Paramedic Trevor J Finnerty (PA06775) has been struck off the HCPC Register on the grounds of misconduct whilst employed as a paramedic with West Midlands Ambulance Service.
A panel of the HCPTS heard that at 19:48 on 29 January 2017, the Trust received a 999 call from a female patient (Patient A) who reported that she was having a panic attack and that her mental health was ‘taking a turn for the worst’. The case was allocated to the Registrant as a paramedic working alone in a rapid response vehicle for face-to-face contact. The Registrant attended the scene at 20:39 and at 21:22 called the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to clear the call giving no indication that anything untoward or unusual had occurred.
The Panel further heard that at 03:58 on 30 January 2017, the EOC received a call from Warwickshire Police informing the Duty Officer that they intended to arrest the Registrant following an allegation of rape of a patient he had attended earlier in his shift. Interviewed under caution, the Registrant admitted sexual contact with the patient including sexual intercourse.
The Registrant was suspended from his duties on 31 January 2017 and he resigned the following day. He was not subsequently charged with any criminal offence arising from the incident.
Panel Chair Helen Carter-Shaw commented:
“This was a clear and compelling case of a deplorable breach of professional boundaries that fell well below the standard that was to be expected of a paramedic in the performance of his professional duties. It was beyond dispute that the Registrant’s conduct in engaging in sexual activity with a patient breached proper standards of conduct and that it brought his profession into disrepute. Any other finding would damage confidence in the profession and in the regulator.”
The Panel ordered for the name of Trevor J Finnerty to be struck off the HCPC Register.
Mr Finnerty was neither present nor represented at the hearing.
Notes to editors
1. The Health and Care Professions Council is an independent regulator set up by the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001. The HCPC keeps a register for 16 different health and care professions and only registers people who meet the standards it sets for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. The HCPC will take action against professionals who do not meet these standards or who use a protected title illegally.
2. The Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS) is the fitness to practise adjudication service of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Although it is part of the HCPC, the distinct identity of the HCPTS seeks to emphasise that hearings are conducted and managed by independent Panels which are at arm's length from the HCPC. https://www.hcpts-uk.org/aboutus/roleofhcptribunalservice
3. Full details of this hearing will be posted online
4. See information about the HCPC’s fitness to practise proceedings
5. Anyone can contact us and raise a concern about a professional on our Register. This includes members of the public, employers, the police and other professionals. For more information visit www.hcpc-uk.org/complaints
6. The HCPC currently regulates the following 16 professions. Each of these professions has one or more ‘protected titles’. Anyone who uses one of these titles must register with the HCPC. Full list of protected titles
- Arts therapists
- Biomedical scientists
- Chiropodists / podiatrists
- Clinical scientists
- Hearing aid dispensers
- Occupational therapists
- Operating department practitioners
- Practitioner psychologists
- Prosthetists / orthotists
- Social workers in England
- Speech and language therapists
7. The HCPC regulates social workers in England. Social workers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are separately regulated by the relevant Care Council in that country.
8. Registrants can appeal the panel’s decision. Appeals are made directly to the High Court in England or Wales, the Court of Session in Scotland or the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland. Appeals must be made within 28 days of when the Notice of Decision and Order is served. The Panel’s order does not take effect until the appeal period has expired or the appeal has concluded.