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Allegation (facts found proved at the final hearing)
During the course of your employment as a Hearing Aid Dispenser with Amplifon between 12 November 2012 and 14 October 2014, you:
Were not registered with the HCPC whilst practising as a Hearing Aid Dispenser between 20 August 2013 and 01 June 2014.
2. Regarding your assessment of Client A for a hearing aid on 20 August 2014 you:
a) did not fully complete Client A's paper record card;
b) did not undertake and/or record the Bone Conduction readings on:
i) the GOAL audiogram; and/or
ii) onto the paper record card;
3. Regarding your assessment of Client B for a hearing aid on 15 September 2014 you:
a) Duplicated a previous Bone Conduction and Uncomfortable Loudness Level readings onto Client B's GOAL audiogram;
b) recorded the Uncomfortable Loudness Levels at greater than the acceptable level to record, namely above 110 dB HL;
c) did not apply and/or record that you had applied the Rule 2 and/or Rule 3 masking;
d) did not produce and/or complete a confidential paper record card.
4. Regarding your prescription of a replacement hearing aid for Client C in approximately July 2014 you:
a) did not re-test and/or record a re-test of Client C's hearing for the replacement aid, and/or programmed the hearing aid using the out of date audiometric readings;
b) did not produce and/or complete a new confidential paper record card;
c) did not record a detailed account of the appointments that took place on 30 July 2014 and/or 15 September on the GOAL recording system;
d) did not create a GOAL record of the fitting appointment that took place on 28 August 2014
5. Regarding your assessment of Client D for a hearing aid on or around 17 September 2014 you:
a) did not perform an Audiometry test;
b) duplicated the audiogram from April 2014;
6. Regarding your assessment of Client E for a hearing aid on 27 August 2014 you:
a) duplicated Bone Conduction results onto Client E's GOAL audiogram;
b) did not apply and/or record that you had applied the Rule 2 and/or Rule 3 masking;
c) did not carry out and/or record a NOAH session and/or configuration when fitting the hearing aid on 18 September 2014;
d) did not produce and/or complete a paper record card.
7. Regarding your assessment of Client F for a hearing aid on or around 14 August 2014 you:
a) did not record Bone Conduction readings:
i) on the GOAL audiogram; and/or
ii) onto the paper record card.
b) did not record the bilateral fitting that took place on 21 August 2014 onto GOAL recording system, and/or did not record any details about this bilateral fitting onto GOAL;
c) upon receipt of medical information provided by Client F, did not refer Client F to a medical practitioners as required;
d) did not ensure that Client F signed a disclaimer confirming the client's wish not to be referred to a medical practitioner.
8. Regarding your assessment of Client G for a hearing aid on or around 5 August 2014 you:
a) did not record your assessment of Client G onto GOAL recording system and/or onto a paper record card;
b) did not record the reason why you did not test Bone Conduction on GOAL recording system, and/or did not take Bone Conduction readings;
c) did not carry out a NOAH session or configuration when fitting the hearing aid on 28 August 2014;
d) did not complete and/or produce a confidential paper record card for the assessment appointment on 5 August 2014.
9. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 - 8 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.
10. By reason of your misconduct and/or lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.
At the hearing, the Panel found that all facts were proved, and that, save for Particular 1, these amounted to misconduct, and that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired.
1. A letter notifying the Registrant of a hearing to review the existing order was sent to her registered address on 23 August 2021. The letter contained the matters required by the rules. However, the Registrant then indicated by email dated 9 September 2021 that she wished to apply for voluntary removal from the Register.
2. A voluntary agreement was then drafted and signed by the Registrant and the HCPC.
3. By email dated 16 September 2021 the HCPC gave notice to the Registrant that today’s Hearing would now be for the Panel to consider the Voluntary Removal application.
4. The Panel is satisfied from the documentation that the Registrant has been served with Notice of the nature of today’s Hearing that it will be in regard to the Registrant’s voluntary removal application.
Proceeding in Absence
5. There has been no response from the Registrant to the Notice dated 16 September 2021 but she has signed and returned the voluntary removal agreement dated 15 September 2021. She has not requested an adjournment and there is nothing to indicate that she would attend if the matter were to be adjourned. The nature of this application is such that it is in the Registrant’s interest that the matter should proceed today as it is her wish that her name be removed from the Register. The Panel is satisfied that no injustice would occur to the Registrant if it were to proceed in her absence. It has therefore determined to proceed in the absence of the Registrant.
Hearing in Private
6. Mr D’Alton indicated that there may be references to the Registrant’s health in the course of today’s Hearing and that such matters should be heard in private. The Panel was satisfied that such matters should be heard in private.
7. The Registrant was employed at Amplifon between 12 November 2012 and 14 October 2014.
8. In September 2013 the Registrant failed a standard audit conducted in line with Amplifon’s policy. The Registrant failed this audit and was provided with additional training. The Registrant also failed a second follow up audit in September 2014. Subsequently the matter was referred to the HCPC.
9. At the substantive hearing on the 25 September 2017 the Registrant’s fitness to practice was found to be impaired by reason of her misconduct. In regard to sanction the panel imposed a Suspension Order for a period of 12 months.
10. At the first review on 20 September 2018 a panel found that the Registrant had developed some insight and had taken some remedial steps. It therefore substituted for her Suspension Order a Conditions of Practice Order for 18 months. At a further review on 16 April 2020 the Panel determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remained impaired, as she had been unable to comply with the Conditions of Practice Order. The panel therefore extended the Conditions of Practice Order for a further 18 months.
11. The Order was scheduled for a further review today, 17 September 2021, but the Registrant has informed the HCPC that she has no wish to return to practise. She has expressed the wish for her name to be removed from the Register. Mr D’Alton supported the application. He submitted that the agreement would adequately safeguard service users and also address public interest concerns.
12. In reaching its decision, the Panel has considered all the information before it. In particular the Voluntary Removal Agreement. It has considered the submissions made by Mr D’Alton, the observations made by the Registrant in recent correspondence and has had in mind the Council’s guidance ‘Disposal of Cases by Consent’. It has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.
13. The Panel is aware that it must consider the public interest. This includes not only the protection of service users, but also the maintenance of public confidence in the profession and in the Council as Regulator and the declaring and the upholding of proper standards of conduct and of behaviour. Also it must consider the Registrant’s interests.
14. Voluntary Removal results in immediate protection of the public. The agreement prevents an application for restoration to the Register until five years have elapsed. At any restoration application, the events giving rise to the matters found proved at the substantive hearing would be considered. Furthermore there has been proper scrutiny by the Conduct and Competence Committee of the Registrant’s conduct and her fitness to practise was found to be impaired. That and the sanctions imposed should assure the public and the profession of the serious view taken by the Conduct and Competence Committee.
15. In all the circumstances, the Panel has concluded that it is in the public interest and also in the Registrant’s interest that the current Conditions of Practice Order should now be revoked.
16. The Panel therefore orders that the current Conditions of Practice Order be now revoked and that the Registrant’s name be voluntarily removed from the Register as of today.
ORDER: The Panel approves the voluntary removal agreement signed by the HCPC and by the Registrant and agrees to her removal from the Register with immediate effect.
A Hearing was heard via video-link on 17 September 2021, and voluntary removal agreed.
History of Hearings for Suzanne Boyce
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|17/09/2021||Conduct and Competence Committee||Voluntary Removal Agreement||Voluntary Removal agreed|
|16/04/2020||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Conditions of Practice|
|25/09/2017||Conduct and Competence Committee||Final Hearing||Suspended|