Arul Rathina

: Physiotherapist

: PH66697

: Restoration

Date and Time of hearing:10:00 14/07/2017 End: 17:00 14/07/2017

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

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Restoration not granted

Allegation

Fitness to practise as a registered health professional is impaired by reason of misconduct and/or lack of
competence, in that:

1.  At all material times you were employed as a Physiotherapist by Devon Primary Care Trust

2.  On 8th March 2006 you were instructed to arrange and attend regular clinical supervision sessions with senior colleagues and you failed to comply

3.  In or before August 2006 you incorrectly treated a patient referred with a neurological condition, leading to a complaint from a specialist neurological physiotherapist

4.  In or before September 2006 you were instructed not to undertake   unsupervised treatment of patients with neurological complaints, however:

a. You treated another patient with a neurological condition, contrary to the instruction given

b. You treated the patient incorrectly

5. Between January 2006 and 31st January 2007 you were unable to demonstrate attainment of the level of
competency required for your grade in:

a. Assessment

b. Health & Safety

c. Planning & Preparation

d. Resourcing

e. Discharge

f. Clinical Reasoning

g. Record Keeping & Information Provision .

Finding

Background

1. The Applicant qualified as a Physiotherapist in 2004 and was employed by Devon Primary Care Trust at Totnes Community Hospital between 3 October 2005 and 1 February 2007.

2. During 2006, there were incidents when he treated patients incorrectly; failed to follow instructions to undergo regular clinical supervision and to refrain from treating patients with neurological conditions. Furthermore, despite extended periods of supervision, he was found to have fallen below the level of competence expected of a physiotherapist of his grade.

3. These failings were found by the panel at the substantive hearing to constitute misconduct and lack of competence.

Decision

4. The Panel has born in mind that its primary function is to protect the public and to maintain confidence in the profession. It has not gone behind the decision made in 2008. It has referred to the HCPTS Practice Note on Restoration and to the HCPC’s Returning to Practice information.

5. In reaching its decision, the Panel has taken into account all the information before it together with the evidence of the Applicant and the submissions made by him and by Mr Pye, on behalf of the HCPC. It has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

6. The Panel has heard that the Applicant has not been working in the UK but that he has had the opportunity to undertake some physiotherapy related work outside the UK.

7. In relation to the Returning to Practice document, the Panel has considered the minimum requirements of those returning to work. A person not registered for a period of 5 years, must undertake 60 days of profession related activities. However, the Panel has had in mind the Legal Assessor’s advice that, in relation to someone previously struck off, “it is not sufficient for an applicant merely to establish that he meets the requisite standard of clinical proficiency for registration”.

8. The Panel has taken into consideration the circumstances of the Strike Off Order made in 2008 and the serious concerns identified about the Applicant’s conduct and competence, in particular, that his level of competence was assessed as being only at a level of a student in a first year placement.
9. The Applicant has provided evidence of updating his knowledge, a personal development plan and CPD activities. However, the Panel has not been persuaded that these have been undertaken in a focused way, taking into account the failings identified in 2008. The activities also do not appear to have been undertaken by the Applicant in such a way that he can demonstrate compliance with the Standards now required of a registered physiotherapist. Although the Applicant has provided some evidence of updating, for example, in relation to health and safety, this was in the context of working in human resources rather than in a clinical context.

10. The Panel has particularly had in mind the deficiencies, found by the substantive panel in 2008, in relation to fundamental aspects of physiotherapy practice, including assessments, clinical reasoning and record keeping. These competencies do not appear to have been addressed by the Applicant.

11. The Applicant has been supervised whilst working outside the UK and the supervisor has provided a letter of support. However, it is not clear from the letter the precise context in which the Applicant is undertaking his physiotherapy related activities. Furthermore, the supervisor is not registered with the HCPC and the Panel therefore could not be sure of her understanding of the CPD expectations of the HCPC. In addition, the supervisor has not signed the activities log.

12. Overall, the Panel could not be satisfied that the Applicant has provided sufficient evidence:

a) That he has met the general requirements for regulation and therefore that there is no risk to patients;

b) That he is a fit and proper person. Whilst he is clearly enthusiastic about returning to the profession, he continues to lack insight into the findings made in 2008.

Order

The Application for restoration is refused.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Arul Rathina

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
14/07/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Restoration Restoration not granted