Mr Jonathan Ryder
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Allegations as proven at final hearing:
By reason of your physical and/or mental health, your fitness to practise is impaired as set out in Schedule A.
1. The Panel was satisfied that notice of the review hearing was sent to the Registrant by an emailed letter dated 29 October 2021. The HCPC Certificate of Registration confirmed the Registrant’s email address registered with the HCPC to which the Notice was sent. The Panel had sight of confirmation of email delivery dated 29 October 2021.
2. The Notice specified the hearing date. It advised that the hearing would be held remotely and offered assistance in arranging a remote connection.
3. The Panel was satisfied that there had been proper service of the Notice of Hearing in compliance with Rule 13 of the (Health Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 (“the Rules”) and the (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Rules 2021.
Application to proceed in the absence of the Registrant
4. Mr Watkins for the HCPC confirmed that the HCPC has received no response from the Registrant to the Notice of Hearing. He explained that an email was also sent to the Registrant on 15 November 2021 regarding the review hearing. There was no response. On 25 November 2021 two telephone calls were made to the telephone number held for the Registrant, but with no answer. A voicemail message was left asking the Registrant to call back, again with no response. The Registrant has not engaged with the HCPC since before the hearing of December 2020. Mr Watkins submitted that it was in the public interest and the interests of the Registrant for this mandatory review hearing to proceed today.
5. The Panel considered the submissions on behalf of the HCPC and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel was referred to the HCPTS Practice Note of September 2018, Proceeding in Absence, which sets out relevant guidance from the cases of R v Jones (Anthony)  1 AC 1HL and GMC v Adeogba and GMC v Visvardis  EWCA Civ 162. The Panel was careful to remember that its discretion to proceed in absence is not unfettered and must be exercised with the utmost caution and with the fairness of the hearing at the forefront of its mind.
6. The Panel noted that the Registrant was given the required notice of today’s hearing date of 29 October 2021. He was informed of the powers available to the Panel at this hearing. He was informed of his right to attend the hearing and be represented. Other efforts had been made to contact him by email and telephone. In the circumstances, the Panel was satisfied that all reasonable efforts have been made by the HCPC to inform the Registrant of this hearing.
7. The Panel noted that the Registrant has not communicated with the HCPC in response to the notice of hearing. He has not sought an adjournment of this hearing on any ground. The Panel noted that the Registrant absented himself and did not participate in the substantive hearing of his case on 1-3 December 2020. His lack of communication for this hearing continues that pattern of non-engagement.
8. The Panel concluded that there could be some disadvantage to the Registrant if the matter proceeds in his absence, but was satisfied this could be mitigated within the process. The Panel was also mindful that this was a consequence of the Registrant’s own failure to engage.
9. The Panel concluded that the Registrant has voluntarily absented himself from this hearing and has waived his right to attend or be represented. There is no indication that the Registrant would attend on a future date if today’s hearing were adjourned. The current Suspension Order must be reviewed before it expires on 31 December 2021. The Panel was satisfied that it is in the public interest and the interest of the Registrant that the review hearing should proceed today.
10. Mr Watkins applied for this health matter to be heard entirely in private. The Panel sought advice from the Legal Assessor and was referred to Rule 11 of the Rules. The Panel was satisfied that this hearing related to health issues and that it was appropriate that the entirety of the case was held in private to protect the Registrant’s privacy.
11. As such, this is the redacted version of the decision.
The Registrar is directed to suspend the registration of Jonathan Ryder for a further period of 12 months.
The Order imposed today will apply from 31 December 2021.
This Order will be reviewed again before its expiry.
Right of Appeal
You may appeal to the High Court in England and Wales against the Panel’s decision and the order it has made against you.
Under Articles 30(10) and 38 of the Health Professions Order 2001, any appeal must be made to the court not more than 28 days after the date when this notice is served on you.