Mr G, who was a Paramedic for the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust, was recently struck off by a Panel of the HCPC’s Conduct and Competence Committee. The Panel heard how Mr G attended a 999 call during the course of a night shift at a residence where he found three intoxicated women. One of the women, the patient, was suffering from stomach pain.
It was alleged that another one of the women made sexually suggestive comments to him during the call and he did not discourage her. The pair then had a sexual encounter during the 999 call. The Panel heard how Mr G attended the same residence the following day when he was off duty but the women were not there.
In reaching their decision, the Panel Chair stated that, “The Panel was of the view that, although this incident was isolated, the Panel has nothing before it to demonstrate that the registrant has shown insight into such serious conduct.”
“This was an abuse of trust which violated a professional boundary and seriously undermined the reputation of the profession. His actions in engaging in consensual sexual activity whilst on duty were deliberate or, at best, reckless.”
In such serious cases, in order to stand any prospect of avoiding a striking off order, it will always be in a registrant’s best interests to attend their hearing and be legally represented by a specialist. In this case, Mr G did not attend the hearing nor was he represented. Without any clear evidence demonstrating genuine insight into the alleged misconduct as well as any evidence of any relevant remedial action the registrant has taken since, a Panel are very unlikely to consider imposing a lesser sanction.
Although Mr G was not represented and was struck off the register, he will have 28 days following that decision in which to lodge a notice of appeal with the HCPC to challenge that decision. It is essential that anyone considering appealing a fitness to practise panel decision, made by any professional regulator, consults a specialist lawyer immediately to obtain the necessary advice and assistance. You can call our fitness to practise solicitors now on 0845 002 0736.
By Laura Hannah