Mr Ramon Priess

Profession: Occupational therapist

Registration Number: OT70677

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 25/06/2021 End: 13:00 25/06/2021

Location: Hearing taking place virtually

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Suspended

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Allegation

As a registered Occupational Therapist (OT70677) your fitness to practise is impaired by reason of conviction. In that:

1. On 11 March 2020 you were convicted at Westminster Magistrates Court of assaulting Service User A by beating on 3 April 2019 contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

2. By reason of your conviction your fitness to practice is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Service

1. A Notice of Hearing dated 13 April 2021 was sent by email to the Registrant’s registered email address. The notice gave the date, time, and details for attending the (remote) hearing and details of the purpose of the hearing.

2. The Panel was satisfied that in those circumstances good service of the Notice of Hearing had taken place for the purposes of the HCPC (Conduct and Competence Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 as amended by the HCPC (Coronavirus)(Amendment) Rules Order in Council 2021 (‘the 2003 Rules’).

Proceeding in absence

3. The Registrant responded to the Notice of Hearing by email dated 16 April 2021 as follows:

“… a) I will not be attending the hearing
b) I won’t be represented at the hearing
c) I won’t be calling any witnesses
d) no adjustments are required.”

4. Mr Millin relied on the Registrant’s response to support his application that the hearing be conducted in the absence of the Registrant and he referred to the principles set out in the HCPTS Practice Note “Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant”, September 2018. The Panel received advice from the Legal Assessor, which it accepted.

5. The Panel was satisfied that all reasonable steps had been taken to serve the Notice of Hearing on the Registrant under Rule 11 of the 2003 Rules. In exercising its discretion the Panel took into account the following matters in particular: the Registrant was aware of the hearing and was given an opportunity to attend; he had deliberately chosen not to do so or to be represented at the hearing; the Registrant had not requested an adjournment, and any adjournment was unlikely to result in the Registrant attending a hearing at a later date. Fairness both to the Registrant and the regulator, as well as the wider public interest, all justified the expeditious disposal of the case.

6. In view of those considerations, the Panel decided that it was fair in all the circumstances to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. Therefore, the Panel decided that the hearing be conducted in his absence.

Background

7. The Registrant is a registered Occupational Therapist. At the time to which the allegation relates, the Registrant was a self-employed consultant providing services as an Occupational Therapist for a business known as Maximum Potential, a paediatric Occupational and Speech and Language therapy service specialising in sensory integration.

8. From January 2018, the Registrant had been providing occupational therapy services for Maximum Potential to Service User A, a 4-year-old boy whom he was treating for sensory processing difficulties. Service User A was also described as having difficulties with language, communication, and motor skills, and possible Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

9. On 3 April 2019, during an occupational therapy session at premises of Maximum Potential in London, the Registrant allegedly slapped Service User A on several occasions on the face with an open hand in the presence of Service User A’s mother.

10. On 8 April 2019, the Registrant was suspended from further work by Maximum Potential. The Registrant self-referred to the HCPC on 14 April 2019.

11. The mother of Service User A reported the incident to the Police, who interviewed the Registrant under caution on 3 June 2019 in which he provided a prepared statement as follows:

“I am a trained Occupational Therapist with over 8 years of experience working with vulnerable and young clients between a few months and 24 yrs old. I am specifically qualified and trained to deal with children. In 2018 i obtained a certificate in providing sensory integration therapy from the university of southern California. On 3rd April i did not slap [Service User A] 10 to 20 times on his face. All of the techniques i used during this session were conducted appropriately, in line with recognised standards, in accordance with what i deemed appropriate in light of [Service User A’s] specific needs given his mild neurological impairment.’

12. On 19 September 2019, the Registrant was charged by the Police with assault by beating. On 24 October 2020, the Registrant attended Westminster Magistrates’ Court and pleaded not guilty.

Decision on Facts and Statutory Ground

13. Mr Millin relied on the documents in the HCPC bundle to establish particular 1 of the Allegation. The Panel received advice from the Legal Assessor, which it accepted.

14. The HCPC bears the burden of establishing its factual case to the standard of the balance of probabilities. A certified copy of a Certificate of Conviction is admissible evidence of a conviction and the findings of fact on which it was based (Rule 10(1)(d) of the 2003 Rules).

15. The documents in this case show that a trial took place at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 11 March 2020, at which the Registrant was convicted of assault by beating under section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. The case was transferred to Berkshire Magistrates’ Court, Reading for sentencing, where a sentence of imprisonment of 12 weeks suspended for 12 months was imposed on 19 June 2020.

16. The Panel has seen a certified copy of the Certificate of Conviction dated 14 July 2020 provided on behalf of the Reading Magistrates’ Court.

17. In those circumstances, the Panel was satisfied that the HCPC has established the facts set out in particular 1 of the Allegation.

18. The next matter for the Panel to decide was the question of statutory ground. The Panel accepted the advice given by the Legal Assessor. It has to decide whether or not the facts proved relate to a conviction in the United Kingdom for a criminal offence (Art. 22(1)(a)(iii), Health Professions Order 2001, as amended). The conviction under s39 Criminal justice Act 1988 Act related to what is, as a matter of law, a criminal offence and the conviction was in the United Kingdom.

19. Therefore, the statutory ground of conviction for a criminal offence has been established.

Decision on Impairment

20. Mr Millin submitted that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired by the conviction. He referred to the ‘personal component’ and the ‘public component’ of impairment referenced in the HCPTS Practice Note “Fitness to Practise Impairment”, December 2019. He submitted that the Registrant had failed to comply with Standard 9 of the HCPC’s Standards of Conduct, Performance, and Ethics.

21. He submitted that the Registrant had breached one of the fundamental tenets of the profession and had brought it into disrepute.

22. Mr Millin confirmed that there were no adverse matters on the Registrant’s fitness to practise record apart from this case.

23. Although the Registrant has not participated in this hearing, he did state in an email to the HCPTS dated 6 April 2021 that for the purposes of this hearing he relied on the documents he had previously provided in this case. These were made available to the Panel.

24. In reaching its decision on the issue of current impairment, the Panel took into account all points that may be in favour of the Registrant. It considered the submissions of Mr Millin and the advice of the Legal Assessor, which it accepted.

25. The HCPTS Practice Note “Conviction and Caution Allegations”, 22 March 2017, shows that the purpose of fitness to practise proceedings arising from a criminal conviction is not to punish a registrant twice. Their purpose is to protect the public who may come to the Registrant as patients or service users and to maintain the high standards and good reputation of the profession. The Panel is to consider public protection in its broadest sense, including whether the Registrant’s actions bring the profession into disrepute, may undermine public confidence in it, or both. In deciding these matters, the Panel considered the nature, circumstances, and gravity of the conviction in the context of registered practice.

26. The circumstances of the conviction were these. The Registrant worked with Service User A once a week in therapy sessions that lasted for around 45 minutes.

27. The session on 3 April 2019 started at about 12.20 pm. Towards the end of it, Service User A was sitting on the Registrant’s lap. He asked Service User A to put his shoes on. The child then ‘played dead’ or pretended to be asleep. The Registrant then slapped the right cheek of Service User A’s face several times, initially leaving his cheek reddened and causing the child to cry.

28. Before this therapy session, no concerns had been raised by the family as to the Registrant’s therapy work with Service User A.

29. Having witnessed the events that took place at the therapy session at lunchtime that day, Service User A’s mother spoke to the child’s father. At just after 10.09pm on 3 April 2019, the Registrant received an email from Service User A’s father, which stated:

“[Service User A] came home today distraught. I am extremely disappointed that [Service User A] was repeatedly slapped in an aggressive manner. This is extremely disappointing and unprofessional. He has been crying hysterically, this is not what I expect from a qualified professional.’

The Registrant sent an email in response at 10.45pm, stating:

“Apologies for what has happened today. This wasn't meant to hurt him at all. He complained over pain in his mouth just before as well. There is nothing I can do to justify what happened and I suppose it is probably best if [Service User A] stays with Maximum Potential and does not see me privately. The lines are blurring between my professional relationship/private friendship with [Service User A’s mother] and [Service User A]. They feel like family to me and I handled it in a way I would with my nephews and nieces. Not acceptable from a professional view. I adore [Service User A] and can't tell you in words how sorry I feel.”

30. Documents relied on by the Registrant show the following. He left the UK in December 2019 and started work in a paediatric occupational health practice in Berlin (Germany), where he was still working until at least 17 February 2021. In a reflective statement dated 17 February 2021, the Registrant stated:

“From the beginning my current boss was aware of my circumstances and provided support. She had insight into evidence provided by the Police. Every session was therefore monitored, reflected and improved by questioning certain aspects of the intervention but also making sure that practice is safe. For the past year I have not practiced [sic] without close supervision and it’s been a very helpful process in developing my skills and ensuring I only practice [sic] with the appropriate support system in place."

31. The testimonials provided showed that the Registrant had worked under supervision in a structured manner to address the deficiencies in his professional practice.

32. The testimonials from the three practitioners mentioned in his reflective statement of 17 February 2021 spoke highly of the Registrant as a dedicated and competent Occupational Therapist. The testimonial from JB (referred to by the Registrant as “my … boss” above) dated 21 December 2020 stated that she had been supplied with the prosecution case summary and was aware of his conviction. The Registrant had been working at the Berlin practice as an Occupational Therapist under close supervision, never working alone, and no complaints had been made about him during the year. JB stated that parents had pointed out that the Registrant had shown commitment and professionalism and had not overstepped boundaries during therapeutic interventions. She stated that the Registrant had shown a willingness to learn from his past experiences and had shown himself to be an excellent therapist.

33. Other professional colleagues at the practice and those who had worked with him at Maximum Potential, aware of the Registrant’s criminal conviction, gave glowing references as to the Registrant’s professionalism and dedication to his profession.

34. There were also highly supportive references from parents of children who were impressed by the therapy that the Registrant had provided. These included parents who were made aware of the conviction, in at least one case by the Registrant himself, who nonetheless trusted the Registrant to continue to deliver what they saw as the outstanding therapy services he provided for their child.

35. The Panel noted the Registrant’s observation in the reflective statement that his fitness to practise was currently impaired. However, in deciding whether his fitness to practise is impaired by reference to the personal component the Panel took into account all the evidence before it.

36. The Panel took into account the contents of the reflective statements provided. It also noted the Registrant’s email of 3 April 2019 to the father of Service User A, in which the Registrant apologised promptly and had sufficient insight to recognise that he should take a step back from working with Service User A because he had become too close to him and to his family.

37. The Panel also bore in mind that the Registrant has been practising under close supervision. The Panel asked itself whether there is a risk of repetition of the Registrant’s conduct that constituted the criminal offence, in view of the remediation and insight he has shown and all other relevant considerations, with particular reference to the contents of the documents referred to in this part of the decision.

38. The Panel decided that in view of all those matters, the risk of repetition is low. Therefore, the Registrant’s fitness to practise is not impaired by reference to the personal component of impaired fitness to practise.

39. In considering the public component, the Panel considered whether in view of the nature, circumstances, and gravity of the conviction the Registrant’s actions bring the profession into disrepute, may undermine public confidence in it, or both.

40. The conviction concerned conduct by the Registrant in acting as a registered Occupational Therapist. His actions constituted a criminal assault on a 4-year-old child who had a number of developmental difficulties. The child was a vulnerable service user. The child’s care as a service user had been entrusted to the Registrant and he undermined that trust by doing what he did.

41. The circumstances of the offence were also found to be so grave that the court imposed a sentence of imprisonment of 12 weeks, suspended for 12 months.

42. The Panel agreed that the Registrant failed to comply with Standard 9 of the HCPC’s “Standards of Conduct, Performance, and Ethics”, Satndard 9.1, which provides that:

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

43. In CHRE v NMC & Grant [2011] EWHC 927 (Admin), Cox J. referred to the judgment of Sales J. in Yeong v GMC [2009] EWHC 1923 (Admin), a case where the practitioner conducted a sexual relationship with a patient. Cox J. stated:

“73. … Sales J … upheld the submission of counsel for the GMC that:
"… Where a FTPP considers that the case is one where the misconduct consists of violating such a fundamental rule of the professional relationship between medical practitioner and patient and thereby undermining public confidence in the medical profession, a finding of impairment of fitness to practise may be justified on the grounds that it is necessary to reaffirm clear standards of professional conduct so as to maintain public confidence in the practitioner and in the profession. In such a case, the efforts made by the medical practitioner in question to address his behaviour for the future may carry very less weight than in case where the misconduct consists of clinical errors or incompetence."”

Cox J went on to state:

“74. I agree with that analysis and would add this. In determining whether a practitioner's fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct, the relevant panel should generally consider not only whether the practitioner continues to present a risk to members of the public in his or her current role, but also whether the need to uphold proper professional standards and public confidence in the profession would be undermined if a finding of impairment were not made in the particular circumstances.

76. I would also add the following observations in this case having heard submissions … as to the helpful and comprehensive approach … formulated by Dame Janet Smith in her Fifth Report from Shipman … At paragraph 25.67 she identified the following as an appropriate test for panels considering impairment of a doctor's fitness to practise, but in my view that test would be equally applicable to other practitioners governed by different regulatory schemes.

"Do our findings of fact in respect of the doctor's misconduct, deficient professional performance, adverse health, convictions, caution or determination show that his/her fitness to practise is impaired in the sense that s/he:

a. has in the past acted and/or is liable in the future to act so as to put a patient or patients at unwarranted risk or harm; and/or
b. has in the past brought and/or is liable in the future to bring the medical profession into disrepute; and/or
c. has in the past breached and/or is liable in the future to breach one of the fundamental tenets of the medical profession: and/or
d. has in the past acted dishonestly and/or is liable to act dishonestly in the future.""

44. The Panel concluded that the nature, circumstances, and gravity of the criminal offence in the context of registered practice are such that the Registrant has brought the profession into disrepute. He has also breached fundamental tenets of the profession by assaulting a vulnerable child service user placed in his care and by betraying the trust and confidence placed in him as a member of the profession.

45. The Panel further concluded that by reason of all these matters, public confidence in the profession is likely to have been undermined by the Registrant’s conviction for the criminal offence for his actions on 3 April 2019. Members of the public would likely be seriously concerned if, notwithstanding that conviction and the sentence that was passed for it, the Registrant were now to be found fit to practise as an Occupational Therapist.

46. The Panel again bore in mind the Registrant’s insight, remediation, and all other considerations in his favour, including the Registrant’s otherwise unblemished fitness to practise record. However, in view of the need to uphold proper professional standards and public confidence in the profession, a finding of impaired fitness to practise is required in the circumstances of this case. Accordingly, the public component of impairment has been met in this case.

47. For all these reasons, the Panel has concluded that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired.

Decision on Sanction

48. Mr Millin referred to the HCPC Sanctions Policy, March 2019 (‘SP’), and to the purpose of sanctions. He invited the Panel to consider each available sanction in ascending order of seriousness. He pointed to a number of what he submitted were aggravating factors, as well as those in mitigation, but made it clear that he was not advocating any particular sanction.

49. Mr Millin also referred to Bolton v Law Society [1994] 1 WLR 512 and passages on pages 518A – 519E, where Sir Thomas Bingham MR explained the principle that the interests of the individual practitioner are less important than the collective reputation of the profession; in that case, the solicitors’ profession.

50. The Hearings Officer informed the Panel that an Interim Suspension Order had been in place on the Registrant’s registration since 31 October 2019.

51. The Panel took into account the relevant parts of the SP in reaching its decision, its earlier findings, and conclusions, and all the evidence so far as relevant at this stage. No further oral or documentary evidence was relied on. The Panel also took into account the submissions of Mr Millin and all matters in favour of the Registrant. The Panel accepted the advice given by the Legal Assessor.

52. The primary function of any sanction is to protect the public and the wider public interest. Sanctions are not intended to punish registrants, but instead to ensure that the public is protected. Inevitably, a sanction may be punitive in effect but should not be imposed simply for that purpose. In deciding what, if any, sanction to impose, a panel is required to apply the principle of proportionality.

53. The Panel considered the following to be the aggravating factors in this case: the conviction concerned conduct in the exercise of the Registrant’s professional responsibilities; his actions amounted to a betrayal of the trust placed in him as a registered Occupational Therapist; and the service user was a child aged 4, who had a number of developmental difficulties and as such was particularly vulnerable. In addition, harm was done to Service User A in view of the assault that took place.

54. The mitigating factors were these: the Registrant made a prompt apology for his actions to the father of Service User A; he also showed remorse for what he did in his email of 3 April 2019 to the child’s father; there is no evidence of intent to cause harm; he has shown substantial insight by seeking structured support through supervision in his work; he has engaged in considerable remediation by putting in place, and pursuing, a plan of structured improvement in the relevant areas of his practice; there has been no reported repetition of this type of conduct since 3 April 2019; and there have been no other adverse fitness to practise matters either before or since that date. He also co-operated with the Police, self-referred to the HCPC and has engaged with the HCPC with respect to this case, even though he did not attend this hearing.

55. In making its overall assessment of the gravity of the Registrant’s conduct, the Panel reminded itself of its conclusions in paragraphs 40, 41, 44, and 45 above, as well as the aggravating and mitigating factors. On the one hand, the Registrant has apologised, shown remorse and significant insight, and engaged in substantial remediation. The incident was isolated, there has been no repetition since, and he has no adverse fitness to practise history. However, the Registrant’s actions were carried out in the exercise of registered practice. They were violent, amounting to an assault on a four-year-old child who was a particularly vulnerable service user. The child’s care had been entrusted to the Registrant and he undermined that trust by doing what he did. The circumstances of the offence were considered to be so grave by the Court that it imposed a sentence of imprisonment of 12 weeks, suspended for 12 months.

56. In view of those actions, the Registrant breached fundamental tenets of the profession and betrayed the trust and confidence placed in him as a registered Occupational Therapist. He brought the profession into disrepute. The gravity of the conviction and the conduct associated with it constituted a severe blemish on the standing and reputation of the profession.

57. The Panel bore in mind that the protection of the public includes protection against any risks the Registrant might pose to those who use or need his services, the need to maintain public confidence in the profession and its regulation, the importance of upholding proper standards of conduct among members of the profession, and the role of sanctions in creating an appropriate deterrent effect on other registrants. This is a case where the risk of repetition of the conduct is low and the issue of sanction turns on the question of what, if any, action is needed to maintain public confidence in the profession and its regulation and to uphold standards among members of the profession, so as to provide a deterrent effect to other registrants.

58. The Panel considered the available outcomes in ascending order of seriousness.

59. To take no action would be a wholly inappropriate response to the impairment in view of the seriousness of the conviction. Mediation would also be inappropriate to reflect those concerns.

60. The next available sanction is a Caution Order. The Panel referred to paragraph 101 of the SP. The incident was isolated, there is a low risk of repetition, the Registrant has shown good insight, and has undertaken appropriate remediation. Despite those matters, the conviction did not relate to an issue that was limited or minor in nature. To the contrary, a caution would not address the gravity of the criminal conviction in the context of registered practice in view of the considerations set out in paragraphs 55 and 56 above.

61. Therefore, the Panel decided that a Caution Order would not be a sufficient sanction either to maintain public confidence in the profession and its regulation or to uphold standards among members of the profession, providing a sufficient deterrent to other registrants. Despite all the points in favour of the Registrant, members of the public aware of the circumstances of this case would be troubled if the Registrant were now to be at liberty to practise as an Occupational Therapist, albeit with a caution placed on his registration and a finding of impaired fitness to practise.

62. The Panel next considered whether a Conditions of Practice Order would be appropriate. First, it considered paragraph 106 of the SP. Conditions of Practice could be formulated that would address the conduct that constituted the offence. In view of the substantial remediation undertaken by the Registrant, such conditions might be workable as well as practicable. There were no persistent failures in his practice. The Registrant would be unlikely to pose a risk of harm in restricted practice, and the Registrant might well comply with conditions, though his absence from the hearing did deprive him of an opportunity of persuading the Panel that he would comply with conditions (see paragraph 107 of the SP).

63. Despite the positive matters that might favour a Conditions of Practice Order, paragraph 108 of the SP states that Conditions of Practice are less likely to be appropriate in more serious cases, such as those involving particular features, including violence or convictions for serious criminal offences. Paragraph 109 states:

“There may be circumstances in which a panel considers it appropriate to impose a conditions of practice order in the above cases. However, it should only do so when it is satisfied that the registrant’s conduct was minor, out of character, capable of remediation and unlikely to be repeated.”

64. The Panel accepted that the conduct was out of character for the Registrant, was capable of remediation, and was unlikely to be repeated. However, for the reasons the Panel has already given, the conduct was not minor but quite the opposite.

65. The Panel concluded that Conditions of Practice would not be appropriate in this case because they would not reflect the seriousness of the conduct underlying the conviction, notwithstanding all the matters of mitigation in favour of the Registrant and despite the potential adverse effect on him of a more serious sanction. A Conditions of Practice Order would not be sufficient either to maintain public confidence in the profession and its regulation or to declare and uphold professional standards of conduct, and would not provide a sufficient deterrent effect. Members of the public would again be troubled if they learned that, despite the gravity of the conduct in the context of registered practice, the outcome of the regulatory investigation were that the Registrant was at liberty to practise, albeit subject to Conditions of Practice. For those reasons, the Panel decided that Conditions of Practice would not be the appropriate sanction in this case.

66. The Panel next considered whether a Suspension Order would be a sufficient sanction. It took into account the guidance given in paragraph 121 of the SP in particular, which states:

“A suspension order is likely to 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. These types of cases will typically exhibit the following factors:

⦁ the concerns represent a serious breach of the Standards of conduct, performance and ethics;
⦁ the registrant has insight;
⦁ the issues are unlikely to be repeated; and
⦁ there is evidence to suggest the registrant is likely to be able to resolve or remedy their failings.”

For the reasons already given in this decision, each of these four factors is present in this case.

67. The Panel balanced its conclusions as to the gravity of the Registrant’s conduct against all the factors of mitigation that weighed in favour of the Registrant, the potential adverse effect of a Suspension Order on him, and the fact that he has been subject to an Interim Suspension Order for nearly two years. The focus of an interim order is to contain risks to service users and the wider public interest in advance of a substantive hearing. However, in this case the task of the Panel at this substantive hearing is to identify a sanction in response to the finding of current impairment which is sufficient to protect the wider public interest, as explained in paragraph 57 above.

68. The Panel considered that only a Suspension Order would adequately protect the public interests at stake in this case. A Suspension Order reflects the gravity of the Registrant’s conduct which underlay his conviction for assault on the four year-old vulnerable service user who had been placed in his professional care and the harm that he caused the child by his actions, and the resulting blemish on the reputation of the profession as a result of that conviction. Therefore, the Panel decided to direct that a Suspension Order be imposed on the Registrant’s registration.

69. The Panel did consider whether a Striking Off Order rather than a Suspension Order might be appropriate. It took into account in particular the considerations set out in paragraph 131 of the SP, which states:

“A striking off order is likely to be appropriate where the nature and gravity of the concerns are such that any lesser sanction would be insufficient to protect the public, public confidence in the profession, and public confidence in the regulatory process. In particular where the registrant:

⦁ lacks insight;
⦁ continues to repeat the misconduct or, where a registrant has been suspended for two years continuously, fails to address a lack of competence; or
⦁ is unwilling to resolve matters.”

For the reasons already given in this decision, none of these three factors is present in the case. The Registrant has insight, does appear to be willing to resolve matters, is unlikely to repeat the misconduct, and has apologised for his actions, which were an isolated event in his career. A Striking Off Order would be disproportionate in all the circumstances.

70. The Panel next considered the period of the Suspension Order. It decided that a period of six months was the appropriate and proportionate period. That period is sufficient to mark the gravity of the conviction in the context of registered practice and provide the necessary deterrent effect, whilst keeping to a minimum the potential adverse effect of a Suspension Order on the Registrant and giving some recognition to the period of interim suspension.

71. As indicated, the Registrant has been working as an Occupational Therapist in Germany. Mr Millin did not submit that this was a breach of the Interim Suspension Order. The Panel was not addressed as to what if any effect an order of suspension might have on the Registrant’s ability to work in Germany and the Registrant has not made representations on this point. In deciding that an order of suspension was a sufficient and proportionate sanction, the Panel concentrated on the effect of the sanction with respect to the Registrant’s ability to work as a registered Occupational Therapist in the UK, while bearing in mind that a suspension order might have an effect on his ability to work as an Occupational Therapist in Germany, and equally that it might not do so.

72. The Panel did consider Council for the Regulation of Health Care Professionals v. General Dental Council and Fleischmann [2005] EWHC 87 (Admin), in which Newman J said that, as a general principle, where a practitioner has been convicted of a serious criminal offence or offences, they should not be permitted to resume practice until they have satisfactorily completed their sentence. The 12 month period of the suspended sentence of 6 weeks imprisonment elapsed on 19 June 2021. Therefore, the Panel gave no further consideration to the general principle.

Order

Order: The Registrar is directed to suspend the registration of Mr Ramon Priess for a period of 6 months from the date this order comes into effect.

Notes

This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 23 January 2022.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Ramon Priess

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
22/02/2022 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing No further action
15/12/2021 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
25/06/2021 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended