Mr Andrew Rowley

: Paramedic

: PA33296

: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:10:00 27/06/2017 End: 17:00 27/06/2017

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

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Voluntary Removal agreed

Allegation

Allegation

During the course of your employment as a Paramedic with Yorkshire Ambulance Service between November 2004 and March 2013, you:

1. Behaved inappropriately towards Colleague A in that you:

(a) Said word to the effect of ‘I don’t want to sit on that sofa with her and Person F’s juices on it’;

(b) Said words to the effect of ‘What’s this I hear about you getting back on cock’;

(c) Said words to the effect of ‘It doesn’t matter “Colleague A”, I’d still do you’;

(d) Made a gesture in which you held out your fingers and placed your tongue between them.

2. Behaved in appropriately towards Colleague C in that you:

(a) Said words to the effect of ‘Shut up you old dyke’;

(b) Said words to the effect of ‘Listen at dyke corner’;

3. Behaved inappropriately towards Colleague D, a new member of staff, in that you told her other colleagues had said she was ‘useless and shit’ or words to that effect.

4. Behaved inappropriately towards Colleague E in that you pointed to your badge and said ‘this badge means I can knee you in your balls’ or words to that effect.

5. The matters set out in paragraphs 1-4 constitute misconduct.

6. By reason of your misconduct, your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Service of Notice

1. The notice of this hearing was sent to the Registrant at his address as it appeared in the register on 11 April 2017. The notice contained the date, time and venue of today’s hearing.

2. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor, and is satisfied that notice of today’s hearing has been served in accordance with Rule 6(1) of the Conduct and Competence Rules 2003 (the “Rules”).

Proceeding in the absence of the Registrant

3. The Panel then went on to consider whether to proceed in the absence of the Registrant pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules. In doing so, it considered the submissions of Ms Clarke on behalf of the HCPC.

4. Ms Clarke submitted that the HCPC has taken all reasonable steps to serve the notice on the Registrant and that the Registrant is aware of the hearing as he has been in correspondence with the HCPC regarding his completion of the Voluntary Removal Agreement.

5. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

6. The Panel was satisfied that all reasonable efforts had been made by the HCPC to notify the Registrant of the hearing. It was also satisfied that the Registrant is aware of the hearing.

7. There is a distinction between a case where the Registrant is clearly aware of the hearing date, and one where there has been no response from the Registrant. It is clear that the Registrant expects this matter to proceed in his absence. In the light of the nature of this hearing, the Panel determined that proceeding in the Registrant’s absence would be in the Public Interest and also in the interest of the Registrant himself.

Background

8. On 8 – 11 December 2015, a Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee of the HCPC heard the above allegations and found them proved. That Panel also found the Registrant’s fitness to practise to be impaired and the Registrant was suspended for a period of 12 months.

9. On 8 January 2016, the Suspension Order was reviewed at a hearing at which the Registrant was neither in attendance nor represented. The reviewing Panel extended the Suspension Order for a further period of 12 months from the date the order would have expired.

10. On 6 January 2017, the second review of the Suspension Order took place. The Registrant was neither in attendance nor represented. The reviewing Panel extended the Suspension Order for a further period of 6 months from the date that the order would have expired.

11. The Registrant had made clear at the substantive hearing in 2015 that he no longer wished to remain in the profession nor to maintain his registration.

12. Shortly before the second review hearing, the Registrant indicated that he wished to be removed from the Register. The HCPC reviewed the case and considered that if the Registrant were to apply to have his name removed from the Register by way of Voluntary Removal Agreement, it would not object to the application as it considered that it would be an appropriate and proportionate course of action in the circumstances of this case.

Decision

13. The Panel considered the submissions of Ms Clarke on behalf of the HCPC. She outlined the background to the allegations and the outcome of the Substantive Hearing in 2015. She submitted that, following representations from the Registrant and a full review of the case, a Voluntary Removal Agreement was the appropriate method of finalising this case. The HCPC was satisfied that the Registrant fully understood the effect of the Voluntary Removal Agreement, and that granting the application would not compromise the protection of the public nor have any detrimental effect on the wider public interest. It did not consider that this was a case that only a Striking-Off Order would suffice to protect the public and the public interest.

14. The Panel had sight of correspondence from the Registrant from which it is clear that he no longer wishes to practise as a Paramedic and has no intention of applying for restoration to the HCPC register as a Paramedic in the future.

15. The Panel considered all of the information and representations by Ms Clarke. The Panel has applied its own judgement to the application and also had regard to the HCPC’s Practice Note on “Disposal of Cases by Consent” and has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

16. The Panel noted that the HCPC is satisfied that it would be meeting its statutory objective of protecting the public and of the public interest, if the Registrant was permitted to be removed from the Register on similar terms to those which would apply if he were subject to a striking off order under article 29(5) of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001.

17. The Panel had before it a Voluntary Removal Agreement that had been agreed between the HCPC and the Registrant and signed and executed by both parties. The Registrant also signed a Declaration that there was no other matter of which the Registrant was aware which might give rise to any other allegation.

18. The Panel firstly considered whether there were any factors that would make it undesirable to allow the this matter to be concluded on the consensual basis set out in the Voluntary Removal Agreement. In the Registrant’s email of 4th January 2017, he indicated that he has not practised as a Paramedic for almost four years and that he wished to be removed from the HCPC Register. He submitted that this would be an appropriate course of action bearing in mind that no concerns had been raised regarding his character or his practice prior to these matters. The Panel has concluded that, given the nature of the allegation, there are no overriding public interest factors that would require this matter to conclude by way of striking the Registrant’s name from the HCPC Register.

19. The Panel is aware that if the Registrant seeks to return to the HCPC Register at any time in the future, his application would be treated as if he had been struck off as a result of the allegation.

20. In all the circumstances, the Panel is satisfied that both the public and the public interest would be adequately protected by the terms of the agreement reached between the Registrant and the HCPC in as much as the Registrant will henceforth be prevented from practising as a Paramedic and, should he wish to apply to return to the Register, he will be treated as though he had been struck off.

21. Furthermore, the Panel is satisfied that this method of finalising this case is appropriate and proportionate, and which is jointly in the interest of the public, the HCPC and the Registrant. Accordingly the Panel approves the Voluntary Removal Agreement.

Article 30(2) Review of the Substantive Order

22. Taking the above into consideration, Panel is satisfied that the voluntary removal of the Registrant from the HCPC register of Paramedic means that he is not liable in future to put the public at risk of harm, nor is he liable in future to bring the profession into disrepute, nor is he liable to breach a fundamental tenet of the profession.

23. The Panel is also satisfied that the public interest has been satisfied in that the Registrant has been held to account, that proper standards of practice and behaviour have been declared.

24. In light of the Panel’s determination in relation to the Voluntary Removal Agreement, it is exercising its power to review the Order under Article 30(2) and 30(4) and revokes the current Suspension Order with immediate effect.

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Andrew Rowley from the Register with immediate effect.

Notes

'If the Registrant seeks to return to the HCPC Register at any time the application would be treated as if the registrant had been struck off as a result of that allegation.’

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Mr Andrew Rowley

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
27/06/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed
08/01/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended