Mr John Wooliscroft
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Allegations against the Registrant are as follows.
By Reason of your physical and/ or mental health, your fitness to practise as a Paramedic is impaired as set out in Schedule A.
b) [Not proven]
c) [Not proven]
1. On 30 June 2021 the HCPC sent a notice of this hearing by email to the Registrant’s registered address, as recorded on the HCPC register. The notice set out the details of the time and date of the hearing, together with information that the hearing would be held
remotely in accordance with current Government guidelines in respect of the Coronavirus pandemic.
2. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. He advised the Panel in respect of Rule 3 and Rule 6 of the Health and Care Professions Council (Health Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 (the Rules), that while the Rules provide that service ‘may ’be sent by first class post, this does not preclude service being sent by email to the Registrant’s email address as it appears in the register. In the present circumstances, given the nature of the current pandemic, the Panel was satisfied on the documentary evidence provided, that the
Registrant had been given appropriate notice of this hearing it in accordance with the Rules.
Proceeding in Absence
3. Mr D’Alton applied for the hearing to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. Mr D’Alton drew the Panel’s attention to the Practice Note, and submitted that the nature and circumstances of the Registrant’s absence were such that his absence was voluntary and he had waived
his right to attend. Mr D’Alton told the Panel that on 21 July 2021 he had telephoned the Registrant on the mobile and landline numbers that were recorded to the Registrant in the register. Neither number connected. Mr D’Alton further told the Panel that by an email dated 27 July 2021, the Hearings Officer reminded the Registrant of this hearing and asked the Registrant “if you could confirm whether yourself and / or a representative will be attending the hearing”. The Panel has been informed that no response has been received to that email. Mr D’Alton also told the Panel that he himself had emailed the Registrant about this hearing on 8 July 2021, but had received no response to that email.
4. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.
5. The Panel was mindful that there had been no engagement from the Registrant at any stage of these proceedings, despite numerous attempts by the HCPC to contact him. Having been satisfied of good service, the Panel was of the view that the Registrant ’s absence was voluntary, and he had waived his right to attend. No adjournment had been sought by the Registrant, and there was no suggestion, given his lack of engagement, that he would attend if the matter were adjourned. The Panel bore in mind its statutory objective to protect the health and safety of the public, and given the nature of the health condition found, the Panel was of the view that there was a strong public interest in continuing. In the absence of any engagement from the Registrant, the Panel did not identify any undue disadvantage to him by continuing in his absence. Accordingly, the Panel decided to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.
Application for hearing to be in private
6. Mr D’Alton on behalf of the HCPC, applied for the whole of the hearing to be held in private, given that the Allegation against the Registrant related to health, and would involve sensitive and personal details about the Registrant and his family.
7. Having heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor, the Panel decided that it was justified in holding the entirety of the hearing in private in order to protect the private life of the Registrant and his family. The Panel had regard to the fact that the Allegation faced by the Registrant was that his fitness to practise was impaired by reason of his health; and that the evidence to be adduced related primarily to his health, personal and family circumstances. In these circumstances the Panel determines that the information was of such a sensitive and personal nature that it should not be in the public domain.
ORDER: The Registrar is directed to suspend the registration of Mr John Wooliscroft for a further period of 12 months on the expiry of the existing Order.
The Order imposed today will apply from 7 September 2021.
This Order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 7 September 2022.