient 1 and spoken to Patient 2 on 17 April 2017. Witness 1’s evidence was clear and consistent in terms of her recollection of the conversation that she had with the Registrant and accordingly the Panel found Allegation 2 proved.

18. In respect of Allegation 3, the Panel was satisfied from the evidence of Witness 1 and the clinical records of Patient 2 b that a Team Leader by the name of Kathryn Littlewood had arranged a referral in respect of Patient 2b on 17 April 2017. The Panel noted from the clinical records of Patient 2b that the Registrant is recorded as having visited Patient 2b three days later on 20 April 2017 and accordingly the Panel finds this allegation proved. Such a finding is consistent with the Panel’s previous findings above that the Registrant did not work at all on 17 April 2017.

19. Allegation 4 concerns a failure to keep contemporaneous and/ or adequate records in respect of record keeping and or undertaking certain actions in respect of 18 separate patients between 29 December 2016 and 5 May 2017.

20. The Panel was satisfied from the evidence of Witness 1 that it was a requirement that clinical records must be written within 24 hours of a visit and/or telephone call. In her witness statement she recalled that her audit revealed that in some cases the Registrant had not written anything at all; in other cases, equipment had been ordered which did not correlate to a recorded visit; there were cases where visits had been documented more than 24 hours late and, in some cases, there was no recorded explanation about whether she had visited patients at all. Other issues identified by Witness 1 were the over prescribing of equipment as well as a failure to properly follow up patients who had been prescribed equipment. The Panel was supplied with the patient records for these patients which were exhibited. The Panel considered each of the sub heads of Allegation 4 separately and had regard to the totality of the evidence before it.

21. Consistent with its finding that Witness 1 was a credible witness who had reviewed the entirety of the Registrant’s caseload as part of her audit and upon its own interrogation of the evidence, the Panel was satisfied that the failures alleged have been made out to the requisite standard of a balance of probabilities with regard to the majority of the Patients listed in Allegation 4 and accordingly it finds Allegation 4 proved save for the specific matters below.

22. Following its own interrogation and analysis of the evidence before it, the Panel was satisfied that in respect of Allegation 4) A and B, 4) C, 4) E(ii) , F a) and b), L (i) and R, the HCPC have not been able to discharge the evidential burden upon them. The evidence in respect of these sub heads was unclear and or missing. In the Panel’s assessment, the evidence did not show the Registrant liable for the acts and omissions alleged and accordingly the Panel found Allegation 4) A and B, 4) C, 4) E(ii) , F a) and b), L (i) and R not proved.

23. In respect of Allegation 5 the Panel finds this proved as the clinical record demonstrates that between 30 March and 20 April 2017, the Registrant did not undertake and/or record an initial appointment with Patient 24.

24. In respect of Allegation 6 i) and ii), the Panel found this not proved as the Panel was satisfied that the HCPC had not been able to discharge the evidential burden upon them. The evidence in respect of Allegation 6 was unclear and or missing. In the Panel’s assessment, the evidence before it did not show the Registrant liable for the acts and omissions alleged and accordingly the Panel finds Allegation 6 not proved.

25. In respect of Allegation 7, the Panel found this proved as it noted the clinical record showed that bed loops were being used appropriately on 18 January 2017 but the same clinical records show an absence of either an assessment or discussion with the patient. Accordingly, the Panel found this allegation proved.

26. In respect of Allegation 8 i) and ii) the Panel found this proved as it noted that the clinical record showed that although the Registrant visited Patient 27 on 25 January 2017 the record of the visits was not completed until 30 January 2017 as well as showing no onward referral to Age UK. Accordingly, the Panel found this allegation proved.

27. Allegation 9 was amended by way of deletion at the outset of the hearing.

28. In respect of Allegation 10, the Panel was satisfied the Registrant knew she had not worked on 17 April 2017 even though she was on the rota to do so. The 17 April 2017 was Easter Monday Bank Holiday. Her insistence she had visited patients in her care on 17 April 2017 was repeated to Witness 1on 18 April 2017 and on two separate occasions on 20 April 2017, once at approximately 08:45 and again later that morning when specific details of the patients were given. The Panel noted that the records in respect of Patients 1 and 2 purport to show a number of interventions given on 17 April 2017, but these were entered into System 1 by the Registrant on 20 April 2017. It was only on 2 May 2017 that the Registrant admitted that she had not in fact visited or contacted either Patient 1 or 2 on 17 April 2017. The Panel was satisfied the Registrant would have known she was not at work on 17 April 2017 and by maintaining to Witness 1on 18 and 20 April 2017 as well as falsifying records in respect of patient contact that never happened so as to give the impression she had been at work on 17 April 2017, her actions would be regarded as dishonest by the standards of ordinary decent people. The Panel was satisfied that the actions of the Registrant amounted to a deliberate attempt to cover up the fact that she had not worked on 17 April 2017.

Decision on Grounds

29. In respect of the statutory grounds as alleged in Allegation 11 and 12, the Panel noted that this was a matter for it its own professional assessment. It noted that misconduct must be a serious departure from the standards expected and that a lack of competence would constitute a standard of work that was unacceptably low. The Panel had regard to the following standards:

Standards of Proficiency for Occupational Therapists (March 2013)

2.1 understand the need to act in the best interests of service users at all times
2.2 understand what is required of them by the Health and Care Professions Council
3.1 understand the need to maintain high standards of personal and professional conduct
8.1 be able to demonstrate effective and appropriate verbal and non-verbal skills in communicating information, advice, instruction and professional opinion to service users, carers, colleagues and others
10.1 be able to keep accurate, comprehensive and comprehensible records in accordance with applicable legislation, protocols and guidelines
10.2 recognise the need to manage records and all other information in accordance with applicable legislation, protocols and guidelines.

Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics (January 2016)

9.1 You must make sure that your conduct justifies the public’s trust and confidence in you and your profession
10.1 You must keep full, clear, and accurate records for everyone you care for, treat, or provide other services to.
10.2 You must complete all records promptly and as soon as possible after providing care, treatment or other services.

30. In so far as Allegations 11 is concerned the Panel noted that this was pleaded both as a matter of misconduct and/or a lack of competence. Dealing with the clinical matters as disclosed by Allegation 4-9, the Panel was satisfied that the records before it constituted a fair sample of the Registrant’s work. The Panel had regard to the matters found proved above in respect of Allegation 4-9 and was satisfied that the series of errors made by the Registrant taken together amounted to a serious departure from the standards expected of a registered Occupational Therapist of the Registrant’s experience. There was a common theme in terms of record keeping and clinical assessments over a period of time. The Panel was satisfied that these matters taken together readily cross the threshold of misconduct. Patients and colleagues have an expectation that clinical records will be completed properly, and other interventions acted upon appropriately. This would be essential for the safe and accurate provision of care and the Panel was satisfied that the Registrant’s acts and omissions amounted to misconduct. In light of its finding the Panel did not go on to consider whether the same matters amounted to a lack of competence.

31. In so far as Allegation 11 (by reference to paragraphs 1-3) and Allegation 12 (by reference to paragraph 10 in so far as it related to Allegation 1 and 2) was concerned, the Panel was satisfied that these are matters that very readily constitute misconduct. Patients and colleagues have the right to expect clinical interventions and telephone calls will be carried out and recorded honestly, both as a matter of record and for the provision of subsequent/ongoing safe care. The Panel noted that by not attending work on 17 April 2017 when she had been on the rota to do so and then trying to conceal this fact by falsifying clinical records and not being honest with her line manager could have compromised service delivery to vulnerable patients who would have expected cover on 17 April 2017.

32. In addition, the Panel was satisfied that by informing her line manager on 18 and then again 20 April 2017 that she had visited one patient and contacted another when she had not, amounted to a deliberate attempt to conceal the fact she had not worked on 17 April 2017 when she had been on the rota to do so. The Registrant had a number of opportunities to tell her line manager that she had not been at work on 17 April 2017 but persisted in her dishonest account which the Panel found was an aggravating feature of this case. The Registrant at no point provided a credible explanation for her actions. The Panel had no hesitation in finding that the Registrant’s actions amounted to misconduct.

Decision on Impairment

33. The Panel reminded itself that the decision on impairment is a matter for its own professional judgement. The Panel has carried out an assessment of the Registrant’s contemporaneous fitness to practise. The Panel had sight of the email from the Registrant to the HCPC dated 29 September 2017. In this she stated “yet again I find myself at the mercy of an employer who when asked for help from me with some difficulties and illness, chose the option to pursue me whilst on sick leave for disciplinary action, which in itself is a farce…”. Furthermore, the Panel had sight of the Registrant’s Pro Forma Response of 03 September 2020 in which she admits Allegation 1 but offers no explanation as to why she had maintained she had made the visit to Patient 1 to her employer. The Panel noted that the Registrant had not engaged with the hearing process other than the return of her Pro Forma Response. She had not provided any current testimonial evidence, any apology or remorse, or any evidence of insight and/or remediation into the matters that have brought her before her Regulator.

34. The Panel noted that the misconduct in so far as it related to the Registrant’s dishonesty would be difficult to remediate in the absence of any evidence of insight. The misconduct in so as it related to clinical matters would in theory be capable of remediation, but the Registrant has provided no evidence of any remedial work in this regard. This must lead the Panel to the inevitable conclusion that there is risk of repetition and therefore the Registrant’s practice remains impaired.

35. In addition, and in light of its findings of fact and of misconduct, the Panel was satisfied that the need to protect the public and to declare and uphold proper standards of conduct and behaviour so as to maintain public confidence in the profession would be undermined if a finding of impairment were not made. Patients and the public have the right to expect that those treating them will do so honestly and properly in terms of record keeping and clinical contact. In addition, colleagues have the right to expect that their professional interactions with other colleagues will be conducted honestly so as to ensure safe and effective care.

Decision on Sanction

36. The decision in respect of what sanction if any, to impose is a matter for the Panel exercising its own professional judgment balancing the Registrant’s interests with that of the public interest which includes the need to declare and uphold proper professional standards. The Panel reminded itself that the purpose of a sanction is not to be punitive but to be a proportionate response in respect of the matters found proved and the Panel’s findings on misconduct and impairment.

37. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel had regard to the Sanctions Policy (March 2019). It considered the sanctions in ascending order of seriousness mindful of the aggravating and mitigating factors in this case.

38. In terms of aggravating factors, the Panel considered that the dishonesty found proved could have had the ability to compromise patient care. Furthermore, the Registrant had the opportunity to state she had not worked on 17 April 2017 when first challenged about this on 18 April 2017, but she continued to deny this fact. The subsequent statements made by the Registrant to Witness 1 on 20 April 2017, as well as the attempt to cover up the fact that she had not worked on the 17 April 2017 by making false entries in the patient records, were in the Panel’s assessment serious aggravating factors in this case. The Panel was satisfied that the dishonesty found was towards the higher end of dishonest conduct; it was dishonesty in her professional role and could have had a direct impact on vulnerable patients. In respect of the misconduct found with regard to the remaining clinical matters, the Panel noted that the facts found related to nearly one quarter of the Registrant’s total number of patients during her time of employment at Locala. There was no evidence of remorse, apology or insight either at the material time or before this Panel.

39. In respect of mitigating factors, the Panel was informed that there were no previous matters that had brought her to the attention of the Regulator. The Panel noted the very limited references by the Registrant to personal stresses at the material time.

40. The Panel determined that making a referral for Mediation, taking no action or imposing a Caution Order would be wholly inappropriate in light of its findings in this case.

41. Turning next to a Conditions of Practice Order, the Panel was satisfied that this would be neither proportionate or appropriate. The Registrant has provided no evidence of insight, remorse or remediation. The Panel has already determined that the risk of repetition remains, and it has no evidence before it that the Registrant would comply with any conditions were they to be imposed. In fact, the Registrant has indicated that she wishes to come off the HCPC Register. In any event such an order would not be proportionate in light of the gravity of the Panel’s findings and would not serve the public interest.

42. Turning next to a Suspension Order, the Panel noted that this could be a proportionate sanction imposed where there are serious concerns which cannot be addressed by a Conditions of Practice Order. However, the Panel was satisfied that in the absence of any information that the Registrant is either willing or able to resolve or remedy her misconduct and current impairment, a Suspension Order would not be appropriate in this case.

43. In the circumstances the Panel determined that the only appropriate sanction would be a Striking off Order in this case. The Panel has made a finding of dishonesty which it determined was towards the higher end of dishonest conduct; there is an absence of insight, remediation, remorse or apology and a risk of repetition remains.

44. The Panel was satisfied that the only proportionate and appropriate sanction in this case is a Striking off Order.

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to strike the name of Helen Purdy from the Register on the date this Order comes into effect

Notes

Application for Interim Order

1. The Panel heard submissions from Mr Bridges. He advised that the Registrant had been put on notice that it was open to the Panel to impose an Interim Order in the event that it imposes a Substantive Order. He invited the Panel to impose an Interim Suspension Order.

2. The Panel concluded that an Interim Order was necessary in order to protect the public and otherwise required in the wider public interest given that the Panel has made a determination and imposed a Striking off Order. The Panel is satisfied that in the light of those findings, fair-minded and fully informed members of the public would expect restrictions to be placed on the Registrant’s right to practise while her appeal rights against the substantive decision remain outstanding.

3. The Panel determined that the appropriate order is an Interim Suspension Order for a period of 18 months. The order will immediately fall away if the Registrant does not launch an appeal within 28 days.

Interim Order

The Panel makes an Interim Suspension Order under Article 31(2) of the Health Professions Order 2001, the same being necessary to protect members of the public and being otherwise in the public interest.

This order will expire (if no appeal is made against the Panel’s decision and Order) upon the expiry of the period during which such an appeal could be made; (if an appeal is made against the Panel’s decision and Order) it will expire on the final determination of that appeal, subject to a maximum period of 18 months.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mrs Helen Purdy

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
11/01/2021 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Struck off