Dr Tina Bartley
During the course of your practise as a Practitioner Psychologist by the Fire Fighters Charity, you:
1. Failed to maintain appropriate boundaries with Patient A, who had accessed the charity’s rehabilitation services, in that you:
a) Between 6 October 2014 and 21 November 2014:
i. gave your personal telephone number to Patient A;
ii. Not proved.
iii. met with Patient A on at least one occasion;
iv. shared personal information with Patient A.
b) After Patient A’s discharge in November 2014 went for a drink and/or socialised with Patient A;
c) Following Patient A’s discharge in October and November 2014, communicated with Patient A by social media, telephone, email and/or text message;
d) In November 2014, visited Brighton with Patient A and whilst there engaged in physical contact with Patient A.
e) In January 2015, attended Patient A’s place of work when you were not invited to do so.
2. Your actions described in paragraph 1 (a) – (e) were:
a) Inappropriate; and/or
b) Sexually motivated
3. Your actions described in paragraphs 1 -2 constitute misconduct.
4. By reason of your misconduct, your fitness to practice is impaired.
1. The Registrant is a Psychologist who was previously employed by the Fire Fighters Charity(“FFC”) based at Marine Court, from April 2013 to April 2015. The Registrant provided psychological rehabilitation therapy to patients, as part of a multidisciplinary team. The Registrant provided one to one therapy sessions and group workshops. The majority of patients were resident at the centre during the rehabilitation therapy for a period of up to ten days.
2. Patient A, an employee of London Fire Brigade was resident at Marine Court for a primary psychological programme from 5 October to 17 October 2014. During this time, the Registrant recorded six therapy sessions with Patient A.
3. Following Patient A’s discharge on 17 October 2014, the Registrant re-referred Patient A for further therapy and wrote to the London Fire Brigade requesting leave for Patient A in order that she could return to Marine Court. Leave was granted and Patient A returned to Marine Court on 17 November 2014. The Registrant recorded three therapy sessions with Patient A during her stay before Patient A left on 21 November 2014.
4. Concerns arose in respect of the Registrant’s conduct towards Patient A. An Allegation was brought against the Registrant by the HCPC as above.
5. At a substantive hearing on 1-5 August 2016, a Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee found all the Particulars proved, except for Particular 1a(ii). The Panel found that the matters found proved constituted misconduct and that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired. The Panel imposed a Suspension Order for a period of twelve months.
6. Today’s hearing is the first review of the twelve month Suspension Order imposed on 5 August 2016.The Panel is aware that it is not bound by the decision of the previous substantive hearing Panel, and that it is carrying out a comprehensive review of the Suspension Order in light of the current circumstances. The Panel was aware that the issues of impairment and any sanction are matters for its own professional judgment.
7. The Panel heard submissions from Ms Wynn on behalf of the HCPC and from the Registrant. The Panel also heard live evidence from the Registrant and read the bundle which she submitted to the Panel. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.
8. The Panel was of the view that the Registrant has undertaken significant reflection as to her failings, as shown by her oral evidence and her written reflections. The Registrant apologised for her failings, taking full responsibility for them, and stated that she understood that what she did caused a loss of trust and respect in the therapeutic relationship she had with Patient A, as well as harm, distress and confusion to Patient A. The Panel was of the view that the Registrant’s insight is significantly more developed at today’s date than it was at the previous hearing.
9. The Registrant has also undertaken significant CPD training, numerous courses and further education much of which is, in the Panel’s view, very relevant to addressing the failings identified at the previous hearing. The Panel noted the wide variety of courses undertaken. Further, the Registrant has undertaken a number of voluntary roles. One in particular, which works to protect victims who are vulnerable and at risk, has been a source of support and education to the Registrant, such as in the example set by the strength of the team who work there and from whom the Registrant has learnt the importance of communication between colleagues. It is also an organisation which the Registrant particularly identifies as carrying out work which has some relevance to her profession as a Practitioner Psychologist.
10. The Panel is of the view that the Registrant has engaged well with her regulator and taken considerable steps by way of remediation.
11. However, it is the case that, having been the subject of a Suspension Order, the Registrant has not had the opportunity to put her learning and reflections into actual practice in a clinical environment with real patients and under the pressures of a working environment. It is for this reason that the Panel is of the view that, while the future risk to patients has been diminished since the last hearing, it remains a real risk because her theoretical understanding, remediation and insight have not yet been put to the test in practice.
12. The Panel is of the view that the public interest will have been served by the completion of the Suspension Order. This is on the basis that the regulatory function has resulted in the Registrant undertaking comprehensive reflection and education which has resulted in significant insight and understanding having been attained.
13. However, it is because of the continuing real risk to the public that the Panel has concluded that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remains impaired.
14. The Panel then considered the issue of sanction and took into account the Indicative Sanctions Policy. It was aware that sanction is a matter for its own professional judgment. The Panel applied the principle of proportionality and balanced the interests of the Registrant and public protection. It bore in mind that the proportionate sanction would be that which is the least restrictive required to protect the public. The Panel therefore considered the sanctions in ascending order of severity.
15. The Panel decided that mediation or a Caution Order would be disproportionate and inappropriate because they did not address the ongoing risk to the public in this case in that there would be no restriction placed on the Registrant’s practice.
16. The Panel then considered a Conditions of Practice Order, and decided that this would be a proportionate and appropriate sanction. It would allow the Registrant to re-enter her profession safely and in a supported manner, and allow her to demonstrate in a practical way her new levels of insight and remediation, while being subject to some monitoring which would safeguard the public.
17. The Panel accordingly decided on the Conditions of Practice as set out below, to take effect on expiry of the current Suspension Order. The Conditions of Practice Order will run for a period of twelve months.
18. The Panel did consider the more severe sanction of continuing the Suspension Order, but decided that this would be disproportionate in light of the Registrant’s efforts in reflection and remediation demonstrated thus far, and would not allow her to put her learning and insight into practice.
The Registrar is directed to annotate the HCPC Register to show that, for a period of 12 months from the date that this Order takes effect (“the Operative Date”), you, Tina Bartley, must comply with the following conditions of practice:
1. On commencing practice as a psychologist, you must place yourself and remain under the supervision of a workplace supervisor registered by the HCPC or other appropriate statutory regulator and supply details of your supervisor to the HCPC within 7 days of the your date of employment. You must attend upon that supervisor at least once a month.
2. A report from your workplace supervisor dealing with your progress in returning to clinical practice is to be made available to the HCPC prior to the next review hearing.
3. On commencing practice as a psychologist, you must place yourself and remain under the guidance of a mentor registered by the HCPC or other appropriate statutory regulator and supply details of your mentor to the HCPC within 7 days of the your date of employment . This mentor must be outside your workplace and be at the same level as, or above, your professional standing. You must communicate with that mentor at least once a month to discuss:
i. how you are putting into practice your reflections on, and strategies for, maintaining professional boundaries;
ii. how you are putting into practice your understanding of the therapeutic relationship between a psychologist and patient.
4. A report from your mentor dealing with your progress in areas i and ii. is to be made available to the HCPC prior to the next review hearing.
5. You must maintain a reflective practice profile detailing your progress in areas i. and ii. above, and must provide a copy of that profile to the HCPC on a quarterly basis, the first profile to be provided within 3 months of the Operative Date.
6. You must promptly inform the HCPC if you take up any employment as a registered practitioner psychologist.
7. You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary proceedings taken against you by your employer.
8. 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;
B. any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered with (at the time of application); and
C. any prospective professional employer (at the time of your application).
The order imposed today will apply from 02 September 2017.
This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 02 September 2018.
History of Hearings for Dr Tina Bartley
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|02/08/2017||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Conditions of Practice|
|01/08/2016||Conduct and Competence Committee||Final Hearing||Suspended|