Mr Paul Winfield

Profession: Paramedic

Registration Number: PA26753

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 21/06/2021 End: 17:00 29/06/2021

Location: Virtual Hearing via video conference

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Conditions of Practice

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Allegation

Whilst registered as a Paramedic with the Health and Care Professions Council, you:

1. Made inappropriate and/or offensive comments about Colleague 1’s weight and/or body, in that you:

a) On or around 21 February 2019:

i. Said she had a “fat arse”, or words to that effect;

ii. Said she had jowls and/or was “getting the family trait around her neck”, or words to that effect.

iii. Said Colleague 1 was fat and/or starting to look like her grandmother, or words to that effect.

b) On or around 28 February 2019:

i. Said that Colleague 1 had put on weight, or words to that effect.

c) On or around 1 March 2019:

i. Said “Look at the fucking state of you. You need to lose weight”, or words to that effect;

ii. Said she was a “fucking fat porker”, or words to that effect;

iii. Asked if she was on a diet, or words to that effect.

iv. Made inappropriate physical contact with Colleague 1, in that you touched her bottom;

d) On or around 6/7 March 2019:

i. Suggested that she needed bigger trousers, or words/actions to that effect;

ii. Brought and/or attempted to give Colleague 1 bigger trousers;

e) On an unknown date:

i. Said Colleague 1 is “plumpy”, or words to that effect;

ii. Said “She’s a fat cunt anyway”, or words to that effect.

2. The matters set out in paragraph 1 constitute misconduct.

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

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Amendment of the Allegation

1. Mr Ferson, Counsel on behalf of the HCPC, sought to amend the Allegation as follows:

• 1d)iii to be renumbered as 1c)iv;
• 1d)iv to be renumbered as 1a)iii;

The effect of this was to change the dates referred to in Particulars 1d)iii and 1d)iv.

2. Mr Ferson submitted that the proposed amendments had been notified to the Registrant on 17 March 2020. He submitted that they were minor in nature and would better reflect the evidence gathered by the HCPC, and that they did not affect the substance of the Allegation.

3. In relation to Particular 1d)ii, Mr Ferson applied to amend it by deleting the word “Gave" and adding “Brought and/or attempted to give” Colleague 1 bigger trousers.

4. Mr Adamou, Counsel for the Registrant, agreed to the application for the amendment of the following particulars:

• 1d)iii to be renumbered as 1c)iv
• 1d)iv to be renumbered as 1a)iii

5. In relation to the application to amend Particular 1d)ii by deleting the word “Gave” and adding “Brought and/or attempted to give”, Mr Adamou submitted that this amendment would prejudice the Registrant’s case and should not be allowed as it would impute a level of persistence.

6. The Panel accepted the legal advice of the Legal Assessor.

7. The Panel was satisfied that the proposed amendments to 1d)iii, to be renumbered as 1c)iv, and to 1d)iv, to be renumbered as 1a)iii, were appropriate in view of the evidence now obtained about the dates the alleged conduct occurred. It was satisfied that allowing the proposed amendments would better reflect the evidence and would not cause prejudice to the Registrant.

8. In relation to the application to amend the wording of Particular 1d)ii, the Panel considered the submissions of both Counsel and was satisfied that this proposed amendment was in the interests of justice, did not impute persistence, and would not prejudice the Registrant. It properly reflected the evidence and it did not affect the gravamen of the Particular. The Panel allowed the amendment such that the word “Gave” was replaced with the phrase “Brought and/or attempted to give”.

Proceeding in private

9. Mr Adamou made an application in accordance with Rule 10(1)(a) of the Health and Care Professions Council (Conduct and Competence Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 (the Rules). He submitted that there would be references to the Registrant’s health and applied for those parts of the hearing to be heard in private. Mr Ferson agreed to this application. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel was satisfied that it was justified to hear in private those matters which related to the Registrant’s health in order to protect his private life.

No Case To Answer Submission

10. At the close of the HCPC case, Mr Adamou submitted that there was no evidence to support Particulars 1e)i and 1e)ii of the Allegation and that there was no case for the Registrant to answer.

11. Mr Ferson submitted that, having heard the evidence of the witnesses, he accepted the submission made on behalf of the Registrant that there was no case to answer in respect of Particulars 1e)i and 1e)ii.

12. The Panel heard from and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor, who referred it to the guidance in R v Galbraith [1981] 1 WLR 1039. The Panel considered the submissions of Counsel in relation to Particulars 1e)i and 1e)ii. The Panel considered all of the available evidence and bore in mind that the burden was on the HCPC to prove the Particulars on the balance of probabilities. The Panel was satisfied that the HCPC had not presented any evidence upon which the Panel could find Particulars 1e)i and 1e)ii proved. The Panel was satisfied that the burden of proof had not been discharged and it determined that there was no case to answer in respect of Particulars 1e)i and 1e)ii.

Background

13. The Registrant is a registered Paramedic who has been employed by East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) since February 2002. He is a full-time Paramedic who, up to March 2019, worked on a rotational shift pattern compromising both day and night shifts.

14. The Allegation relates to conduct by the Registrant towards Colleague 1, an Emergency Care Technician, on dates during February 2019 and March 2019. This included inappropriate and/or offensive comments about Colleague 1’s weight and size, as well as the fit of her uniform trousers.

15. AW, a paramedic and a colleague of both the Registrant and Colleague 1, raised concerns with SH, the Clinical Operations Manager, about the Registrant’s alleged conduct towards Colleague 1. AW was concerned that it was unprofessional and that it appeared to be having an adverse effect on Colleague 1’s wellbeing, as well as other colleagues who were upset by it.

16. These concerns were investigated during an initial ‘fact-find’ by SH. The Panel noted that the fact-find was a short and limited investigation apparently designed to ascertain if there was any case against the Registrant. Following this fact-find, a full EMAS investigation was commissioned. It was undertaken by SD, a Clinical Operations Manager. SD was the Investigating Officer at EMAS and her responsibilities included conducting investigations relating to concerns raised about EMAS employees. She conducted this investigation as part of her wider management and paramedic duties.

17. On 28 March 2019, the Registrant self-referred to the HCPC following his suspension from EMAS in relation to concerns about his conduct.

18. On 3 April 2019, the Registrant sent the HCPC a further email to explain that the allegation against him was that he had acted in an inappropriate and unprofessional manner towards a colleague and had not acted in line with EMAS values.

19. The Registrant is no longer suspended and is currently on long-term absence from work.

The Witnesses

20. The Panel heard evidence from the following witnesses:

On behalf of the HCPC:

• SD: Paramedic (Investigating Officer), EMAS;

• Colleague 1 (via special measures): Emergency Care Technician, EMAS;

• AW: Paramedic, EMAS;

• RS: Ambulance Technician, EMAS;

• SMQ: Paramedic, EMAS;

On behalf of the Registrant:

• The Registrant (via special measures): Paramedic, EMAS.

21. The Panel noted that SD is not a full-time investigator and had to carry out her Paramedic and Clinical Operations duties simultaneously with conducting the investigation. However, the Panel considered that she had carried out a professional investigation and that the notes taken during it, whilst not comprehensive, were an accurate summary of the main points. SD had no previous relationship with the Registrant and the Panel found her to be an impartial and credible witness.

22. The Panel found Colleague 1 to be a credible witness on whose evidence it could rely. She restricted her evidence to what she knew and declined to comment on evidence against the Registrant from others where she had no recollection or knowledge of it. She accepted that her memory of dates had been affected by the passage of time but her evidence was very largely consistent with that given in the fact-find and the EMAS investigatory interview.

23. AW accepted that to some degree his memory of what took place on a particular day had become somewhat blended and the specific dates now hard to remember. However, he could very well remember the behaviour of the Registrant and what he had said to Colleague 1 and, despite some inconsistencies, the Panel found him to be credible, with a clear recollection of fundamental details. His evidence was largely consistent with that which he gave in the fact-find and in the EMAS investigatory interview.

24. The Panel found RS to be a credible witness. He did not exaggerate what he had heard and again, his evidence was consistent with that which he had given in the EMAS investigatory interview. RS explained in his oral evidence that the Registrant’s behaviour made him feel so uncomfortable that he would remove himself as much as possible from scenarios in which he would be present with both the Registrant and Colleague 1 at the same time.

25. The Panel noted that SMQ had been a close friend of the Registrant and that he had attempted to persuade the Registrant to cease his behaviour towards Colleague 1, as it was impacting on everyone who was stationed with them at the ambulance station. His own knowledge of the alleged behaviour was based on hearsay, which he readily accepted. Nevertheless, the Panel found him to be a credible witness as to his conversation with the Registrant and the admissions made by the Registrant at that time. SMQ’s evidence was largely consistent with that which he gave in the EMAS investigatory interview.

26. The Panel found the Registrant to be evasive and inconsistent in his evidence and that he sought to considerably minimise his behaviour towards Colleague 1. He told the Panel that he believed there was a conspiracy against him which had been orchestrated by IC, a senior manager at EMAS. There was nothing in the documentary evidence before the Panel to support this assertion, which had not been put to any of the witnesses. The Panel found that there was no credible reason put forward by the Registrant as to why the witnesses (one of whom was a family member, some of whom he had good professional relationships with, and some who had been his good friends and who he considered to be “decent people”) would collectively enter into a conspiracy against him, risking their registration by lying under Affirmation in the course of this hearing.

Decision on Facts

27. The Panel heard the submissions of both Mr Ferson for the HCPC and Mr Adamou for the Registrant.

28. The Panel bore in mind that the burden of proof rests with the HCPC and that the standard of proof is the civil standard; that is, on the balance of probabilities. It took account of all of the evidence, as well as the detailed submissions. It accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

29. In accordance with the case of Dutta, R (On the Application Of) v General Medical Council (GMC) [2020], the Panel assessed the witness evidence in conjunction with the documents before it. The Panel considered the HCPC’s and the Registrant’s documents as listed below:

• HCPC bundle of papers;

• Preliminary Application determination of 13 May 2021 in relation to Special Measures;

• The Registrant’s statement;

• The Registrant’s bundle;

• The Registrant’s medical bundle;

• The Registrant’s addendum bundle.

30. The Panel had regard to the wording of the Particulars of the Allegation. Where it stated “on or around” a date, the Panel was satisfied that this was not a reference to an exact date but to a proximate date. It noted that there was at times confusion as to the exact date an event occurred, but it was satisfied that this confusion by witnesses as to exact dates had arisen due to the passage of time. It did not undermine the reliability of the evidence taken as a whole.

31. The Panel applied the ordinary meaning to the phrase “words to that effect”; that is, roughly the words used or a paraphrase, and that it may not be the exact words used.

32. The Panel accepted the evidence given by a number of the witnesses that some of the information given to EMAS in 2019 had not been noted down word-for-word in the EMAS statements or the fact-find. The statements prepared by the HCPC’s solicitors were more detailed. The Panel accepted the witnesses’ explanation that this was a result of more detailed questions being asked of them by the HCPC’s solicitors in preparation for the hearing.

Particular 1a)i – Proved

Whilst registered as a Paramedic with the Health and Care Professions Council, you:

1. Made inappropriate and/or offensive comments about Colleague 1’s weight and/or body, in that you:

a) On or around 21 February 2019:

i. Said she had a “fat arse”, or words to that effect;

33. The Panel considered all the documentation, including the statement of LA, a Clinical Operations Manager at EMAS, given on 29 April 2019 to SD, Investigating Officer, as part of a Disciplinary Investigation into the Registrant’s alleged behaviour towards Colleague 1.

34. LA’s written evidence was that on 22 March 2019, she spoke to the Registrant after he had contacted her and requested to have an urgent meeting that same day. LA’s evidence was that during that meeting, the Registrant stated that the evening before he had been at a “gig” with colleagues RS and SMQ.

35. The Registrant stated that SMQ had said that the comments he was making to Colleague 1 about her “tight trousers” could be “classed as bullying and harassment” and that the Registrant was not pleased about this. LA’s account was that the Registrant said it had nothing to do with RS and SMQ. The Registrant was related to Colleague 1 and considered this to be a matter within the family. The Registrant was also concerned that SMQ had said that another colleague, SM, may “sort it out with his fists”. The Registrant had not himself been threatened.

36. LA’s contemporaneous statement referred to the Registrant making a comment that Colleague 1’s trousers were “very tight” and that they showed her “fat arse”.

37. The Panel also had regard to Colleague 1’s contemporaneous EMAS Interview Statement of 23 March 2019. This was consistent with the evidence in her recent HCPC statement, dated June 2020, prepared in respect of this hearing, as well as her oral evidence to the Panel under Affirmation.

38. The Panel considered that Colleague 1 was consistent, credible, and reliable in her evidence that on or around 21 February 2019, the Registrant had made inappropriate/offensive comments to her that she had a “fat arse”. She stated that she had been very upset, and that it was not part of “banter” but was “out of the blue”. The Panel noted that Colleague 1 restricted her evidence to what she knew and declined to agree to allegations against the Registrant where she had no recollection or knowledge of them. Colleague 1’s evidence was supported by the documentation prepared contemporaneously.

39. The Panel accepted the Registrant’s evidence that he had made the comment to Colleague 1 that she had a “fat arse”, or words to that effect. He said that this was on or around 5 March 2019, not on 21 February 2019. The Panel noted that the Registrant did not accept the comment was offensive but instead that it had taken place in an environment of “banter”.

40. The Panel took account of both the Registrant’s statement of June 2020 and the Registrant’s evidence under Affirmation. The Registrant’s evidence was that he said to Colleague 1, “I’m not sure if it’s your trousers that are too small or if it’s your fat arse?”. He stated it was borne “…out of fact and offered in the form of a question. By [Colleague 1’s] admission, a seamstress was employed to make her own trousers bigger…”.

41. The Registrant did not accept the accuracy of his unsigned EMAS statement of 25 April 2019, where SD noted the Registrant as stating, ‘I apologise for the comment about fat arse [sic]”. The Registrant gave oral evidence that making such a comment about Colleague 1 was his “right to free speech in terms of Article 10” of the Human Rights Act.

42. The Panel was not satisfied that the Registrant’s evidence that this was “banter” was credible and reliable. This was at variance with the contemporaneous accounts taken from him and his colleagues. RS, his crew member and friend, described his comments as “cruel”. RS said that, in his view, “banter” did not make anyone cry.

43. The Panel preferred the evidence of SD, who had conducted the interview and made a record of the Registrant’s response, acknowledging it. She accepted that it was not a verbatim account but was satisfied that the response from the Registrant was noted correctly. The Panel also had regard to the hearsay evidence of SMQ, who stated he had been told of the Registrant’s comments by SM, SMQ’s crew mate.

44. Having considered all the evidence, the Panel accepted the HCPC witnesses’ evidence as credible and reliable and found Particular 1a)i proved on the balance of probabilities. The Panel noted that the totality of the evidence, including Colleague 1’s, was that the comments were inappropriate and offensive, and it rejected the suggestion that they were “banter”.

Particular 1a)ii – Proved

ii. Said she had jowls and/or was “getting the family trait around her neck”, or words to that effect.

45. The Panel had regard to the evidence of RS, the Registrant’s friend and crew member who both worked and socialised with the Registrant at the time of the alleged conduct and for some years prior. It was accepted that the Registrant and RS normally worked three 12-hour shifts per week together.

46. RS gave evidence that he could not remember the exact date that the comments about Colleague 1’s neck were made. RS stated that he, the Registrant, and Colleague 1 were in the small ambulance station room. Colleague 1 was not dressed in her uniform.

47. RS recalled that he was on a telephone call. He was located near to the station room’s computer when he heard the Registrant make comments about Colleague 1’s chin and that she was developing some sort of “family trait”. RS stated that he took this to suggest that the older generation of Colleague 1's family may have bigger necks, or something along those lines. RS’s evidence was that someone’s personal appearance was not for someone else to criticise.

48. RS stated that, following this comment, he ensured he was not in the same room as the Registrant and Colleague 1 simultaneously as it was “uncomfortable”. He took to staying outside in the ambulance until the start of his shift. He stated that he was aware there was a family relationship between the Registrant and Colleague 1 and he did not want to get involved in any confrontation, as he and the Registrant were working together for 12 hours at a time. RS was aware that Colleague 1 was upset and described seeing her crying.

49. The Panel found RS’s account credible and reliable. It noted that RS had also provided an EMAS Investigation Statement following an interview with SD in April 2019. This was consistent with RS’s recent HCPC statement dated 18 March 2020, prepared for the hearing, as well as his oral evidence given under Affirmation. RS confirmed that his recollection was better nearer the time of the events. Although it was in his statement given in 2019, RS could not now recall the Registrant commenting on Colleague 1’s bottom.

50. The Panel also took account of the oral evidence of AW, who was Colleague 1’s paramedic crewmate, which was given under Affirmation, as well as his statement. It took account of the information that the Registrant and AW were not friends and there may have been a difficult relationship between them which might have a bearing on AW’s recollection.

51. The Panel was satisfied that the oral evidence AW provided correlated with his contemporaneous evidence in 2019. AW gave evidence that Colleague 1 had told him what the Registrant had said to her about the “family trait” and her neck and that she was upset. SH’s written statement of 2019 confirmed that AW had sought intervention from management due to AW’s concerns about the way the Registrant was treating Colleague 1, that she was upset, and the effect on her personality, as she had lost confidence. AW gave evidence that he considered the Registrant was bullying Colleague 1 and wanted the Registrant to be stopped.

52. Colleague 1 gave evidence that whilst off duty, she had gone into the ambulance station to print her payslip. The Registrant had said to her in a “calm, normal” voice that she, “had jowls … and was starting to look like your nan”. This was Colleague 1’s grandmother, who Colleague 1 stated was a large lady. Colleague 1 found the comments about herself highly offensive and those about her grandmother to be “heartbreaking”. The Panel found her evidence credible and reliable, and it was consistent with her EMAS Investigation Statement and the fact-find.

53. The Panel noted that the Registrant gave evidence that he did not accept he had made this comment and he stated that he would not have used the word “grandmother”, rather “Nan”. He rejected the reference that he had previously acknowledged inappropriate comments. The Registrant stated that this Particular of the Allegation was a fabrication by Colleague 1 and her work colleagues.

54. The Panel had regard to the statement of RC. RC was a student for whom the Registrant was a mentor. She was not a witness at the hearing. RC gave a statement to SD on 15 May 2019. RC’s statement was to the effect that she did not remember being present on the day of the alleged incident and she could not remember being on the station at the time any derogatory comments were made. The Panel noted that RC could only say she “did not remember” and was not able to comment definitively on whether anything had happened or not.

55. The Panel, having considered all the evidence, preferred the evidence of RS, Colleague 1, AW, and SD to that of the Registrant. It was satisfied that there were understandable minor differences in the witnesses’ accounts but that they were consistent with the evidence provided at the time of the alleged behaviour.

56. The Registrant was noted at the time to have reflected on his behaviour and said that he wanted to apologise. The Registrant now stated that this was not accurate. The Panel considered that the Registrant’s evidence was evasive at times. He refused to answer some questions when giving evidence.

57. The Panel was satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the Registrant had said that Colleague 1 had jowls and/or was getting the family trait around her neck, or words to that effect. It preferred the individual documented accounts of Colleague 1, RS, AW, and SD, all of which had been maintained under cross-examination in their oral evidence. It did not accept the Registrant’s account, raised by him on the last day of the evidence and never put to the HCPC witnesses, that there was a conspiracy against him and that the evidence had been fabricated by his family member, friends, and colleagues.

Particular 1a)iii – Proved

iii. Said Colleague 1 was fat and/or starting to look like her grandmother, or words to that effect.

58. The Panel had regard to the evidence of RS, the Registrant’s friend and crew member, who both worked and socialised with the Registrant at the time of the alleged conduct. It was accepted that the Registrant and RS normally worked three 12-hour shifts per week together.

59. RS gave evidence that he could not remember the exact date on which the comments about Colleague 1 being fat and looking like her grandmother were made. He stated that he remembered the events nearer to the time they had happened than he did now. RS stated that he, the Registrant, and Colleague 1 were in the small station room. Colleague 1 was not dressed in her uniform.

60. RS recalled that he was on a telephone call to ‘IT’ as his ambulance computer was not working. He was located near to the station room’s computer when he heard the Registrant make comments about Colleague 1’s chin and that she was developing some sort of “family trait”. RS stated that he took this to suggest that the older generation of Colleague 1's family may have bigger necks or something along those lines. When he was asked by Mr Ferson if he thought the comments were appropriate, RS gave evidence that someone’s personal appearance was not for someone else to criticise. RS was aware that Colleague 1 was upset.

61. The Panel found RS’s account credible and reliable. It noted that RS had also provided an EMAS Investigation Statement following an interview with SD in April 2019. This was also consistent with RS’s more recent HCPC statement dated 18 March 2020, prepared for the hearing, as well as his oral evidence given under Affirmation. RS confirmed that his recollection was better nearer the time and he could not now recall the Registrant commenting on Colleague’s bottom, as referred to in his 2019 statement.

62. The Panel also took account of the statement of Colleague 1’s crew member AW. It again took account of the information that the Registrant and AW were not friends and there may be a difficult relationship between them which might have a bearing on AW’s recollection. The Panel was satisfied that the oral evidence AW provided correlated with his contemporaneous evidence given in 2019.

63. AW stated that the Registrant would make comments about Colleague 1 being fat. The Registrant said that her family were fat and that she was “fat like her grandmother” or words to that effect. The Registrant made this remark several times on a number of days, as well as telling Colleague 1 that her clothes did not fit her properly.

64. AW recalled another incident he attributed to 5 March 2019, a few days later, when the Registrant and Colleague 1 were waiting to change shifts again. AW stated that the Registrant started making comments about Colleague 1 quite quickly. This time when he started, it seemed to be more aggressive and more personal. AW’s evidence was that the Registrant was swearing, making more comments about Colleague 1’s grandmother, and “the size of her”. He said, “she’s huge and you’re going to be the same as her”, or words to that effect.

65. AW stated that Colleague 1 was upset as her grandmother was quite large and the Registrant had picked on that. AW gave evidence that he considered the Registrant was bullying Colleague 1 and he wanted the Registrant to be stopped.

66. Colleague 1 gave evidence that she had gone into the ambulance station wearing leggings, rather than her uniform, as she was not on duty. She wanted to print her payslip. Colleague 1’s evidence was consistent. She stated that the Registrant had said to her in a “calm, normal” voice that she, “had jowls … and was starting to look like your nan”. Colleague 1 stated her grandmother was a large lady and Colleague 1 found the comments highly offensive about both herself and her grandmother.

67. The Panel found Colleague 1’s evidence to be credible and reliable, and it was consistent with her EMAS Investigation Statement and the fact-find, as well as her June 2020 HCPC statement prepared for this hearing. In that statement Colleague 1 stated that the Registrant interrupted her whilst she was talking to RS and said, “you shouldn’t be wearing leggings like that, they do nothing for you”. The Registrant referred to her “nan”, who was an elderly lady, and said, “you have jowls and a fat arse and you’re starting to look like [Colleague 1’s grandmother]”. She stated, “He did not laugh, there was nothing funny about the comments, he just said them”.

68. The Panel also considered the Registrant’s evidence that he did not accept he had made this comment. He stated he would not have used the word “grandmother”, rather “nan”. The Registrant stated that he believed the evidence against him was fabricated and that there was a conspiracy between the colleagues giving evidence. He stated that this was because he had not wanted to provide evidence against a line manager in an unrelated matter some years ago and so a more senior EMAS manager, IC, had constructed this complaint against him.

69. The Registrant emphasised that he had not been prepared to sign his EMAS Investigation Statement, as it was inaccurate. SD gave evidence that after the Registrant had made one set of changes, she refused to allow a second set as they would materially alter the statement he had provided.

70. The Panel also had regard to the statement of RC. RC gave a statement to SD on 15 May 2019. RC did not remember being present on the day of the alleged incident and she could not remember being on the station at the time of any derogatory comments being made.

71. The Panel, having considered all the evidence, was satisfied that the allegation that the Registrant said Colleague 1 was fat and/or starting to look like her grandmother, or words to that effect, had been proved on the balance of probabilities. It preferred the individual documented accounts of Colleague 1, RS, AW, and SD, all of which had been maintained under cross-examination. It did not accept the Registrant’s account raised by him on the last day of the evidence that there was a conspiracy against him and that he had not made the comment.

Particular 1b)i – Proved

b) On or around 28 February 2019:

i. Said that Colleague 1 had put on weight, or words to that effect.

72. The Panel considered all of the evidence. It accepted the written evidence taken in conjunction with the oral evidence of Colleague 1 and AW.

73. AW gave evidence that on or around 28 February 2019, at a shift change, the Registrant made a number of comments to Colleague 1 about her weight during a period of about 15 minutes.

74. AW stated that “… at first, Colleague 1 was sat forward on the chair but she then moved further back in chair and was looking down. Colleague 1 had gone from relaxing and waiting to go to home to looking quite uptight and quite tense. I could see this from her posture, voice and the way that she looked at me … The Registrant continued to make comments about Colleague 1’s weight, and she then walked out of the ambulance station. At that point, she was either crying or at the verge of crying and I think that’s why she walked out.”

75. AW’s evidence was that when the Registrant made these remarks, he appeared to be quite relaxed and to be smirking. This was consistent with Colleague 1’s contemporaneous account.

76. The Panel noted the Registrant’s denial of having made these comments and his position that there was a conspiracy whereby the evidence against him was being fabricated.

77. The Panel, having had regard to the documentary and oral evidence, accepted that AW and Colleague 1 were credible and reliable witnesses. It did not accept the Registrant’s assertion that this evidence against him was being fabricated.

78. The Panel, having considered all the evidence, was satisfied that the allegation that the Registrant said that Colleague 1 had put on weight, or words to that effect, had been proved on the balance of probabilities. The Panel took account of and assessed all the written evidence and considered it in conjunction with the oral evidence.

Particular 1c) – Proved

c) On or around 1 March 2019:

i. Said “Look at the fucking state of you. You need to lose weight”, or words to that effect;

ii. Said she was a “fucking fat porker”, or words to that effect;

iii. Asked if she was on a diet, or words to that effect.

iv. Made inappropriate physical contact with Colleague 1, in that you touched her bottom;

79. The Panel noted the Registrant’s evidence that he did not accept he was working on 1 March 2019. Further, the Registrant provided an email from the police to the effect that that there had been a police investigation in respect of Particular 1c)iv. The Registrant provided an email from the police confirming an outcome of ‘No Further Action.’ He stated it was “grossly unfair” he was “being made to answer to this allegation”.

80. The Panel noted that when the Registrant was being cross-examined by Mr Ferson about these Particulars, he had at times refused to answer questions. When asked if his colleagues who spoke to his alleged conduct were fabricating the evidence, he referred again to the alleged conspiracy by IC leading a “witch-hunt” against him.

81. The Panel also took into account Colleague 1’s evidence that earlier on the day of the incident, she had caught the back of her trousers on the back of the ambulance door and this had ripped the back pocket on the right side of her trousers, so there was a small flap hanging off the pocket. Colleague 1 stated that she was in the room at the ambulance station and stood up, and the Registrant said, “look at the fucking state of you, you need to lose weight” or words to that effect, as if Colleague 1’s trousers were too tight. Colleague 1 also gave evidence that during the same incident the Registrant had called her “a porker”. Colleague 1 stated that the Registrant’s demeanour was “mocking”, as if what he had said was “highly amusing”.

82. Colleague 1 stated that she then felt someone touch her. It was the Registrant grabbing the pocket of her trousers and Colleague 1 stated he touched her bottom at the same time. Colleague 1 gave evidence that this incident made her feel “absolutely disgusted”. Colleague 1 was clear that she thought that the Registrant had touched her bottom by accident and there was nothing sexual about it; Colleague 1 stated that she did not want the Registrant accused of something that he did not do.

83. Colleague 1 stated that she had then gone and sat in her car and the Registrant had come up to the car and asked her if she was on a diet.

84. The Panel noted that Colleague 1’s evidence was consistent with her account to EMAS in 2019, except that in the fact-find she had not referred to her bottom being touched. Colleague 1 explained that this was because two men were interviewing her, so she was not comfortable referring to it as she was too embarrassed. This was also consistent with evidence given by AW who, in response to questions, explained that although he had reported the words used by the Registrant as “fucking fat porker”, SH, who was conducting the fact-find, had considered it inappropriate to record the word “fucking” and so had only recorded the words “fat porker”. However, in AW’s interview with SD the word “fucking” was reinstated, as that was what had been said.

85. AW stated that he brought the Registrant’s conduct to management attention as he considered it was not professional. SD confirmed that when she had taken a statement from Colleague 1 about the situation, Colleague 1 was crying during the interview and was “clearly very, very upset”, and the impact of the Registrant's actions on Colleague 1 appeared to be immense.

86. The Panel, having considered the totality of the evidence, preferred the evidence of Colleague 1 and AW to the Registrant’s account. The Panel determined that it was credible and reliable. There was no reason for AW and Colleague 1 to make up the account. It was not satisfied that there was any conspiracy to fabricate an account. The Panel accepted Colleague 1’s account that she had enjoyed a friendship with the Registrant, as well as being related to him by a family marriage, and she had not wanted to escalate what had happened. It also noted that Colleague 1 had been careful to stress that the touching of her bottom was accidental as she did not want it said that the Registrant had done something he had not.

87. The Panel was satisfied that the HCPC had proved, on the balance of probabilities, that on or around 1 March 2019 the Registrant had said look at the fucking state of you, you need to lose weight, or words to that effect, said that she was a fucking fat porker, or words to that effect, had asked if she was on a diet, or words to that effect, and made inappropriate physical contact with Colleague 1 by touching her bottom.

Particular 1d)i – Proved

d) On or around 6/7 March 2019:

i. Suggested that she needed bigger trousers, or words/actions to that effect;

88. The Panel had regard to the Registrant’s undated statement of 25 paragraphs submitted on 21 June 2021, the first day of this hearing, by Mr Adamou on behalf of the Registrant. It was adopted by the Registrant at the commencement of his evidence in chief, having clarified that the 23-paragraph statement that the Registrant had first referred to was not the one before the Panel.

89. The Panel noted paragraph 9 of the statement, and the Registrant gave evidence that:

“With regard to Allegation 1 a (i) I said: “I’m not sure if it’s your trousers that are too small or if it’s your fat arse?” I made this comment on or around 5th March 2019 not on 21st February as per allegation. My comment was borne out of fact and offered in the form of a questions [sic]. By colleague 1’s admission, a seamstress was employed to make her own trousers bigger ...”

and at paragraph 18:

“I deny allegation 1d (i). Colleague 1 was the one that suggested that she needed bigger trousers or words/actions to that effect by her own admission. She admitted to wearing damaged uniform. “I was aware that Colleague 1 had asked for replacement trousers”. By Colleague 1’s own admission, she had tried unsuccessfully to get replacement trousers as hers were damaged … At no point did Colleague 1 seem distressed or visibly stressed when I asked her. I do not recall Colleague 2 saying anything to me.”

90. The Panel also had regard to the EMAS Investigation Statement given on 25 April 2019, where the Registrant was noted as saying that “… I only commented on her trousers being too small, her missing button and her fat arse”. The Panel had regard to the Registrant’s evidence that he had not signed this statement as he was not satisfied that it was accurate. The Registrant also disputed the notes taken during the appeal process, which recorded that he had then offered to sign it whilst present with his union representative. However, the Panel was satisfied that this part of the statement was consistent with the Registrant’s evidence at the hearing.

91. The Panel also considered the EMAS Investigation Statements and the HCPC statements prepared for this hearing relating to Colleague 1, AW, RS, and SMQ.

92. Colleague 1, AW, RS, and SMQ gave evidence, consistent with their documentary evidence, that the Registrant had suggested Colleague 1 needed bigger trousers, or words/actions to that effect. RS’s statement given on 8 April 2019 and adopted in his evidence stated that, immediately after, he had seen Colleague 1 in tears. He had asked the Registrant if he had said something to Colleague 1. RS’s evidence was that the Registrant had laughed and said, “she needs to get some bigger trousers”.

93. Colleague 1 stated that she and AW had been waiting at the station towards the end of their shift. The Registrant and RS were commencing their shift. Colleague 1 gave evidence that she went to put some rubbish in the bin and the Registrant said, “You need to lose weight” and pulled at her trousers. Colleague 1 stated that he also walked behind her, making gestures with his arms out to indicate that she was fat.

94. AW gave evidence that he and Colleague 1 were at the end of their shift, and that the Registrant came into the station and kept talking about Colleague 1 putting on weight and said to her, “you do know your trousers don’t fit you. They’ve started to come apart”.

95. The Panel also noted SM’s EMAS investigation statement where he stated that Colleague 1 had told him about the Registrant’s comments about her weight and the Registrant having brought her bigger trousers. SMQ gave evidence that SM had told him about Colleague 1 telling SM the Registrant had said her trousers were bursting at the seams. SMQ stated AW had also talked about it. SMQ’s evidence was that he had spoken to the Registrant, who stated that he was doing Colleague 1 a favour by bringing her trousers.

96. The Panel was satisfied, having considered all of the documentation and assessing it alongside the oral evidence, that it was fundamentally consistent, despite some small inconsistencies. The Registrant did not accept that his comment meant he had suggested Colleague 1 needed bigger trousers; rather, that he was entitled to freedom of expression and was stating a fact. The Panel considered the context of the Registrant’s comment. In all the circumstances, the Panel was satisfied that the HCPC had proved on the balance of probabilities that, on or around 6/7 March 2019, the Registrant had suggested that Colleague 1 needed bigger trousers, or words/actions to that effect.

Particular 1d)ii – Proved

ii. Brought and/or attempted to give Colleague 1 bigger trousers;

97. The Panel had regard to the Registrant’s undated statement of 25 paragraphs submitted on 21 June 2021, the first day of this hearing, by Mr Adamou on behalf of the Registrant. It was adopted by the Registrant at the commencement of his evidence in chief, having clarified that the 23-paragraph statement that the Registrant had first referred to was not the one before the Panel.

98. The Panel noted paragraph 19 of the Registrant’s prepared statement:

“I accept allegation 1d (ii) brought and/or attempted to give colleague 1 bigger trousers. It is a fact that Colleague 1 had unsuccessfully tried to get replacement trousers and therefore was in breach of EMAS Uniform Policy sec 5.3.3 see Registrant's bundle. I offered colleague 1 a button along with a needle and thread in order to repair her damaged trousers. During the next shift which was 6 March I had bought the trousers in. I saw Colleague 1 and told her I had something for her and called her over to my car. She followed me and as she was following me she said that if they were the trousers then she did not want them.”

99. The Panel also took account of Colleague 1’s evidence that the Registrant had called her over to his car. She understood from the Registrant that he had brought bigger trousers to give her so she would be “comfortable”. Colleague 1 stated that she did not see the trousers. Colleague 1 stated, when it was put to her in cross-examination that the Registrant had asked for her waist size and arranged to bring trousers in, “Why would I become so submissive and say ‘have you got a pair of trousers please’?”.

100. Colleague 1 stated that she was “at the end of her tether” with the Registrant and his references to her weight and she had put her hands at either side of his head and sworn, such was her distress. Colleague 1 was consistent from the statement provided to EMAS in 2019 that she did not request any trousers.

101. The Panel had regard to AW’s statement, which was consistent with his evidence at the hearing. AW stated he was present when the Registrant brought and attempted to give Colleague 1 bigger trousers. He stated that he was standing at the entrance to the ambulance station and saw Colleague 1 at the Registrant’s car, where the Registrant produced a pair of trousers. AW stated that he was not close enough to hear what was being said by the Registrant or Colleague 1. AW stated that he observed that the Registrant was being forward and pushy and Colleague 1 was backing off.

102. The Panel considered that there was reliable evidence that the Registrant had brought and/or attempted to give Colleague 1 bigger trousers. It noted that Colleague 1 did not recall having seen the trousers and the Registrant denied getting them out of the car. However, it was satisfied that this could still be fundamentally consistent with the crux of the allegation.

103. The Panel also had regard to SMQ’s evidence that he had spoken to the Registrant about this incident after he had heard about it from SM. The Registrant confirmed that he had brought trousers in but that he was trying to say, from his perspective, that he was doing it because he was encouraging Colleague 1 to lose weight and he was only trying to do her a favour.

104. The Panel look account of the Registrant’s admission to this particular and was satisfied that the HCPC had proved, on the balance of probabilities, that on or around 6/7 March 2019 the Registrant brought and/or attempted to give Colleague 1 bigger trousers.

Particular 1e) – No Case to Answer

e) On an unknown date:

i. Said Colleague 1 is “plumpy”, or words to that effect;

ii. Said “She’s a fat cunt anyway”, or words to that effect.

Decision on Grounds and Impairment

Submissions and Advice

105. Mr Ferson submitted that the Registrant’s behaviour had breached Standards 1.5 and 9.1 of the HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics (January 2016). He submitted that the Registrant’s behaviour would be regarded as deplorable by fellow practitioners and amounted to misconduct.

106. He further submitted that the Registrant’s misconduct had breached a fundamental tenet of the profession and had brought the profession into disrepute. He submitted that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired.

107. Mr Adamou submitted that the Registrant’s conduct had fallen below the standards expected but this should be seen within a more general and holistic context. The Registrant had an unblemished record of service of 17 years. The incidents had taken place within a period of fourteen days and had not taken place in public, and the public had not been affected. He submitted that it was clear from the evidence that the comments were not intended to have a bullying effect on Colleague 1; rather, there was an element suggesting there was a matter of joviality between the Registrant and Colleague 1.

108. Mr Adamou referred to Cohen v General Medical Council [2008] EWHC 581 and submitted that there “…must always be situations in which a Panel can properly conclude that the act of misconduct was an isolated error”. He submitted that if the Panel did make a finding of misconduct, it did not need to lead to a finding of impairment.

109. Mr Adamou submitted, on behalf of the Registrant, an undated personal reflective statement and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certificates in respect of training which the Registrant had completed on 26 and 27 June 2021, after completing his evidence on 24 June 2021. Mr Adamou stated that the Registrant had only now been able to access EMAS training.

110. Mr Adamou submitted that the Registrant had insight and, at the hearing, he had taken full responsibility for the comments he had accepted making. Denying allegations and putting the HCPC to proof of them was not, of itself, a lack of insight. He submitted that there was no suggestion that the public had been affected. However distasteful the comments, the risk to the public had been “non-existent” and the Registrant had not brought the profession into disrepute. The Registrant had now demonstrated insight into the facts found, as evidenced by his personal statement and recent relevant training.

111. The Legal Assessor advised the Panel on the meaning of misconduct. She referred to the cases of Roylance –v- General Medical Council No 2 [2001] 1 AC p1 and Nandi v GMC [2004] EWHC 2317 (Admin). She advised the Panel to ask whether the Registrant’s behaviour had fallen seriously below the standards to be expected of a registered Paramedic in the circumstances, and whether his behaviour would be regarded as deplorable by fellow practitioners.

112. The Legal Assessor advised the Panel that if, in its judgment, the facts found proved amounted to misconduct, the Panel should consider whether the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired by reason of that misconduct. The Legal Assessor advised on the meaning of impairment. She referred to the cases of Cohen v GMC [2008] EWHC 581 and Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence v (1) Nursing and Midwifery Council (2) Paula Grant [2011] EWHC 927, in which Mrs Justice Cox encouraged decision-makers tasked with the issue of impairment to consider the following:

• whether the Registrant had presented and/or continues to present a risk to patients/service users;

• whether the Registrant had brought and/or is liable to bring the profession into disrepute;

• whether the Registrant had breached and/or is liable to breach one of the fundamental tenets of the profession;

113. The Legal Assessor encouraged the Panel to consult the Practice Note entitled “Fitness to Practise Impairment” issued by the HCPTS.

Decision on Grounds

114. The Panel considered the evidence in the case, including the Registrant’s reflective statement and CPD submitted after the finding of facts determination. The Panel considered the submissions of Mr Ferson and Mr Adamou and it accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

115. The Panel concluded that the Registrant’s inappropriate, offensive, and bullying behaviour, as found proved in Particulars 1a) to 1d), amounted to a serious departure from the standards of conduct that could properly be expected of a Paramedic interacting with members of the public, including colleagues such as Colleague 1.

116. The Panel considered that this had not been a one-off incident; rather, an ongoing course of serious misconduct against Colleague 1. It had no basis and it was entirely “out of the blue”, and followed what appeared to have been previously good communication between the Registrant and Colleague 1. The Panel did not accept that it could be confused with “banter”.

117. The Panel noted that the Registrant had not stopped his behaviour despite other colleagues, including AW and SMQ, asking the Registrant to stop behaving in that way towards Colleague 1. It should have been very clear to the Registrant, as it was to colleagues, how he was bullying Colleague 1 and how it affected her.

118. The effect of his behaviour was to cause humiliation and distress to Colleague 1 and her family, as well as upset to colleagues at the station, where the Registrant’s behaviour had become a talking point. RS, the Registrant’s crewmate, ceased to enter the ambulance station as he felt uncomfortable being present with the Registrant and Colleague 1 due to his behaviour towards her. The Panel considered it also had the potential to cause harm to the public in the provision of the service due to this upset in the workplace. The Panel concluded that the Registrant’s behaviour would be regarded as deplorable by fellow practitioners.

119. In so concluding, the Panel found that the Registrant had breached Standards 1.5 and 9.1 of the HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics (January 2016):

Challenge discrimination

1.5 You must not discriminate against service users, carers or colleagues by allowing your personal views to affect your professional relationships or the care, treatment or other services that you provide.

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.

120. Accordingly, the Panel determined that the facts found proved amounted to misconduct.

Decision on Impairment

121. The Panel considered the evidence in the case and the submissions of both Counsel. It accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

122. The Panel approached the issue of impairment on the basis that the misconduct amounted to a short course of conduct in the context of the Registrant’s lengthy and unblemished career. However, the Panel considered that bullying of a colleague is different from clinical competence and one does not excuse the other.

123. The Panel considered the criteria set out in the case of Grant, and concluded that through his misconduct the Registrant had brought the profession into disrepute and had breached a fundamental tenet of his profession.

124. The Panel noted that the Registrant had engaged with the EMAS investigation and with the HCPC, his regulator. He had, however, only recently provided very limited evidence of remorse, insight, or remediation. The Panel noted that the Registrant’s undated reflective statement did not appear to be up-to-date. It did not contain comment or reflection on what the Registrant had now learned from the courses which he had so recently completed, nor from hearing the evidence of the witnesses. The Registrant referred to being willing to “apologise again” to Colleague 1. The Panel was not satisfied that the Registrant has ever apologised to Colleague 1 about the incidents despite accepting that he made comments about Colleague 1’s appearance and brought in larger men’s trousers for her.

125. The Panel considered that this was behaviour intended to humiliate Colleague 1 and that the Registrant had, within only the last few days, defended this as his right to free speech, telling Colleague 1 his opinion, and being “helpful”. There was no insight into the restrictions on free speech which are required in order to protect other people from harm. The Registrant made repeated positive assertions during his own evidence that his colleagues, in their evidence, had acted dishonestly as part of a conspiracy against him. To the Panel, this seemed to demonstrate a serious lack of insight.

126. The Panel noted that the Registrant had completed some relevant training over the previous two days which may suggest the commencement of some insight, but it is extremely limited. It noted that in relation to the previous two years before this hearing, the Registrant did not appear to have undertaken any of the numerous courses accessible online free of charge (which he would not have needed to access through EMAS) which might have given the Panel more confidence in the development of the Registrant’s insight.

127. Although remediable, the Panel found that despite the recent courses he has undertaken, the Registrant’s misconduct has not yet been remedied. He has not reflected on what he has learned and the Panel has no evidence of how his learning has been embedded within his professional behaviour.

128. In all these circumstances, it was the judgement of the Panel that it could not be said that the Registrant was highly unlikely to repeat his misconduct.

129. The Panel also concluded that the Registrant’s misconduct, which had taken place in the course of his professional employment, required a finding of impairment to uphold proper professional standards and maintain public confidence in the profession and its regulator.

130. Accordingly, the Panel concluded that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired on both the personal and public components.

Decision on Sanction

131. The Panel considered the submissions of Mr Ferson and Mr Adamou and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

132. The Panel concluded that the Registrant’s misconduct was serious, in that he had, in the course of his employment and over fourteen days, made offensive, inappropriate, and demeaning comments to a colleague (who was new to the station) about her weight, her family’s appearance, and the tight fit of her uniform trousers. This included touching the bottom area of her trousers to make a point about the tightness of the trousers. There was evidence from professional colleagues as to the adverse effect of the Registrant’s misconduct on: (i) a normally ‘confident’ and ‘bubbly’ colleague; and (ii) the ambulance station staff, who were upset at having to witness the misconduct and see their colleague upset as a result. These colleagues stated that they just wanted to come to the ambulance station and do their jobs.

133. The Panel concluded that the following were aggravating factors:

• The misconduct was repeated over the space of two weeks;
• The Registrant persisted when told to stop by colleagues;
• The Registrant caused real emotional upset to a colleague;
• There was the risk of potential harm to service users because of the disruption causes to colleagues.

134. The Panel concluded that the following were mitigating factors:

• The Registrant was experiencing personal difficulties which adversely impacted on him;
• The Registrant had a long and previously unblemished career.

135. The Panel first considered whether to take no further action and was of the view that this would not be sufficient to mark the seriousness of the Registrant’s conduct.

136. The Panel next considered a Caution Order. In terms of the HCPC Sanctions Policy, a caution may be appropriate where the lapse is isolated or of a minor nature, there is a low risk of recurrence, and the registrant concerned has shown insight and taken remedial action. The Panel is of the view that a Caution Order would not be an appropriate sanction as the lapse was not of a minor nature and there is not yet full insight. In addition, it would not address fully the need for remediation. The Panel is also of the view that it would not address the seriousness of the conduct found proved or the public interest considerations.

137. The Panel next considered a Conditions of Practice Order. The HCPC Sanctions Policy states that conditions are likely to be appropriate where: the registrant has insight; the failure or deficiency is capable of being remedied; there are no persistent or general failures which would prevent the registrant from remediating; appropriate, proportionate, realistic, and verifiable conditions can be formulated; the panel is confident the registrant will comply with the conditions; a reviewing panel will be able to determine whether or not those conditions have or are being met; and where the registrant does not pose a risk of harm by being in (albeit restricted) practice.

138. The Panel concluded that the Registrant’s conduct is capable of remediation and that he now understands the seriousness of his actions and the potential impact of his conduct on his colleagues, the public, and the profession, which will help him to remedy his conduct. The Panel understands that attitudinal difficulties giving rise to offensive and inappropriate behaviour and bullying of a colleague, as well as upsetting other colleagues, are difficult but not impossible to remedy. In addition, there is no clinical failure as the Registrant had previously practised as a Paramedic until February 2019 without incident and appears genuinely committed to his profession. He has also expressed his willingness to comply with conditions and the Panel is of the view that appropriate, proportionate, and realistic conditions can be formulated to address the matters found proved.

139. The Panel is aware that the HCPC Sanctions Policy states that Conditions of Practice are less likely to be appropriate in more serious cases and should only be considered where a panel is satisfied that a registrant’s conduct was minor and out of character, is capable of remediation, and is unlikely to be repeated. Although the Panel has found proved a course of conduct which represent a period of fourteen days of misconduct and bullying towards a colleague, the Panel has considered the Registrant’s actions in the context of his career of 17 years and the volume of positive commendations prior to that date. In reaching its decision, the Panel accepted that his actions appeared to be out of character and were described as “out of the blue”. The Panel noted that the Registrant is currently awaiting a Return to Work programme.

140. The Panel next considered a Suspension Order. In terms of the HCPC Sanctions Policy, a Suspension Order may be appropriate where there are serious concerns which cannot be reasonably addressed by a Conditions of Practice Order, but which do not require the Registrant to be struck off the Register. Although the Panel considered that the Registrant’s insight is limited, the Panel does not believe that it cannot be developed further. He has already started the process of remediation. The Registrant is clearly a committed and competent Paramedic who has also been impacted by these proceedings. When weighing the interests of the Registrant against the public interest, the Panel was of the view that in these particular circumstances, a Suspension Order would be disproportionate.

141. The Panel concluded that a Conditions of Practice Order would both protect the public and address the wider public interest considerations, and that a period of 12 months would be sufficient to mark the seriousness of the Registrant’s conduct.

Order

Order

The Registrar is directed to annotate the Register to show that, for a period of 12 months from the date that this Order comes into effect (“the Operative Date”), you, Mr Paul Winfield, must comply with the following conditions of practice:

1. Except in life-threatening emergencies, you must restrict your practice so you are not: (i) working with; and/or (ii) based at the same station as; and/or (iii) involved in the provision of services with any of the undernoted colleagues unless accompanied at all times by a Paramedic at the rank of Clinical Team Leader or above:

• Colleague 1
• RS
• AW
• SM
• SMQ

2. You must place yourself and remain under the indirect supervision of a workplace supervisor who must be a Paramedic at the rank of Clinical Team Leader or above and registered with the HCPC. You must supply details of your supervisor to the HCPC within 14 days of the Operative Date. You must attend upon that supervisor as required and follow their advice and recommendations.

3. You must meet with your supervisor monthly to discuss your learning and future development arising from the matters found proved by the Panel.

4. Within 1 month of your supervisor being notified to HCPC, you must prepare a reflective piece for your supervisor explaining how you failed to uphold the values and ethics of the Paramedic profession and how you intend to put them into effect in the future. This should include identifying in-person/interactive training courses on the subjects set out in condition 6.

5. You must keep a dated log of your monthly meetings signed by your supervisor and submit this log to the HCPC 14 days prior to any review of this Order.

6. You must work with your workplace supervisor to formulate a Personal Development Plan (PDP) designed to address the values and ethics of being a Paramedic in professional practice, including:

• equality and diversity awareness;
• professional boundaries;
• sensitivity to, and support of, colleagues;
• appropriate workplace communication, including ‘banter’;

and share this with the HCPC, along with evidence of progress, at least 14 days prior to any review of this Order.

7. You must produce a new, detailed written reflective piece setting out your continued learning from these proceedings and any training completed by you. You must ensure this contains all areas of learning, including:

• The impact on those colleagues involved;
• The impact on the wider profession;
• The potential impact on EMAS and the public, including patients;
• The impact on the reputation of the profession;
• The steps you have taken towards full insight and remediation.

This should be accurately dated and submitted to the HCPC at least 14 days prior to any review of this Order.

8. You must promptly inform the HCPC if you cease to be employed by your current employer or take up any other or further employment.

9. You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary proceedings taken against you by your employer.

10. You must inform the following parties that your registration is subject to these conditions:

A. any organisation or person employing or contracting with you to undertake professional work;

B. any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered with (at the time of application); and

C. any prospective employer (at the time of your application)

This order will be reviewed again before its expiry.

Notes

Interim Order

1. The Panel considered whether an immediate order should be imposed in terms of Article 31(3) of the Health Professions Order 2001.

2. The Panel heard submissions from the parties as to whether an immediate order should be imposed.

3. Mr Ferson submitted that in view of the Panel's finding of misconduct related to making inappropriate and offensive comments to a colleague over a period of two weeks, an Interim Conditions of Practice Order for a period of 18 months was necessary to protect the public and in the wider public interest.

4. Mr Adamou submitted that the Registrant has no intention to recommence practice for some time. He asked that the Panel take this into account in assessing whether an interim order was necessary to protect the public in the meantime.

5. The Panel heard and accepted the legal advice from the Legal Assessor and referred to the guidance in the Sanctions Policy on Interim Orders. The Panel assessed the risk to the public and the wider public interest and considered whether an order was necessary and proportionate. The Panel had regard to the nature of the Allegation found proved and decided that there was an ongoing risk to service users and the public from the Registrant's conduct. The Panel was satisfied that confidence in the profession would be seriously harmed if the Registrant were allowed to remain in unrestricted practice. The Panel determined that an Interim Conditions of Practice Order was necessary to protect the public and in the wider public interest.

6. The Panel determined that an immediate Interim Conditions of Practice Order as follows should be imposed for a period of 18 months to protect the public and in the wider 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) the final determination of that appeal, subject to a maximum period of 18 months.

1. Except in life-threatening emergencies, you must restrict your practice so you are not: (i) working with; and/or (ii) based at the same station as; and/or (iii) involved in the provision of services with any of the undernoted colleagues unless accompanied at all times by a Paramedic at the rank of Clinical Team Leader or above:

• Colleague 1
• RS
• AW
• SM
• SMQ

2. You must place yourself and remain under the indirect supervision of a workplace supervisor who must be a Paramedic at the rank of Clinical Team Leader or above and registered with the HCPC. You must supply details of your supervisor to the HCPC within 14 days of the Operative Date. You must attend upon that supervisor as required and follow their advice and recommendations.

3. You must meet with your supervisor monthly to discuss your learning and future development arising from the matters found proved by the Panel.

4. Within 1 month of your supervisor being notified to HCPC, you must prepare a reflective piece for your supervisor explaining how you failed to uphold the values and ethics of the Paramedic profession and how you intend to put them into effect in the future. This should include identifying in-person/interactive training courses on the subjects set out in condition 6.

5. You must keep a dated log of your monthly meetings signed by your supervisor and submit this log to the HCPC 14 days prior to any review of this Order.

6. You must work with your workplace supervisor to formulate a Personal Development Plan (PDP) designed to address the values and ethics of being a Paramedic in professional practice, including:

• equality and diversity awareness;
• professional boundaries;
• sensitivity to, and support of, colleagues;
• appropriate workplace communication, including ‘banter’;

and share this with the HCPC, along with evidence of progress, at least 14 days prior to any review of this Order.

7. You must produce a new, detailed written reflective piece setting out your continued learning from these proceedings and any training completed by you. You must ensure this contains all areas of learning, including:

• The impact on those colleagues involved;
• The impact on the wider profession;
• The potential impact on EMAS and the public, including patients;
• The impact on the reputation of the profession;
• The steps you have taken towards full insight and remediation.

This should be accurately dated and submitted to the HCPC at least 14 days prior to any review of this Order.

8. You must promptly inform the HCPC if you cease to be employed by your current employer or take up any other or further employment.

9. You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary proceedings taken against you by your employer.

10. You must inform the following parties that your registration is subject to these conditions:

A. any organisation or person employing or contracting with you to undertake professional work;

B. any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered with (at the time of application); and

C. any prospective employer (at the time of your application)

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Paul Winfield

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
21/06/2021 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Conditions of Practice