Andrew S Woodall

: Occupational therapist

: OT33880

: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:12:30 23/10/2015 End: 14:00 23/10/2015

: Health and Care Professions Council, Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BU

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Suspended

Allegation

(as found at the final hearing on 28 - 29 October 2014)

During your employment as an Occupational Therapist for Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust between September 2003 and May 2013, you:

1. Failed to maintain adequate records in that:
a) You did not make entries on the clinical case notes for significant periods of times in that in relation to:

i. Child 19, you did not make any entries after 20 June 2007;
ii. Child 16, you did not make any entries after 27 July 2007;
iii. Child 17 you did not make any entries between 12 September 2009 and 11 September 2012;
iv. Child 23, you did not make any entries;
  a) not proved 

 
  b) not proved

  and/or
  c) after 10 November 2011;
v. Child15, you did not make any entries between;
  a) 24 April 2010 and 22 December 2010;

  and/or
  b) between 24 December 2010 and 9 October

  2012;
vi. Child 14, you did not make any entries;
  a) between 12 June 2010 and 26 January

  2011 ; and/or
  b) between 10 February 2011 and 30

  November 2011; and/or
  c) after 23 December 2011;
vii. not proved
viii. Child 20, you did not make any entries after 3 December 2009;
ix. Child 3, you did not make any entries after 29 June 2006;
x. Child 4, you did not make any entries after 10 September 2007
xi. Child 9, you did not make any entries after 18 February 2009;
  b) You did not record visits that you had

  undertaken in relation to the following cases:
xii. Child 12 ;
xiii. Child 11 ;
xiv. Child 14 ;
xv. Child 13 .
c) Your notes for the following cases contained incomplete entries:
i. Child 22
ii. Child 10
iii. Child 21

2. Did not undertake and/or record visits in relation to the following cases:
a. Child 8 ;
b. Child 7 ;
c. Child 6 ;
d. Child 5 .

3. Did not complete statement reports in relation to the following cases:
a. Child 18 due on or around 11 October 2012;
b. Child 15 due on or around 10 April 2012.

4. Failed to complete requested and/or required actions in that:
a. In relation to Child 1 :
i. Between on or around 24 March 2011 and September 2012, you did not arrange for an improved head support to be provided for her class chair;
ii. Between on or around November 2011 and September 2012 did not complete a sling assessment.
b. In relation to Child 2, you did not provide the school and/or Child 2’s parents with any exercise programmes following your assessment of the child in around June or July 2012.

5. Failed to discharge service users in the following cases:
a. Child 3
b. Child 4
c. Child 9
d. Child 19

6. Stored confidential information in an inappropriate manner in that you had approximately 56 patient case files at home.

7. The matters described in paragraphs 1 –5 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

8. The matters described in paragraph 6 constitute misconduct.

9. By reason of that misconduct and/or lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters

1. Mr Eric Chan on behalf of the Council referred the Panel to the previous Panel’s written determination of 28 October 2014 and drew the Panel’s attention to the findings of that Panel, the resulting finding of impairment and that Panel’s reasoning for the imposition of a Suspension order for 12 months.

2. The proven misconduct occurred over the period June 2007 to October 2012 whilst the Registrant was employed as an Occupational Therapist (OT) at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust). The Registrant had been responsible for a mixed caseload of children and young persons aged between 0 and 19 with learning and physical impairment, his main role having been to assess these children’s physical abilities and review their equipment and environment. Concerns in late 2012 had led the Trust to a review of his case files. The matter was referred to the HCPC and the Registrant had admitted the majority of the allegations and all those admitted allegations had been found proved. The HCPC offered no evidence on the other allegations. The proven allegations were wide-ranging and involved a large number of service users over a period of many years. They involved :

• the failure to maintain adequate records of 14 service users;
• the failure to undertake and/or record visits to four service users;
• the failure to complete statement reports for two service users;
• the failure to complete requested and/or required actions for two service users;
• the failure to discharge four service users; and
• inappropriately stored confidential information on approximately 56 patient cases.

3. Mr Chan submitted that it was a matter for the Panel to consider whether the evidence submitted by the Registrant, together with the Registrant’s submissions, demonstrated that the Registrant’s knowledge and skills were now sufficient so that he could practise without further restriction. He referred the Panel to the previous determination in which the previous Panel had stated that it considered the Registrant’s deficiencies were capable of remediation.


4. The Registrant gave evidence and told the Panel that he had been devastated by the fact that he had let down both his service users, the profession and himself. It had seriously affected his self-confidence and self-esteem to the extent that he has only started addressing his deficiencies in the last four weeks. He assured the Panel that he is determined to remediate those deficiencies and would like the suspension to be extended so that he can undertake and complete that remediation which he considers is really starting today with his attendance today before the Panel. He described his outline plan to achieve his remediation from the foundation up and believes it will take a year to deliver this. He is investigating appropriate courses on time management and record-keeping, and is seeking the help of the College of Occupational Therapists to identify such courses, CPD activities and a return to work course. He told the Panel that he is presently working full-time as a support worker for children and young people with additional needs and/or disabilities, and described his responsibilities in that role. He provided a written reference from his present service manager.


Decision


5. The Panel carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel took account of the Registrant’s progress on remediation and his plan for tackling the issues raised by his misconduct that, in his opinion, remained outstanding. The Panel noted the Registrant’s submission that his fitness to practise remains impaired and that he sought an extension of a further 12 months of his Suspension Order so that he can address these “outstanding issues”. However, the Panel reminded itself that the issue of whether or not the Registrant’s fitness to practise was currently impaired and, if so, what, if any, sanction was appropriate, was a matter for it, and it alone, to determine.


6. The Panel accepted the Registrant’s opinion that he is not at this time ready to return to practice. It notes his positive, but as yet early, efforts to address his misconduct and his assertion that he will require 12 months in which to complete his remediation and be ready to present the bundle of evidence that he considers to be necessary. The Panel considered that the Registrant was a convincing and open witness who demonstrates emerging insight and understanding through acceptance of responsibility for his actions. He remains determined to return to practise one day. Accordingly, the Panel has determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practise currently remains impaired.


7. The Panel next considered what, if any, sanction was appropriate and proportionate in this case.

8. No further action or the imposition of a Caution Order would fail to promote adequate protection of service users and would not address the wider public interest of maintaining public confidence in the profession. Both of these options were therefore rejected.


9. The Panel considered the imposition of a Conditions of Practice Order, but decided that it could not formulate workable and measurable conditions that could sufficiently address the Registrant’s failings. The Panel, therefore, also rejected a Conditions of Practice Order as being sufficient and proportionate.


10. The Panel moved on to consider extending the present Suspension Order. The Panel determined that it would be sufficient and proportionate to extend the present Suspension Order for 12 months in order to protect service users and the wider public interest. The Panel agrees with the Registrant that this period is likely to be the minimum necessary to allow the Registrant to gather and present evidence to the next review Panel that he has adequately remediated the identified deficiencies.


11. The Panel reviewing this order may be assisted by the following:
a. the Registrant’s attendance at the hearing;
b.  independent evidence of his current health;
c. evidence of his adherence to HCPC CPD standards;
d. references from any paid or voluntary employment addressing issues of case management and record-keeping;
e. evidence of any training the Registrant has undertaken to address the misconduct identified; and
f. evidence of the coping strategies he has developed to deal with stressful situations. 

 
12. This Panel takes this opportunity to remind the Registrant that it is his responsibility to be ready for the next review hearing and that, should the Registrant consider himself ready sooner, then he can request an early review.


 

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to suspend the registration of Mr Andrew S Woodall for a further period of 12 months on the expiry of the existing order.

Notes

The order imposed today will apply from 26 November 2015. This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on date 26 November 2016.

This hearing was held on 23 October 2015 at Park House, Kennington, London.

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Andrew S Woodall

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
17/01/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
29/09/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
26/10/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
23/10/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
28/10/2014 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended