Mr Peter Read

: Paramedic

: PA00295

: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:10:00 26/05/2017 End: 12:30 26/05/2017

: Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS), 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Struck off

Allegation

Allegation (as found proved):
During the course of your employment as a Paramedic employed by North East Ambulance Service, between 6 October 2012 and 10 April 2013, you:

1. Did not complete or contribute to a Patient Report Form or Electronic Patient Care Record showing your assessment and/or treatment of patients in the following cases:

a) case 3361043
b) case 3371481
c) case 3464486
d) case 3360797
e) case 3439047
f) not proved
g) case 3507401
h) case 3360860
i) case 3331749
j) not proved

2. Did not carry out initial assessments and/or observations and/or administer treatments in the following cases:

a) not proved
b) not proved
c) case 3328613
d) not proved
e) case 3371213
f) case 3399106
g) not proved
h) case 3399709

3. Did not carry out a FAST test in relation to patient for case 3507225

4. Did not take a pain score in relation to the patient for case 3444422 after administration of Entonox.

5. The matters described in paragraphs 1 - 4 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

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

Finding

Preliminary Matters:


Service


1. The Panel has sight of the notice of hearing which was sent to the Registrant’s registered address on 25 April 2017 and determines that service has been complied with in accordance with the requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council Rules 2003 (“the Rules”).


Proceeding in absence


2. Ms Stark urged the Panel to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. She submitted that to do so is in the public interest as the current order expires on 26 June 2017.


3. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor, who took the Panel to  Rule 11, the HCPTS Practice Note on Proceeding in Absence, and to the guidance given in the cases of R v Jones (2003) 1 AC 1, Tait v The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons [2003] UKPC 34 and GMC v Adeogba [2016 EWCA Civ 162].


4. The Panel took into account the contents of a telephone note of a conversation between Ms Stark on behalf of the HCPC and the Registrant, dated 25 May 2017, which stated as follows:


“I called the Registrant to find out if he is attending the hearing tomorrow
He told me he is not
I asked him if he was planning to send any written submissions or supporting documentation for the Panel to consider
He said he is not

I asked him if he would be able to send a quick email to confirm his non-attendance in writing as it would be helpful for the Panel to see
He refused and said he would not “waste his time”
I asked the Registrant if he is currently practising
He said “something has come up” and then he terminated the call”


5. The Panel is satisfied that the Registrant has been served with notice of today’s hearing and concluded, from the content of the telephone note of 25 May 2017, that he has voluntarily absented himself from today’s hearing. The Registrant has not requested an adjournment and the Panel has concluded that nothing would be achieved from an adjournment. This is a mandatory review and an expeditious disposal of this hearing is in the public interest.


Background:


6.  At the relevant time Mr Read was employed by the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) as a Paramedic working in the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) as a solo responder on a Rapid Response Vehicle. In April 2013 Mr Read was removed from clinical leadership following a Root Cause Analysis into a complaint received by NEAS in December 2012. It was alleged that Mr Read had been the first to arrive at an incident and that he had not completed either a paper or electronic patient record.


7.  As a result of this complaint an audit was conducted into incidents that Mr Read had attended, which led to the bringing of the current allegation. The Conduct and Competence Committee found Particulars 1a; 1b; 1c; 1d; 1e; 1g; 1h; 1i; 2c; 2e; 2f; 2h; 3 & 4 of the Allegation proved, finding that in the course of his employment between 6 October 2012 and 10 April 2013 the Registrant:
• on eight occasions (Particulars 1a; 1b; 1c; 1d; 1e; 1g; 1h; 1i;) did not complete or contribute to a Patient Record Report Form or Electronic Patient Care Record showing his assessment and/or treatment of patients;
• on four occasions (Particular 2c; 2e; 2f; 2h) did not carry out initial assessments and/or observations and/or administer treatments;
• on one occasion (Particular 3) did not carry out a FAST test in relation to the patient;
• on one occasion (Particular 4) did not take a pain score in relation to the patient after administration of Entonox.


8. In considering the issue of misconduct the Conduct and Competence Committee concluded that Particulars 1(a), 1(b), 1(h),1(i), 2(h), 3 and 4 amounted to misconduct.


9. At the impairment stage the Conduct and Competence Committee was informed that the Registrant had been made the subject of an HCPC Caution Order for three years, commencing in April 2011, due to the bringing of an allegation that resulted from failure to maintain an adequate record and failure to assess and treat in 2009.


10. The Conduct and Competence Committee concluded that the Registrant was impaired. It noted that the misconduct had occurred during the operative period of the April 2011 Caution Order, and concluded that there was a risk of repetition. The Committee said:


“The Panel considers that Mr Read does have some insight and understands the importance of record keeping and proper assessment. However, it is concerned that in his oral evidence he seemed to focus more on the effect on him of his failings, namely being before a panel again, rather than the potential effect on the public. The keeping of proper records and the carrying out of initial assessment, observation and treatment are fundamental tenets of the paramedic profession and Mr Read has breached these. Accordingly, the Panel has concluded that public confidence in the profession would be undermined if a finding of impairment were not made”.


11. In considering sanction the Conduct and Competence Committee identified the following aggravating factors:


• Previous finding of impairment for similar matters
• Misconduct committed whilst subject to a caution order


and the following mitigating factors:


• Some admissions made
• No actual patient harm
• Cooperation with NEAS and HCPC processes
• Some insight and remorse


12. The Conduct and Competence Committee concluded that the appropriate and proportionate sanction was a Conditions of Practice Order for a period of 2 years as follows:


1. Each time you obtain new employment as a paramedic, before commencing paramedic duties you must undertake training provided by your employer covering record keeping policy, procedure and the IT systems used to record patient contacts.


2. You must obtain evidence that you have satisfactorily completed the training referred to in condition 1 and forward this to the HCPC within 14 days of completing the training


3. Within 3 months of commencing paramedic duties which involve patient contacts and every 3 months thereafter you must arrange for at least 20 of your patient contacts selected at random to be audited by another registered paramedic working at band 6 or above (or equivalent) to ensure they comply with the relevant policy and procedures

4. You must obtain from the paramedic referred to in condition 3 written confirmation that your records of patient contacts are satisfactory and forward this or a statement to the effect that you have no patient contacts to the HCPC within 14 days of each audit.


13. Ms Stark submitted that the Registrant remains impaired and that a Conditions of Practice Order is no longer appropriate as the Registrant has not submitted any evidence that he has been complying with the current Conditions of Practice Order. Further, the Registrant has disengaged from his regulator since the Conditions of Practice Order was imposed.


Decision


14. The Panel has comprehensively reviewed the determination of the final hearing and the telephone attendance note dated 25 May 2017. It was provided with no further documentation, the advice of the Legal Assessor.

15. The Panel first considered whether the Registrant remains impaired. The Panel took into account the details of the misconduct, together with the fact that it had taken place during the operative period of a Caution Order that had been imposed at an earlier date for similar matters. The Panel has not been provided with any evidence of remediation or compliance with the current Conditions of Practice Order, despite the fact that the Registrant has had ample opportunity to provide this. The Registrant has not demonstrated insight and has not engaged with his regulator. He declined the opportunity to attend today’s hearing saying that he would not “waste his time”, as confirmed in the telephone attendance note. The Panel has not been provided with evidence regarding the Registrant’s employment status, and whether he is currently practising. The Panel also noted that the allegation related to multiple patients over a period of time and not an isolated incident.


16. In these circumstances the Panel finds that the registrant poses a risk to patients as there remains a likelihood that he would repeat his misconduct if permitted to practise as a Paramedic unrestricted. In order to uphold standards of professionalism and public confidence in the profession the Panel concludes that it is not in the wider public interest for the Registrant to be allowed to return to practise unrestricted in light of the seriousness of the allegations.


17. The Panel concludes that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remains impaired.


18. The Panel considered whether to make no further order or to impose a Caution Order, but concluded that both options would be inappropriate because the misconduct had been committed during the operative period of the earlier Caution Order.


19. The Panel concluded that a Conditions of Practice Order was inappropriate as the Registrant has not begun to comply with the current Conditions of Practice Order.


20. The Panel considered with care whether a Suspension Order was the appropriate order in the circumstances and concluded that it was not. The Panel has concluded from the content of the telephone note that the Registrant has no insight into his actions. Further, he has provided no evidence of remediation or insight. There is no evidence that he has complied with the current Conditions of Practice.


21. In these circumstances the Panel concludes that the appropriate and proportionate order is a Striking Off Order. The Panel realises that this is the most serious of all available orders, however the allegation is serious and the Registrant has provided no evidence of remediation, insight or compliance with the current Conditions. The Panel concludes that the Registrant presents a risk to the public and it is in the wider public interest to impose a Striking Off Order.

Order

Order: That the Registrar is directed to strike the name of Peter Read from the Register with immediate effect.

Notes

 

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Mr Peter Read

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
26/05/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Struck off
26/05/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Conditions of Practice