Mr Richard Bannister

: Occupational therapist

: OT31105

: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:10:00 10/11/2017 End: 17:00 10/11/2017

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

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Voluntary Removal agreed

Allegation

Your fitness to practise as an Occupational Therapist is impaired by reason of your health.

Finding

Preliminary matters:
Proof of Service:
1. The Panel had sight of Notice of the Hearing dated 20 September 2017 which was sent to the Registrant’s address and which gave the correct details concerning the date and venue of this hearing.  Accordingly it was satisfied, on the basis of the available documents, that proper notification of this hearing had been given to the Registrant, in accordance with Rule 3 of The Health Professions Council (Conduct and Competence Committee) (Procedure) Rules Order of Council 2003 (“the Rules”). 
Application for hearing to be held in private:
2. Ms Bass made an application for the hearing to be heard in private to protect the Registrant’s private life.  She submitted that the case involves matters relating to the Registrant’s health.  It was, therefore, appropriate for the entirety of the hearing to be dealt with in private.
3. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and applied the guidance in the HCPTS Practice Note “Conducting Hearings in Private”.
4. The Panel decided that in view of the inevitable discussion concerning the Registrant’s health, the whole of the hearing should be heard in private to protect the Registrant’s private life.

Background:
5. The Registrant, Richard Bannister, is registered under registration number OT31105 as an Occupational Therapist.  Mr Bannister started work as a Senior Occupational Therapist, band 6, at the Robin Pinto Unit (Forensic Mental Health) in Luton on 25 January 2015. 
6. Concerns were raised about the Registrant’s practice, which included suggestions that he lacked competence and that he was disinterested in his work.  The Registrant’s employer was concerned about his health and on 28 August 2015 made a referral to Occupation Health.  The Registrant was advised by Occupational Health that as he appeared to be experiencing stress, he should take some time off work and consult his General Practitioner. 
7. On 30 October 2015, the Registrant resigned from his employment.  Any outstanding issues were, therefore, not resolved by his employer.  As a result, on 30 November 2015, the employer referred the Registrant to the HCPC. 
8. During the HCPC’s investigation, the Registrant’s wife made contact with the HCPC Case Manager.  On 31 May 2017, Mrs Bannister explained that she had been granted Power of Attorney in relation to his affairs.  She told the HCPC that the Registrant had not worked as an Occupational Therapist for 12 months, that he had been diagnosed with a health condition from which it transpired he had been suffering for at least four years and that he wanted to be removed from the HCPC Register. 
9. The panel had sight of a medical report dated 25 April 2017 which confirmed the Registrant’s diagnosis.
10. As a result of the medical evidence, the HCPC transferred the matter to the Health Committee on 28 July 2017 and the allegation was amended to read that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired by reason of his health.
11. Ms Bass submitted that discussions between the HCPC and Mrs Bannister have resulted in an agreement that Mr Bannister’s registration should be voluntarily removed from the HCPC register.  She submitted that both parties agreed that such an outcome would protect the public and the wider public interest.  Ms Bass showed the Panel a copy of the Voluntary Removal Agreement which had been signed by the HCPC on 3 November 2017 and by Mrs Bannister, on Mr Bannister’s behalf, on 6 November 2017.  Ms Bass confirmed that the consequences of the Agreement had been fully explained to the Registrant and to his wife and that they had agreed as set out within the Agreement.
12. On the Registrant’s behalf, Mrs Bannister confirmed that the Voluntary Removal Agreement was the appropriate way forward.  She submitted that her husband’s health condition could and should have been picked up earlier, but that now the diagnosis has finally been made they are able to move forward.  Mrs Bannister indicated that her husband has no intention of practising as an Occupational Therapist in the future. 
13. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor who referred it to the Practice Note on Disposal of Cases by Consent, 22 March 2017.
Decision:
14. The Panel noted that the Registrant has, via his Power of Attorney, signed the proposed Voluntary Removal Agreement, which confirms his admission of the Allegation.
15. The Panel was satisfied that the proposed Voluntary Removal Agreement provides a high degree of public protection. Under the terms of the agreement, the Registrant agreed that he will not seek re-admission to the Register. The Registrant also agreed that if he were to seek re-admission to the Register, his application would be treated in the same way as if he had been struck off the Register. The Panel was satisfied that this provides sufficient protection for members of the public because it is the highest measure of protection available.
16. The Panel next considered the wider public interest. It was satisfied that there is no public interest in this matter being dealt with at a substantive hearing.  Indeed, it noted that the Registrant would be unlikely to participate in such a hearing due to his health.  Moreover, the Panel concluded that members of the public, fully informed as to the circumstances of this case, would be satisfied that voluntary removal, as opposed to a final substantive hearing, is the appropriate method to conclude this case.
17. In all the circumstances, the Panel decided that it was in the public interest that the matter should be concluded as proposed by the Registrant and the HCPC. The Panel therefore approved the Voluntary Removal Agreement.

Order

The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Mr Richard Bannister 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 Richard Bannister

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
10/11/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed