Phillip J Egan

Profession: Hearing aid dispenser

Registration Number: HAD00457

Hearing Type: Voluntary Removal Agreement

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 15/03/2021 End: 17:00 15/03/2021

Location: Virtual hearing, videoconference

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegation

As a registered Hearing Aid Dispenser (HAD00457) your fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct and/or lack of competence. In that you:

1) Did not maintain and/or complete clinical records, in that:

a) In the case of Service User 15, on or around 28 February 2017, you did not provide an adequate explanation for abnormally uniform thresholds.
b) On or around 6 March 2017, when assessing Service User 16, you
did not provide a reason to why masking was not performed;
e) On or around the 2 February 2017, in regards to Service User 25,
you did not:

ii) Record what medication Service User 25 was taking;

f) On or around the 26 April 2017, in regards to Service User 26, you
completed assessments which included inadequate detail in respect
of:

iii) Post-Audiometry.


2) On or around 16 June 2017, when undertaking an assessment of Service User 1, recorded the bone conduction threshold at 500/Hz threshold to be 65dBHL, when the air conduction threshold of the better [left] ear was 35dBHL.

3) On or around 16 June 2017, when undertaking an assessment of Service User 2:

a) Did not perform bone conduction masking at 4kHz in the left ear;
b) Recorded the hearing loss as both ‘Mild – 20 – 40 dgbHL” and ‘mod sn hf loss bilateral’.


4) On or around 8 June 2017, when undertaking an assessment of Service User 3, did not perform Bone-Conduction masking when required to do so on the left ear at 4kHz.

5) On or around 6 June 2017, when undertaking an assessment of Service User 4, you:

a) did not perform bone conduction masking at:

i) 500Hz;
ii) 2KHz;
iii) 4KHz.

b) you recorded insufficient information when you recorded 'to be done at 2nd on 4k 500' when stating why an incomplete audiogram has been recorded.

7) On or around 15 June 2017, after undertaking an assessment of Service User 6 that was not finalised, did not book a second appointment, to retest his hearing.

8) On or around 9 June 2017, when undertaking an assessment of Service User 7, incorrectly recorded 'severe sn loss in both';

9) On or around 4 July 2017, when undertaking an assessment of Service User 8, inadequately recorded the hearing loss as 'severe sh hf loss '.

10) When undertaking an assessment of Service User 10:

a) On or around 4 November 2016,

i) Performed no bone conduction masking on the left ear when
there was a 10dB or greater gap between 500Hz and 4KHz
between not masked bone conduction and air conduction
thresholds;
ii) Recorded insufficient information when you recorded 'no
benefit to pres aids' when recording why an incomplete
audiogram has been recorded.

b) On or around 5 April 2017,

i) Performed no bone conduction masking on the left ear when
there was a 10dB or greater gap at 4KHz between not masked
bone conduction and air conduction threshold;

11) When undertaking an assessment of Service User 11 on or around 24 November 2016 you:

b) Performed no masking when you recorded a 10 dB or greater gap between the not masked bone conduction thresholds and the air conduction thresholds in the left ear at:

i) 500Hz;
ii) 1KHz;
iii) 2KHz;
iv) 4KKHz.

c) you recorded insufficient information when you recorded 'small air bone gap px has wax in I and will see gp again re irrigation/aspiration as tms are perf' when stating why an incomplete audiogram has been recorded.

12) When undertaking an assessment of Service User 12, on 25 November 2016:

a) Performed no air conduction masking when you recorded a 40dB gap at 3KHz between the unmasked air conduction threshold of the right and left ears;

b) You recorded insufficient information when you recorded 'no benefit today as small air bone gap' when stating why an incomplete audiogram has been recorded.

13) When undertaking an assessment of Service User 13 on 29 November 2016, you:

a) Performed no air conduction masking when you recorded a 40dB gap between the unmasked air conduction threshold of the right and left ears at:

i) 3KHz;
ii) 4KHz.

b) You recorded insufficient information when you recorded 'rule 2 ,air bone gap 10dB or less so no ben from maskg will mask for r2 on 2nd apt prior to ftg AIDS' when stating why an incomplete audiogram has been recorded.

14) When undertaking an assessment of Service User 14 on 23 December 2016, you:

a) Performed no bone conduction masking when you recorded a 10dB or greater gap between the unmasked bone conduction and left air conduction threshold at:

i) 500Hz;
ii) 1KHz;
iii) 2KHz ;
iv) 4KHz.

b) You recorded insufficient information when you recorded 'px has a 8 longstanding perforation problem on the left hand side which has already been seen by ent' when stating why an incomplete audiogram has been recorded.

15) When undertaking an assessment of Service User 18 on or around 22 March 2017, you:

a) Performed no air conduction masking when you recorded a 40dB gap between the unmasked

b) Performed no bone conduction masking when you recorded a 10dB or greater gap between the unmasked bone conduction and left air conduction threshold at:

i) 500Hz;
ii) 1KHz;
iii) 2KHz.

c) You recorded inaccurate information when you recorded 'levels too high to mask on left ac to bc gapt' when stating why an incomplete audiogram has been recorded;


16) On or around 26 April 2017, when undertaking an assessment of Service User 19:

a) Performed no bone conduction masking when you recorded a 10db or greater gap between the not masked bone conduction and left air conduction threshold at 4KHz;

b) You recorded insufficient information when you recorded 'no ben from maskg' when stating why an incomplete audiogram has been recorded.


17) On or around 8 May 2017, when undertaking an assessment of Service User 20, you:

a) Performed no bone conduction masking when you recorded a 10dB or greater gap between the unmasked bone conduction and air conduction thresholds at:

i) 500Hz;
ii) 1KHz
iii) 2KHz
ii) 4kHz.

b) You recorded insufficient information when you recorded 'maskg to 9 be done 2nd apt' when stating why an incomplete audiogram has been recorded.


18) On or around 18 April 2017, recorded insufficient detail for:

b) Service User 22.


19) On or around 17 February 2017, when undertaking an assessment of Service User 27, you:

a) recorded insufficient information in regards to Post-Audiometry;


20) The matters set out in paragraph 1 - 19 constitutes misconduct and/or
lack of competence.


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

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Service

1. On 18 December 2020 the Registrant was sent notice as to the purpose of this hearing and the Panel’s powers. He was advised as to how he or any representative might participate in this hearing. The notice was sent to his registered email address as shown on the register. A copy was sent to his representative too. The Presenting Officer did advise the Panel that an officer of the HCPC had already discussed the hearing date with the Registrant and at that time (on 9 December 2020) the Registrant had said that neither he nor his representative would be attending. When considering rule 11 of the HCPC (Fitness to Practise) Rules 2003 and whether notice is sufficient in all the circumstances, the Panel determined that ample notice had been afforded to the Registrant. The purpose of the hearing had been adequately explained. The Panel determined that service had been effected within the rules.

Proceeding in absence of the Registrant

2. The Presenting Officer, Ms Bwoma, invited the Panel to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. The Registrant had already made it clear he would not participate today and would not be represented. Ms Bwoma submitted that the public interest would be served by the Panel hearing the matter today. She reminded the Panel that the Registrant had already signed the Voluntary Removal Agreement on 8 January 2021.

3. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

4. The Panel concluded that it was in the public interest to proceed in the Registrant’s absence, and for that matter, it was in the Registrant’s interests also. He had made it clear that he did not wish to participate today, and the Panel concluded that he had voluntarily waived his right to attend. He had already signed the agreement concerning voluntary removal from the register. His correspondence was indicative that he wished the matter to be drawn to a close and he had fully accepted the basis for this.

Voluntary Removal Agreement

5. It is of note that the allegations were considered by an Investigating Committee who found a case to answer on 31 January 2020.

6. The Voluntary Removal Agreement signed by the Registrant on 8 January 2021 had been provided to the Panel. The Agreement makes it clear that both the HCPC and the Registrant are in agreement that voluntary removal from the register is a reasoned response and one that protects the public and is in the public interest. The Registrant is in agreement and understands that his removal would be akin to a striking off order if one were made at the conclusion of a Conduct and Competence Committee hearing. In agreeing to the order, the Registrant accepts that the allegations setting out the regulatory concerns in his case are made out and that his fitness to practise is currently impaired.

7. Any subsequent application by the Registrant to re-join the register will be treated in the same way as if he had been struck off following a full Conduct and Competence Committee hearing. No application to re-join the register can be made for 5 years.

8.It was submitted that the public is thereby protected. A reasonable and informed member of the public would understand, that by reason of the Registrant accepting the allegations are made out and that his fitness to practise is impaired, that this is a reasonable and proportionate disposal.

Background

9. On 8 September 2017 the HCPC received a referral from the Registrant’s former employer, Scrivens Opticians, (where he was employed from 5 September 2011 to 29 August 2017) citing concerns as to the Registrant’s conduct and competency.

10. Concerns had arisen about the Registrant in relation to poor clinical advice, poor maintenance of clinical records and poor record-keeping. This previous employer explained that the Registrant had resigned and left their employment on 29 August 2017. In light of this, they were unable to proceed with their own disciplinary process. It was clear from the papers placed before the Investigating Committee and available to this Panel that the Registrant had been given a final warning by this previous employer in June 2017.

11. The HCPC conducted its own investigation before placing the matter before the Investigating Committee Panel during the course of 2019. Further information was requested from the Registrant and on 31 January 2020 the allegations were considered and a case to answer against the Registrant was found.

12. The Registrant had written to the HCPC on 9 July 2020 and explained that he was not working, and that he had not done so professionally since 10 December 2019. He stated that he had ceased to practise and finally retired on 9 March 2020.

13. The HCPC contacted the Registrant concerning voluntary removal and he confirmed he wish to explore this.

14. He was provided with details of this process and the information that might be required of him. Initially, the HCPC required more information from the Registrant rather than mere agreement to the proposal. He accepted after a period of reflection that his fitness to practise “is now impaired” and the substance of the allegations were correct.

15. The Panel noted he had given further explanation in this regard, stating he found it difficult to keep up with the technology and changing demands of his role as a registrant. He had stated that in the time leading up to his retirement, he had reflected on his practice and accepted it would have been better if he had asked for help and training. He acknowledged he needed to updated his skills. He explained that he was “genuinely sorry” for letting his clinical skills slip and said that he thought leaving the profession was the best option for him.

Decision

16. The Panel gave consideration to the extensive bundle provided in this matter as well as the supplementary bundle provided today. The Panel was satisfied the information in that supplementary bundle was based on documents provided to the Registrant already. It has given consideration to guidance issued by the HCPC for panels (which is in the public domain, concerning voluntary removal and consensual disposal).

17. The Panel had kept in mind the overarching objective set out in Article 3(4) of the Health Professions Order 2001 at all times.

18. In reaching its decision on whether to agree to the application for voluntary removal, the Panel concluded that the HCPC had set out reasoned and detailed arguments for the Panel to approve the Agreement. The Panel had also considered the representations made by the Registrant to the HCPC about this, and noted the depth of information the Registrant had provided, his reflection, apology and insight as to why his fitness to practise was currently impaired.

19. The Registrant had accepted the allegations as set out by the Investigating Committee. Public protection required action to be taken in respect of these regulatory concerns, and it follows, that an informed and reasonable member of the public would be seriously concerned if action were not taken in respect of the Registrant holding unrestricted registration in the future.

20. The Panel took into account the representations made by the HCPC and the Registrant. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant had retired in March 2020 and he had made it clear that he no longer wished to practise as a Hearing Aid Dispenser in future. He had admitted the allegations and admitted his fitness to practise was currently impaired. It was therefore not necessary for a full hearing of this case to take place. The Panel was satisfied that in light of the insight shown by the Registrant in his reflections, it would be appropriate and proportionate for this case to be concluded on the basis of the proposed Voluntary Removal Agreement. This would ensure that the public was protected and would not be detrimental to the wider public interest.

21. The Panel approved the Voluntary Removal Agreement and ordered the Registrant’s name be removed from the Register.

 

 

 

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Mr Philip J Egan from the Register with immediate effect.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Phillip J Egan

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
15/03/2021 Conduct and Competence Committee Voluntary Removal Agreement Voluntary Removal agreed