Dr William Bratby

: Practitioner psychologist

: PYL24164

: Review Hearing

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

: Health and Care Professions Council, 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

: Health Committee
: Conditions of Practice

Allegation

Your fitness to practise as a Clinical Psychologist is impaired by reason of your physical and/or mental health.

Finding

Preliminary matters

Application for hearing to be heard in private

1. This being a Health matter the Panel granted the HCPC’s case presenter’s application to have the case heard in private. 

Background

2. The Registrant was employed by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) as a Clinical Psychologist. In 2012 the Trust investigated concerns relating to his record keeping. The Registrant admitted that he had failed to keep accurate and timely records over a period of two years. In the course of an investigation the Trust identified health concerns as a possible cause of the failings. The matter was referred to the HCPC.

3. On 10 January 2014 a substantive hearing of the Health Committee was held. The Registrant did not attend and the hearing was held in his absence. The panel found that the Registrant was suffering from a health condition. The panel found that this condition met the statutory physical or mental health ground and that his fitness to practise was impaired. The panel imposed an 18 month Conditions of Practice Order.

4. On 7 July 2015 the Conditions of Practice Order was reviewed. The Registrant did not attend. The Conditions of Practice Order was replaced with a Suspension Order for nine months.

5. On 10 March 2016 the Suspension Order was reviewed. The Registrant attended in person. The Suspension Order was extended for a further three months from 7 April 2016.

6. On 7 June 2016 the Suspension Order was reviewed. The Registrant attended in person. The Suspension Order was extended for a further 12 months from 7 July 2016.

7. On 9 June 2017 the Suspension Order was reviewed. The Registrant attended by telephone. The Suspension Order was extended for a further six months from 7 July 2017.

Registrant’s evidence and submissions

8. The Registrant provided the Panel with the following documents:

1. A medical report dated 01 December 2015 from Dr Stephen Ilyas, Consultant Psychiatrist.

2. A positive testimonial dated 14 November 2017 from Dr Kobus van Rensburg, in the Northhamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

3. A personal statement and list of CPD activities undertaken since the last review.

9. The Registrant gave evidence about his current health status and explained that he now had a greater understanding and awareness of his health condition and the importance of the medication and self-care strategies. The Registrant told the Panel that he had reflected on the events leading to the HCPC proceedings. He acknowledged that he needed to be in a team based and supported structured environment. The Registrant was able to identify the triggers and warning signs of his health condition and how they could be mitigated through coping strategies and support from family and work supervisors.  

10. The Registrant acknowledged that he had not initially fully engaged with the HCPC’s process but said since he has been able to manage his health condition, he recognises the importance of engaging.

11. The Registrant accepted that if a Conditions of Practice Order were to be imposed that he would now fully engage and comply with those conditions.

HCPC’s Submissions

12. Following the Registrant’s evidence the Panel heard submissions from Ms Stark on the issue of sanction. She indicated that based on all the information now presented, a Conditions of Practice Order may be suitable although it was a matter for the Panel as to what sanction should be imposed.

Decision on impairment: 

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

14. The Panel first considered whether the Registrant’s fitness to practise remained currently impaired by reason of his health and reminded itself that this is a matter for its own professional judgement. In reaching its decision, the Panel first considered the personal component. The Panel took account of the Registrant’s oral evidence and the documents that he had provided to the Panel. Although the Panel acknowledged that the Registrant has made considerable efforts to remediate and has demonstrated a great deal of insight into his medical condition, the Panel determined that there is a risk of repetition, should the Registrant return to unrestricted practice, which the Registrant himself acknowledged.

15. In respect of the public component, the Panel determined that if the Registrant were allowed to practice without restrictions this could have the potential to undermine public trust and confidence in the profession and the regulatory process.  In the circumstances, the Panel has concluded that the Registrant's fitness to practise remains currently impaired.

Decision on Sanction:

16. In considering the appropriate sanction the Panel had regard to the HCPC's Indicative Sanctions Policy and the advice of the Legal Assessor.

17. The Panel is aware that the purpose of sanction is not to be punitive and that it must consider the risk the Registrant may pose to services users in the future and determine what degree of public protection is required.

18. The Panel has considered the sanctions available in ascending order of severity. The Panel considered that to take no action or to impose a Caution Order would not be appropriate and this would not afford the necessary public protection.

19. The Panel next considered whether a Conditions of Practice Order would adequately address the concerns identified. The Registrant acknowledged his need to work as part of a team within a structured environment as well as managing his health condition. The Panel determined that those matters could be addressed by way of workable, verifiable and measurable conditions. The Registrant stated in his submissions that he would comply with any conditions.

20. The Panel considered that the continuation of a Suspension Order would be punitive and disproportionate in the circumstances. It therefore decided that a Conditions of Practice Order for a period of 12 months is an appropriate and proportionate order to make.

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to replace the existing Suspension Order with a Conditions of Practice Order against the registration of William Bratby.  for a period of 12 months on expiry of the current order.

The conditions are:

1. On obtaining a position as a Registered Psychologist either paid or unpaid, you must place yourself under the supervision of a workplace supervisor registered by the HCPC or other statutory regulator and supply details of your supervisor to the HCPC within one month of commencing work. You must attend upon that supervisor as required and follow their advice and recommendations and you must provide the Review Hearing with a record of the dates and content of such supervision sessions, which has been signed off by your supervisor.

2.  You must remain under the care of a general practitioner and other relevant health professional (as appropriate) and inform them that you are subject to these conditions.

3. You must inform your general practitioner and other relevant health professional (as appropriate) about these conditions of practice and authorise those persons to provide the HCPC with information about your health and any treatment you are receiving.

4. You must keep your professional commitments under review and limit your professional practice in accordance with the advice of:

• Your general practitioner

• And/or other relevant health professional (as appropriate).

• Your workplace supervisor

5. You must cease practising immediately if you are advised to do so by your general practitioner and/or other relevant health professional (as appropriate).

6. You must provide the HCPC at least 28 days prior to any review with appropriate evidence of CPD, which should include a dated list of CPD activities, what you have learned as a result and how you would apply it to future practice.

7. You must promptly inform the HCPC if you cease to be under the supervision of your workplace supervisor or if you cease to be employed by your current employer or take up any other or further employment.

8. You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary proceedings taken against you by your employer.

9. 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 employer (at the time of your application).

10. You will be responsible for meeting any and all costs associated with complying with these conditions.

11. Any condition requiring you to provide any information to the HCPC is to be met by you sending the information to the offices of the HCPC, marked for the attention of the Director of Fitness to Practise.

Notes

This Order will apply from 07 January 2018

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Dr William Bratby

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
05/12/2017 Health Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
09/06/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
07/06/2016 Health Committee Review Hearing Suspended
10/03/2016 Health Committee Review Hearing Suspended
07/07/2015 Health Committee Review Hearing Suspended
10/01/2014 Health Committee Final Hearing Conditions of Practice