Mr Gerald J Higgins
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As found proven at the final hearing on 11 May 2012:
Service of Notice
1. The Notice of this hearing was sent to the Registrant by email on 19 October 2022 to his registered email address as it appeared on the HCPC Register. The Notice contained the date and time of today’s hearing. The HCPC has also produced a copy of an email dated 1 November 2022 from the Registrant in which he confirmed that he will not be attending the hearing. The Panel therefore concluded that the Registrant had had sight of the Notice of hearing.
2. The Panel was satisfied that Notice of today’s hearing has been served in accordance with Rule 6(1) of the Health and Care Professions Council (Conduct and Competence Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 (“the Rules”) including the Health and Care Professions Council (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Rules 2021.
Proceeding in the absence of the Registrant
3. Ms Sampson made an application for the hearing to proceed in the absence of the Registrant she reminded the Panel that this was a mandatory review. She made reference to an email from the Registrant dated 1 November 2022 in which the Registrant stated: “I will not be attending the hearing nor taking part electronically and I will not be represented.”
4. The Registrant provided brief written submissions to be taken into consideration by the Panel.
5. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and had regard to the HCPTS Practice Note "Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant".
6. The Panel found that the Registrant's letter dated 1 November 2022 was unequivocal in stating that he was waiving his right to attend the hearing. There was nothing to indicate that an adjournment might secure his attendance. The Panel was satisfied that there was no unfairness to the Registrant if the hearing was to proceed in his absence. It was in the public interest for the mandatory review to be completed expeditiously. In these circumstances, the Panel decided to proceed in the absence of the Registrant.
Application for the hearing to be heard in private.
7. In his written representations contained in his email dated 1 November 2022, the Registrant requested that the entire hearing should be heard in private given his health issues and the potential identification of the children in question. The basis of the application was the same as the application in previous hearings which were held in private. Ms Simpson did not oppose the application.
8. Having heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor, the Panel decided that it was appropriate to hold the entirety of the hearing in private to protect the private life of the Registrant in accordance with the provisions of Rule 10(1)a of the Rules.
The Registrar is directed to extend the Conditions of Practice Order against the registration of Mr Gerald J Higgins for a further period of 36 months on the expiry of the existing order. The conditions are:
1. [redacted] you must not undertake any work which involves being in an environment referred to in the directions.
2. You must inform the following parties that your registration is subject to these conditions: any organisation or person employing or contracting with you to undertake any work as a Biomedical Scientist; any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered with (at the time of application); and any prospective employer (at the time of application).
This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 8 December 2025.
History of Hearings for Mr Gerald J Higgins
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|16/11/2022||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Conditions of Practice|
|11/11/2019||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Conditions of Practice|