Martin G C Helliwell

: Radiographer

: RA66114

: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:10:00 23/01/2018 End: 17:00 23/01/2018

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

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Voluntary Removal agreed

Allegation

(as amended and found proved at Final Hearing):


During the course of your employment as a Band 5 Radiographer with Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) from October 2011, you;


1. On the 7 November 2013, took 3 to 4 poor quality images of Patient A’s ankle.


2. On or around the 11 November 2013, had Patient B for a sternum x-ray and;


a. did not take an x-ray of Patient B’s chest;


b. required at least 3 attempts to x-ray Patient B’s lateral sternum; and/or


c. produced poor quality images of Patient B’s sternum.


3. On the 9 October, did not put a Left/Right marker on Patient C’s pelvis x-ray.

4. On the 13 November 2013, x-rayed Patient D’s left femur with three exposures when it should have been the right femur.


5. On the 7 January 2014, made poor quality facial bones images for Patient E.


6. On 20 January 2014, did not initially administer a biomarker capsule to Patient F before x-raying her abdomen.


7. On the 24 April 2104, irradiated an unknown patient’s carer, when you did not ensure they had any lead protection.


8. On the 8 May 2013, allowed a student radiographer, who you were supervising, to irradiate Patient G’s mother, when you did not ensure beforehand that she had any lead protection.
9. Your actions as set out in paragraphs 1-8;


a. Exposed the patient and/or their mother/carer to unnecessary radiation; and/or


b. Demonstrated unsafe clinical practice.


10. The matters described in paragraphs 1-9 amount to misconduct and/or lack of competence.

11. By reason of this misconduct and/or lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Background


1. From October 2011 the Registrant was employed at Salisbury District Hospital as a Radiographer.  He failed to complete his 6 month induction programme post qualification and was formally managed under the Trust’s Capability Policy, completing his induction in 9 months.  In 2013 concerns were raised regarding his lack of competence and a referral was made to the HCPC. A final hearing took place before a Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee of the HCPC in August 2015 and a Suspension Order was imposed on the Registrant for 12 months and confirmed at two subsequent Review Hearings.

HCPC Submissions

2. Ms Scholz explained the background to the case.  She told the Panel that the Registrant had made it clear that he wanted to be voluntarily removed from the Register and he had been working in a non-clinical field.  She referred the Panel to terms of the Voluntary Removal Agreement (VRA) and submitted that it secured the appropriate level of public protection and would not be detrimental to the wider public interest. She reminded the Panel of the HCPTS Practice Note on Disposal of Cases by Consent.  Ms Scholz submitted that the public interest had been satisfied and that a VRA was now an appropriate way to proceed.


3. Mr Helliwell told the Panel he could now consider retiring and that due to an ongoing health condition he did not wish to return to his profession. He was content to move on and wanted to be removed from the Register.


4. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor as to importance of protecting the public and public interest and it applied the guidance in the HCPTS Practice Note on Disposal of Cases by Consent.

Decision


5. The Panel carefully considered the HCPC’s submissions and considered the HCPTS Practice Note. The Panel was satisfied that the proposed VRA provides the appropriate level of public protection. It protects the public as the Registrant will be removed from the Register and will be unable to practise as a Radiographer. Further, the public interest has been satisfied by the conduct of a full, public hearing in August 2015 where evidence was presented, findings made and a sanction imposed.  The Panel noted there have also been review hearings where the Suspension Order has been confirmed.


6. In all the circumstances, the Panel determined that the proposed VRA protects the public and does not undermine the wider public interest. Public hearings had taken place and have demonstrated the importance of upholding proper standards and the Panel’s approval of the VRA would not undermine that. The terms of the agreed VRA, agreed and signed by both the Registrant and the HCPC, are sufficient and appropriately maintain public confidence in both the profession and the regulatory process.


7. The Panel agreed to the matter being concluded by means of the VRA and revoke the Suspension Order presently in place.

Order

Order: The Panel directs that the Suspension Order be revoked on the basis that the Registrar will remove the name of Mr Martin Helliwell 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 Martin G C Helliwell

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
23/01/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed