Dr William Bratby
1. This review hearing concerns matters relating to the health of the Registrant and was accordingly conducted entirely in private to protect the private life of the Registrant in accordance with rule 10 of The Health and Care Professions Council (Health Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003.
2. The HCPC sent the Notice of Hearing dated 4 June 2015 to the Registrant’s address as it appears on the HCPC Register.
3. The HCPC invited the Panel to proceed in the Registrant’s absence on the ground that the Registrant has been notified of the Hearing and has voluntarily chosen not to attend. The HCPC has not received any communication from him since 17 November 2014.
4. The Legal Assessor advised the Panel that under rule 11 of The Health and Care Professions Council (Health Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 the Panel may proceed in the Registrant’s absence if he has voluntarily failed to attend the hearing.
5. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant has been served with the Notice of Hearing in accordance with the above Rules. The Panel are also satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to notify the Registrant of today’s hearing.
6. The Panel noted that in exercising its discretion to proceed in absence it had to conduct a balancing exercise having regard to all the circumstances. Further the Registrant has not sought an adjournment nor has he engaged with the process since his email in November 2014. In these circumstances it is difficult to envisage how an adjournment today would make any difference to the Registrant’s non-engagement. The Panel was satisfied that it was in the public interest that the hearing proceeds today. Further it took into account that this is a mandatory review and the current order expires on 7 August 2015. In those circumstances the Panel decided that it was in the public interest to proceed and that a fair hearing can take place in the Registrant’s absence.
7. At the time of these matters, the Registrant was employed by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) as a Clinical Psychologist. In 2012, the Trust investigated concerns relating to his record keeping. The Registrant admitted that he had failed to keep accurate and timely records over a two-year period. However the Registrant was suffering from health problems and therefore this case was referred to the HCPC Health Committee.
8. Dr G confirmed the diagnosis of the Registrant in a report dated 24 July 2013.
9. Taking the above into account, the original Panel found the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired by reason of his health. Dr G concluded that the Registrant’s condition affected his ability to practise, his organisational skills were affected by his condition and he was unable to practise safely without “a good deal of added support”.
10. Dr G was of the view that, given the extra support provided by the Trust, things appeared to be going well for the Registrant. Nevertheless it was too soon to conclude that all was well. He further recommended that the Registrant’s heath should be reviewed after 12 months.
11. The Registrant was not working at the time of the final hearing due to his health problems, and did not attend the hearing in January 2014. He sent an email to the HCPC dated 17 November 2014 stating that he wishes to return to practise but is “not yet at the stage of resuming work”. The HCPC submits today that a further order is required because no evidence has been supplied to show that the Registrant has remedied his failings, as identified by the previous Panel, or that he has complied with the conditions of practise.
12. Article 30(1) of the 2001 Order provides that before the expiry of the current order it shall be reviewed. The Panel today may with effect from the date on which the order expires, extend the period for which the order has effect, or make an order which could have made at the time the order being reviewed was made or revoke the existing order. The Panel has carefully considered the HCPC Indicative Sanctions Policy (the Policy) which states that the Panel must have regard to the principle of proportionality.
13. The Panel finds that the Registrant has not provided the information which the original Panel stated may have assisted the Panel today or indeed, any recent information. In the absence of any new information to the contrary, the Panel is satisfied that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remains impaired by reason of his health and therefore the risk to the public remains. Further conditions of practice are not appropriate because the existing conditions 1 and 6 have not been complied with and the Registrant has not engaged with the HCPC since November 2014.
14. The Panel is concerned that the breaches of the existing order were not followed up by the HCPC in November 2014 when the Registrant failed to provide an explanation for his apparent non-compliance with the order. The HCPC should have investigated the matter and if necessary instigated an early review of the Order, in order to protect the public. The Panel has concluded that it is necessary to impose a suspension order today for 9 months, in order to protect the public. No other sanction would be adequate to do so. This sanction is proportionate because the Registrant has not complied with the existing conditions of practice or engaged with the HCPC process. If there were good reasons for the apparent breach it is open to Dr Bratby to ask for an earlier review of this Order, under Article 30(2).
The Substantive Review hearing took place at the HCPC, London on Tuesday 7 July 2015.
History of Hearings for Dr William Bratby
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|05/12/2017||Health Committee||Review Hearing||Conditions of Practice|
|09/06/2017||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Suspended|
|07/06/2016||Health Committee||Review Hearing||Suspended|
|10/03/2016||Health Committee||Review Hearing||Suspended|
|07/07/2015||Health Committee||Review Hearing||Suspended|
|10/01/2014||Health Committee||Final Hearing||Conditions of Practice|