Andrew S Woodall

: Occupational therapist

: OT33880

: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:10:00 26/10/2016 End: 13:00 26/10/2016

:

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Conditions of Practice

Allegation

(as amended at final hearing)

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 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;
 b) Between 13 July 2010 and 4 May 2011; and/or
 c) After 10 November 2011;
  v. Child 15, 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; and/or
  vi. Child 14, you did not make any entries;
 c) After 23 December 2011;
  vii. In relation to Child 13, you did not make any entries after 16 February 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

Application to hear part of the proceedings in private

1.  At the outset of the hearing, Mr Newman for the Council raised the issue of whether those parts of the proceedings which related to the Registrant’s health should be heard in private in order to protect his private life. The Registrant indicated that he wanted details relating to his health to be heard in private, and also that he wished details relating to a personal bereavement to also be heard in private.

2. In reaching its decision, the Panel considered the HCPC’s Practice Note on Conducting Hearings in Private. It received and accepted advice from the legal assessor. The Panel decided that in order to protect the Registrant’s private life, it would hear details regarding the Registrant’s health issue and about his personal bereavement in private.

Background

3.  In September 2003, the Registrant, Mr Andrew Woodall, was employed as an Occupational Therapist in the Children’s Community Occupational Therapy Department at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Trust Foundation (the Trust). At the relevant time, he was responsible for a mixed caseload of children who had learning and physical impairment, aged between 0 years and 19 years. His main role was to assess the children, determine their physical disabilities and review the equipment and environment.

4.  Between 20 November 2012 and 4 December 2012, the Registrant was absent from work, either on annual leave or on sick leave. During his absence, concerns raised about the state of his case files led to a review of the Registrant’s case files. The matter was referred to the HCPC.
 

5.  In October 2014, a Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee considered an allegation made against the Registrant. The Registrant admitted the majority of the allegations and all those admitted allegations were found proved. The HCPC offered no evidence on the balance of the allegations. The allegations admitted by the Registrant, and found proved, involved a large number of service users and covered a period of many years.   In summary, misconduct was found as follows:

• 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 records 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  communication  information  on  approximately  56 patient cases.

6. The Panel decided that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was, at that time, impaired on grounds of misconduct and imposed a Suspension Order for 12 months.

7.  In October 2015, the Suspension Order was reviewed. That Panel found that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remained impaired and extended the Suspension Order for a further period of 12 months. The Registrant had himself requested such an extension to allow him to continue his personal development and remediation. The reviewing Panel also indicated that this Panel might be assisted by the following:

a.  the Registrant’s attendance at the hearing;

b.  independent evidence of the Registrant’s current health;

c.  evidence of the Registrant’s 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;

f. Evidence  of  the  coping  strategies  he  has  developed  to  deal  with  stressful situations.
 

Decision

8.  In reaching its decision, the Panel has taken account of the HCPC’s Practice Note “Finding that Fitness to Practise is Impaired”. It received and accepted advice from the Legal Assessor.

9.  The Panel noted that the purpose of a review hearing was to assess current fitness to practise.   The Panel heard detailed evidence from the Registrant as to what he had been doing over the past 12 months to address the concerns regarding his fitness to practise.  The Panel also noted a number of documents, provided by the Registrant which confirmed some of the steps he had taken since the last review hearing to remedy his shortcomings.    The Registrant had undertaken some training, continued to work successfully with children and young people with challenging behaviour, had a good reference from his employer and had completed significant personal development.   Overall, the Panel was satisfied that the Registrant had identified and taken substantial steps to address the concerns identified by the original Panel at the final hearing.

10. The Panel noted that the Registrant’s fitness to practise had been impaired for a long period of time and, despite the very considerable remediation that he has achieved, particularly during the last 12 months, it concluded that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remained impaired. The Panel considered that the Registrant’s efforts during the last 12 months showed that he had good insight into his shortcomings and had significantly reduced the risk of any repetition of the sort of conduct that had led to the original finding of impairment. However, whilst the Registrant had been working in a similar environment to that of an Occupational Therapist, it was not a clinical setting in which he would have a greater level of responsibility, where the environment was challenging and he would have a larger case load. The Panel was concerned that the undoubted progress that he had made had not yet been tested in a clinical setting where he would be required to diagnose and treat service users and to have responsibility for the accuracy and timeliness of follow up work and record keeping. The Panel noted that the original concerns were substantially related to poor record keeping but also related to follow up work. The Panel considered that there remained risks to service users if the Registrant were permitted at this time, to return to unrestricted practice.

11. The Panel was satisfied that a finding of impairment was not required on wider public interest grounds where, as here, the Registrant has engaged with his Regulator, and has shown that he has taken substantial and appropriate steps towards remedying the misconduct found.
 
12. The Panel determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remains impaired on personal component grounds only.

13. The Panel then considered what the appropriate and proportionate sanction was in this case. It was referred to and took account of the HCPC Indicative Sanctions Policy.

14. The Panel considered its powers under Article 30 (1) of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001 and the available sanctions in ascending order of seriousness.  It had in mind that the purpose of a sanction was not to punish the Registrant but to protect the public. It decided that to take no action in this case would not be appropriate or proportionate given the misconduct concerned. To take no action would not manage the risks identified in this case and the Panel was satisfied that in order to ensure the public was properly protected, it had to impose a sanction. For the same reason, the Panel took the view that at this time neither mediation nor a Caution Order was appropriate in this case.

15. The Panel took the view that a Conditions of Practice Order was the appropriate sanction in this case. In light of the progress made by the Registrant, his good insight and his available coping strategies, the Panel considered that it was possible to devise conditions of practice which would mitigate the risks identified and which would be appropriate, workable and measurable. The Panel regarded the conditions it was imposing as also supporting the Registrant back into full time Occupational Therapy work.

16. The Panel considered that the Conditions of Practice Order should be for a period of 12 months with immediate effect. This would enable the Registrant the opportunity to update his CPD requirements and return to full time work as an Occupational Therapist.

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to annotate the Register to show that Andrew S Woodall is subject to the following Conditions of Practice for a period of 12 months, with immediate effect.

1. When undertaking work as an Occupational Therapist, you must place yourself and remain under the supervision of a workplace supervisor registered by the HCPC for a period of 6 months starting from the date that you take up a clinical role.  

2. You must supply details of your workplace supervisor to the HCPC within 14 days of taking up a clinical role. You must attend upon that workplace supervisor as required and follow their advice and recommendations.

3. You should submit records of your supervision notes agreed with your workplace supervisor to the HCPC on a monthly basis during the 6 month period of supervision.

4. You must promptly inform the HCPC in writing within 14 days if you take up any employment as an Occupational Therapist.

5. You must promptly inform the HCPC in writing of any disciplinary proceedings taken against you by your employer.

6. You must inform the following parties that your registration is subject to these conditions:

A. any organisation or person employing or contracting with you to undertake professional work as an Occupational Therapist;

B. any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered with (at the time of application); and

C. any prospective employer (at the time of your application).

Notes

The order imposed will apply with immediate effect (from 26 October 2016).


This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 25 October 2017.

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