Mr Onovughakpor E Oseruvwoja

: Biomedical scientist

: BS62305

: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:10:00 24/02/2017 End: 13:00 24/02/2017

: Health and Care Professions Council, 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Suspended

Allegation

Allegation (as proved at Final Hearing):
During the course of your employment as a Biomedical Scientist with W arrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, between June 2009 and January 2012, you:

1. Did not demonstrate required competency level on:

a. Bl ood Culture bench;

b. W o u n d bench;

c. Sputum bench;

d. Faeces bench;

e. Urine bench;

f. Virology bench;

g . P l ate reading bench

h. G r a m stains;

i. Specimen processing;

2.  Did not demonstrate appropriate time management skills;

3.  Did not prioritise tasks appropriately;

4.  Did not demonstrate an appropriate awareness of Health and Safety issues;

5.  The matters outlined in paragraphs 1 – 4 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence; and

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

Finding

Preliminary Matters

1. This is a mandatory review of a Suspension Order that was imposed on 17 October 2013, following an 8 day final hearing, under Article 30(1) of the Health & Social Work Professions Order 2001, for a period of 12 months. There was a mandatory review on the 16 February 2016, at which the Review Panel extended the existing Suspension Order for a further 12 month period.

2. The Panel is satisfied that a letter notifying the Registrant of the hearing was sent, on the 25 January 2017, to his HCPC registered address and that this amounts to good service.  

3. At the outset of the hearing, the Registrant Member, Mr Agrawal confirmed that he had been a Panel member on the first substantive review hearing. Having received legal advice, it was confirmed that there was no reason why he could not be a Panel member on today’s hearing.   

4. The Registrant has not attended at the hearing today.  The Panel first considered whether to proceed in the absence of the Registrant and decided not do so having regard to the Legal Assessor’s advice and the Practice Note on Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant.

5. The Panel made this decision without knowing what the HCPC’s position was on whether this case could be re-listed prior to the expiry of the Suspension Order on the 25 March 2017. The legal advice was that the decision should be made in light of the fullest information available including re-listing details. However, the Panel concluded that the administrative ability of the HCPC to re-list this case was of secondary significance, and the primary focus should be on ensuring fairness to the Registrant, having performed the balancing act, between individual fairness and the wider public interest, as set out in the HCPC Practice Note.

6. The Panel reached this conclusion for the following reasons:  

(a) The Registrant attended the Final Hearing and the previous mandatory  Review Hearing. There is therefore evidence of prior engagement in the  fitness to practice process.

(b) The Panel has seen an email from the Registrant dated the 25 January  2017, in which he confirms that he is unable to attend today’s hearing, due  to his present work commitments as a cleaner/domestic staff. He is  currently on probation and works Tuesday to Saturday. The Panel  recognises that the Registrant may have faced financial /employment  difficulties in attending today, given his current employment and the fact he  is still in his probation period.  

(c) The Registrant requested, in his email, whether the hearing could be  rescheduled for a Monday, which is his usual day off work. The Registrant’s  email is, in effect, therefore an application to adjourn today’s hearing,  although the Registrant has sent in some documents, presumably on the  basis that the case may proceed today in his absence. 

(d) In the circumstances, the Panel could not say that the Registrant has  deliberately and voluntarily absented himself from the proceedings, in the  knowledge that these matters were ongoing.

(e) The Panel further concluded that if the hearing today was adjourned, and  re-listed on a Monday, given his previous request and his history of prior  engagement, it is likely that he will attend to give evidence and to make  submissions. 

(f) The Panel is very conscious that the consequences, or potential  consequences of proceeding in the absence of the Registrant are very significant. Ms Horren on behalf of the HCPC confirmed that she would be  inviting the Panel to consider a Striking Off order. The ramifications for the  Registrant of making such an order are clearly very serious. The Panel  concluded that to proceed in his absence, in these circumstances, when he  has requested that the case be listed to allow his attendance, would not  strike a fair and proper balance between the interests of the Registrant and  the wider public interest.

(g) The Panel is aware that this is a mandatory review and that that the  Suspension Order will need to be reviewed before the 25 March 2017, or shortly thereafter ( see below). The likely length of the adjournment is  therefore quite short. The Panel noted that this might cause administrative difficulties with regard to re-listing, but nonetheless concluded this was the  appropriate course of action. In this instance, fairness to the Registrant  outweighs any re-listing difficulties the short notice causes.  

(h) The Registrant remains suspended and the wider public interest is  protected, as the Registrant is unable to practice throughout the short  adjournment period.   

Decision

7. The Panel therefore adjourns this review hearing and directs that the case be re-listed on a Monday.

8. The HCPC requested an extension to the existing Suspension Order for a further period of 3 months. The rationale for this was to ensure that the case could be re-listed on a Monday and to accommodate any administrative difficulties this causes.

9. The Panel has the power pursuant to Article 30(1) of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001, to (a) with effect from the date on which the order would, but for this provision, have expired, extend, or further extend the period which the order has effect, and (b) with effect from the expiry of the order, make an order which it could have made at the time it made the order being reviewed.  

10. The Panel agreed to the application, and hence extends the Suspension Order until the 25 June 2017. This is to provide fairness to both the HCPC and to accommodate the Registrant’s desire for the case to be listed on a Monday. The Panel wishes to emphasise that it has not made any substantive decision in this case. The decision to extend the Suspension Order is purely administrative in order to facilitate the re-listing of the mandatory review on a Monday. The Panel expresses the view that it is to be hoped that the review can be re-listed before its current expiry date on the 25 March 2017, if that is not possible it must be rescheduled as soon as possible thereafter.        

Order

The Registrar is directed to suspend the registration of Onovughakpor E Oseruvwoja for a further period of 3 months on the expiry of the existing order.

Notes

The order will be reviewed before its expiry.

 

 

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Mr Onovughakpor E Oseruvwoja

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
03/04/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Struck off
24/02/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended