Jerry Clarke

Profession: Operating department practitioner

Registration Number: ODP33857

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 28/02/2022 End: 17:00 04/03/2022

Location: Virtual Hearing via Video Conference

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Adjourned

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Allegation

While registered as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP33857) your fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct, in that:

 

1. On 4 January 2016, you carried out the intravenous administration of morphine on Service User A.

 

2. On 6 January 2016, you carried out the intravenous administration of morphine on Service User B.

 

3. In respect of Particulars 1 and 2, you worked outside your scope of practice.

 

4. On 11 January 2016, you delegated the care of Service User C to a student nurse. In that, you allowed a student nurse to:

 

i. set up theatre for an emergency category 1 caesarean section.

 

ii. check controlled drugs.

 

iii. check and sign the difficult incubation trolley.

 

5. On 2 June 2017, your handover of Service User D’s care to Person 19 was inadequate in that:

 

a. you handed over to Person 19 when you knew that Person 19 was a maternity bleep holder and was on call at the time.

 

b. you gave Person 19 incorrect information about the care/treatment that the Service User required.

 

c. your clinical notes lacked sufficient detail.

 

6. In relation to Particular 5, your care and treatment of Service User D was inadequate in that:

 

a. the service user:

 

i. had no warming blanket over them.

 

ii. was left exposed in an undignified manner.

 

b. the flowtrons were not effectively administered.

 

7. On 20 July 2017, you ended your care of Service User E without arranging an adequate handover of them to a colleague.

 

8. On 1 October 2017, you worked an NHSP bank shift after a period of sickness despite being told not to do so by a senior member of staff.

 

9. In relation to Particular 8, you informed Person 2 that you had cancelled the NHSP bank shift when you had already worked it.

 

10. Your conduct in relation to Particular 9 was dishonest.

 

11. On 26 May 2018, your handover of Service User F’s care to Person 15 was inadequate in that:

 

a. you left the care of Service User F in the charge of a maternity bleep holder who was on call at the time.

 

b. you did not brief Person 15 on Service User F’s condition.

 

c. you did not check the controlled drugs before the handover.

 

12. On 26 May 2018, you did not carry out the required daily checks before your handover.

 

13. The matters in Particulars 1 to 12 constitute misconduct/ lack of competence.

 

14. By reason of misconduct/lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters

1. The Panel was convened to undertake the final hearing of the allegations against the Registrant, Mr Jerry Clarke, an Operating Department Practitioner. The hearing was listed for five consecutive days. It was the HCPC’s intention to call nine witnesses to give evidence before the Panel, the last witness being scheduled to give evidence on the fourth of those five days.

Service of the notice of hearing

2. The Panel was satisfied that good service of the notice of hearing was sent to the Registrant, and that accordingly the Panel had jurisdiction to consider the case.

The Registrant’s application for an adjournment

3. At the commencement of the hearing the Registrant applied for it to be adjourned. The basis of the adjournment was that he was unrepresented and unprepared to conduct the hearing. The following facts are relevant to this application:

• A paper copy of the hearing bundle was sent to the Registrant on 16 June 2021. He passed that bundle on to his then union representative who, sadly, died a short while later. The Registrant has sought to reclaim the paper bundle, but has not been successful in doing so.

• The Registrant has disclosed to the Panel steps that he has taken to secure alternative union representation. Only very recently, after inconclusive responses, did he receive a definitive reply, but by that time the five days of the present hearing could not be accommodated by a representative.

• For some considerable time the Registrant has been working long shifts with Covid patients in ICU.

• [redacted]

• The Registrant was unexpectedly required to spend Monday to Friday of last week in Ireland as a result of the death of a very close family member.

The HCPC’s response to the Registrant’s application for an adjournment

4. The Presenting Officer stated that her instructions are that the HCPC’s stance in relation to the Registrant’s application to adjourn was one of neutrality, in other words it neither supported the application nor actively opposed it.

The Panel’s decision on the application to adjourn

5. There is always a reluctance to adjourn a hearing, and in the present case the Panel is particularly mindful of the fact that in the present case a considerable number of witnesses have made themselves available to give evidence during the week. Furthermore, the facts being relied upon by the HCPC extend back over a period in excess of six years. However, this is not a case where the Panel feels that real blame attaches to the Registrant; it is not his fault that his original representative died. He has made efforts for some months to secure alternative representation, and there have been substantial factors in his private life that will have had the consequence that the hearing will not have been of the paramount concern it would have been absent those factors. To add to matters, he does not have access to the hearing bundle of some 284 pages, and so would not be equipped to proceed immediately to deal with the case unrepresented.

6. Taking all these factors into account, the Panel concluded that it could not be said that the Registrant would have a fair hearing were it to proceed. The inevitable consequence of that conclusion is that the hearing must be adjourned.

The need for a Preliminary Meeting

7. In the view of the Panel there are a number of factors that necessitate the holding of a Preliminary Meeting before the re-convened final hearing takes place. They are:

• It will be clearly desirable that the issue of amendments to the allegations should be decided in advance of the final hearing. The HCPC notified the Registrant of an intention to amend the factual particulars by a letter dated 5 May 2021. A further communication was sent indicating further amendments on 25 February 2022 (the last working day before the commencement of this hearing).

• It has already been stated that the present hearing was listed for five days and that the final HCPC witness was scheduled to give evidence on the fourth of those days. That being so, there would have been no realistic prospect of the hearing concluding within the allotted time. A realistic number of days will need to be provided for the hearing, and that is a matter in respect of which the extent of the evidence that the Registrant wishes to call will have a bearing.

• The Registrant has indicated that he wishes to rely upon the evidence of people who have provided him with written accounts that are said to be relevant to the factual particulars. In the view of the Panel it is desirable that he should have the opportunity to request the HCPC by its Solicitors whether any of that evidence can be agreed so that it is not necessary for him to seek the more active participation of the witnesses.

8. The Panel has made directions to deal with these matters. It is also appropriate in view of the fact that the Panel has not commenced the hearing to indicate that neither it, nor the parties, takes the view that the involvement of members of the Panel sitting today should disqualify them from participating in further hearings.

Order

(1) The final hearing of the allegations made against the Registrant are adjourned. The adjourned hearing should not take place until after a Preliminary Meeting is held.

(2) If the Registrant wishes to request that the HCPC considers agreeing evidence he wishes to rely upon, he must disclose the substance of that evidence to the HCPC or its Solicitors within 28 days of today’s date. If any such request is made by the Registrant, the HCPC or its Solicitors must respond to that request within 28 days of the request being made.

(3) A Preliminary Meeting should be held. The Preliminary Meeting should not be held until after 56 days from today’s date. Included in the issues to be decided at the Preliminary Meeting should be the following:

• Amendment of the allegation.

• A realistic hearing estimate.

• Whether any of the evidence the Registrant proposes to rely upon can be agreed by the HCPC.

• What evidence the Registrant will rely upon at the final hearing, and directions in relation to the service of the same.

(4) The members of the Panel sitting today (or any individual member of it) are not disqualified from participation in a further Preliminary Meeting and/or final hearing.

 

Notes

This hearing has adjourned, with no evidence heard. The date for the rescheduled hearing is to be confirmed

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Jerry Clarke

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
28/02/2022 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Adjourned